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Bread for the Journey: A Celebration of Poetry and the Human Spirit

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - Saturday, October 7, 2017

Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center - Bangor, PA

October 4-7, 2017

Kirkridge Retreat Center
Bangor, Pennsylvania

$850 includes double occupancy room, board, and tuition.

Click to register now

Bread for the Journey 2017: A Celebration of Poetry and the Human Spirit  offers four days of engaging with poetry as a means of helping us embrace both what is most meaningful to us, as well as the mysteries that surround us.  We will turn to the richness of poetry as a means of deepening our capacity for clarity and courage, and we will also explore ways in which we can more effectively carry poetry out into a world which needs it more than ever.

Poetry, Lucille Clifton claimed, nurtures us toward greater compassion and justice by asking the question, “What is the human here?”    It serves as a vessel for exploration and conversation because, as Galway Kinnell has put it, “Working on one’s life and working on the poems are the same exercise.”

Bread for the Journey engages participants with poetry as a dynamic way to reclaim the fertile ground of metaphor and image.  It offers time to deeply listen and to ask open and honest questions of ourselves and one another in order to better understand our lives and renew our spirits.  At Kirkridge, we create a safe space in which to experience and explore the beauty of living in the presence of mystery and awe. These four days will serve as a reminder that poetry, by aligning us with the power of the imagination, directs us toward a vision of a better world.

Meet Your Facilitators

Rick Benjamin has taught students from  ages 4 to 98 at institutions as diverse as Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, New Urban Arts, and Epoch Assisted Living Center.  A former poet laureate of Rhode Island, he now lives in Santa Barbara where he continues his commitment to building community through creative expression.  He holds to the notion that poetry is both a wisdom medium and has the capacity to transform its practitioners at any stage of their life-cycle.   More at:

Judy Brown is an educator, speaker, facilitator, poet and writer, whose work in organizations revolves around themes of renewal, change, learning, creativity and, dialogue.  Her books include A Leader’s Guide to Reflective Practice, two collections of her poetry (The Sea Accepts All Rivers and Simple Gifts), and most recently The Art and Spirit of Leadership. More at


Based in Washington, DC, Kenneth Carroll is the author of So What! For the White Dude Who Said This Ain’t Poetry (1997). Widely published, he has received the Washington, D.C. Mayor’s Arts Award for Service to the Arts, and the Literary Friends of Washington Award, among other recognitions. Active as a teacher, Carroll has been director of the DC WritersCorps and a past president of the African-American Writers Guild. He is married to playwright Joy Carroll and the proud father of three.  More at:

Kathleen W. Glaser is a Center for Courage and Renewal facilitator who values using poetry to help facilitate reflection.  A recipient of the Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award, she is a co-founder of the Chesapeake Public Charter School in southern Maryland. Her passion is creating trustworthy spaces for learning and community.


Michael S. Glaser is a Professor Emeritus at St. Mary’s College of Maryland where he received the Dodge Endowed Award for Excellence in Teaching.    He has edited three anthologies of poetry, published several volumes of his own work and served as Poet Laureate of Maryland from 2004 through 2009. Most recently, he co-edited with Kevin Young the Complete Poems of Lucille Clifton.   More at

Kurtis Lamkin is a poet from Philadelphia who plays the Kora, a beautiful West African instrument. He has produced several cds, the latest of which is called Kora Poems, as well as a book of poems entitled Golden Season. Recently he was selected as a 2013-2014 Poetry Fellow by the Jubilation Foundation; and he is a 2014 grantee of the New Music Foundation for a new project, Big Fun. He  lives in Charleston, South Carolina. More at:

Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry, health, and spirituality for forty years. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, he has published fourteen books and recorded eight audio projects. Mark has appeared with Oprah Winfrey on her Super Soul Sunday program and his work has been translated into more than twenty languages. His most recent book is a collection of new and selected poems, published by Sounds True,  The Way Under The Way: The Place of True Meeting.   Forthcoming is:   The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart.  more at

Deanna Nikaido is the author of two collections of poetry, Voice Like Water and Vibrating With Silence. She has served as coach and design specialist for Book-in-a-Day and Kwame Alexander’s Page-to-Stage Writing Workshop for youth, and as regional coordinator for Poetry Out Loud a national poetry recitation contest  in the state of Maryland. Her first children’s book Animal Ark due out February 2017 is a collaborative book of poetry and prose with writers Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess and photographer Joel Sartore.

About Our Venue

Since 1942, Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center has provided a place for rest and renewal to pilgrims along life’s journey. Our retreats, our hospitality, our gorgeous vistas, and our sacred grounds have blessed, and continue to bless, countless lives.

We are located on a ridge of the beautiful Kittatinny Ridge of Northeast Pennsylvania, overlooking the Delaware Valley. You can say that the Kirkridge community is, too, now standing on our own precipice, as we look back on our over 75 years of service. For the past 75 years, we have served a thriving Christian and interfaith community.

Looking ahead, we plan on serving an even wider community of people of good faith, no faith, and interfaith – and providing safe harbor to all. As we work to embrace a wider community, our spirit of excellent hospitality is more important than ever. Our historic motto of “picket and pray” has now extended itself “to protect, tend, and embrace.” From the peak of the ridge to the clear waters in the valley below, the new century calls for stewardship, nurturing, and embracing inner stability with outer sustainability. We invite you, as pilgrims in search of a balanced life, to help us nurture the ground on which we stand and the people with whom we interact each day to build a safe, sustainable future.

Kirkridge Retreat Center, 2495 Fox Gap Rd, Bangor, PA 18013

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Registration and Fees

Fee: $850 includes double occupancy room, board and tuition. If you prefer to send a check for 1/2 the cost to reserve your space please download our “register by mail” form found under the Programs tab and send it with your check.

Registration: Please register online.

Participation: Participation is limited to 50 people.


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