From the President
The National Association for Poetry Therapy (NAPT) Board, committees, and many other members have been active in strengthening and expanding our organization on local, state, national, and international levels. Poetry therapy includes the use of language, symbol, and story in therapeutic, educational, and community building capacities. It is inclusive of bibliotherapy, therapeutic writing, journal therapy, and narrative therapy. It is also important to note as we see the stress on front line helping professionals treating COVID-19 patients, that poetry therapy can be instrumental caregiver support. We must never lose sight of the question of who heals the healers?
At the time of this writing, we are in the midst of national and international crises relating to violence, natural disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic, homelessness, women’s rights, civil rights, and so much more. Poetry offers voice, constructive action, and hope. Consider for example, Amanda Gorman, the young African American poet, at President Biden’s inauguration and later performing at the halftime show of the football Super Bowl. Indeed, poetry is being recognized and affirmed. Poetry performance offers voice for our problems and strengths. Indeed, poetry therapy has the power to keep us alive and growing during our most trying times.
As I have said before, poetry therapy continues to evolve as one of the major creative arts therapies. I urge you to consider what it means to you and how it fits within your own professional identity. Our organization is interdisciplinary and there's a place in poetry therapy for those involved with clinical practice, education, social justice, spirituality, and more. NAPT offers many opportunities to advance your study, practice, teaching, and research. Our website (www.poetrytherapy.org), Facebook page, and publications (NAPT Museletter and the Journal of Poetry Therapy) are filled with information, resources, and ways to network. And of course, coming to our annual national conference is the optimum way to engage in an informative and enriching poetry therapy experiences. Nothing compares to connecting with kindred spirits committed to the power of the poetic. The April 2022 conference theme, The Use of Poetry, Writing and Story: Promoting Hope, Transition and Unity speaks to the range of poetry therapy for our use during divisive and challenging times. Although this year’s conference (April 2022) will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic; I am confident, especially based on last year’s virtual conference, you will be thoroughly engaged, informed, and inspired.
We have accomplished a great deal, but we can do more. NAPT has a history of promoting diversity and social justice, but we can do more. NAPT has a history regarding its place among the creative arts therapies, but we can do more, NAPT has developed an international reputation, but we can do more. Poetry therapy has developed an excellent scholarly base, but we can do more. We can only do more and identify new areas to address with your involvement. The vision for NAPT is a shared one. Please look at our website and/or contact me and/or any of our board members to see how you can be involved.
I’ll close with a quote from Robert F. Kennedy:
Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.
Be well my friends. Let’s work together to “make a difference,”
Take good care,
(Nicholas Mazza, Ph.D., RPT is Past President and
currently Interim President of NAPT. He is the founding and continuing Editor
of the Journal of Poetry Therapy and has served on the NAPT Board since