Bread for the Journey: A Celebration of Poetry and the Human Spirit

September 30, 2015 - October 3, 2015


Bread for the Journey: A Celebration of Poetry and the Human Spirit

Keynoter: Naomi Shihab Nye with Rick Benjamin, Judy Brown, John Fox, Michael S. Glaser, Jim Rogers, Evie Shockley, and others

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September 30, 2015 4:00 PM until October 3, 2015
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Bread for the Journey 2015 will be a four-day gathering to celebrate both poetry and the human spirit, encouraging us to engage with poetry as a means of helping us better understand our lives and our world by inviting participants into a safe space where we can embrace poetry as a source of clarity and courage to better understand the callings of our spirits and the importance of “showing up” in this world.
The program will address our shared desire for meaning and beauty, valuing poetry as a vibrant force that, as Robert Coles claims in The Call of Stories, can serve as a friend to not only “keep us company, but admonish us, point us in new directions, or give us the courage to stay a given course.”  Poems, indeed, “offer other eyes through which we might see and other ears with which we might make soundings.”   We hope participants will experience poetry’s power, as Lucille Clifton would claim, to nurture us toward greater compassion and justice and love.
Bread for the Journey, will engage participants in hearing, writing and sharing poetry as a dynamic way to reclaim the fertile ground of metaphor and image.  This will be a time to deeply listen, to ask open and honest questions of ourselves and one another, to better understand ourselves and renew our spirit.  At Kirkridge, we will meet in that place where mysteries and awe are given the attention and value they deserve.  These four days will serve as a reminder that poetry, by aligning us with the power of the imagination, empowers us toward a vision of a better world, and more specifically, delivers a direct experience of the beloved community.
Through the use of such techniques as John Fox’s “Poetic Medicine” and Parker Palmer’s Courage and Renewal Circle of Trust, Bread for the Journey seeks to provide an experience with poetry that invites participants to new levels of  compassion, generosity and  presence..

Registration information:   Registration is limited to 60 people

The cost of the four-day experience is $795.00 including all meals and a double occupancy room.  Discounted registrations are available as follows:
1)  The Season of Light Holiday Special:  $600.00 for registration through January 15, 2015
2)  The Early Bird Special:   $650.00 for registration through May 31, 2015
Regular cost of $795.00 from June 1 on



As the poet laureate of Rhode Island, Rick Benjamin is committed to the notion that poetry is both a wisdom medium and has the capacity to transform its practitioners. He is dedicated to building community through creative expression.  More at:

Renita Sheesley Banks believes that singing, like nothing else, has the power to connect us to one another, heart to heart and soul to soul.  In her workshops she has watched singing bring clarity, healing, joy and transformation.
Judy Brown is an educator, speaker, facilitator and  poet.  Her books include A Leader’s Guide to Reflective Practice, two collections of her poetry (The Sea Accepts All Rivers and Simple Gifts), and most recently The Art and Spirit of Leadership. More at

John Fox CPT, is the founder and president of the Institute for Poetic Medicine. He has a passionate commitment to helping people discover their healing poet, the one that lives and breathes within each of us. More at:
Kathleen Glaser is a Center for Courage and Renewal facilitator, a Distinguished Educational Leadership Award winner and a co-founder of the Chesapeake Public Charter School.  Her passion is creating trustworthy spaces for learning and community.  More at
Michael S. Glaser is a professor Emeritus at St. Mary’s College of MD. He has edited three anthologies, published seven volumes his own work and served as Poet Laureate of Maryland.   Most recently, he co-edited The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton.  More at
Naomi Shihab Nye gives voice to her experience as an Arab-American through poems about heritage and peace that overflow with a humanitarian spirit. She has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Witter Bynner Fellow.  She received The Academy of American Poets’ Lavan Award, and was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.  More at

A columnist for 19 years for the regional newspaper Parent News, Jim R. Rogers  has published  The Incredible Importance of Effective Parenting, and a book of  poetry, Starts And Stops Along The Way.  His latest collection of poems is Looking Around.   More at:

Evie Shockley’s latest book is the new black (Wesleyan, 2011).  She published Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry in 2011 and received the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry.  Shockley serves as creative editor on the Feminist Studies editorial collective,  More at

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Categories: Spirituality  |  The Arts  |  Workshops