Writing Poetry with John Fox and Marianna Cacciatore

18 June, 2014

One of the kindest things we can do for ourselves is to honor the deeper urging of the soul by bringing it to the surface and hearing what it has to say. One way to do this is through writing poetry.

John Fox, Founder and President of The Institute for Poetic Medicine, recognizes the healing touch of poetry, and he devotes his life to helping people find their poetic words, to write them on paper, to express what matters to them.

Marianna Cacciatore has been a writer for many years and recently has returned to writing poems, which feels to her to be the most important thing she is doing right now.

This week, John and Marianna will share their own poems with each other. They will talk about what inspired each poem, why images were chosen, what surprised them, how it felt to write it, and perhaps what is happening today as it relates to that poem.

Marianna and John will offer simple writing prompts, helping you put pen to paper and jot lines of your own. Please join us for this interactive show designed to encourage the poet in you to emerge.

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.


Marianna Cacciatore is Host of the Voice America radio show Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Deeds; Chief Inspiration Officer at Bread for the Journey a non-profit philanthropic organization with 20 locations in North America. She was the Founding Executive Director of Bread for the Journey and started her tenure with BFJ in 1998 as it was transforming from a single chapter in Santa Fe, NM to a national organization with the capacity to create affiliate chapters throughout the United States. Today Bread for the Journey supports 120 volunteers, and has given away nearly $4.5 million dollars.

She is also an author and public speaker. Her book, Being There for Someone in Grief, is being used as a guide for hospice volunteers, and as a textbook for those learning to work with people in grief. Having suffered a childhood tragedy, she created a grief center that has brought healing to thousands of people. Today, she serves as a Lifetime Emeritus Board Member of Tu Nidito in Tucson, Arizona, the parent agency for the organization she founded in 1988 called Children to Children, a Center for Children and Families in Grief.

Marianna writes a weekly blog for Bread for the Journey and speaks to audiences on the subjects of grief, generosity, resilience, resourcefulness, perseverance, hope, recovery from homicide and the power of love. She loves to write and read poetry.

Marianna’s two careers — one in the field of grief, the other marked by kindness and generosity — found common ground inside her heart. She feels they can be best explained in the words of poet Naomi Nye in her poem, Kindness. “Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing… Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread… ”​