About

Some poems are good medicine.
And some “good medicine poems” are
mindfulness poems.

full cover new for web

Mindfulness poems invite us to bring our whole self to whatever moment we’re in, and truly live it. They encourage us to be more present, more attentive and compassionate, in the living of our days. They grant us a taste of being good enough, just as we are, in this world, just as it is.

Poetry of Presence ($21.95; dimensions 6″ x 9″) is a collection of more than 150 mindfulness poems, mostly by contemporary or recent poets. These poems call us to the Here and Now, and help us to dwell there. The Here and Now is all that truly belongs to us, and as the poets say, it’s enough.

This is a book for the times we live in. An inspiring read for lovers of beautiful, accessible poetry, it’s also a valuable resource for literature teachers, spiritual directors, meditators, interfaith clergy, mindfulness trainers, social workers, counselors, poetry therapists, hospice and grief workers, and medical personnel.

Anthologized poets include Yehuda Amichai  •  Margaret Atwood  •  Ellen Bass  •  Wendell Berry  •  Robert Bly  •  Billy Collins  •  Mahmoud Darwish  •  Thich Nhat Hanh  •  Joy Harjo  •  Tony Hoagland  •  Miroslav Holub  •  Marie Howe  •  Erica Jong  •  Kabir  •  Galway Kinnell  •  Ted Kooser  •  Howard Nemerov  •  Kathleen Norris  •  Mary Oliver  •  Rainer Maria Rilke  •  Rumi  •  May Sarton  •  William Stafford  •  David Wagoner  •  Alice Walker and many more.

Learn more about the connection between mindfulness and poetry, the background of the editors, and what people are saying about Poetry of Presence.

 

“I’ll keep this by my side to read one poem a day to return to a state of mindfulness, breathing language through the heart. If you choose one anthology, I say
let it be this one for the amazement⎯for the voices that, surprisingly, will speak
to what you want to find in yourself.”

Grace Cavalieri, Host and Producer,
“The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress”

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Why Mindfulness Poetry Matters

“Whether or not we have a formal mindfulness practice, mindfulness poetry can help us keep (or regain) our footing in a world of tremendous upheaval. It can help prepare us to act with clarity amidst confusion, with lovingkindness amidst cruelty. It can also provide a refuge, where we can recharge when we’re worn down, where we can just be.”

—From “The Invitation,” the book’s introduction

Praise for the Book

kelly boys“The poems in this book, arranged gently and creatively, are an invitation to mindful presence and to a world where words and phrases initiate us, wake us up, and guide us home.”

Kelly Boys, Host of The Year of Mindfulness and mindfulness consultant to the United Nations Foundation

 

richard-rohr“These poems remind us to live `undefended.’ To stand, deliberately and consciously, as witnesses of the present moment. To gaze upon existence from the place of Divine Intimacy. To reach out from that place to those who suffer. Living this way takes lots of practice. Poetry of Presence will be a companion and guide, leading us into deeper communion with the world.”

Fr. Richard Rohr, Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, and The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See

 

megan scribner“After reading just a poem or two in Poetry of Presence, I started quieting down, breathing easier. The poems had already begun to do their work. What a gift! This will be a book I will return to again and again to find the peaceful presence I need to face the day.”

Megan Scribner, Co-author of Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach

 

jill-zimmerman-1“Especially in times of challenge, I turn to poetry in my life, and in my work. Poetry expresses the ineffable⎯that which is beyond logic and linear thinking⎯like God, or love or presence. In my mindfulness teaching, poetry is always present and I look forward to using the poems in this beautiful collection on a regular basis.”

Rabbi Jill Berkson Zimmerman, Founder of the Jewish Mindfulness Network

 

Grace Cavalieri. Photo by Dan Murano, June 29, 2014. © Dan Murano“I’ll keep this by my side to read one poem a day to return to a state of mindfulness, breathing language through the heart. If you choose one anthology, I say let it be this one for the amazement⎯for the voices that, surprisingly, will speak to what you want to find in yourself.”

Grace Cavalieri, Host and Producer, “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress”

 

And hear from these Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) experts:

“This collection of poems is an invitation toward ‘being’ with the present moment, through the written word. I am moved, inspired and surprised by the powerful and clear voices in these poems: both new gems, and old friends. In teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, I know Poetry of Presence will be a regular resource, as it speaks directly to the heart of being fully human.”

⎯ Holly Nelson-Johnson, MBSR Mentor for the University of California-San Diego Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute, and president of Mindfulness for Living

 

“Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby Wilson have collected an extensive anthology of exquisite poetry that can open the minds and hearts of readers to the richness and vastness of the present moment. As a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher, I find this collection to be a true gift, with poems that I will share with the participants in my classes for years to come.”

Diane Reibel, Ph.D., Director of the Mindfulness Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and coauthor of Teaching Mindfulness: A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Educators

Donate

Thanks to Ginny Connors and her team at Grayson Books, Poetry of Presence is finally off the ground. But as editors we need your help to make the book soar. Why?

Grayson Books can keep this book in print only as long as we, the editors, continue to cover the high cost of permissions to reprint previously published poems. Please consider a modest donation to help us meet that expense.

Click on the button below to make a secure gift by credit card or Paypal. Or, if you’d prefer, send us a check, payable to Back Productions LLC, 46855 200th St., Bruce, SD USA 57220.

We thank you in advance, with full hearts. Your generosity will put Poetry of Presence into the hands of more readers.

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