Imagine you are something other than a person, something in nature. What would you like to be and why? What would you look like, sound like?
Upon reading Charles Simic's poem "The Stone" to a clinically depressed group, certified poetry therapist Barbara Kreisberg poses those questions. For Kreisberg, language is an invaluable tool in helping people deal with overwhelming emotions: "The first time I used poetry as a therapeutic technique I found it had a very soothing effect." Likewise physician/poet Dr. Rafael Campo: The award-winning author of four poetry collections uses as much poetry as medicine in his practice. "I often invite patients to write me a poem, write me a letter about how our visit went," he says.
Campo will be the keynote speaker for the 23rd annual Conference of the National Association for Poetry Therapy, held for the first time ever in Miami, April 2 through April 6. In the past few decades, poetry therapy has joined the ranks of other expressive therapies (art, movement, and drama) as a way of healing diverse groups of people. This conference will offer workshops, readings, and lectures for healthcare and mental health professionals, as well as for teachers, librarians, artists, and all others who love to read and write poetry. Call 866-844-6278 or see www.poetrytherapy.org
--By Mia Leonin
David First's primal vibes
Planet Earth is a giant bell that emanates tones when lightning strikes, resulting in a perpetual unheard vibration beneath our feet. It just so happens the human brain responds to similar waves, known as hemi-synch frequencies, by shifting into a relaxed and creative state. Coincidence? Who knows. Using guitar, laptop, synthesizer, voice, and percussion, NYC composer David First delves into these cerebral plate-techtonics in Operation: Kracpot, a resonant exploration of brain waves, lightning, and the Earth's vibrations. First plays the Subtropics 15 Experimental Music Festival at 10:00 p.m. Friday, March 28, PS 742, 1165 SW Sixth St. Tickets cost $10. Call 305-981-0600.--By Juan Carlos Rodriguez