The Art of Listening (Listeners Unite, 2023), Linda Eve Diamond (Ed.) is a free digital anthology of listening-themed poetry and visual arts. Click here to learn more and to find your free copy!
Following are brief bios of the collection's artistic contributors.
Sanna Ala-Kortesmaa, a Finland based digital artist. Originally a traditional photographer, her nuanced style developed into expressing the unmasked sensitivity and strength of people while challenging the traditional boundaries of portrait photography. Her art merges isolated images that encompass flashes of emotion, resulting in changes in perception and moments of recognition.
Linda Albert, whose works have been published since the 1960s, has won numerous honors including a gold medal from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association President's Book Awards for her collection, Charting the Lost Continent: Poetry and Other Discoveries. Linda designs and teaches workshops on conscious and creative aging. Find her at http://LindaAlbert.net.
Deborah Alma is a UK poet, editor, teacher, and co-founder of the world's first walk-in Poetry Pharmacy. She has used poetry to work with people with dementia, in hospice care, with vulnerable women’s groups and with children. She is editor of several books, including Emergency Poet, and her first full collection, Dirty Laundry, is published by Nine Arches Press. Find her at The Poetry Pharmacy.
Dr. Bahareh Amidi was born in Iran and grew up in the US. She completed a certification at the Institute for Poetic Medicine. Through a brief process, Dr. Amidi guides individuals and groups, through self-expression, to release worry, deepen understanding, find comfort, and explore a new sense of meaning, purpose, and direction. Visit her website at http://bahareh.com.
Manisha Asrani: Listening is at the heart of everything Manisha does, and she believes it to be her superpower. Her journey as a listener was enriched by being a part of the International Listening Association, where she learned to incorporate listening into everything she does, whether it is writing poems, attending to patients as a medical student, or spending time with loved ones.
Suzanne S. Austin-Hill is known to whip up a variety of mean, poetic stews from original recipes. Ingredients include encouragement, prompts, form (or no form), notes, and seasonings - pinches of ideas and bits ‘n pieces of poems that lie patiently dormant. Since 2017, Suzanne has been blessed to find an audience willing to partake of whatever she's been brave enough to serve.
Nava Carlyle, a high school teen poet, dreams of getting published in the NYT Modern Love section one day. This is her third published piece of poetry, and she continues to write, mostly on the back of school worksheets, daily. She hopes her work reaches you.
Judy Hardin Cheung lives in Santa Rosa, CA. She taught daily living skills to all ages for 30 years at Sonoma Developmental Center. For over 20 years, she was the administrator for Chinese language classes for people of all ages. Currently, she is Poets of the Vineyard president, Artists Embassy International VP, United Poets Laureate International VP, and Redwood Empire Chinese Association secretary.
The Cloud Appreciation Society has over 62,000 members in 120 countries – all united in the belief that the sky’s the most dynamic, evocative and poetic aspect of nature. We aim to bring people together through a greater understanding and appreciation of the sky. Visit http://cloudappreciationsociety.org.
Marc Davidson is a native of the Daytona Beach area. Traveled the world eating exotic and interesting foods and seeing the sights. Worked for the Daytona Beach News-Journal and Bankers Life and Colonial Life Insurance companies. Retired. Writes poetry–mostly funny but some serious. Belongs to Tomoka Poets, Live Poets of Daytona Beach and Florida State Poets Association. Loving the poet life!
Linda Eve Diamond is an award-winning poet and photographer whose poetry has been widely published, displayed in exhibits, and performed by the Poetic Dance Theater Company. She is a member of the International Listening Association (ILA) and recipient of two ILA awards. Her photography appears on journal covers and elsewhere. Visit her website at www.LindaEveDiamond.com.
Alan Ehrlich is the Director and Chair of the Listening Disorders Section of Global Listening Centre, the founding Director of The Center for Listening Disorders Research, a former International Listening Association president, and a Certified Listening Professional. Visit at http://listeningdisorders.org and http://globallisteningcentre.org.
Eric Epstein is a sign language poet whose work has been featured in the Folger Shakespeare Library traveling exhibition as well as various art galleries. He is also a workshop presenter on sign language poetics and translation. He has coached and mentored Deaf performers as well as professional sign language interpreters. Find his groundbreaking research on sign language poetics at http://Signplaying.com.
Mary Stella Ershler has had a love for photography for nearly 40 years. Inspired by her father, who took amazing pictures of family adventures, Mary’s unfiltered photographs reflect the best of what the essence of nature has to offer along her journey. You can follow Mary’s adventures at ilovethebeach2 on Instagram.
Joann Field started focusing of photography in about 2007 with her "walk journals," snapping everything along her route to and from work. Soon she was recording everything in and of her life and experimenting. Mary Delaney, her hero, didn't start her amazing artwork until she was 72. So, Joann says, she has one more year to get serious.
John Fox, PPM, is a poet and practitioner of Poetic Medicine. He is author of Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem Making and Finding What You Didn’t Lose: Expressing Your Truth and Creativity Through Poem-Making. His poetry chapbook is The Only Gift to Bring. John is President of The Institute for Poetic Medicine, a nonprofit he founded in 2005. Visit http://poeticmedicine.org.
Matthew James Friday is a British born writer and teacher and Pushcart Prize nominated poet. His first chapbook is The Residents (Finishing Line Press, 2024), and he has published numerous micro-chapbooks with the Origami Poems Project. Find his poetry in The Oregon English Journal, New Contrast (South Africa), and elsewhere. Visit his website at http://matthewfriday.weebly.com.
The Good Listening Project (TGLP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to humanizing healthcare. TGLP cultivates resilience, wellbeing, and flourishing through the healing power of poetry and deep listening. Their Listener Poets provide innovative emotional support programs as an antidote to the epidemic of loneliness, isolation, and burnout within healthcare and our broader society. http://GoodListening.org
Peter M. Gordon has over 100 poems published in various magazines and authored two collections: Two Car Garage and Let's Play Two: Poems About Baseball. His poems won the 2019 Thomas Burnett Swann Prize from the Gwendolyn Brooks Writer's Association of Central Florida. Peter is a founder and President of Orlando Area Poets, a chapter of the Florida State Poets Association.
Anne Greenfeld, with a Ph. D. in French literature, taught French literature and language at the University of Louisville and high school French in Louisville and Cincinnati. Now retired, she is currently focusing on her writing.
Nancy Haskett, a retired educator, has been writing poems for over fifty years, but regularly for about eleven years now. Her work has appeared in over forty publications, and her poetry collection, "Shadows & Reflections," is currently available on Amazon. In her spare time, she likes to walk, bike, read, follow the San Francisco Giants, and spend time with family.
Lola Haskins has published 11 books of poetry and three of prose. Her book, Asylum: Improvisations on John Clare (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), was featured in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Honors include two NEAs, two Florida Book Awards, narrative poetry prizes from Southern Poetry Review and New England Poetry Review, and a Florida's Eden prize for environmental writing,
Merna Ann Hecht, an Institute for Poetic Medicine Poetry Partner, founded the Stories of Arrival: Refugee and Immigrant Youth Voices Poetry Project at Foster High School in WA State. She has over twenty-five years of experience working with youth facing trauma and loss and has undertaken front-line volunteer work with asylum seekers in Europe. Find her at http://mernahecht.com.
Jenny Hegland is a creative facilitator and social entrepreneur whose life’s work centers around community engagement, participatory leadership, and collective healing. She is the executive director of The Good Listening Project and co-founder of Unlimited Boundaries. Find her at http://GoodListening.org.
Rev. Heng Sure, PhD, is a native of Toledo, Ohio. He ordained as a monastic in the Chinese Buddhist tradition in 1976. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, French, and Japanese, he is a musician and story-teller. An advocate for a plant-based diet, Rev. Sure teaches for part of each year in the hinterland of Queensland, Australia, marveling at Nature’s most colorful wildlife.
The Human Library is a world-wide initiative, connecting people for meaningful discussions and explorations in an effort to break down stereotypes. Learn more about The Human Library, how to volunteer, how to get published as a book, how to find events near you, and more at http://humanlibrary.org.
The Institute for Poetic Medicine (IPM) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by John Fox. IPM offers tools and support to heal body, mind, and spirit through the creative and therapeutic process of hearing, speaking, and writing poetry. IPM's vision is "Awakening soulfulness in the human voice." Visit http://poeticmedicine.org.
Lori Joubert is an International Listening Association board member, a Certified Listening Professional, and a program coordinator at the UW (University of Washington) Medicine Heart Institute. She is curious about people and passionate about listening as an essential human activity. Click here to learn more about Lori. Click here to hear an interview with Lori on the "Coffee and Cardiology" podcast.
Yalie Saweda Kamara is a Sierra Leonean-American writer, researcher, and professor from Oakland, California. Selected as the 2022-2023 Cincinnati and Mercantile Library Poet Laureate (2-year term), she is the author of the debut full-length collection Besaydoo (Milkweed Editions, 2024), winner of the 2022-2023 Jake Adam York Prize. Find her at http://yaylala.com.
Tooba Khursheed is a medical student with an irrational love for art and poetry. She enjoys exploring places and people. Over time, she has come to realise that the art of listening demands lifelong commitment. Its many layers can only be unraveled with practice. She has embarked on a journey, dreaming to better this world. If you like to come along, connect with her on Instagram (@medmione).
Lea Killian graduated college with a degree in journalism but believes poetry has a quiet truth to it that’s hard to find in the loudness of today. She writes mostly about nature, the silence of it and her relationship to it. Lea believes this requires a practice in listening, both to the world around us and to ourselves. She resides in Zion National Park and continues her work toward a complete manuscript.
Elle Klassen is a writer and current student of Arts & Sciences at McMaster University (Class of '23). They thrive on connecting with and learning from people in personal and professional environments. Elle became The Good Listening Project's first Listener Poet in 2018 when they helped pilot the program at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington DC. Find them at http://GoodListening.org.
Robert Spencer Knotts is the author of 27 published books, five plays, numerous poems, fables, blogs, lyrics and other literary works. In 2005 he founded the nonprofit organization, the Humanity Project, and still serves as the group’s president and primary program creator. Visit his website at http://rsknotts.com.
Judith Krum is a teacher, counselor, writer, and disability rights advocate. Her work has been published in many anthologies, journals, and magazines. Her memoir is My M S Journey: Recalculating (2021). Born in New York, she has lived in Ohio, Maryland, Vermont, and resides in Florida with her husband, an organist-choirmaster. Judith was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1985.
Kay Lindahl is founder of The Listening Center, author of the award-winning book, The Sacred Art of Listening,and a Certified Listening Professional. Her teaching demonstrates that listening is a way of being profoundly present with others and our own inner wisdom. An ordained interfaith minister, she is also a dedicated spokesperson for the interfaith movement. http://sacredlistening.com
Calder Lowe is an award-winning editor, writer and former college instructor. Her poetry collection is "Holding the Light in Your Arms" (Jacaranda Press) and a prose collection is "The Light on His Feet" (Dragonfly Press). Her poems appear in New Millennium Writings, cæsura, Pen Woman Magazine, and numerous other journals. She is a member of the National League of American Pen Women.
Claire Massey, a writer who retired from her first career as a Speech-Language Pathologist, continues to focus on the auditory experience, the spoken word, and the music of poetry. She is the Poetry Editor for NLAPW's quarterly magazine, The Pen Woman. Her poems and stories have appeared in over forty literary journals and her collection, Driver Side Window, Poems & Prose, is available on Amazon..
Marva Shand Mc-Intosh, change maker and visionary, is the founder of I Love to Listen Day (May 16th). Drawing from insights gained from three decades as a speech language pathologist in Washington, D. C., and as a Certified Listening Professional, Marva serves as a listening trainer/coach, and as an advocate for the unheard. She is an international promoter of the power of listening.
Llewellyn McKernan is a poet and children's book writer. She has two Master's Degrees: one in English, one in creative writing. Six of her poetry books for adults and four for children have been published. Her poems have been published in many journals, fifty-six anthologies, and have won over one hundred state, regional, or national honors, awards, or prizes.
Inge Milfull is half German, half Australian. She grew up in Germany and now works in Oxford as a lexicographer. She now writes mostly in English. She is a member of the Back Room Poets and runs one of their poetry workshops.
Terry Jude Miller is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet from Houston. He received the 2018 Catherine Case Lubbe Manuscript Prize for his book, "The Drawn Cat’s Dream." His work has been published in the Southern Poetry Anthology, The Lily Poetry Review, and scores of other publications. He serves as 1st Vice Chancellor for the National Federation of States Poetry Societies. http://terryjudemiller.com
Howard Moon is a writer and poet. His writing and poetry have appeared in multiple collections and anthologies and he's won several poetry awards. He is of Native heritage and identifies as BIPOC. In 2012 he suffered a brain injury and has been diagnosed with a mental illness, Pseudobulbar Affect, and as a hemipelagic. He is retired and lives in central Florida with his wife and service dog.
Marilyn Nelson was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of a teacher and a U. S. serviceman, a member of the last graduating class of Tuskegee Airmen. She is the author or translator of more than 20 books and chapbooks for adults and children. A professor emerita of English, she was Poet Laureate of Connecticut, 2001– 2006, and founding director of Soul Mountain Retreat, a writers’ colony, 2004-2010.
Kim Manley Ort is a writer, photographer, and occasional facilitator of online and in-person experiences, based in Niagara, Ontario. In recent years, she’s been writing about seeing clearly on Substack. Visit her website at http://kimmanleyort.com.
T. S. Page is from the backwaters of Florida. Authoring over 600 works, she studied philosophy, language, and poetry at the University of Florida, the University of Freiburg, the University of Colorado, and Jungian psychology at the Naropa Institute. She is an FSPA Poetry Contest winner, published in Cadence. Her first Poetry Chapbook, Heliotrope, A Woman's Turning, is available on Amazon.
Suan D. Pau was born in Burma. His father worked in Malaysia to support the family. When he was five, his family moved to Malaysia, where he met his father for the first time. Three years later, the family moved to the U.S. to have a better life and education. As a high school student, he participated in the Stories of Arrival: Refugee & Immigrant Youth Voices Poetry Project (2021-2022). (Learn about this project, founded by Merna Ann Hecht, at https://www.mernahecht.com/sa2.)
Dan Pels was born near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France in 1944. He is fluent in French and English and writes poetry in both languages. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Master’s Degree in French Literature, both degrees from Syracuse University. Dan is a surrealist poet who has published seven poetry books and organized many different poetry events in Volusia County, Florida.
The Poetry Pharmacy, the world’s first walk-in Poetry Pharmacy, was founded by Deborah Alma and Jim Sheard in 2019. Their Victorian-style shop is in Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire England. Deborah began prescribing poetry from her vintage ambulance in 2012, which she continues to bring her Emergency Poet services to hospitals, libraries, schools, and festivals. Visit http://poetrypharmacy.co.uk.
Melina Ponak is the founder of Women's Listening Space, a global network that connects women for virtual 1:1 listening sessions. All members both listen and are listened to (in equal turns and on their own terms) as they move forward with their own chosen purposes -- both personal and professional. She can be found at http://WomensListeningSpace.com.
Michael Purdy is a former professor at Governors State University, a long-time International Listening Association (ILA) member and supporter, and a recipient of multiple ILA honors and awards, including the ILA Hall of Fame, the ILA Research Award, the ILA Teacher of the Year Award, and the ILA President's Award.
Abby Raeder spends her days entwined within nature in the Green Mountains of Vermont. In her world, she believes there is no separation among living things, be it plant, animal, or human. Abby looks at all of nature’s participants as characters that are woven into her stories. She gives voice to these characters. In making the image, she listens for the deep knowing of our natural world.
Ravenna Raven earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Maryland. She teaches creative writing, reading development, and restorative yoga to students of all ages. Ravenna works as a Listener Poet at hospitals, healing centers, and national healthcare conferences, and leads The Good Listening Project’s marketing initiatives and the Certified Listener Poet course. Visit http://GoodListening.org.
Al Rocheleau is past president of the Florida State Poets Association, and founder of The Twelve Chairs Advanced Poetry Course. He was the recipient of the Thomas Burnett Swann Award in 2004, and a nominee for the Forward Poetry Prize in the U.K. in 2018. He is the author of On Writing Poetry (2010), and Falling River: Collected Poems, 1976-2016 (2017).
Mary Rogers-Grantham began writing poetry at an early age while growing up on beautiful Arkansas acres of farmland with an endless plenty to celebrate and to commemorate. She is an award-winning poet, professor and author of poetry collections Under a Daylight Moon, When the Sun Sails and Shifting Shades of Sunlight (2023).
Roseanna Gaye Ross, Professor Emerita in the Communication Studies Department, St. Cloud State University, MN, had the privilege of teaching the listening course. For her, that was not only about supporting students to be more skilled listeners, but also giving them the opportunity to experience listening as a sacred art, typically experienced with another person, through focused presence.
Leigh Rubin is an accomplished cartoonist and author of more than 20 books. His work is featured in film, television, and advertising. Leigh enjoys giving thought-provoking and entertaining presentations on art and creativity all around the country. In 2018 Leigh began serving at Rochester Institute of Technology as the college's first Cartoonist-in Residence. Visit http://RubesCartoons.com.
Stephanie Salkin is an award-winning writer and photographer. She is published primarily in the children’s market, including, among others, a poem in a Lee Bennett Hopkins anthology and a story in Ladybug Magazine. Her photography appears in various private collections and most recently in a group exhibition at the Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach FL.
Eva Schaefer is a communication advisor, online event designer and coach at Ssstart (ssstart.org). She explores listening with Melina Ponak, from Powerful Partnerships, and assists Marva Shand-McIntosh with I Love to Listen Day. Her passion is working toward global access to quality communication training. Eva was born and raised in Ukraine and lives in Germany.
Mark Andrew James Terry lives in Florida with his wife Jane and two grown children, George and Jillian. He is editor of the Florida State Poets Association publication, Of Poets & Poetry and is a partner in the firm TKO, an advertising agency focused on branding. Mark has a passion for all things aesthetic including poetry, art, and music. His memoir in prose and poetry is "Magnolia’s Bloom."
Becky Ventura is a retired music teacher. Her poems have been published in the Poetry Society of Michigan’s anthologies and her poetry chapbook is "Radiant Jukebox." Becky’s life has been ensconced in classical music. Its forms, phrases and expressions find their way into her poetry, to her delight. She received the Dearborn Mayor’s Arts Educator Award with US Congressional Recognition.
Tanya R. Whitney is a retired Army Master Sergeant, served over 27 years with several deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. She began writing poetry as part of her PTSD therapy. The majority of her poetry primarily deals with her military service. Her poems and short stories have appeared in several anthologies. She is a 2018 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival Gold Medalist for Creative Writing.
Dr. Willard Wigan, MBE creates the smallest sculptural masterpieces ever made by a human hand. His compelling life journey of adversity to success inspires others to find their own courage and blueprint for positive change. His microscopic art is a message to humanity, Small things matter and the smallest things make the biggest impacts. Find his wondrous works at http://willardwiganmbe.com.
Jennifer Young loves to write poetry (especially for self-healing). She was awarded as a top English student in her high school in Bronxville N.Y. She was an English Literature at Hamilton College in N.Y. She is now retired in Edmonds, Washington and lives a few blocks from Puget Sound with her husband, Mike. She loves to dance, swim, and be in close communication with her friends.
You'll also find additional listening wisdom in a poem by Jane Kenyon and quotes by Sylvia Plath, Joy Harjo, Yo-yo Ma, Tyler Merritt, Ralph Nichols, Wislawa Szymborska, and others.
In Loving Memory: Two friends and members of The Art of Listening family of contributors, Dan Pels and Judith Krum, passed away in 2023, while the book was in progress. As you enjoy The Art of Listening, please take a moment in the quiet world of Dan's poem, "Sound Off," to feel his eternal presence; and with “In the Murmurs Echoing,” to hear Judith’s timeless voice.