MERI Center Blog

Life Spring by Susan Cohen

We are pleased to announce that one of our poetic medicine poets, Susan Cohen, has recently published her 3rd book of poetry, Life Spring.  Sue has been attending our Food For Thought Poetry Cafes since day one, April 3, 2020, joining us all the way from Stockholm, Sweden. Sue has joined both Food for Thought and Loss, Losing, and Loosening consistently during the pandemic and has not only shared her incredible poetry with us, she has been incredibly supportive community member.  While the pandemic has been incredibly difficult, meeting Sue and the other poetic medicine regulars has been a blessing.  

You can purchase Sue's book of poetry here or read an exerpt here. I can't wait to read my copy!  I asked her to tell us a little about Life Spring and how our poetic medicine workshops helped her complete this book. 

What inspired you to put the book together?

I had previously written 2 poetry books. I knew it was time to put together Life Spring, the third book when the theme for the book finally became apparent. This theme and many of the poems have arisen during the space and mindfulness of 5 Rhythms dance classes that I participate in here in Stockholm.

What writing it has meant to you?

The scope of the poems cover the past 5 years when I have experienced many life transitions: radical career change, passing away of my father,  closing up a childhood home, meeting the challenges of ‘Covid-life’ and more. Writing provided a reflection and ‘digestion’ resource to work through all these changes. I could also honor sweet moments of life to be cherished not just left in the shadows of all the attention-grabbing Covid-life changes that had to be dealt with in new ways practically every day.

How did our workshops help at the end?

As Covid-life started, I could no longer attend in-person dance classes. My muse was not happy about that! I was very lucky to have some stars lineup and find the Food for Thought Café (and then also Loss, Losing & Loosening) on Eventbrite. The encouraging, creative communities that Redwing and Gayle have built  provided a forum to keep up my writing and very importantly helped counterbalance the unfamiliar, turbulent and scary situation of the pandemic with inspiring poetry texts, accepting and interested co-writers in our zoom space and open hearts listening to and sharing poetry. This gave me a pathway to finish writing poems that I wanted to complete the book. I am very touched and deeply appreciate the gift of  participating in these UCSF MERI center online classes.


Sue Cohen

Feb 24, 2021