Bethany Retreat Center

The Healing Power of Poetry

The Healing Power of Poetry

 Facilitator: Jeanne Murray Walker, Award Winning Author, Poet & Playwright

April 1-3, 2022

In a world where we listen to news 24/7, where a pandemic has left us anxious and a quarantine has left us lonely, many of us long for healing and companionship.  Poets speak with real voices and can provide company as they guide our meditations.  So in this weekend workshop we will listen and respond to selected poems by such poets as George Herbert, Jane Kenyon, and Richard Wilbur. Their poems, especially when read aloud, offer deep solace, courage, and spiritual wisdom. We will take time to read and react to these poems, sometimes in writing and possibly to use them as models for writing our own poems.  Even if you’ve been leery of poetry, do not fear. This workshop will provide a way in for you. 

This weekend retreat will be be directed by Jeanne Murray Walker, who has published 12 books of poetry and for 25 years taught poetry workshops at The University of Delaware and at many retreats around the country.           


Jeanne Murray Walker is a writer and teacher born in Parkers Prairie, a village of a thousand people in Minnesota.  She frequently lectures, gives readings, and teaches workshops in places ranging from The Library of Congress and Oxford University to Whidbey Island, from a working fish camp in Alaska and  Texas canyon country to Orvieto, Italy.

Jeanne has written eight volumes of award winning poetry. Her poetry and essays appear in leading journals, including  Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, The Christian Century, The American Poetry Review, The Georgia Review, Image and Best American Poetry.   Her scripts, which have been performed in theaters across the United States and in London, are archived in North American Women’s Drama, and are published by Dramatic Publishing Company.  In The Geography of Memory:  A Pilgrimage through Alzheimer’s, Jeanne tells the hair-raising, often funny details of the decade she and her sister cared for their mother.  

Jeanne taught at The University of Delaware for 40 years, where she headed the Creative Writing Concentration and organized Study-Abroad Programs that were among the first in the nation.  She also serves as a Mentor in the Seattle Pacific University Master of Fine Arts Program. Jeanne has been awarded many fellowships and prizes, among them, a Pew Fellowship in The Arts, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, eight Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships, and The Glenna Luschei-Prairie Schooner Prize.  She has appeared on PBS television and is frequently interviewed on the radio.  Her work has been distributed across Pennsylvania on posters by The Center for the Book and has appeared on buses and trains.  For 20 years she was Poetry Editor of Christianity and Literature.  She currently serves on the Editorial Boards of Image and Shenandoah magazine.

Jeanne lives with her lawyer husband in a 104-year-old house outside Philadelphia.  They are the parents of two children and the grandparents of 3 ardent soccer players. To learn more about Jeanne and her writings visit her website:

Offering: $258.00
Deposit: $75.00
Arrival: 3:00-5:00 pm on Friday
Departure:  12:00 pm on Sunday

*Commuter Option Available

Register Now 

For more information call 814-263-4855 or email

To register go to

A review  of Jeanne’s book, Pilgrim, You Find the Path by Walking

“There is a rock-solid belief in the mystery of beauty in these poems, and in the perpetual creation of a God always creating; and there is an equally foundational belief in form and how the sonnet form itself can give rise to a seemingly infinite variety of permutations.

Robert Cording, poet and author of Only So Far: Poems

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