Poems of Witness: Speaking the Truth, Going to the Heart

with John Fox

February 10th—February 11th (2017)

Date details +
  • $120 Program Price

Friday, February 10, 7:00 - 9:30 PM

Saturday, February 11, 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Poetry allows one to speak with a power
that is not granted by our culture.

 - Linda McCarriston

This coming year of 2017 asks us to speak up and speak out, and by doing this, strengthen a community of conscience and caring. 

Yet, within our country and living on this fragile planet, it is a significant challenge in the midst of heartbreaking social & political realities to express and give shape to YOUR unique voice; your poetic voice that is

  • humane and beautiful
  • fierce, courageous and noble
  • creative and compassionate

Your voice is necessary now and needed more than ever to bear witness to what you care about in this life.  What is at risk for you? What do you care about?

You see, we cannot ignore history. History doesn?t go away.
The past isn?t back there, the past is here too.

 - Lucille Clifton

 Rather than write the polemical, we will explore a voice that leans into the cathartic and generative.

Our retreat will draw upon the poetry of Thomas Merton, William Stafford, Adrienne Rich, Edward Abbey, Naomi Shihab Nye, Lucille Clifton, Joy Harjo, Thich Nhat Hanh, Mary Oliver, Joanna Macy, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Diane di Prima, Ray Young Bear, Maya Angelou, Yusef Komunyakaa and the poetry of children.

My intention and purpose is to encourage a poem-making that speaks truth, treasures beauty and empowers us to recognize our common ground.

Beginning and experienced poets/writers are welcome. It will be valuable and safe for anyone with a desire to express their truth and creativity.


The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of
the awareness of the world. That is what poetry does.

 - Allen Ginsberg


John Fox is a published poet and author of Finding What You Didn't Lose: Expressing Your Truth and Creativity through Poem-Making and Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making. Widely recognized as an international leader in the movement of poetry therapy as expressive art and medicine, John travels widely throughout the United States as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Israel, South Korea, Kuwait and Canada, facilitating poetry workshops, trainings, and retreats. John trained with poetry therapy pioneer Joy Shieman at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California and is a certified poetry therapist. He received The National Association for Poetry Therapy's Distinguished Service Award in 1995, and founded the Institute of Poetic Medicine in 2005. He leads ongoing poetry groups in the Bay area where he lives and is an adjunct faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Sofia University (formerly The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology), Holy Names University, and John F. Kennedy University. His workshops will be inspiring and uplifting for anyone with a desire to express their deeper truth and creativity.