The Integrity of Place in Poetry and Writing

March 24, 2020 - March 27, 2020
Suggested Donation: $365
1615 Rte 9W
Hyde ParkNY12538

The work we do as poets and authors is impacted by location: our location on a map, but also our interior location – where our thoughts and feelings are when we write, and at what stage we are as artists and people. If we are living along a body of water there is a good chance the imagery in our poems will reflect the tenor of that location: flowing, cleansing, moving, and tidal action may make up the granular portions of our metaphors, descriptions, and leaping images. So also with our interior senses of space: depression, glee, mirth, focus, youth, midlife and old age all come across in our poetry and writings. So place is where we are in space, but also time.

Conversely, what we write impacts location. Our poetry and paragraphs change the way a person sees or feels that river, that sunset, that depression, that midlife portion of our days. From the place we stand and deliver our craft comes layer after nuanced layer of both interior and exterior innuendo and integrity.

Join us in a conversation and series of exercises about how place impacts our work as poets and writers; what that holds instore for us and those who find themselves in the presence of our work. We will journey through the works of others, and set out to reveal what lay in us and all around.

Let’s look at the works of Pablo Neruda, William Carlos Williams, Naomi Shihab Nies, Mary Oliver, Robert Bly, Wendell Berry, and more… Including your own works, so bring along some content to work on. Plenty of group interaction and practice periods.



A public speaker since 1975. A published author since 1987. Tom Johnson-Medland has been an end-of-life specialist and hospice leader since 1997. A retired Greek and Russian Orthodox Clergyman since 1997 and Chaplain for the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem (Hospitallers) since 1999. Tom has been a full time hospice leader since 1997.

He has also been deeply involved in nature and ecology instruction, food service management and cooking, spirituality, leadership formation and direction, Scouting, house painting, gardening, hiking and camping, dreamwork, fishing, tying flies, and photography.

Tom loves authoring books, poems, stories, essays; and, leading workshops and lectures about just about anything.