Poetry as Healer ~ with John Fox

12 June, 2014

There is a way in which poetry reaches down into our depths and places its finger on a healing touchstone. Something happens inside and we are changed. John Fox has known this for a long time and has devoted his life to the service of poetry as healer. He is the Founder and President of The Institute for Poetic Medicine (IPM).

John works with educators, counselors and therapists, doctors, nurses and medical students, those in chaplaincy and pastoral care, cancer support, those in the field of substance abuse, hospice volunteers and staff.

He brings “poetic medicine” to people who are living with cancer, who are grieving, children and young people with physical disabilities.

IPM funds a range of projects that bring poetry as healer to people.  Those projects include people who are homeless, immigrant and refugee youth, those living with acquired brain injury and those with moderate to severe mental health challenges.

John believes that there are no limits to the places where poetry can reach to do its healing work.  The mission statement for IPM is: “To awaken soulfulness in the human voice.”

Join us for this enlightening interview with John Fox.

John Fox is a poet and certified poetry therapist; Founder and President of The Institute for Poetic Medicine; author of Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making and Finding What You Didn’t Lose: Expressing Your Truth and Creativity Through Poem-Making . His work is featured in the PBS documentary, Healing Words: Poetry and Medicine.

John has written numerous essays in a range of books on subjects of education, writing, medicine and healing. He most recently contributed the essay Poetry Therapy, Mindfulness and Creativity to Mindfulness and the Art Therapies: Theory and Practice published by Jessica Kingsley.  His chapter Poetry’s Call:  An Exploration of the Words Let and Letting appears in Let the Beauty We Love Be What We Do: Stories of Living Divided No More edited and facilitated by Sally Z. Hare and Megan Leboutillier, published by Prose Press.

He works throughout the United States in all kinds of settings and has taught in Ireland, England, Israel, Kuwait, Germany, South Korea and Canada. His work influences practitioners in Greece, Australia, Japan, Philippines, Lithuania and Peru.

John is the past president of the National Association for Poetry Therapy 2003 – 2005. He lives in Mountain View, California.