Call for Interest - Board of Directors Candidates

What is Poetry Well

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.

A Brief History of Poetry Well

Poetry Well (formerly known as Emotive Fruition) was founded in 2015 by poet Thomas Dooley 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 in collaboration with important literary organizations like CantoMundo, Kundiman, Cave Canem and Lambda Literary. Our live radio event “Elemental Poetry for the Masses”, created 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.

Poetry Well During COVID-19

Although we have temporarily moved most of our programming to virtual channels, Poetry Well is looking forward to returning to the stage in late Fall 2021 where we will present a live Poetry Rock Concert featuring some of our best poets and Broadway's most celebrated performers.

What is the Role of a Board Member

Members of Poetry Well’s Board of Directors will support the work of Poetry Well and provide mission-based leadership and strategic governance. While day-to-day operations are led by Poetry Well’s Founding Artistic Director, Thomas Dooley, the Board will cultivate and sustain a healthy partnership with Mr. Dooley, providing support that is both critical and expected.


1. Leadership, governance, and oversight

2. Fundraising


Board Members should first and foremost be passionate about Poetry Well’s mission. Board Members will have connections and expertise that aid the organization’s mission and priorities, including but not limited to: business, law, accounting, government, philanthropy, nonprofit management, education and narrative medicine. Poets and performers affiliated with Poetry Well will also be recruited. A track record of board leadership is preferable. Members of Poetry Well’s Board of Directors should be generous of spirit, good team players, proactive, and dedicated.


Poetry Well’s Board of Directors currently does not have term limits. The Board will self-assess its effectiveness annually and may consider adding term limits at a later date. Board meetings will be held at least twice a year, with special meetings being called as needed. Service on Poetry Well’s Board of Directors is without remuneration.

How to Apply

If you are interested in being considered for Poetry Well’s Board of Directors, please contact Founding Artistic Director Thomas Dooley at or Board Chair Tom O’Connor at Please include a copy of your resumé and a statement of interest that tells us why this opportunity excites you. You may submit this either in the body of an email, or as an audio or video file. Please submit your statement of interest by August 31, 2021.

Poetry Well seeks Board candidates of diverse backgrounds and identities, and all are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in candidates who bring expertise in finance/accounting, healthcare, civic engagement, and the poetry not-for-profit sector, but are not exclusively interested in candidates with these skills.