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A Year of Poetic Medicine –
Poetry of Nature

Poetry of Nature is a 10-Month Online Series offering two types of membership:
a monthly Poetic Medicine Circle (2024 enrollment is closed), and a Letters Circle offered year round.

Join us for the Poetry of Nature Letters Circle, via a one-time donation or a monthly subscription
View 
an example letter.

The contributions from both levels of participation in this program support the greater programming of The Institute for Poetic Medicine.

PON Cover cropped & watermarked

"Through monthly letters filled with brilliant photos of the natural world,

poetry prompts and wise reflections on the cycles and seasons

of the earth we were invited to explore our deeply personal relationships

to nature and to what we stand to lose."

Merna Ann Hecht, Poetry of Nature participant and IPM Poetry Partner

About this Program

NanLeah and Geoff facilitate

“The determination to know a particular place, in my experience, is consistently rewarded. And every natural place, to my mind, is open to being known. And somewhere in this process a person begins to sense that they themselves are becoming known, so that when they are absent from that place they know that place misses them. And this reciprocity, to know and be known, reinforces a sense that one is necessary in the world.”

—Barry Lopez

 

Our planetary predicament calls for all possible creative responses. Poems of Nature and poem making can help us tap into the catalyzing intelligence and reciprocity of Nature. The Institute for Poetic Medicine’s annual Poetry of Nature program, fondly known as PON, invites participants to become more sensitively attuned, to know and be known by your “neck of the woods”. We are celebrating our fifth year of Poetry of Nature, which is a part of IPM’s Year of Poetic Medicine series.  

 

We offer 2 levels of membership - a monthly Poetic Medicine circle (full for 2024), and a Letters circle option. All participants will receive NanLeah’s letters, which arrive on the first Sunday of each month. Letters feature selected Nature poems, Nature images, quotes for every season, and plenty of poem making prompts to support and inspire you as you co-create and deepen your connections with Nature and your inner landscape. Experience with poetry and poem making are not necessary.  

Our Poetic Medicine circle convenes February through November on Zoom and is co-led by poet and Nature photographer NanLeah with poet and climate change activist Geoff Oelsner. We meet the second Monday of each month from 1:00 – 3:00 Pacific.   

 

Letters Circle subscriptions are available at any point during the year through either a one-time donation using this link or by a monthly subscription to the Letters Level of Membership.

Throughout our 2024 journey we will practice curiosity, openness, and deep listening. We will invite you to share your poems, Nature experiences, and anything else that inspires you in our private, virtual Poetry of Nature (PON) Commons. Our commons is a place to show up, be seen and heard, and listened into being. A place to know and be known by your fellow PON journeyers. All contributors retain their copyrights to their work.  

The Poetry of Nature has never been more relevant than now. Each year as PON has grown, we are constantly amazed and lifted by those who share their unique Nature experiences, expressions of love, beauty, and concerns for our Earth. We are always heartened by how quickly we deepen into sacred community and live and love more deeply our one wild and precious life. 

An example letter is available here.

 

“As I walk with you through your surrounds and feel your appreciation of Earth and her children- the trees, the birds, the rain, I feel more than healed- I feel emboldened to protect this inestimable gift, and I feel grateful to people like NanLeah and Geoff who are using their gifts to enlist us all in the most urgent call.” 

Cathey Capers, IPM Poetry Partner - Poetry as A Tool for Wellness 

The Summer Day  

 

Who made the world? 

Who made the swan, and the black bear? 

Who made the grasshopper? 

This grasshopper, I mean— 

the one who has flung herself out of the grass, 

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, 

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down— 

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. 

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. 

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. 

I don't know exactly what a prayer is. 

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down 

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, 

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, 

which is what I have been doing all day. 

Tell me, what else should I have done? 

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? 

Tell me, what is it you plan to do 

with your one wild and precious life? 

 

~Mary Oliver 

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