Through the Known by Heart project, I offer teaching and other poetry experiences to deliver on the modest promise: better living through poetry.
My teaching passion is to share ways poetry can create wholeness in our selves and our communities. I bring to this work my expertise as a writer, training as a family therapist, and background in community organizing.
Through Known by Heart, I’ve published free poetry posters showcasing my students’ work. I see this as an important way of sharing the voices of older adults and other people living with disabilities.
In partnership with Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, we host annual poetry performances. Rather than reading from a page, poets perform their work by heart and explore what that means for their work, themselves, and their listeners.
Past poet-performers include Ed Bok Lee, Sharon Chmielarz, Donte Collins, Andrea Jenkins, John Minczeski, Patricia Kirkpatrick, and Heid E. Erdrich.
More about 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, Arts and Aging Leader