As we face the myriad challenges and changes in our world, as well as in our own lives, we are looking forward to being able to come together again and draw strength from one another. Our 2024 conference Converging in Solidarity: Fostering Community and Belonging through Poetry Therapy is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10 - Sunday, April 14, 2024 at the Hilton Embassy Suites Bethesda Washington DC. Joining us as our Opening Poet will be Zorina Exie Frey, Cornelius Eady will be our Keynote Poet, Nancy Scherlong will give our Keynote Address, and Jody Wager will lead our Conference Closing Event.
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Conference Registration is open. REGISTRATION CLOSES ON MARCH 27, 2024. Click here to register.
Hotel & Room Registration: To register for your rooms at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Bethesda Washington DC at our group rate, click here.
We will be offering five $200 Scholarships this year. Click here to learn more.
Our 2024 Keynotes & Special EventsPoet/Playwright/Songwriter and Cave Canem Co-Founder Cornelius Eady was born in Rochester, New York and is Professor of English, and the John C. Hodges Chair of Excellence in Poetry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a position last held by US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. He is the author of several poetry collections, including Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize; The Gathering of My Name, nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; Brutal Imagination, and Hardheaded Weather. He wrote the libretto to Diedra Murray’s opera "Running Man," which was short listed for the Pulitzer Prize in Theatre, and his verse play "Brutal Imagination" won the Oppenheimer Prize for the best first play from an American Playwright in 2001. His awards include Fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Music is a central theme of Eady’s work, along with family and the challenges unique to the African American experience. He is a recipient of the 2023 Pegasus Award for Service in Poetry.
Nancy S. Scherlong, LCSW, SEP, PTR/CJT, CM, is a licensed clinical social worker in the states of CT and NY, trauma-informed wellness coach, registered poetry and journal therapist and certified mentor. She currently serves as president of the International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy. Nancy has been part of the NAPT community for over 30 years and is a life-long learner, writer, and lover of words!
She enjoys building communities of intention and inclusion and has a multi-modal (therapeutic writing and psychodrama) creative arts coaching and psychotherapy practice (Change Your Narrative LCSW PLLC) where she specializes in trauma and nervous system regulation as well as maintains active training cohorts in both journal and poetry therapy. Nancy is on the core faculty of the Therapeutic Writing Institute (TWI), a global on-line learning platform for journal/poetry facilitators and therapists.
She believes in the power of arts for social change and serves as lead faculty for Adelphi University's postgraduate certificate program in the Applied Expressive Arts in Counseling as well as on the faculty of Columbia University and Kint Institute. https://www.wellnessmetaphors.com
Zorina Exie Frey is an educator, publishing content writer, and spoken word poet. She is the 2023 Pushcart Prize winner for her poem, “Pee is for Prejudice,” and her writings are featured in Shondaland, Chicken Soup for the Soul: I’m Speaking Now, and swamp pink. She is a Palm Beach Poetry Festival Langston Hughes Fellow and Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Voices of Color Fellow. Her screenplay, Harley Quinn Origin, received an honorable mention at the Birmingham Film Festival in the United Kingdom. She was also a semi-finalist for the reality TV pilot Americas Next Great Author. Zorina has presented her work at the National Council of Black Studies, The Maryland Writers’ Association, and South Florida Writers Association. She has an MFA in Creative Writing, double-majoring in Poetry and Creative Non-Fiction, a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and a certificate in Web Design from Indiana University South Bend, and a certificate in Literary Publishing from Emerson College. More at: https://zorina-frey.com; Instagram, X, and Facebook - @zorinaexie
Jody Wager, MS, BC-DMT has been a practicing dance/movement therapist since 1980. She is the director of the Expressive Therapy Department at Dominion Hospital in Falls Church, VA, where she has been providing dance/movement therapy services since 1995. She also maintains a private practice in massage therapy and body psychotherapy. She enjoys teaching workshops about dance/movement therapy and embodied psychotherapy throughout the country and around the world. She is the Past President of the American Dance Therapy Association and the Immediate Past Chair of the National Coalition for Creative Arts Therapy Associations (NCCATA). When not at work, you can find Jody on the dance floor … dancing is her passion!