Journal of Poetry Therapy

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 81–90 | Cite as

Using Poetry, Fiction, and Essays to Help People Face Shattered Dreams

  • Ted Bowman


Loss of dreams refers to experiences we have which don’t match our expectations of the way life is supposed to be. It is a special kind of grief. Poetry Therapists/Bibliotherapists can be especially resourceful in aiding people in grieving loss of dreams because of the abundance of material found in poetry, fiction, and essays, in contrast to its scant attention in the grief and family literatures. This article provides a framework and suggests tools for assisting work on this special kind of grief.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barrineau, P. (1991). Memo to cancer. Charlotte: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Bridges, W. (1991). Managing transitions: making the most of change Reading: MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  3. Buechner, F. (1991). Telling secrets: a memoir. San Francisco: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  4. Clifton, L. (1993). The book of light. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press.Google Scholar
  5. de Saint-Exupery, A. (1943). The little prince. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.Google Scholar
  6. Fairchild, R. W. (1980). Finding hope again: A pastor’s guide to counseling depressed persons. San Francisco: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  7. Frank, A. W. (1991). At the will of the body. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.Google Scholar
  8. Hughes, L. (1966). “Harlem” From Selected poems. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  9. Hynes, A. M. and Hynes-Berry, M. (1986). Bibliotherapy—the interactive process. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  10. Kenyon, J. (1993). Constance. St. Paul: Greywolf Press.Google Scholar
  11. Levertov, D. (1978). “Talking to Grief,” From Life in the forest. New York: New Directions Books.Google Scholar
  12. Mansfield, K. (1956). “Miss Brill.” From Stories. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  13. Miller, S., Miller, P., Nunnally, E. W. and Wackman, D. B. (1991). Talking and listening together. Littleton, CO: Interpersonal Communication Programs, Inc.Google Scholar
  14. Mitchell, K. R. and Anderson, H. (1983). All our losses/all our griefs. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.Google Scholar
  15. Olds, S. (1992). The father. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  16. Parkes, C. M. and Weiss, R. S. (1983). Recovery from bereavement. New York: Basic Books, Inc.Google Scholar
  17. Pastan, L. (1982). “Dreams.” From PM/AM: new and selected: Poems. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  18. Pastan, L. (1978). “The Five Stages of Grief.” From The five stages of grief. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.Google Scholar
  19. Price, R. (1994). A whole new life: an illness and a healing. New York: Atheneum.Google Scholar
  20. Sanders, C. M. (1992). Surviving grief… and learning to live again. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
  21. Sexton, A. (1975). “Words,” From The awful rowing toward god. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.Google Scholar
  22. Valdiserri, R. O. (1994). Gardening in clay: reflections on AIDS. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  23. West, C. (1993). Race matters. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  24. Wolberg, L. (1969) “Preface” In J. J. Leedy (Ed.) Poetry therapy. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ted Bowman
    • 1
  1. 1.St. PaulUSA

Personalised recommendations