Naomi Cohn | Literary


Naomi Cohn | Literary


I offer poems, objects, activities, other art forms as models and inspirations for people’s own writing. These are designed so learners can write their own prose or poetry. In each session I offer craft learning about writing and time for creating and sharing work. Some participants write and share stories to make sense of experiences. Others are eager to develop their writing craft.  All are welcome. These writing groups are not therapy; at the same time, I bring my training and expertise as a family therapist to each session, offering tools and experiences people can use in and out of the group to cope with difficulties and to build supportive relationships.


Book This Artist
Our residents thrive in Naomi’s poetry classes. They can’t wait for each new series to start and they attend faithfully (without reminders!). She brings in a splendid array of materials each time to enrich their learning and make the sessions lively, multi-dimensional, and fun. The participants get so excited about sharing what they have written, and its quality is quite high. She’s one of the best teachers I’ve run across.
— Pat Samples, Ebenezer: Minneapolis, Lifelong Learning Coordinator

I get great joy out of watching writers:

  • find their unique voice
  • make sense of experience
  • take creative risks
  • build community, and
  • grow as writers.

I’ve been teaching in community since 2002. My writing has been published by Red Dragonfly Press (Between Nectar & Eternity, 2013) and in numerous local and national publications. My writing has also garnered awards, including two Minnesota State Arts board grants, three grants from VSA Minnesota, and a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step Fund grant. Other influences in my teaching artist approach include my training as a family therapist and my own experience with vision loss, which I find gives me some street credentials working with people coping with the changes of aging and disability. Click here more information.

I specialize in working with older adults and people with disabilities. I also have expertise in integrating proven techniques for physical and emotional wellness.

Learn more about Naomi in her July 2016 Artist Spotlight interview.

Sample Programs: Customizable To Site’s Needs


All residencies offer a community celebration where participants share their work. Staff development is customized to the needs of each site; but I generally offer training on emotional wellness and mindfulness techniques that can be integrated into creative and other activities.

Poetry: Body Language

 From head to toe, poets have always been inspired to write about the body. Whether in love or fury, sickness or health, our relationship with our bodies is at the core of our writing. In this residency, we’ll look at poems about the body. We’ll do some writing of our own using poems, the five senses, and some very gentle movement as prompts.


Invitation to Poetry

This class invites learners into poetry as both an art form and a way of helping us through life. Poetry has so much power: for expression, for working through experiences, for fostering connection, for building community. Each week we will share poems that inspire us. We’ll generate our own writing focusing on the senses. Together we’ll learn about basic building blocks of poetry, from sounds to word origins,  and the ways we can use poetry in our daily lives. Each week learners leave with ideas for continuing writing on their own.


Writing: Word Play

Paying attention to words can enrich our reading and our writing. In this residency, we will look atwhat words mean, where they come from, and how they sound. Throughout, we will focus on words as jumping off points for our poems and prose. We’ll learn about metaphor and other figures of speech and word choice.  We’ll do in class writing and use poems and objects as prompts, but everyone welcome, poet or not!



Invitation to Poetry

This one-time hands-on sampler invites participants into the world of poetry. The atmosphere is fun and active. We’ll share poems that inspire us and generate our own writing, using poems, objects and our observations of the world around us as invitations to creativity. Participants will leave with ideas for continuing to write and explore poetry on their own.


Sound and Senses in Poetry

This workshop explores sound and sensory image in poetry and other writing and can be tailored to fit a 1, 2 or 3 hour session. It also provides emotional wellness skills in the context of a literary craft oriented workshop that is welcoming to learners at a wide range of skill levels.