In 1998, I was researching a book project when I came upon this sentence in The Out of Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A.: “Movement ‘primes the pump’ and helps every child pay attention, think, speak and write.” These words inspired a professional journey that would ultimately lead me to develop the Moved to Write® process.
Why movement? Singers, dancers, musicians and athletes all understand the importance of warm-up exercises. Yet writers are often expected to jump in cold and be brilliant! The poet’s instruments—body, mind, voice and emotions—deserve to be calibrated too.
The Moved to Write process models the importance of easy and enjoyable physical warm-ups. It draws upon the techniques of Educational Kinesiology (Brain Gym®), dance, yoga, meditation and drumming. Each activity is designed to serve a specific purpose—such as improving left-right coordination, releasing anxiety or enhancing listening skills.
Sometimes the movements are large and engage the whole body; sometimes they are very targeted, focusing solely on acupressure points. Sometimes they require visualization, or the inner movement of thoughts.
Movement is the foundation of discovery. It facilitates the processing of sensory information—a key piece for writers and poets who must deeply notice their surroundings, both internal and external.
"Poetry brings me into my senses and my body, and then into my heart. Something happens, and my relationship with the room changes.” – Paul Dennison, co-creator of Educational Kinesiology
Why poetry? Poetry is the great equalizer: it’s a genre in which all children can succeed; add movement and other motivating techniques to the mix, and the benefits of poetry go beyond self-expression.
This art form teaches the skills of observation, expands the ability to focus, extends vocabulary, fosters critical thinking, develops technique, cultivates self-awareness, and builds confidence.
In an electronic age where imagination is all too easily suppressed, poetry matters even more.
And for adults who never considered writing poetry—or who perhaps wrote long ago, but put it aside—this work invites them to step into the noticing space that opens the heart, mind and senses.
A pencil explodes with colors and ideas!