This PBS documentary tells the stories of patients
whose lives have been dramatical


Poetic Medicine

To Awaken Soulfulness in the Human Voice


We are here to awaken soulfulness in the human voice.  Our site offers voices and resources regarding the healing power of poetry. We are collectively dedicated to nurture and strengthen the human capacity to creatively connect to Self, Other, Community, the Natural World and the Divine.

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.


Give birth again
To the dream.


—Maya Angelou

from  On the Pulse of Morning


The Institute of Poetic Medicine offers tools and support to people to heal body, mind and spirit through the creative and therapeutic process of hearing, speaking and writing poetry.


The work of IPM flows in the deep current of these rivers:

  • We fund Poetry Partner Programs that bring poetic medicine to people often considered at the margins.
  • We offer a 3-year Certified Training program that provides certification in the practice of poetry-as-healer.
  • We provide multiple-ways to respond and  participate on-line as a way to grow an interactive IPM community.
  • We support John’s work throughout the US and internationally to teach, heal and promote the power of poetry to comfort and transform, inform and enrich both person and community.
  • We provide development in-services for those involved in helping professions such as pastoral care, medicine and education; we also provide inspiration and sustenance to community activists and organizers.
  • We are a resource center for the inspiring and useful ways poetry-as-healer makes a difference and applies to the varied facets of our lives.
  • Free Poetic Medicine Journal. A beautiful, inspiring and informative quarterly journal.

On this website you will find all of these “rivers” and we hope you will take some time to find what interests, moves and motivates you to make poetry more a part of your life.






December 4 & 5, 2015
Auburn, CA

Writing Our Relationship

with Trees

Sponsored by Unitarian Universalists of Auburn



December 17, 2015  |  5:30-8:30 pm

Tukwila Community Center

12424 42nd Ave. S.  Tukwila, WA

Poetry Reading by Refugee and Immigrant students of Merna Ann Hecht

Tukwila Parks and Recreation together with Project Feast invite you to an evening of stories, music, and food as we celebrate the diverse heritage of Tukwila residents.



December 18, 2015

9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit

15420 Vashon Hwy SW, Vashon, WA

Writing Our Relationship with Trees



January 13 thru 17, 2016
Bolinas, CA

25th Anniversary Conference

at Commonweal – Integrative Cancer Care: Where Are We Now

Sponsored by Commonweal & The Lloyd Symington Foundation


February 19, 20 & 21, 2016
Still Point Retreat Center,
Mechanicville, NY

Poetry & Poem-Making as a Pathway to Renewal: SEVEN GIFTS

Sponsored by  Judith Prest and Spirit Wind Studio



April 8 & 9, 2016
Austin, TX

The Heartbeat of Hope: Life-Giving Nourishment in Stressful Times with John Fox and Mirabai Starr

Sponsored by Eremos: A Center of Contemplative Life


May 17 thru 21, 2016
Asheville, North Carolina

Poetry & Wounded Warriors

Sponsored by Charles George Veterans Administration Hospital


July 6-10, 2016
Bowen Island, British Columbia

Writing Our Relationship

with Trees

Sponsored by Ray McGinnis and Write to the Heart








September 15, 2015
San Jose, CA

Finding Voice with Poetry—Poetry for people who are homeless.

Sponsored by Recovery Café


October 12, 2015
Berkeley, CA

Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poet-making

Sponsored by John F. Kennedy University

Terry Hatcher’s class in Foundations in Expressive Therapy


October 13, 2015
Sas Jose, CA

Finding Voice with Poetry—Poetry for people who are homeless.

Sponsored  by Recovery Café

October 23 & 24, 2015

Atlanta, GA

Poetry and Poem-Making as a Pathway to Renewal:
Seven Gifts

Faculty Retreat: Sponsored by
Paideia School


October 26 & 28, 2015
Atlanta, GA

Programs for Students:

4th-12th Grade

Sponsored by Paideia School


January 22, 23, 24, 2016
Menlo Park, CA

Poetic Medicine Training Start

Sponsored by The Institute for Poetic Medicine Vallombrosa Retreat Center