A Year of Poetic Medicine –
Poetry of Nature
The contributions from participation in this program are used to support the greater programming of IPM.
"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
Poetry of Nature
Poetry of Nature is a 10-Month Online Series.
In January each year two levels of membership are available for registration:
a monthly Poetic Medicine circle, and a letters-only option.
Registration for the 2023 Poetry of Nature Poetry Circle closed February 1st.
Each year this series includes monthly letters with the option of registering to join the Poetry Circle meeting from February through November on the 2nd Mondays from 1-3 PST.
Poetry Circle registration is limited to 12 participants. This year's PON Circle is full.
About this Program
POETRY OF NATURE
A Year of Poetic Medicine
“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.”
“The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself”
— Wallace Stevens
Our planetary predicament calls for all possible creative responses. Poetry can help us tap into the catalyzing intelligence of Nature. The Institute for Poetic Medicine’s annual Poetry of Nature program invites participants to become more sensitively attuned, to know and be known in your “neck of the woods”. We will share our expressions of love, beauty, and concerns for the natural world. This is our fourth 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, and a letters-only option. All participants will receive NanLeah’s and Geoff’s letters. NanLeah’s letters arrive on the first Sunday of each month. Geoff’s letters will arrive on the third Sunday of every month. Our letters feature selected poems, nature images, contemplative exercises and plenty of poetry writing prompts to support you as you explore and deepen your connections with Nature and your inner landscape. Experience with poetry and poem making are not necessary.
All participants are invited to participate in an online Poetry of Nature Group. Our private, virtual commons is a place to be known! We encourage you to share your poems, Nature experiences, and anything else that inspires you. Throughout our 2023 journey we will practice openness, curiosity, and deep listening. Our commons is a place to show up, be seen and heard, and listened into being. All contributors retain their copyrights to their work.
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.
Space in the poetry circle is limited to 12 people to allow time for each person to share during our time together. Poetry Circle registration has closed as of February 1st.
Stand still. The trees ahead and the bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or bush does is lost to you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
~ David Wagoner