As an adaptive, flexible program, Poetry Heals engages in a variety of projects. Think of us as therapeutic poet-ninjas, if you will. We love to partner with different organizations to bring expressive writing to clients in meaningful, accessible ways that make the art of writing (and furthering emotional intelligence) a part of daily life.
Poetry and Pottery
Poetry and Pottery is a fantastic partnership between local potters, the City of Manitou Springs, and Poetry Heals. During the summer months, we set up weekly in the pavilion at Soda Springs Park to bring our poetry and local artist Mark Wong‘s potters’ wheels and traveling kiln to the public. We also provide free, hot, nourishing soup and fresh water. While we proactively engage the homeless people who frequent the area, we are also a favorite stop for locals and tourists too, bringing all three populations together to promote tolerance and understanding in addition to the many benefits of expressive writing.
Even better, it’s all free to participants! Thanks to a generous grant from the City of Manitou Springs, and the generously provided soup donated by Chef Lyn Harwell of Create Cafe, we’re able to nourish body and soul of some of Manitou Springs’ most vulnerable residents, while providing others with art experiences they might not have tried before.
It’s important to note: it’s much more than a handout. When you’re in the pavilion, writing poems or making pottery with dozens of other people, there’s a special vibe in the air. The roar and smoke of the kiln, whir of the potters’ wheels, voices of people reading their poems aloud to each other, joyful shrieks of kids on the nearby playground – all the sounds twine together to form a bond of creative community, a unique sense of place where everyone belongs.
It’s truly a special experience. We hope you’ll join us. Check our Facebook page or follow our blog for the dates and times for 2018, which we’ll announce in the spring. To see more fun photos from past Poetry and Pottery events, check out Our Clients.
At the 2017 What If! Festival, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9th, we’ll be set up in front of the amazing PORTAL site, writing poems with people from all over the world. We can hardly wait! Come visit us for an incredible experience.
Our highly trained mentors work with clients of several community non-profits throughout the year, teaching trauma survivors and people in recovery both the skills and the confidence to use poetry as a tool for processing their emotions. These invaluable skills, once grasped, stay with clients and provide them with a lifelong resource that can go anywhere they go and is readily accessible with a pencil and paper. Learn more about our wonderful community partners.
Thanks to our funders, we provide 75 to 100% of our services at no cost to the hosting organization, making minimal impact on their limited resources while filling a significant need. The donations and grants allow us to employ well-qualified and specifically skilled writers and teachers in this often sensitive work, and we are deeply grateful.