Mindful Poetry Moments’ 2023 National Poetry Month Selections Curated by Cincinnati Poet Laureates

 MISC_Mindful Poetry MomentsCincinnati-based The Well’s Mindful Poetry Moments is again offering students and adults the chance to pause and reflect on poetry’s ability to encounter themselves, the world, and the mystery of each other during the course of their normal school or work day during April, National Poetry Month.

Mindful Poetry Moments–incubated with The On Being Project, and supported this year in partnership with The HiveWordPlayThe Mercantile Library, and Puffin Foundation West– will present four poems under the theme Our Stories, Our Narratives, with prompts in a variety of accessible forms selected by guest curators Yalie Saweda Kamara, Cincinnati and Mercantile Library Poet Laureate, and Rimel Kamran, Cincinnati’s Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate. 

Yalie Saweda Kamara is a Sierra Leonean-American writer, educator, and researcher with roots in Oakland, California serving now as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati and the Director of Creative Youth Leadership at WordPlay Cincy. Rimel Kamran is a Pakistani-American poet and current senior at the Summit Country Day School where she serves in a variety of leadership roles within several student coalitions, centering poetry, medicine, and inclusion in her work.

Participating Mindful Poetry Moments schools, individuals, and organizations will be offered free, daily audio recordings of prompts and poetry featuring poems by Nikki Giovanni, Leora Kava, Carlina Duan, Freya Manfred, and Joy Harjo. All of the content, free to 300+ national Mindful Music schools and available for anyone to utilize, is provided via an easy-to-use Web App throughout National Poetry Month and beyond.

In addition to the lesson content, Mindful Poetry Moments will host virtual gatherings presenting Yalie and Rimel’s co-curated selections with the help of one mindfulness facilitator and one poetry facilitator for each week of April. These facilitators — local and national mindfulness practitioners and poets including Samantha Weiss, Brooke Thomas, Samyak Shertok, Haleh Liza Gafori, Sheila McMullin, our Poet Laureates, and The Well Founder & Director Stacy Sims — will provide guidance and prompts for writing time together, after which Mindful Poetry Moments will invite participants to share their writing with one another and ask for submissions for the fourth Mindful Poetry Moments publication, set to release in the summer of 2023. For those unable to attend, all the sessions will be recorded and available to watch on The Well’s YouTube channel.

All virtual gatherings will be held each Wednesday in April from 4:00-5:00pm, and registration is completely free. Mindful Poetry Moments invites its participants to “Come with a pen, paper, and an open heart.”

Finally, this year features two additional opportunities. Writers will be invited to The Craft of Mindful Poetry, a Zoom workshop for writers to work on their Mindful Poetry Moments 2023 submissions prior to publication with The Well’s Wellspring Fellow, poet Sheila McMullin and Rimel Kamran on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023. Additionally, weaver and writer Rowe Schnure will lead a special, free Threads of Reflection: A Community Poetry and Weaving event at The Well on Sunday, April 23, 2023.

This year’s Mindful Poetry illustrations were created by Cincinnati-based illustrator and educator Julie Klear Essakalli.

Video of Guest Curators Explaining Mindful Poetry and The Featured Poems

Read full bios for all of our facilitators and collaborators

View full listing of Mindful Poetry Moments events

About The Well / A Mindful Moment

Providing programs, practices and connection at the intersection of arts and wellness.

In different forms, The Well programs have been nourishing the Greater Cincinnati community since 2005. In 2019 we became the non-profit, A Mindful Moment. A Mindful Moment’s mission is to improve the mental and emotional well-being, connectedness, and effectiveness of all citizens through arts integration, mindfulness, music, movement, and healing-centered practices.



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