Thursday, April 8th   See Conference Schedule 

8-8:45 am Virtual Yoga Stretch                                                             


Join Diane Richard-Allerdyce, MA, PhD, CAPF, on the virtual mat for some early  morning yoga.

9:00-10:30 am  Workshop #1: The Musicality of Being your Creative Self

This inter- and multi-model workshop presented by Diane Richard-Allerdyce, MA, PhD, CAPF, Rob Merritt, Ph.D., and Jeremy Schraffenberger, Ph.D., engages participants in learning about, responding to, and creating poems in several formal traditions, including haiku, ghazal, and jazz. We’ll play with rhythm, rhyme and repetition to explore poems within a fun and accepting atmosphere. Live musical accompaniment will be provided to sooth and inspire.                                                                          (75% Experiential/25% Didactic (1.5 peer hours)

Diane Allerdyce, Ph.D., past president of NAPT, is Chair and Professor of Humanities & Culture in the Ph.D. Program in Interdisciplinary Studies at Union Institute & University and Co-Founder of the Toussaint L’Ouverture High School for Arts & Social Justice, a Florida charter school. She received  the NAPT Distinguished Service Award (2007), the NAPT Outstanding Achievement Award (2009), and the Jennifer Bosveld Award for Poetry & Social Justice (2015).

Rob Merritt, Ph.D., former Vice-President of NAPT is Professor and Chair of the English Department at Bluefield College. His most recent poetry collection is View from Blue-Jade Mountain. He writes about personal mythology and intersections between Chinese and Appalachian poetry. He uses poetry therapy methodologies in writing workshops and higher education.

Jeremy Schraffenberger, Ph.D., is editor of the North American Review and professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. He is the author of two books of poetry, Saint Joe's Passion and The Waxen Poor, and his other work has anthologized in Best Creative Nonfiction, Best of Brevity, and elsewhere.

10:45 am-12:15 pm  Workshop #2: A Therapeutic Poetry Writing Intervention for Youth who have Experienced Trauma

Poetry Power is an innovative therapeutic poetry writing intervention for youth who have experienced trauma. This interactive workshop by Kevin Jones, Ph.D., LCSW, will introduce the theory behind the model and will give participants an opportunity to experience and provide feedback on guided poetry writing activities as facilitators and writers. A recent adaptation to online programming due to COVID-19 will also be discussed. By attending this session, participants will: 

  • Gain a deeper understanding of youth trauma, pediatric PTSD and its symptoms, the impacts of trauma on youth development and adult outcomes, and the concept of Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG)
  • Explore the potential for creative expression to promote healing and growth in young people who have experienced trauma
  • Experience and critique the components of the Poetry Power intervention from the perspective of the writing mentor and the youth participant
  • Develop the skills to facilitate therapeutic poetry writing with youth who have experienced trauma                                                        (70% Experiential/30% Didactic) Clinical/Health Setting

Kevin Jones, Ph.D., LCSW, is Assistant Professor of Social Work at University of Portland, where he teaches courses on counseling, trauma and healing, and interventions with youth. He conducts research on therapeutic poetry writing and his own poems have appeared in various poetry journals and on the occasional bathroom wall.

12:25-12:55 pm  An IFPBF Credentialing Information Workshop: Your Life Could Be Poetry  with Alison Johnson, DNP, PTR, Credentials Chair IFB/PT & Elaine Brooks, RN-BC, MA, PTR, M/S                                                                                             

Is the idea of poetry therapy training a thread that is “gently, / invisibly, silently / pulling” at you? If so, join this open discussion of credentialing opportunities in biblio/poetry therapy. Training in biblio/poetry therapy provides more than letters after your name; IFBPT approved training will inspire you, enhance skills, and build confidence while ensuring best practices for your profession. Come away knowing what to expect and how to take your next step! 

Dr. Alison Johnson is a psychiatric nurse practitioner and a registered poetry therapist. She works in the homeless shelters of Minneapolis, MN, providing medication management and poetry therapy to persons experiencing homelessness. She serves as the credentialing chair for the International Federation for Bibleo/Poetry Therapy.

Elaine Brooks, NC-BC, PTR, CAPF, M/S, is a board-certified psychiatric and mental health nurse and    integrative nurse coach, certified applied poetry facilitator and mentor supervisor. She is also a certified  transition writing specialist. She is currently co-president of the International Federation for  Biblio/Poetry Therapy. She has a coaching and therapeutic writing practice in CT. She specializes in  guiding people through life transitions.

1:00-2:30 pm  Workshop #3:  Group Poetry and Writing Therapy with Adolescents

This workshop is based off of the recent chapter by Laura Santer, LCSW, PTR, and Nancy Scherlong, LCSW, PTR, M/S, “Group Poetry and Writing Therapy with Adolescents” that was published by Routledge Taylor and Francis Group in Creative Art-Based Group Therapy with Adolescents Theory and Practice, edited by Craig Haen and Nancy Boyd Webb. This workshop will have a didactic portion reviewing the benefits of poetry therapy with adolescents as well as methods of working in groups with a focus on utilizing the RES model. There will be an experiential portion where participants will have a chance to write in categories including identity and voice, defenses and coats of armor, conversation with grief, and resilience. Through poetry’s metaphors and the complexity of its juxtapositions, we will explore ambivalence, enhance self-esteem, and increase positive coping and distress tolerance during difficult times. Some attention will be given to group process issues and use of interactive mixed modal warm ups and closures as well as clinical practice application.This workshop is appropriate for clinicians though educators may receive usable techniques within their scope of practice.  (75% Experiential/25% Didactic) Clinical/Health Care (1.5 peer hours)

Nancy Scherlong, LCSW, PTR, M/S, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states of NY and CT and is an adjunct  faculty for Columbia and Adelphi Universities as well as core faculty for the Therapeutic Writing Center (TWI). She is a PTR, CJT and a Mentor Supervisor for both. Nancy has been in the field of expressive arts for 30 years and in clinical private practice for almost 20, combining expressive writing methods with the action techniques of psychodrama. She has a long history of work in the foster care system, emergency services for youth and with adolescent crisis intervention and post-vention services. She is  a trauma therapist utilizing EMDR, Somatic Experiencing and Internal Family Systems approaches  as well as serves as faculty at Kint Institute, a trauma-focused expressive arts certificate program. She is current co-President of the International Federation for Biblio-Poetry Therapy (IFBPT). Nancy has training cohorts in both poetry and journal therapy and provides consultation, training and  educational workshops through her business  Change Your Narrative LCSW PLLC.

Laura Santer, LCSW, PTR, is a Licensed Clinical Social worker in the state of New York and holds a temporary license in NJ. She is a Registered Poetry Therapist and completing her training as a Mentor-Supervisor. Laura Santner has published research in the Journal of Social Psychology and a published chapbook available on Amazon. She is also the co-author with Nancy Scherlong of a chapter in the textbook Creative Arts-Based Group Therapy with Adolescents. Theory and Practice. Laura Santner has been a clinical therapist and supervisor for almost 15 years in addition to her private practice which she began in 2019. She has presented poetry therapy at her work place to staff, psychology externs, social work interns, and undergraduate volunteers in addition to past Poetry Therapy conferences, retreats, and local colleges. She is on the board of the National Association for Poetry Therapy.

2:45-4:15 pm  Workshop #4: Trials and Triumph of Transformation

How do we change and grow? How do we learn from pain? Is there a recipe for successful transformation? This workshop by Lorrieann Geyer, MA, BCSE, CAPF, will inspire self-care through several poetry therapy techniques, including journaling, the collaborative poem and music. Applicable in educational and therapeutic settings.                                                                                           (75% Experiential/25% Didactic) Clinical/Educational (1.5 peer hours)

Lorrieann Geyer, MA, BCSE, CAPF, serves on the NAPT board as Academic and Outreach Chair. She is a lifelong learner who inspires others with words. She has combined her skills to address the emotional and academic needs of young people at a private therapeutic high school for the past nine years. The use of bibliotherapy in the classroom and Poetry Cafe has provided a bridge to their mental health and well being. She has facilitated poetry groups with women in recovery and incarcerated. She belongs to numerous professional organizations and recently became a Diplomate of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals. Lorrieann also works freelance for Light Miracle Workers and Creative Kinections.


4:30-6:00 pm  Workshop #5: The Relationship Museum: A Writing and Art Expression Workshop

This writing and art expression workshop presented by Zelda Lockhart, PhD, is designed to help you consider the relationships you have had (family, romantic, friendships, professional) and reach for the relationships you want. Participants will use Dr. Lockhart's storytelling technique, personal plot, to write two short scenes as 10-minute-writes: one from a pivotal relationship of the past or current, and one of a future, desired relationship. To extend the expression, participants will create visual art that offers literal or abstract representation of their future desired relationship. Through this exercise, participants will offer themselves a personalized written and visual reminder of how to make the types of human connections they find to be healthy, supportive, and reflective of who they are.  (80% Experiential/20% Didactic) Educational/Social Justice  

Zelda Lockhart, PhD,  is Visiting Associate Professor of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington. Her books include Diamond Doris: The True Story of the World’s Most Notorious Jewel Thief  by Doris Payne  w/Zelda Lockhart, The Soul of the Full-Length Manuscript, Fifth Born, Cold Running Creek, and  Fifth Born II: The Hundredth Turtle.

7:30-8:00 pm  Meet & Greet Regional Reps – Robin Rosado, CASAC-T, Membership Chair & Regional Representative Chair

We welcome all to meet Robin Rosado, CASAC-T, our Regional Representative Chair, and our Regional Representatives. Find out about current happenings in our organization and in our regions, and learn about regional grant opportunities! We look forward to "seeing" you and hope that you decide to become more of an active part of NAPT, particularly by joining as a member if you have not already done so!

8:15 -9:00 pm  Evening Program: Two Poets...One Voice

A provocative meeting of the minds featuring activist poet Gowri Koneswaran and slam poet Gayle Danley. Watch the sparks fly as these two women of the word share original poetry and figure out the intersections between their work. The audience is encouraged to question and engage in this extraordinarily out of the box presentation.

 Gayle Danley, B.A. Howard University, M.S. Syracuse University, is a championship poet and grief   writer.  She has won both the national and the international poetry slam titles. Gayle performs   slam poetry around the country, and has been featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes. She is the Maryland   Library Association's Poet of the Year, Young Audiences of Maryland Artist of the Year, and Young   Audiences National Artist of the Year. She is also the author of four books of poetry including, Naked: Poems that Uncover My Soul, Soulfull: A Study of Slam Poetry,  and Passionate—Poems You Can Feel.

 Gowri Koneswaran is a queer Tamil American poet, performing artist, teacher, and lawyer whose     family immigrated to the U.S. from Sri Lanka. Her advocacy has addressed animal welfare, the     environment, the rights of prisoners and the criminally accused in the U.S., and justice and   accountability in Sri Lanka. Her publication credits include two peer-reviewed scientific journal     articles and poetry appearing in Split This Rock’s The Quarry, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, Beltway   Poetry Quarterly, Bourgeon, Lantern Review, Washington City Paper, and On Being. She was a   member of DC’s 2010 Southern Fried Slam team and has performed at Lincoln Center Out of   Doors, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and numerous other venues. At the 2014 Atlas Intersections Festival, she produced and performed in “Yasmeen,” an original work co-written and co-produced by Huda Asfour, a Palestinian composer and musician.  She is a Kundiman fellow and serves as poetry coordinator at BloomBars. Previously, she served as a poetry events host at Busboys and Poets, senior poetry editor at Jaggery, and associate editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @gowrimozhi.


"NAPT" The National Association for Poetry Therapy

is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization 

PO Box 98259
DesMoines, WA 98198

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