The Dream Journal
The Dream Journal
Dream-Inspired Poetry with Joan Gelfand

Why are dream-inspired poems so powerful? We speak today with award-winning poet, author of multiple books, and committed activist, the dynamic Joan Gelfand.

Joan shares a poem inspired by a dream called Burial, quoted in full below. She speaks about why she thinks that dream-inspired poetry can be so riveting while telling someone your dream can evoke eye-rolling and boredom. She also reads a poem about Ferlinghetti which formed the basis for an award-winning video which can be found here.  Joan also gives specific advice about crafting poetry.

In the second half we take three calls. First Kelly Sullivan Walden calls to ask Joan how her dreamlife has been responding to the release of her new book. Joan brings up a dream in which a friend has a business named Contagious Vulnerability. Second we get a call from Adam who shares a dream about elephant which destroys his electrical panel. I offer an alternate idea to what he shared that ChatGPT had suggested about the dream. Finally we take a call from Donna of Capitola who shares that she is an observational poet. She shares a recurring dream about a trying to find a restaurant.

BIO: Joan Gelfand is an award-winning author of three collections of poetry, a chapbook of short fiction, and a novel set in a Silicon Valley startup. Also a book about how to get your book published and new this year “Outside Voices: A Memoir of the Berkeley Revolution.”

Find our guest at:

Burial by Joan Gelfand

You might imagine a box,
Airless, close
the sound of dirt clumps
Falling like rain.
You might imagine a mudslide
Rushing down steep mountain terrain
Your legs buckling.
You might imagine a building,
Shaken to its core, rubble tumbling
Knocking you senseless.
You might imagine water, too deep,
A collapsed bridge, a tunnel broken.

My burial was none of these.
An angel chanted
And I went under, alone and

This show, episode number 251, was recorded during a live broadcast on March 23, 2024 at, community radio of Santa Cruz.

Intro and outro music by Mood Science. Ambient music new every week by Rick Kleffel. Archived music can be found at Many thanks to Rick Kleffel for also engineering the show and to Tony Russomano for the phones.


SHARE A DREAM FOR THE SHOW or a question by emailing Katherine Bell at Follow on FB and IG @ExperientialDreamwork #thedreamjournal. To learn more or to inquire about exploring your own dreams go to

The Dream Journal is produced at and airs on KSQD Santa Cruz, 90.7 FM. Catch it streaming LIVE at 10-11am Pacific Time on Saturdays. Call or text with your dreams or questions at 831-900-5773 or email at Podcasts are available on all major podcast platforms released the Monday following the live show. The complete KSQD Dream Journal podcast page can be found at Now also available on PRX at

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