prescription for a Monday

September 16, 2013

Emergency Poet

Because it’s Monday, and because the torrential rain has left us feeling somewhat soggy, and because it’s been more than a year since we mentioned the Emergency Poet, we thought it might be just what the doctor ordered.

The Emergency Poet, outfitted with a brand-new ambulance and skilled poem-medics, continues to serve the public’s poetic health at arts, literary and music events and festivals, schools, pubs, corporate events, weddings and parties around London.

Learn more on the Emergency Poet website, like the Emergency Poet on Facebook then take two (poems) and check back tomorrow morning.

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new at the Paris Review

March 7, 2018

Whatever your beliefs regarding the healing powers of poetry (and we’ve posted on the subject previously), it’s heartening to see that The Paris Review is prescribing poetry in its new column, Poetry Rx. Readers write in to describe their ailments and resident poets Kaveh Akbar, Sarah Kay, and Claire Schwartz offer their best remedies.

on writing

February 11, 2018


“Good writing never soothes or comforts. It is no prescription, neither is it diversionary, although it can and should enchant while it explodes in the reader’s face.”
Joy Williams
(b. February 11, 1944)

. . . . .
Photo: © Rollie McKenna
Quote: Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals

We are happy to see that in the UK, “The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Arts, Health and Wellbeing said doctors should be encouraged to refer patients to art classes and poetry workshops.”

Read the article in The Telegraph and this testimonial about the health benefits of poetry, in The Guardian.

Click to see more poetry prescription stories in The Poetry Department.

Your daily dose

February 5, 2017

bottle of poems

It may be time to increase your daily dose of poetry. If a daily or weekly poem sounds like the right prescription, here is a short list of places to subscribe:

Instead of subscribing, you can view daily poems online at many of the sites above, as well as:

There are also numerous poem-a-day books in print, including The View from Lummi Island by Luther Allen.

Take two as needed.

Short shorts in December

January 23, 2017

Hawai’i Writers’ Retreat

If blue water, balmy air and palm trees sound like the perfect prescription for December, you’d be well advised to jump all over this opportunity. It won’t last long. Registration is now open for the Hawai’i Writers’ Retreat, featuring Sheila Bender and Brenda Miller. Open to memoir writers, fiction writers, and poets, the Retreat is designed to get you to a completed 1,000-word piece in just one week, while you enjoy one of the most beautiful, inspirational places in the world — the Big Island of Hawai’i. December 10 through December 16, 2017. Details at Kahini, where you’ll also find links to the 2017 Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat (March 3-5, 2017, New Zealand).

calling Doctor Poetry

December 13, 2016

poetry bandaid

Here is yet another addition to the Ideas We Love file: in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the HealthPartners Como Clinic, “a doctor and a health coach meet regularly with two dozen patients to recite and discuss the works of great poets,” according to this article in the StarTribune.

Make sure you are keeping up with your poetry prescription, especially during the holiday season!

poetry by prescription

Back in July, we talked about Deborah Alma’s wonderful Emergency Poet ambulance that offers on-the-spot healing-by-poetry at festivals around England. He’s another twist on the theme: “poetry evangelist” William Sieghart prescribes poetry to heal a variety of ills.

In honor of the U.K.’s National Poetry Day, Doctor Sieghart (a philanthropist and entrepreneur who founded Forward Publishing, the Forward Prizes for Poetry, and National Poetry Day) provided healing words to online patients who presented with an assortment of complaints. See his prescriptions here.

What would you prescribe?

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