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.

This four-minute video made by FilmNorth’s JuiceMedia Collective shows one of my poetry workshops in action.

Interested in a poetry class for yourself or a group? Contact me or COMPAS for details.

Poetry Posters

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.

Performance Series

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

Read more in our blognewsletter archive, and events archive.

“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