2009 Power of Words Conference

The 2009 Power of Words conference brought together people from many walks of life to explore TLA, inspired by keynote presenters poetic medicine founder John Fox, singer-songwriter extraordinaire Taina Asili, writer and narrative medicine practitioner Lewis Mehl Madrona, storyteller Dovie Thomason, Kansas poet laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, poetry therapy pioneer Sherry Reiter, and many others. This year we also enjoyed a new track of workshops in narrative medicine, partially underwritten by Kaiser's Permanante Journal, and a panel on narrative medicine and how the stories we tell ourselves about illness and health can affect illness and health individually and in our communities. Additionally, the conference featured tracks in social transformation and right livelihood.

Other presenters included Patricia Fontaine, who, with Mirriam-Goldberg, led an all-day workshop, “Beauty Writing Roadtrip,” that encompassed mountain and valley, writing on top tops and beside waterfalls. Pre-conference and post-conference workshops included an exploration of narrative medicine and native traditions with Mehl Madrona, storytelling as way of knowing with Dovie Thomason, and “Writing Away the Demons” with Sherry Reiter and other contributors to her anthology of the same title. We also enjoyed workshops, including the following:

  • Survivors Write: A Non-Clinical Transformative Writing Practice for Survivors of Sexual Abuse — Jen Cross

  • Reclaiming Raices: War and Peace on multiculturalism with Taina Asili

  • The Transformative Power of the Blues with Maria Johnson

  • The Revolution Will Be Live!” Pamphlets, Private Lives and Public Writing with Stephanie Mills

  • Moving Medicine: Will You, Won't You, Will You, Won't You….Join the Dance with Evelyn Torton Beck

  • Peace Meditation Journaling with Mary Frances Wright

  • Put the Om in Poem: Yoga and Poetry with Leslie G. Stampler

  • Creativity, Change and Transformation with Dvora Ziplin

  • Publishing in the Narrative Medicine World — Tom Janisse

  • The Alchemy of Healing — Mary Dowd

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