Poetry Well is committed to celebrating and promoting poetry as a vital part of our individual and collective wellness. We seek to connect our communities to poetry programs that entertain, educate, and heal.
We create imaginative opportunities, from writing workshops to theatrical events to narrative medicine experientials, all to stir the inner life and nurture meaningful connections and community.
Poetry Well was founded as Emotive Fruition in 2015 by poet Thomas Dooley as a way to spark meaning in people’s lives through poetry.
Since then we have established poets in residence at New York and New Jersey hospitals, who offer reflective writing interventions to patients, caregivers, and clinical staff. We founded the art and literary journal Wavelength in collaboration with New York Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center and are currently in residence at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey, bringing writing workshops to cancer patients, bereaved caregivers, and front line medical workers. Over the past decade, we have been invited to present internationally on the subject of poetry and illness at such renowned institutions as King’s College London, University of Glasgow, Columbia University, and the Mayo Clinic.
In addition to our robust outreach initiatives in the healthcare sector, we produce a full season of live and virtual poetry events that explore some of today’s most important topics such as immigation, gender, sexuality, science, and relationships. Our live radio event Elemental Poetry for the Masses, created in collaboration with NPR’s hit show Radiolab, can be streamed on WNYC. Whether in residence at our downtown artistic home of Caveat in New York City or on Zoom, Poetry Well offers a myriad of ways for audiences to connect with and enjoy live poetry.
In the immortal words of Cyndi Lauper, what happens the moment you “fall behind” and “the second hand unwinds”? How can you capture both the melancholy and hope of moments that are neither falling in or out of love, but somewhere in between? This workshop will explore a new theme related to complicated loves each week, as students draw inspiration from writing prompts, and we will also read and discuss work from authors like Ada Limón, Rafael Campo, Donika Kelly, Elizabeth Acevedo and more.
Led by poet Rosebud Ben-Oni, a recipient of the NYFA Fellowship in Poetry, a CantoMundo Fellowship, and the winner of the 2019 Alice James Award for If This Is the Age We End Discovery, forthcoming in 2021.