• October 29, 2019
  • 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm
  • Namaste Hall, CIIS, 1453 Mission Street, 94103, San Francisco, CA
Add to Calendar 10/29/2019 5:15 pm 10/29/2019 6:15 pm America/Los_Angeles Poetry as Healing Medicine This event is part of a community-wide exploration of death and celebration of life through creativity and conversation. Learn more: https://letsreimagine.org/. Namaste Hall, CIIS, 1453 Mission Street, 94103, San Francisco, CA ReImagine End of Life false MM/DD/YYYY

The event is free but please RSVP

RSVP now

In the West, poetry as “healing medicine” dates back to Apollo and Ancient Greece. More recent history documents poetry for mental health & healing in early 19th c. Neuroscience today supports “poetic engagement activates the sentient right brain, allowing a deeper understanding to emerge which activates healing. This session invites both deep listening and poetic engagement. 

Avenues for healing suffering & loss include poetry as “medicine for the soul.” In this hour, Ricki Pollycove, an experienced physician, shares bedside narratives from End of Life care with award winning poet, Jane Hirshfield, guiding an experience of poetry as portal to emotions that serve as a compass in the direction of healing. Music as evocative medicine for the soul will accompany this session. Attendees will be invited to sink into deep listening, feeling, thinking, resonating & navigating paths through experiences of loss, mourning, grief, anxiety and fear. Participants are encouraged to write their own poems, recognizing Poetry as a window into emotions and a valuable place to dwell in sadness. Writing words that were not said in life can honor the past, release regret of unfinished business and give permission to heal. 

For those who are curious about “Poetry as Therapy” this moving introduction may create a new avenue for self expression and understanding.

Jane Hirshfield’s, poems were described by The Washington Post as “among the modern masters” and by The New York Times as “passionate and radiant.”  She addresses the urgent matters of our time from the political, ecological, and scientific to the metaphysical, personal, and passionate.

Her nine poetry books include The Beauty, long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award; Given Sugar, Given Salta finalist for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award; and Aftershort-listed for England’s T.S. Eliot Award and named a “best book of 2006” by The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and England’s Financial Times.

Ricki Pollycove, MD, has a national reputation for offering highly individualized and sensitive health care to women for over 35 years. From treating PMS to menopause and optimal hormone balance at every age, including contraception, pregnancy and preconception counseling, she is respected as a strong patient advocate and superb referral physician.  She is a leader in the promotion of women’s wellness through integrative health care, consumer and clinician education, advocating disease prevention, understanding available treatment options and patient empowerment.


This event is part of Reimagine End of Life, a community-wide exploration of death and celebration of life through creativity and conversation. Drawing on the arts, spirituality, healthcare, and design, it creates weeklong series of events that break down taboos and bring diverse communities together in wonder, preparation, and remembrance.

Participants will learn about various ways to approach the end of life experience and be exposed to various modalities that promote creativity, compassion, inspiration and self-acceptance. 

For more information visit Reimagine End of Life.

Stay Connected to CIIS