Slow Fuse of the Possible: Some Convergences of Poetry and Psychoanalysis

Austen Riggs Center

25 Main St
StockbridgeMassachusetts 01262
May 14, 2021 at 6:30 PM

Virtual Friday Night Guest Lecture with Kate Daniels, MFA

NOTE: This is s a VIRTUAL event and requires advance registration.

Friday Night Guest Lectures are designed for mental health professionals, offered free of charge, and provide 1.0 continuing education credit (see details below). 

Register Now

From its inception, psychoanalysis has been interested in literary creativity, as well as in those who create literature: writers, themselves. In particular, poetry–with its emphasis on compression of language under psychic pressure and its paradoxical process which requires simultaneous application of both highly conscious and highly unconscious effort–has been of interest to analysis and analysts. Freud with his great love of poetry and his admiration for poets began this preoccupation. In our time, a number of analysts continue to contribute to a fertile dialogue between the two disciplines: Christopher Bollas, Michael Eigen, Thomas Ogden, Adam Phillips, et al. In this talk, poet Kate Daniels will explore some of the deep connections between the two disciplines, using, in part, her own analysis as one example of this creative pairing. 

Kate Daniels, MFA, was educated at the University of Virginia (BA and MA in English Literature) and Columbia University (MFA, School of the Arts). A former Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry, and Bunting Fellow (now Radcliffe Institute) at Harvard, she is an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Her teaching career has taken her to the University of Virginia; the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Louisiana State University; Wake Forest University; Bennington College; and–since 1998–Vanderbilt University, where she is the Edwin Mims Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing. She also teaches in the Medicine, Health, and Society program. A Visiting Scholar at the Center for Biomedical Ethics and the Humanities at the University of Virginia in the spring of 2019, she is now permanently affiliated with the Center. 

Since 2008, when she completed the New Directions program at the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis, Daniels has facilitated writing workshops for New Directions, and organized two conferences: Writers Block (2012), and The Writer’s Voice (2015). She has also served as poet in residence at Duke University Medical Center and at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She has given talks and workshops at selected psychoanalytic training centers and institutes in the US on the topic of creative writing and psychoanalysis, and has completed Slow Fuse of the Possible: On Poetry and Psychoanalysis (available in January 2022 from West Virginia University Press), an inter-genre prose work that explores connections between psychoanalysis and poetry, focusing on the psychodynamic aspects of the writing process. 

Daniels’ poetry appears in more than seventy anthologies, and she is the author of six books of poetry. Her most recent–Three Syllables Describing Addiction (Bull City Press, 2018) and In the Months of My Son’s Recovery (LSU, 2019)–emerge from her longtime interest in the Health Humanities. A former poet in residence at Duke University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, her current work explores the opioid epidemic and the damaging and discouraging narratives within which it is embedded. In addition to her own writing on the subject, Daniels facilitates Writing for Recovery workshops which utilize some of the techniques of Expressive Writing (Pennebaker, et al) in the context of treatment and recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. She presents on this topic at medical schools, hospitals, treatment centers, twelve step groups, and in other healthcare settings. 

Kate Daniels resides in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Register Now



  • To describe developments in contemporary psychoanalysis
  • To examine interdisciplinary theories and methods of understanding human and cultural experience
  • To recognize biopsychosocial contributions to complex clinical issues

(Physicians, Psychologists, Social Work)

The Austen Riggs Center designates this live interactive webinar for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category1 Credit(s) ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

The Austen Riggs Center is accredited by the Massachusetts Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Austen Riggs Center also designates this live interactive webinar for 1.0 continuing education credit(s) (CE) for psychology.

The Austen Riggs Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for the program and its content. For additional information about this program, please call the Erikson Institute Education Coordinator, at 413.931.5230.

The Austen Riggs Center, #1344, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider Approval Period: 02/02/2020-2/2/2023. Social workers completing this live interactive webinar will receive 1.0 continuing education credit(s). 

For a listing of jurisdictions that accept ACE, please visit www.aswb.org/ace/ace-jurisdiction-map/.

The Austen Riggs Center follows all state and federal laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). In accordance with the ADA, the Austen Riggs Center is committed to accessibility. If you need accommodations for your course, please contact info@austenriggs.net

For information about our accreditation, please visit: www.austenriggs.org/accreditation-educational-activities.

Attendees who wish to receive CE credit should note:  

After the conclusion of the event, you will receive an email with a link to complete the evaluation and claim your credits. 

1.5 hours