Tending the Heart

a six-session writing journey


How do we keep the heart open to the world in such difficult and challenging times? How do we, as writers and human beings, welcome all that arises in our lives? This 6-session journey will draw on the experience and wisdom of some of our country's most renowned writers, thought leaders and poets— Jacqueline Suskin, Koshin Paley Ellison, Gregory Orr, Richard Blanco, Tyree Daye and Jane Hirshfield— to explore how we tend to the heart of creativity and spiritual practice.  


Each of the six 2-hour sessions begins with a talk with that week’s featured poet, followed by a discussion with Danusha and James, who read poems, offer gateways into accessing your own creative treasure troves, and share accompanying prompts. 

We will share documents with resources, poems and prompts to explore together. 




Guest Poets & Teachers


Jacqueline Suskin


Jacqueline Suskin is the author of seven books including Every Day Is a Poem (Sounds True, 2020) and Help in the Dark Season (Write Bloody, 2019), and her latest, A Year in Practice, will appear with Sounds True in December, 2023. With her project Poem Store, Suskin has composed over forty thousand improvisational poems for patrons who chose a topic in exchange for a unique verse. She was honored by Michelle Obama as a Turnaround Artist, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and other publications. For more, see jacquelinesuskin.com.

Tyree Daye


Tyree Daye was raised in Youngsville, North Carolina. He is the author of the poetry collections a little bump in the earth (forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press, 2024), Cardinal (Copper Canyon Press, 2020), and River Hymns (American Poetry Review, 2017), winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. A Cave Canem fellow and a Palm Beach Poetry Festival Langston Hughes Fellow, Daye is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, a Kate Tufts Award finalist, and a 2021 Paterson Prize finalist. He was the 2019 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-In-Residence at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and received an Amy Clampitt Residency. Daye is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In January 2023, Daye served as Guest Editor of the Poem-a-Day series.

Gregory Orr


Gregory Orr is the author of twelve full length collections of poetry, including Selected Books of the Beloved, The last Love Poem I Will Ever Write, and The Blessing: A Memoir. At the age of twelve, he was responsible for the death of a younger brother in a hunting accident, an event that powerfully influenced his ideas about trauma, silence and poetry. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (twice), and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1985, he traveled extensively in the former Yugoslavia as a visiting writer under the Fulbright Program. He has taught and lectured at the National Gallery of Art as well as at various low-residency programs and summer workshops. 

Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco is the fifth presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history—the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his body of work. He is the author of the poetry collections, Looking for the Gulf Motel, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and City of a Hundred Fires; the poetry chapbooks, Matters of the Sea, One Today, and Boston Strong; a children’s book of his inaugural poem, “One Today,” illustrated by Dav Pilkey; and Boundaries, a collaboration with photographer Jacob Hessler. His latest book of poems, How to Love a Country (Beacon Press, 2019), both interrogates the American narrative, past and present, and celebrates the still unkept promise of its ideals. He has also authored the memoirs, The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey. He lives with his partner in Bethel, ME.

Koshin Paley Ellison


Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, MFA, LMSW, DMIN, is an author, Zen teacher, Jungian psychotherapist, and ACPE Certified Chaplaincy Educator. After more than a decade as a chaplain and psychotherapist, Koshin co-founded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. The non-profit center offers contemplative approaches to care through education, carepartnering, and Zen practice. Koshin is a renowned thought leader in contemplative care; his work has been featured in the New York Times, PBS, CBS Sunday Morning and other media outlets. He is the author of Untangled: Walking the Eightfold Path to Clarity, Courage, and Compassion (Balance/Hachette, 2022); Wholehearted: Slow Down, Help Out, Wake Up (Wisdom Publications, 2019); and the co-editor of Awake at the Bedside: Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End of Life Care (Wisdom Publications, 2016).

Jane Hirshfield


Jane Hirshfield’s poetry books include The Asking: New and Selected Poems (Knopf, 2023), Ledger (Knopf, 2020), The Beauty, long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award; Given Sugar, Given Salt, a finalist for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award; and After, short-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. Her two collections of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (1997) and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (2015), have become classics in their field, as have her four books collecting and co-translating the work of world poets from the past: The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Komachi & Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Japanese Court; Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women; Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems; and The Heart of Haiku, on Matsuo Basho, named an Amazon Best Book of 2011. Her most recent book is The Asking: New & Selected Poems (Knopf, September 2023).

Hirshfield’s other honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets; Columbia University’s Translation Center Award; The Poetry Center Book Award, The California Book Award, the Northern California Book Reviewers Award, and the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry.

Your Hosts


Danusha Laméris

Danusha Laméris’ first book, The Moons of August (2014), was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the Autumn House Press Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Milt Kessler Book Award. Some of her work has been published in: The Best American Poetry, The New York Times, Orion, The American Poetry Review, The Gettysburg Review, Ploughshares, and Prairie Schooner. Her second book, Bonfire Opera, (University of Pittsburgh Press, Pitt Poetry Series), was a finalist for the 2021 Paterson Poetry Award and recipient of the Northern California Book Award in Poetry. She was the 2018-2020 Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County, California, and is currently on the faculty of Pacific University’s low residency MFA program. www.danushalameris.com

James Crews

James Crews is the author of the essay collection, Kindness Will Save the World, and editor of several poetry anthologies: The Wonder of Small Things, Healing the Divide, The Path to Kindness, and How to Love the World, which has over 100,000 copies in printHe has been featured on NPRMorning Edition, and in People Magazine, The Boston GlobeThe New York Times Magazine, The Sun Magazine, and The Washington Post. He is the author of four prize-winning books of poetry, and his poems have appeared in PloughsharesThe New Republic, and other journals. James lives with his husband in the woods of Southern Vermont. www.jamescrews.net.

Tending the Heart
A Six-Session Writing Journey



Additional Details

The purchase of this series will provide you with online access to six 2-hour sessions (12 hours total) that were pre-recorded during a live, virtual series held on Zoom in 2023.

Each session can be viewed in video format or downloaded as an audio file (videos are not available to be downloaded).

You will be provided with a login to access the recordings through the Poetry of Resilience website.

Your purchase will provide you unlimited, lifetime access to this series. Purchases are non-refundable.