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IPM’s Impact in Participants’ Words

Testimonials from participants in IPM's 2022 programs:


"One of the significant features of poetry therapy is that participants do not try to do any problem-solving. Another is that no one critiques your poem-making. Both made the workshop a cathartic, non-threatening experience."   

—Mai-Lon Gittelsohn

"Kristin and Athena made everyone feel welcome and safe during class. I looked forward to class each week—learning new poems, sharing, being vulnerable, and creating. It has been a gift!" 

—Delynda Moravec

"Kristin Thompson and Athena McClendon created a safe space, a brave space as my classmate shared, for us to bring who we are in this moment and explore our own wellness through poetry. Our class included a variety of ages, spiritualities, and experience with poetry and poetic medicine, and I appreciated how we were all welcomed and affirmed in our presence and our work. The facilitators modeled and facilitated active and reflective listening as we shared and explored our wellness through poetry. I enjoyed the playfulness of writing in a variety of styles that were part of the curriculum. Thank you to the facilitators and classmates for your authenticity and encouragement."   

—Caroline Noll

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Testimonials from participants in past IPM programs:

The effectiveness and inspiration of Poetic Medicine


“The four of us who came to John's workshop last night all felt totally inspired.  John conducted the discussion like a virtuoso. It felt totally fresh and spontaneous. He has an uncanny ability to deal with individuals’ issues that arise and direct them right into the flow of the discussion. What he brings to this topic of poetry as healer is potentially life-changing."

—Ralph Day, Cleveland, Ohio


“I am always impressed by how you manage to bring poetry to many corners of our lives and it is like bringing light and sowing seeds because even after your leave something new springs out in the lands you have visited and keeps poetry alive and reminds me that the nature of our world, its very essence, is effortlessly poetic.”

—Agata Dichev, Atlanta, GA



Encouraging becoming oneself

“What do I want to say besides thank you. When I set out for the workshop, I had no idea I would be so completely changed or become so completely myself again because of poetry and you.”

—Shannon Klassel, Seattle, Washington


“I appreciate how you were both a facilitator as well as a group-member. You know your own space, and honor others to find their own, and that’s beautiful—it helps those of us who are insecure to be freed to write without judgmental criteria.”

—Will Fetterman, Allentown, Pennsylvania


An essential outcome of this work is an increased capacity to listen deeply.


“John Fox is the most sensitive and effective teacher of poetic medicine I know. He listens to both poem and person deeply, and he is a master at guiding others—both patients and care- givers—to do the same. His kind and gentle teaching, his unique vision and his generosity of spirit have immeasurably enhanced my use of poetry in my nursing work and in my life.”

—Cortney Davis, NP (Nurse Practitioner), Redding, CT

editor of Between the Heartbeats: Poetry and Prose by Nurses


We introduce poetry therapy into medical schools and hospitals via medical humanities, expressive arts, arts-in-medicine, cancer support centers and integrative medicine programs.


“Thank you for giving us so much of your fine attention, quiet regard, space to create, your listening deeply and gift of allowing each person’s words to emerge. You are a pleasure to work with. Next year?”

—Deborah Steele, Manager of Supportive Services.

Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center


“You brought your heart, your skill and craft, your deep compassion and love. We are all the better for it.”

—Shanti Norris, Director, Smith Farm Center for the Healing Arts, Washington D.C.


“Thanks for a great session. You are terrific with the students. Plan on next year.”

~ Larry Zaroff, M.D., Ph.D., School of Medicine & Program in Human Biology Senior Research Scholar,

Center for Biomedical Ethics, Stanford University


We collaborate with people within underserved and neglected communities to celebrate the healing spirit of poetry. We believe in the absolute importance of each person's voice.


“Thank you John, for weaving this tapestry in the dying, in the jails, in the disenfranchised, in the alone, in the midnight, in the winter, in the nightmare, and in the dream…You bring the light, sputtering and clear, peaceful and grounded, to all of us.”

—Janet Childs, M.A., Director of Education and Bay Area Critical Incident Management

Centre for Living with Dying program of Bill Wilson Center


We understand that poem-making and poetry is a pathway to vibrant spiritual connection.


“John Fox does with words what the mystics do with prayer. He draws people in to participate naturally and from their own being.”

—The Reverend Channing R. Smith, Rector Transfiguration Episcopal Church Belmont, California


“I have been talking about how the room was transformed by the sweet energy of you and all who gathered there“… How you taught us to listen in the first five minutes in such a tender, gentle way we didn’t know we were being taught. It was more like a self-realization.”

—Susan Johnson, Director Decatur Healing Arts, Decatur, GA

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