A group of writers in a poetry session. About 7 people are in the image, gathered around a long table. On the table are colored paper, chocolate, cookies, and postcards.

“Stimulating, interactive, collegial, creative, empowering, friendly, affirming.”
–Workshop participant

About Known by Heart

Known by Heart provides writing and poetry experiences that deliver on our modest tagline promise: Better Living Through Poetry. What does that mean? It means writing and creativity are powerful stuff, with the capacity to help people make sense of their lives, give voice to their perspectives, build community and more.

Known by Heart specializes in working with older adults and people with disabilities, but we’ve teamed up with a variety of partners from theater (Dreamland Arts) to teen writing programs (Winona Teen Voices) to yoga (Embodied Health). Known byHeart founder and teaching artist Naomi Cohn is also proud to be a member of the COMPAS teaching artist roster.

In addition to workshops and classes, Known by Heart also teams up with the fabulous folks at Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library to offer poetry performance events.  Springboard for the Arts provides fiscal sponsorship for Known by Heart.

“Our residents thrive in Naomi’s poetry classes. They can’t wait for each new series to start and they attend faithfully (without reminders!). She brings in a splendid array  of  materials each time to enrich their learning and make the sessions lively, multi-dimensional, and fun. The participants get so excited about sharing what they have written… She’s one of the best teachers I’ve run across. ”
–Pat Samples, Ebenezer—Minneapolis, Lifelong Learning Coordinator

About Naomi Cohn

Naomi leading a poetry session at Saint Anthony Park Area Seniors.She is standing on the right; a group of participants is seated in the left of the image.

“…Naomi brings out the best in folks.” — Workshop participant

Naomi Cohn is a writer, therapist and teaching artist who works with older adults and people with vision loss. She is the creator/chief instigator of Known by Heart.

Red Dragonfly Press published a chapbook of her poems on insects, Between Nectar & Eternity, in 2013. Her writing has also appeared in About Place, Amygdala, Fourth River, Water~Stone and Fish Stories, among other places. Her work has been featured as part of St. Paul’s sidewalk poetry project and on local access cable television and National Public Radio. She’s been awarded two Minnesota State Arts Board grants, three VSA Minnesota grants, a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step Fund grant and residencies at Norcroft, Anderson Center, Pine Needles, Edenfred and the Studios of Key West.

She is the author of a handbook on organizing around urban watersheds and is the former editor of Disclosure, a national publication on community organizing. She is currently working on a collection of essays about the experience of learning to read braille as an adult.

Naomi is a licensed associate marriage and family therapist, holds a masters in marriage and family therapy from St. Mary’s University and a bachelors from Cornell University.

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Naomi, thanks for getting in touch about my NBP braille post. Glad you liked it. I see you’re a Minnesotan, do you know the deafblind poet John Lee Clark? Your work with memory, personal and cultural, sounds very interesting. I, too, have been witnessing the unraveling of a loved one’s memory lately: it’s heartbreaking, maddening, though sometimes humorous and surprising, but still frightening, always mystifying. I’ve tried writing about it too. Anyway, thanks for getting in touch. All the best, Paul

    • Paul…

      Thanks for writing…
      John Lee Clark rocks…I just met him at the recent AWP conference her in MN

      I’m sorry to hear you are going through that witnessing of memory unraveling in someone close to you. Like you, I found I could not write about a lot of it was we were going through it. My father died over a decade ago and for me, I’ve needed that much time and distance to translate the experience into language…

  2. Pingback: Artists in the News - VSA Minnesota

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