Dear Friend of the Institute,
The Institute for Poetic Medicine is pleased to offer resources to serve both personal and professional uses of poetry as healer. This letter will introduce you to these resources - more detailed information and individual links are provided below.
New! Book Review Section
You'll find here the announcement of a new book review section posted on the IPM web site. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time.
While we can't present all the excellent material we would like to support, in this very modest way we can suggest
meaningful books to you. I hope this new section is helpful.
Still Making a Difference! Poetic Medicine and Finding What You Didn't LoseIt's my pleasure to continue to offer my two books. In print for about 14 years, they
are classics in the field of creativity, poetry as healer and
expressive/therapeutic arts. Better than that, I am happy they remain alive and relevant to the needs of people.
For teachers of English/Creative Writing in high school and college, Finding What You Didn't Lose offers a dynamic exploration of poetry and poem-making. By fostering communication, connection, feeling and speaking what's true, Poetic Medicine serves the needs of all helping professions.
Please consider them for yourself or as gifts for others.
Transforming Healthcare - A Place for Poetry and All the ArtsOver the years I've written about ways to humanize
healthcare with poetry
and the arts. This matters to me. It's what I can contribute to the transformation America is
going through - changing from what Senator Ted Kennedy termed sick care to real healthcare.
Poetry & Caring appeared in a fine book called The Healing Environment: Within and Without, published by the Royal College of Physicians in 2003.
There is the PBS documentary, produced by Dr. David Watts, Healing Words: Poetry & Medicine, which features the work of Poetic Medicine.
Poetry Therapy: Reclamation of Deep Language and Multimodal Imagery appear in a new three-volume set of books, Whole Person Healthcare, beautifully edited by Dr. Ilene Serlin.
Most recently I wrote an article, Beyond the Campfire, for The San Francisco Medical Society Journal for their theme of Healing Words.
Please consider contacting the libraries of your local
university or medical institution and recommending they purchase these volumes.
Recommending the Fine Work of Others
In addition to our new book review section, we feature people whose healing work with poetry will enrich your understanding and experience of poetry as healer. Kim Rosen, Sherry Reiter, Stephen Levine, and Jim Fadiman represent, respectively: spoken word, power of story, shamanic invocation, and the love of God through the lives and poetry of St. Francis and Rumi.
Research Study in Poetry Therapy
As President of The National Association for Poetry Therapy (NAPT) (2003-2005) I initiated a poetry therapy research project. My intention was to show through both qualitative and quantitative traditionally designed research, calling on the best measurements and protocol, in a way funders and health institutions could respond to, the efficacy of poetry as healer.
was fortunate in 2001 to build friendships with two healthcare researchers in the
United Kingdom - Dr. Robin Phillip at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, and
a fine research psychologist, Pamela Thorne. Additionally, important contributions to this study were made by a NAPT colleague,
Ingrid Tegner. It was Ingrid who conducted the pilot study.
In the words of our soon to be published paper, "The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the use of a group poetry therapy intervention with cancer patients utilizing a support center. It was hypothesized that the intervention would increase their emotional resilience and psychological well-being by encouraging the expression of emotions."
We received encouraging words from Dr. Mitch Golant, VP of Research and Development for the Wellness Communities of America. After reviewing the project and the measures we were using, Dr. Golant said it was ground-breaking work. The Wellness Community, where I have done much work over the years in centers throughout the United States, is renowned for its high quality of holistic cancer support.
I believe this study can be of use to all people who believe in the value of the arts in the cancer wellness movement. The paper will be published this September in The Journal for Poetry Therapy.
Helping Get the Word Out: Super Items FromThe Institute for Poetic MedicineIf you would like to help get the word out about The Institute for Poetic Medicine, please look at a great range of useful and simple products at Cafe Press. Shoulder bags, blank books for writing and caps are now available at that website. All of these items have the distinctive leaping horse IPM logo! (Click Here)Our intention with these books, reviews, articles, CD and documentary is to provide you with resources that show what is possible with poetry as healer. Thanks for what you are already doing! Please let us hear from you.
My Best Regards to You,
P.S. You'll be hearing from me again soon! In September I'll be sending a schedule of upcoming events, and in October I'll write about the exciting programs of The Institute for Poetic Medicine.
Thanks to Melissa Layer for her help in creating these beautiful Constant Contact messages.
FINDING WHAT YOU DIDN'T LOSE - Expressing Your Truth and Creativity Through Poem-Making
by John Fox
Formal techniques aren't overlooked in a title which encourages self-expression through poetry; but neither are they touted as the sole vehicle for literary pursuit. The idea here is that writing can offer psychological healing: use this guide to master imagery, metaphor, rhythm and poetic elements, then create some strong, meaningful works.
Midwest Book Review
Drawing from a splendidly various range of sources, John Fox guides the reader gently into the wide realms where he shape of words connects the feeling heart and the world.
Author, Given Sugar, Given Salt & Each Happiness Ringed by Lions
A delightful invitation to the poet that lurks within each of us to come out and play.
Ram Dass, Maui, Hawaii
Author, Be Here Now
We're all members of the Dead Poet's Society and John is disinterring these dead poets in each of us and bringing them back to life. It doesn't take long, if you are stimulated, to find yourself writing things that you had no idea were in your heart.
Jeremy Tarcher, publisher
Los Angeles, CA
It was reading Finding What You Didn't Lose that gave me the courage to do what I love to do.
St. Petersburg, FL
FINDING WHAT YOU DIDN'T LOSE
The Healing Art of Poem-Making
by John Fox, CPT
John Fox works with children, seniors, people in life transition or suffering life-threatening illness, and others. Clearly, he succeeds. His work shows the aspiring poet how to give birth to poetry and how to cultivate and harvest its value to the writer's healing process. Highly recommended for public libraries, as well as school and academic libraries where art therapy is studied or practiced.
From Library Journal, Judy Clarence, California State University Library, Hayward, California
I recently purchased your book, Poetic Medicine
, and find it a balm to my work, which is with persons in long-term care as a chaplain.Maggie Woodbridge
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
is well done, well conceived, well held in the heart of the author. John Fox is truly on to one of the healing rays emitted from the palm of the Beloved.
Author, Breaking the Draught
TO PURCHASE STEPHEN'S NEW BOOK OF POEMS ON AMAZON: (CLICK HERE)
I found Poetic Medicine
particularly useful when I taught high school English. The exercises helped my students deal with grief and depression, and when I've used it, I have felt much better afterwards. I think this should be a required book in every English teacher's personal library.Carina E. Gunnerson
I'm already enjoying Poetic Medicine
, which as a child psychiatrist, resonates beautifully with the work I do.
Harlan Spitz, M.D.
Great Neck, New York
I am working my way slowly through Poetic Medicine
as if it were some sort of journey I am on. I keep meeting voices, some known and others not, and it feels as if I am traveling with old friends.Georgette James
Los Angeles, California
POETRY AND MEDICINE
Produced by Healing Words Productions for PBS
HEALING WORDS is
a poignant and powerful documentary about the uses of poetry and the
other expressive arts at a large teaching hospital in Florida. These
days when Americans have grown cynical about health care costs,
impersonal treatment, and the intrusion of corporate self-interest in
relationship, HEALING WORDS reminds
us of the best medicine can offer: a doctor at the bedside, really
listening to a patient.
Dr. John Graham-Pole and poetry therapist John
Fox enter hospital rooms and help patients write poems as part of their
healing process. Viewers will be touched by the ways in which poetry
builds compassion between doctor and patient. In answer to the
question, Can poetry heal? This documentary gives a resounding Yes!
Producers: Joan Baranow, James Cavenaugh, Victoria Chaban, David Watts, MD
Narration: Peter Coyote
Directors: James Cavenaugh, David Drewry
Original Music Score: Noa Winter Lazerus
Running Time: 56:46Reviews:
because I am a doctor myself, I feared from the title that the film
would be maudlin, saccharine, or depressing. It is none of these
things. Instead, this is a thoughtful, moving, and powerful examination
of the efforts of several doctors to re-infuse emotional connection and
healing into the technology-dominated enterprise of giving medical care
to sick and dying people. I thought about it for days afterward, weeks
-- heck, I'm still thinking about it. I encourage anybody who is a
doctor or a patient or anyone who may one day become a patient, to
watch this extraordinary film."
Thomas Lewis, M.D.
Co-author of A General Theory of Love
This film shows the inspiring work of John Fox, poetry therapist, and other remarkable artists and medical professionals engaged in the use of the arts for healing. I work as a medical family therapist in pediatric hematology-oncology and what has touched me the most is seeing what is possible.
Often we see inspiring work and think that we could never do anything like that, or it wouldn't work in my setting, or in some other way feel disconnected from the work presented, as if great people do things differently from ordinary people at their jobs. In this film we see that art and healing are truly for us all. We see what a difference someone truly engaged and listening can make. The healing extends to us as viewers, as well.
It has affected my work and I have shared it with colleagues. I expect to continue to do so for the rest of my career.
Medical Family Therapist
Syracuse Catholic Charities
Syracuse, New York
INTRODUCING THE KOREAN VERSION OF
THE HEALING ART OF POEM-MAKING
We are pleased to share the Korean edition of
Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making.
Published by Sigma Press in 2005, Poetic
Medicine was translated by Mrs. So Young-Choi
and her team of translators.
So Young-Choi is the visionary and determined
Director of the Korean Institute for Poetry Therapy.
In July of 2005, John Fox traveled to Seoul, South Korea for the publication of the book and
offered workshops at Seoul University National Hospital, Kyunggi University and Seoul Educational and Cultural Center.
TO VISIT THE KOREAN INSTITUTE
FOR POETRY THERAPY:
Books for Professional and Personal Use
The Institute for Poetic Medicine
for People Interested in Poetry & Healing
When Sunflowers Speak:
An Invitation to Contemplation
by Patrick W. Flanigan, M.D.; Photos by David McQueen
Dear Friends of the Institute,
It is my intention in these new IPM website "book review" pages to highlight books that would otherwise be difficult for a nationwide audience to find or know about. The featured books are, of course, a very small sample of the important and valuable work that is out there.
Yet for people in hospice work, those grieving the loss of a loved one, for anyone who would like to be inspired by a blend of poem and photograph, these first three books can meet your need and interest!
I want to thank Carol Katz for contributing such fine work in writing these book reviews. Carol has taken considerable time to explore and find the healing elements within these books. She shares liberally from the books themselves. She welcomes you, the reader, to sense and feel how this book could be of use to you personally and professionally.
My appreciations also go to Rachel McKay for organizing this material and to Valerie Knight of Valerie Knight Graphics for her excellent design of this material.
John Fox, CPT
The Institute for Poetic Medicine
TO VISIT THIS NEW BOOK REVIEW SECTION ON THE IPM WEBSITE:
LINKS & OTHER RESOURCES
For Poetry & Healing
From The Institute for Poetic Medicine
ARTS & HEALING NETWORK
To Listen To An Audio Interview of John Fox conducted by Britt Bravo of the Arts and Healing Network:
This interview covers tremendous ground - you can learn a lot about poetry therapy, John's calling and his practice!
Heal Your body By Giving Voice To Your Soul:
An Interview With John Fox
Flesh and Stone
is a public interest news site delivering independent reporting on
health care and science news, trends, and commentary. We look at how
medical and scientific discoveries
are influenced by politics and the economy. Our goals are simply to
inform and educate, and provide a public space for health and science policy discussions that may influence positive policy changes.
About the Publisher and Editor:
Kathlyn Stone is a Twin Cities, Minnesota-based writer who has covered general news, and business, international trade, and health care news and policies for public and professional audiences since 1980.
She brings an insider's understanding when covering government and
politics, late-breaking science (especially that pertaining to
neurological research), consumer health news, and public policy. In
addition to years of newspaper and magazine reporting, she has worked
in media relations and communications for national non-profits, a
state legislature, the business sector, and government agencies.
Through these experiences Stone has developed a healthy skepticism of
politicians, public relations practitioners
and media organizations that put profit before truth. Experts - often
among government or corporate staff, scientific
researchers or passionate activists - who speak truthfully and
knowingly about an issue, are top sources.
THE JOURNAL OF POETRY THERAPY
"Evaluating the Use of Poetry to Improve Well-Being and Emotional Resilience
in Cancer Patients"
by Ingrid Tegner, MSW, CPT, M/S; John Fox, CPT;
Robin Philipp FRCP, FFOM, FFPH, FNZCPHM;
and Pamela Thorne, MSC Org. Psych.
Vol. 22, No. 3 (September, 2009)
The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the use of a group poetry therapy intervention with cancer patients utilizing a support center. It was hypothesized that the intervention would increase their emotional resilience and psychological well-being by encouraging the expression of emotions.The Journal of Poetry Therapy
(JPT), sponsored by the National Association for Poetry Therapy (NAPT)
, is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal committed to the publication of original articles concerned with the use of the literary arts in therapeutic, educational, and community-building capacities. The intended audience of JPT includes those in the allied helping professions and education, as well as those in literary/artistic fields with a concern toward promoting growth and healing through language, symbol, and story.Peer Review Integrity
All research articles in this journal, including those in special issues, special sections or supplements, have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and anonymized refereeing by at least two independent referees.
Find the Abstract of this Research Paper
Through Google Scholar
by Locating it with the Lead Author's Name
and a Few Words from the Title:(CLICK HERE)
To Find Out More About This Research Study Please Contact John at:
To Learn More About
The Journal for Poetry Therapy: (CLICK HERE)
SAN FRANCISCO MEDICINE
We welcome you to read John's article (pg. 19) from the San Francisco Medical Society Journal entitled Beyond the Campfire. It is part of an issue titled Healing Words, which includes a review of the PBS Documentary Healing Words: Poetry and Medicine, as well as Rachel Naomi Remen's preface to Poetic Medicine.
THE HEALING ENVIRONMENT:
WITHOUT AND WITHIN
edited by Dr. Debbie Kirklin and Dr. Ruth Richardson
book provides a clear conceptual framework for understanding the
healing environment - not only that in which healthcare takes place,
but also of the real contribution that the arts can make to the inner
environment of feelings and perceptions of those on a path of physical
or mental healing.
Here is a source of inspiration and
information for all those who are part of the caring community - be
they direct providers of care or those who create the environment in
which care and healing takes place.
From architecture to art
therapies and medical humanities, the book looks at how partnerships
between patients, artists, clinicians, architects, community leaders
and managers - all of whom are represented among the contributors - can
significantly influence the development and practice of
John's chapter is titled Poetry and Caring
TO PURCHASE THE HEALING ENVIRONMENT FROM THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS:(CLICK HERE)
WHOLE PERSON HEALTHCARE
(Volumes 1, 2, & 3);
General Editor, Ilene Ava Serlin, Ph.D.,ADTR;
Published by Praeger/Greenwood 2007
In Whole Person Healthcare
, John's chapter entitled Poetry Therapy: The Reclamation of Deep Language
appears in Volume 3, The Arts & Health
. In Volume 2, Psychology, Spirituality & Health
, there is a chapter he co-authored with Ilene Serlin and Kirwan Rockefeller entitled Multimodal Imagery and Healthcare.
*NOTE FROM JOHN: As a contributor to this series, I receive the benefit of a discounted fee for these volumes. I am happy to pass this savings on to anyone who may be interested in purchasing the set. If interested, please contact me at:
I highly recommend this series to psychologists and
laypeople who are both interested in the future of humanistic psychology and
the politics of 2lst-century healthcare.
The Humanistic Psychologist
The present collection should interest all health
concerned with the research and practice of integrative approaches,
seeking to empower themselves, and health care policy makers. Ilene
Serlin should be commended for her colossal achievement in bringing
together in one collection all these disciplines and for sowing the
ideas for the future. This is a truly interdisciplinary effort
doctors, lawyers, psychologists, public health officials, and others.
PsycCRITIQUES - June 4, 2008 (Volume 3)Whole Person Healthcare is a glimpse into the future
of healing. It is a magnificent
effort, bringing together authorities who have made landmark contributions in
fashioning a form of healthcare that honors all we are - body, mind and
spirit. No other approach to
healing deserves to be called scientific or humane."
Larry Dossey, M.D.
TO DOWNLOAD A PDF REVIEW
BY THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION OF
WHOLE PERSON HEALTHCARE:
*TO PURCHASE THIS SET OF THREE VOLUMES ON AMAZON:
A COMMUNITY OF POETRY HEALERS
Saved by a Poem
by Kim Rosen
(Publication Date - October 1, 2009)
Whether you are a lover of poetry or have yet to discover its power,
Rosen offers a new way to experience a poem. She encourages you to
feel the poem as an affirmation or prayer, which can bring every level
of your being - body, mind, feelings and soul - into alignment.
Weaving teaching, story, verse, and memoir, Rosen guides you to find a
poem that speaks to you, take it into your life, and become a voice for
its wisdom in the world.From back cover of Saved by a Poem
Kim Rosen is bringing poetry back to
where it belongs - into our bodies. To know a poem from the inside is
to become a tabernacle for the sacred song of human life. We knew this
long ago. Kim Rosen is helping us to remember. This art of knowing
and holding poems within ourselves is crucial and life saving.Marie Howe
Author, What the Living Do
and The Kingdom of Ordinary Time
TO PURCHASE SAVED BY A POEM ON AMAZON (Pre-Order Copies Available Now:
Publication Date October 1, 2009): (CLICK HERE)
Medicine Poetry: Origin of Song, the Upwelling & the Hidden Word (2 CDs)
by Stephen & Ondrea Levine
The power of Medicine Poetry directs healing not just to those injuries too big to express but to those too small to remember emitting toxins unseen by anything but the hidden eye from whose clear seeing sudden wordless understandings may arise.
Many tribal peoples refer to considerable healing coming from the strong spiritual medicine brought forth by shamanic invocation. Medicine poetry is sometimes capable of clearing long-conditioned blindness. Much that remains yet undiscovered resonates with grace. And frees us from our image of perfection to which so much suffering clings.
TO PURCHASE THESE CDs ON STEPHEN AND ONDREA'S WEBSITE, "WARM ROCKS TAPES":(CLICK HERE)
Writing Away the Demons
by Sherry Reiter, Ph.D.
This is not a book about transformative writing; this book is
transformative writing. The writers write beautifully and deeply about
their experiences and their healing process, illustrating directly both
their resiliency and the power of creative writing.David Read Johnson, Ph.D., RDT-BCT,
Director of the Arts in Psychotherapy (from the preface of Writing Away the Demons)
There is abundant scientific evidence that 'expressive writing' is a profound way to affect health and well-being. Writing Away the Demons
is a stellar example of 'everyday' people discovering this truth
firsthand. Along with this, Dr. Reiter is keenly sensitive to the way
sharing our stories reveal soul and the remarkable resilience of human
beings.John Fox, CPT
Rumi, St. Francis and Romantic Love
A Talk Given by James Fadiman, Ph.D.
at The Redwood Institute
Valley Presyterian Church, Portola Valley, CA (Available Only as MP3 On One CD Disk)
Rumi says, "God loves you the way you make love." What does he mean? Nothing is more vital to our wellbeing than to be able to love and to be loved. Yet we use the word "love" to describe a confusing basket of different states. We love a sunset, a wine, a pet, a place, our children, another person - even Divinity itself.
The love that Rumi felt, a unity with the Divine; the love that St. Francis so prized, being loved by God; and the love that we look for in one another - that dance of sharing, trading, yearning, accepting and treasuring - are adjoining facets of the same shining gem. Love, more fully understood and experienced, can make life more vivid, more vital and more joyful. At the same time that Rumi and St. Francis were creating visions of divine love, the Troubadours were promoting a new vision in which women were venerated and men strove to be worthy, but not by force of arms, to be their companions.
That worldview still permeates the modern world, turning up in places as disparate as Disney films, best selling novels, and New Age self-help books. Fadiman, with humor and erudition, explores these very different love paths, their origin, and their value to our lives today.
* * *With a storytellers flair Jim Fadiman presents the concurrent and remarkable lives of Jalaluddin Rumi, Francis of Assisi and those poets and lovers known as the Troubadors.
Jim's keen insight and humor show the great shift in consciousness and
significant changes in society and relationships that occured in both
east and west in the late 12th and early 13th century
-- and more importantly, how those messages of love and the lives of
those revolutionary lovers, in all their variety, are, amazingly so,
very relavent to us today.
John Fox, CPT
James Fadiman, Ph.D., is co-founder of The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA, where he teaches courses in Sufism and transformative fiction. He is co-editor, along with Robert Frager, of the acclaimed Essential Sufirm. He serves on the Board of The Institute for Poetic Medicine
TO PURCHASE AN MP3 OF THIS 90-MINUTE TALK, PLEASE GO TO THE INSTITUTE FOR POETIC MEDICINE'S BOOKS & AUDIO PAGE:
POETIC MEDICINE PRODUCTS
(Journal)By purchasing any of these products shown here (as well as additional products on the Cafe Press site), you will help spread the word aboutThe Institute for Poetic Medicine and be an advocate for the power of poetry as healer.
The Institute logo was created in 1988, thanks to the creative vision of John Fox, Susan Montana and the artistry of Daniel Powers.
TRY A POETIC MEDICINE SHOULDER BAG!
Comments From a Satisfied Customer!
"I'm someone who can't get through the day without a good tote bag, and I can whole-heartedly recommend the Poetic Medicine tote! It's large enough to hold a load of groceries or a pile of favorite books. I appreciate the long handles (double-stitched for sturdiness) that let me toss the bag over my shoulder. The Poetic Medicine logo is unique and eye-catching - a great way to start conversations about poetry and healing.
My 90-year-old mother saw the bag, gently touched the logo and exclaimed 'Protective!' Sometimes a bit unsure of words these days, she certainly picked up on the essence of it. When I told her of John's work with poetry, and how it ties in with the logo, she added, 'It's wonderful!'
This is a tote that carries your stuff, and carries poetic meaning too!"
Please Share this Constant Contact
With Family, Friends, and Co-Workers
the "Forward e-Mail" Link
at the Bottom of this Newsletter.________