Mark Nepo Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Mark Nepo        

Bestselling Author, Poet & Philosopher

Mark Nep moved and inspired millions of people with his No. 1 New York Times bestseller "The Book of Awakening," a spiritual daybook that draws on his awakening through cancer to offer life lessons from all the spiritual traditions. Beloved as a poet, teacher and storyteller, Mark has been called “one of the finest spiritual guides of our time,” “a consummate storyteller” and “an eloquent spiritual teacher.” His work is widely accessible and used by many and his books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Having taught in the fields of poetry, health and spirituality for 40 years, Mark keynotes regularly for conferences and corporations, works with healing and medical communities, including chaplains and therapists, speaks and offers workshops for colleges and universities and leads spiritual retreats. Like his books, his presentations are filled with helpful instructions on how to return to what matters in life and how to stay in relationships. Ultimately, he teaches us how to act wholeheartedly, so we can inhabit the gifts we are born with and find the language of our own wisdom.

In 1987, Mark was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. The heart of that journey and its aftermath has greatly informed his work. Ever since, he has been a student of all paths and his work has explored the common center and unity of all spiritual traditions, focusing on how we can experience that unity when we can lean into life and hold nothing back.

A bestselling author, he has published 15 books and recorded nine audio projects. Recent works include: "Reduced to Joy" (2013), "Seven Thousand Ways to Listen," which won the 2012 Books for a Better Life Award, "Staying Awake" (2012), "Holding Nothing Back" (2012), "As Far As the Heart Can See" (2011), "Finding Inner Courage" (2011), and "Surviving Has Made Me Crazy" (2007), as well as audio books of "The Book of Awakening," "Finding Inner Courage" and "As Far As the Heart Can See" (2011).

Mark has appeared several times with Oprah Winfrey on her "Super Soul Sunday" program on OWN TV, and has been interviewed by Oprah as part of her SIRIUS XM Radio show, "Soul Series." He has also been interviewed by Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" about his New York Times bestseller "The Book of Awakening." "The Exquisite Risk" was cited by Spirituality & Practice as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2005, calling it “one of the best books we’ve ever read on what it takes to live an authentic life.” Mark’s collected essays appear in "Unlearning Back to God: Essays on Inwardness." Other books of poetry include "Suite for the Living" (2004), "Inhabiting Wonder" (2004), "Acre of Light" (1994), "Fire Without Witness" (1988), and "God, the Maker of the Bed, and the Painter" (1988).

In late 2010, his book "The Book of Awakening" was chosen by Oprah for her “Ultimate Favorite Things” show. “Mark Nepo is a poet,” Oprah said. “He’s an author and philosopher and has been through two different cancers. So when he writes, he writes purely from his heart.” Oprah was given "The Book of Awakening" as a birthday gift and wanted to do one lesson from the book every morning. “If we all do it together, we can begin to open our hearts, change the world and begin to have the life you want by being present to the life you have now,” she said.

Mark’s latest book is "Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred," which won the 2012 Books for a Better Life Award. He offers new lessons and insights on the importance of giving our full attention to all that life has to offer.

Mark’s books and teachings are deep yet accessible because his wisdom is that of one whose close brush with death has enabled a rich understanding of the power of the human soul. He does not discount our flaws, our failings, our human weaknesses. On the contrary, his great tenderness for our imperfections is precisely what makes his audience feel so held—both in our human capacity and in our interconnectedness with one another. As a cancer survivor, Mark devotes his writing and teaching to the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship.

Speech Topics

Seven Thousand Ways to Listen

Uncovering the work of being and the wisdom of care, awakening the conscious heart.

Finding Inner Courage

How to find our way to our core, to stand by our core, and to then sustain the practice of living from our core.

Reduced to Joy

The art of acceptance and working with what we’re given, and the gift of vulnerability.

The Healer's Call

The call, art, dangers, and rewards of integrating the medicine of what we know with the medicine of who we are.

The Practice of Being Human

How to discover our gifts and make good use of them in the world.


Poet Mark Nepo Shares His Biggest Spiritual Lessons From Battling ...

After three years, two cycles of cancer and an aggressive series of chemotherapy , poet Mark Nepo's body was weak and broken. Still, he says he could feel his ...

Mark Nepo And Oprah Discuss How We Can Live A More Poetic Life ...

While most people would describe Mark Nepo, spiritual author of Seven Thousand Ways to Listen, Reduced to Joy and The Book of Awakening as a poet,  ...

Related Speakers View all

More like Mark