Interview with Poet Sculptor Don Freas: Meditation and the Creative Leap

Tess interviews sculptor and poet Don Freas, author of In-Between: Creativity Set Free and Swallowing the World: New and Selected Poems, in a rich exploration of the relationship between meditation and creativity. Don describes how his practice of Liangong, a form of Qigong, deepens his somatic awareness in the studio and in life. He explains how his process of journaling, partly inspired by Robert A. Johnson’s book Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth, has deepened self-inquiry, and thereby, self-compassion. Don lets us in on his decades-long conversation with an inner wisdom figure he calls Sophie, a voice who regularly encourages his intuition and questions him when he goes off track. He describes Sophie as “a voice from the long history of humanity, or of the universe.” Don shares insights gained from many sources, including spiritual teacher Byron Katie, physicist David Bohm, Jungian analyst Robert A. Johnson, and Akashic Records teacher Linda Howe. Don takes us on a deep dive into the “material meditation” of making art. “When you look back,” he says, “your own accrued shape appears in the spaces between the things you’ve fashioned.”

Don holds an MFA in Poetry from Bennington College and lives in Olympia, Washington, where an upcoming exhibit of his sculpture will take place at Childhood’s End Art Gallery. Visit to learn more and follow Don on instagram@donfreas and FaceBook@donfreas.

TEDx TALK: Can we boost our creative goals by constraining them? Novelist and teacher Tess Callahan explores a counter-intuitive method of unleashing creativity by putting chains on it. Like Houdini, the imagination likes to use its wits to unshackle itself. This talk explores artists and writers who sought out constraints to leverage inspiration. Innovation needs a boundary to push against. Shakespeare did it. Countless artists and innovators have done it. Discover how to give your own creativity a wild dare.

FBomb Flash Fiction Reading Series: September 4, 2020, 6-8pm

Morris County Library Authors Day:Virtual Author’s Day
May 3, 2020

KBG Bar Reading: Bennington Writers Reading Series
August 28, 2019 at 7pm

Nature Writing Workshop: Northern NJ HS Eco-Summit
May 18, 2019, 9am -12:30pm

Cornelia Street Cafe Reading: Bennington Writers Reading Series
October 23, 2017 at 6pm

Writer’s Bone Podcast: Episode 169: Daniel Ford Interview with Author Tess Callahan
February 27, 2017


TEDx Talk: The Love Affair Between Creativity & Constraint
October 2016

Best American Poetry: Guest Blogger
Round 2/December 2015

Drey’s Library: Guest Blogger
June 14 – June 20

BlogTalkRadio: Live Interview

Best American Poetry: Guest Blogger
Round 1/June-July


Paramus Public Library
Join me at the Paramus Public Library on October 26, 2011 at 7pm for a reading and group discussion of April & Oliver, as well as Q&A about my upcoming book. The library is located at E116 Century Road, Paramus, NJ, 07652. For more information, please call (201) 599-1300.
The Book Revue
book-revueJoin me for a celebration of great summer reading at 7PM on July 15, 2010 at The Book Revue, 313 New York Avenue, Huntington, NY 11743-3341, (631) 271-1442. A summer beach basket will be raffled off, including wine, a gift certificate, flip flops and other fun stuff.

Ladies, Lunch & Literacy

Marmalade Cafe
El Segundo, California
Tel: 310-648-7200
Thursday, June 4, 2009 at noon
Tickets required

Carole Lovercio, Tess Callahan & Terry Gilman

Mysterious Galaxy Books

7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. #302
San Diego, CA 92111
Store Phone:858-268-4747
Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 7 pm
Reading & Book Signing

Mysterious Galaxy Books

Newtonville Books

296 Walnut Street
Newton, MA.
Store phone: 617-244-6619
Sunday, June 7, 2009 at 2pm
Reading & Book Signing

Josh Weil and Tess Callahan signing books at Newtonville Books

Barnes & Noble at the Livingston Mall

112 Eisenhower Parkway
Livingston, NJ 07039
Store phone: 973-758-1310
Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 7pm
Reading & Book Signing

Barnes & Noble

Book Revue

313 New York Avenue
Huntington, New York 11743
Store Phone: 631-271-1442
Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 7 pm
Reading & Book Signing


Talking Leaves…Books

3158 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14214
Store Phone: 716-837-8554
Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 7 pm
Reading & Book Signing

Look who showed up for my reading at Talking Leaves!

Authors at Harbourfront Centre

York Quay Centre
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Reading & Book Signing
BookFair/Cocktail party at:
Catherdral School of Saint John

1047 Amsterdam Avenue
between 11th & 12th Streets
New York, NY 10025
Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 7:15 pm
Reading & Book Signing