Elie Adler is a 4th year medical student at Mount Sinai, currently taking a scholarly year at UCSF to do a fellowship in integrative medicine. Adler writes as a way to process her clinical and personal experiences. She believes that emotions play a major role in health and healing, and strives to be a present, open and empathetic care provider—qualities she believes are strengthened by her writing practice. She is interested in internal medicine and integrative approaches to health. Read her poem, "Pathways" in the Fall 2015 Intima.
L.N. Allen is a writer whose most recent poems can be found in Anglican Theological Review, Christianity and Literature, and Afternoon Light. She is currently preparing for publication a manuscript tentatively titled "Be Always Coming Home." Read her poem, "Comma" in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Photo by Lawrence Russ
Betsy Andersen is Founding Executive Director of Museo Eduardo Carrillo, an online museum (www.museoeduardocarrillo.org). In that role she served as Executive Producer for the award-winning documentary, “Eduardo Carrillo: A Life of Engagement”; she also curates online exhibits, develops educational programs that feature contemporary Chicano/a artists, and assists in the development of an upcoming traveling retrospective of Carrillo’s art. Andersen paints and draws in Santa Cruz, California. She received her BA from University of California, Santa Cruz in 1978, and as co- founder of the Mural Collaborative Woven Stories, Woven Lives with Betty Lou Sturm, her work with community groups making murals gained national recognition through Join Hands Day in early 2003. See her artwork, “My Father’s Blood Draw Kit” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Mandy Archibald (@Mandy_Archibald) is a Registered Nurse, visual artist, and PhDCandidate in the Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta. Since 2007 she has been practicing as a pediatric nurse in the surgery and oncology units at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta. In her PhD research, Archibald merged the arts and sciences to develop digital, patient-driven, arts and research-based educational materials for parents of children with asthma. Her research interests involve health communications and knowledge translation in child and maternal health, approaches to understanding and addressing the health literacy and educational needs of under-served populations, and mixed methods and arts-based research approaches. She is an advocate for coming at things differently, and foresees artistry, innovation, and creativity as increasingly integral to the health and research enterprises. See her artwork, "Living in Between" in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Ellis Avery, the author of two novels, a memoir, and a book of poetry, is the only writer to have received the American Library Association Stonewall Award for Fiction twice. Her novels, The Last Nude (Riverhead 2012) and The Teahouse Fire (Riverhead 2006) have also received Lambda, Ohioana, and Golden Crown awards, and her work has been translated into six languages. Avery edits an urban observations column for Public Books, works one-on-one with writers as a manuscript consultant, and teaches fiction writing at Columbia University. Read her work, “What She Left Me” in the Fall 2015 Intima and www.ellisavery.com.
Sara Backer is a New Hampshire writer whose poems appear this year in So to Speak, Crannóg (Ireland), Gargoyle, New Welsh Reader (UK), Rust + Moth, and many others. Her writing has been honored with fellowships from the Djerassi Resident Artist Program and Norton Island Artist Residency Program. Her chapbook Bicycle Lotus won the 2015 Turtle Island Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from FootHills Press. Follow her on Twitter at BackerSara or on sarabacker.com. Read her poem, “Needle” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
April Brenneman has lived with her husband in Tigard, Oregon for over 30 years where she has home educated and raised her five children. Since the diagnosis of cancer in her youngest child in 2004, she has been on a personal and spiritual quest to understand her son’s medical journey. The trauma of childhood cancer and the chronic physical and emotional issues of survivorship, for herself as well as her family, led her to the process of writing, blogging and creating art by utilizing her son’s x-rays. These natural therapies serve to bring awareness, healing and wholeness back to her life. In her spare time, she hikes and climbs mountains in her beloved Pacific Northwest. See her artwork, “Lament 1: A Passionate Expression of Grief or Sorrow” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Jeffrey Brown teaches as a Clinical Professor at New York Medical College and at Weill Cornell. He has written three published books and many papers, articles, and book chapters. Before residency training, he served in Vietnam as a combat Army doctor where he was awarded a Bronze Star for Valor. Caring for sick and injured children in local villages resulted in his eventual career choice to become a pediatrician. Brown recently retired after forty years of full-time practice in Westchester County NY and has been active in improving the healthcare that veterans receive from community physicians. He also lectures on how moral injuries from wartime experiences affect soldiers following their return to civilian life. Read his work, “The Moral Matrix of Wartime Medicine,” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Tim Cunningham is an emergency pediatric nurse who worked at an Ebola Treatment Unit in Sierra Leone from December 2014-February 2016. He is pursuing a doctorate degree in public health at the Mailman School of Public Health investigating ways to quantify laughter and the benefits of artistic psychosocial interventions in humanitarian settings. Cunningham runs marathons barefoot to fundraise for his favorite non-profit organization, Clowns Without Borders. Read his work, “The Sunshine Chairs” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Olivia DiLeonardo is a medical librarian at Nemours Children’s Hospital and an instructor at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando, Florida, where she teaches narrative medicine to students and faculty. Read her work, “Morning” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Lisa Kerr Dunn is an associate professor of writing and humanities at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she is a faculty member in the Writing Center and serves as chair of the University Humanities Committee. A scholar of American literature and a creative writer, she has published numerous works as Lisa Kerr, including an illness-themed poetry chapbook titled Read between the Sheets. Most recently, she edited an anthology titled Mysterious Medicine: The Doctor-Scientist Tales of Hawthorne and Poe, which will be published by Kent State University Press in 2016. Read her poem, “Borrowed Car” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Michael Fredrick Geisser writes in Warren, Rhode Island, in the tiny enclave of Touissetthat overlooks the Kickemuit River. He lives there with his wife, Anna, and their wonder Westy, Kosmo. Geisser writes non-fiction, fiction, and personal essays. His work has been published in Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Sliver of Stone, Monkeybicycle, the Journal of Microliterature, Flash Fiction Magazine, Grub Street Daily, and the book, Befriending Death: Over 100 Essays on Living and Dying. Read his work, “Night Trip” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Mari Georgeson, who is a Chicago, native, lives in New York City where she is currently working as a Public Health Educator. She strongly believes the relationship between patient and provider can be one of healing for both parties. Georgeson also writes fiction, and likes to spend her free time salsa dancing, or shushing down the highest mountain she can find. Read her work, “The Identification,” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Deborah Gorlin has published in a wide range of journals including Poetry, Antioch Review, American Poetry Review, Seneca Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Harvard Review, Green Mountains Review, Bomb, Connecticut Review, Women’s Review of Books, New England Review, and Best Spiritual Writing 2000. Her second poetry collection, The Life of the Garment, won the 2014 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize, Bauhan Publishing. In l996, she won the White Pine Poetry Press Prize for her first book of poems, Bodily Course. Gorlin holds an MFA from the University of California/Irvine. Since 1991, she has taught writing at Hampshire College, where she serves as co-director of the Writing Program. She is currently a poetry editor at The Massachusetts Review. Read her poem, “Out in the Open” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Susan Ito is author of the mini-memoir, The Mouse Room. She co-edited the anthology A Ghost At Heart’s Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption. She is a creative nonfiction editor at Literary Mama, and her work has appeared in Growing Up Asian American, Choice, Hip Mama, The Bellevue Literary Review, Making More Waves and elsewhere. She has performed her solo show, The Ice Cream Gene, around the United States. She writes and teaches at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, at Bay Path University and Mills College. Her website is http://susanito.com. Read her work, “Rounds” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Lori Duin Kelly
Lori Duin Kelly is Professor Emeritus of English at Carroll University, with a special interest in the intersection of gender and medical issues in the 19th century. Read her paper, "The Full Measure of Cheerfulness: Mary Ely, Weir Mitchell, and Victorian Views on Treating Melancholia" in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Ron Lands is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee where he teaches and practices hematology. Prior to his partial retirement, he practiced medical oncology and hematology near the community where he grew up, and has experienced both the privilege and burden of treating friends, acquaintances and a few relatives. His writing is drawn from that experience, and often deals with poor, uneducated people and how they grapple with matters of life and death. At the age of 50, he pursued an MFA at Queen’s University of Charlotte to better tell their story. He continues to practice because of his love for the biology in medicine and the stories that make ithuman. Read his poem, “The Appointment” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Elisabeth Sharp McKetta
Elisabeth Sharp McKetta teaches writing for Harvard Extension School and is the founder of Poetry for Strangers and the author of two books, The Creative Year: 52 Workshops for Writers and The Fairy Tales Mammals Tell. Her PhD (Univ. Texas 2009) focused on the intersections between fairy tales and autobiography. This is her second piece published in the Intima; her first piece ("A Bird in the Hand") was co-written with her college roommate Dr. Yo-El Ju. McKetta lives in Boise with her family. Read her poem, “The Faithful” in the Fall 2015 Intima. www.elisabethsharpmcketta.com
Colonel David McArthur trained as a Psychiatric Nurse and has post-graduate qualifications in Acute Care, ITU and Operating Theatre nursing. He commissioned in the Territorial Army in 1983 and deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was the Commanding Officer of Field Hospital Camp Bastion during 2010. Read his piece, " A Special Book Kept for the Purpose." Writing Patient Diaries: A Century of Skill in the Silence, from the Great War to Afghanistan and Beyond" in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Emily Mayhew is Historian in Residence in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London, where she works with the clinicians and scientists of the Centre for Blast Injury Studies. Read her piece, "A Special Book Kept for the Purpose." Writing Patient Diaries: A Century of Skill in the Silence, from the Great War to Afghanistan and Beyond" in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Jeremiah Mercurio is a writer, scholar, and librarian who holds a PhD in English literature from the University of St Andrews (Scotland), as well as masters degrees in creative writing and library science. He serves as a research & instruction librarian and visiting assistant professor of writing at Haverford College. Mercurio has published stories and poems in various journals and has research interest in cognitive narratology and fin-de-siècle British literary culture. He is currently completing a monograph on literary doodling in the manuscripts, notebooks, and personal libraries of 19th- and 20th-century British authors. Read his story, “The Archivist” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Joan Michelson is a writer whose publications include Toward the Heliopause (Poetic Matrix Publishers, USA, 2011), poems, fiction, and essays in British Council anthologies, New Writing, volumes 3, 4, 14, ‘Prognosis,’ The American Journal of Nursing, 2012, ‘The Next Week,’ The Best of Bellevue anthology. ‘Muslim Girl’ won the Hamish Canham Prize from the Poetry Society of England, 2012, ‘Daxon Fraser’ first prize, Torriano International Competition, 2014, ‘Stories," first prize, the Bristol Poetry Competition, 2015. ‘Eva Borrisov’ is from ‘Bloomvale,’ a sequence set in a Home for Assisted Living and giving a glimpse into individual lives within the aging ailing spirited community. Former Head of Creative Writing, University of Woverhampton, Michelson teaches creative writing to Medical Students at Kings College, University of London. Read her poem, “Eva Borrisov” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Alli Morgan is an MD/PhD student whose research is focused on the challenges of attending to chronic disease conditions. Morgan works as an Emergency Medical Technician and as a patient advocate. Her work also appears in the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine’s Blood and Thunder. Read her work, "Extended Bodies" in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Tim Muldoon, MS, is a fourth-year medical student at the University of California, Irvine, Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC). He spent the past year studying the history of community health activism at Columbia University's Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health. Read his story, "Stone Free" in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Pranav Nanda is a third year medical student at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He previously studied mathematics at Stanford University and psychology and education at the University of Cambridge. Read his work, “Suffer Little Children” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Taryn Möller Nicoll
Taryn Möller Nicoll (BFA (Hons), Otis College of Art and Design ’12) is a South African-born artist who works with doctors, scientists and patients to depict physiological/emotional transformations experienced during pregnancy, reconstructive surgery, neurodegenerative disease, cancer and more. Taryn is an Instructor of Fine Art at Louisiana State University, Artist in Residence at Louisiana State University Neuroscience Center of Excellence, and a guest lecturer at universities throughout the United States, Germany and South Africa. See her artwork, “Knockout Genes” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Cara Gael O’Regan
Cara Gael O’Regan is an artist, health advocate, and freelance marketing professional with two decades of lived experience with complex chronic illness. She understands from first hand knowledge the importance of the patient experience, and wants to give them a voice in the conversations about healthcare that so rarely include actual sick people. She has been working on a podcast about chronic illness and disability called In Sickness + In Health, which will be launching in October (insicknesspod.com and on social media @insicknesspod). O’Regan tweets about life and living with chronic illness @bimpse, and you can find her work on bimpse.com. See her artwork, “Syndrome” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Charles Ethan Paccione has always been interested in the strong bidirectional communication between the mind and the body. He performed contemplative neuroscience research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he took part in studies using meditation to express cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes in toddlers. In New York he developed the Contemplative Therapy for Cancer Care program for cancer patients suffering from anxiety and depression at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He has published several articles in various neuroscience journals and in April of 2013 gave a TEDx Talk titled Mindful Medicine about his research and work with patients. Paccione, M.S., Narrative Medicine, Columbia University, is studying for his second Masters Degree in the Spirituality Mind-Body Clinical Psychology Program at Columbia University´s Teachers College. Read his work, “Narrative Mindfulness” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Jenny Qi is getting her PhD in Biomedical Science at UC San Francisco. Her essays and poems have been published in various journals, including The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and Off the Coast. She is finishing her first chapbook. Read her poem, “Writing Elegies Like Robert Hass” in the Fall 2015 Intima and more about Qi at www.jqiwriter.com.
Jessie Roth is a creative writer, photographer, and, most recently, an academic interested in the intersection of art and science as narrative. In May 2015, she earned her B.A. in Narrative Psychology at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, with a double minor in Child-Adolescent Mental Health Studies and Creative Writing. While at NYU, Jessie transcribed her lived experience concerning mental health into an academic narrative as a means of making sense out of what was happening to her, giving weight to the phrase “the personal is political.” She believes in the power of narrative as a therapeutic device, and most of her work examines the ways in which storytelling can be used to enhance psychology research and clinical practice. Read her story, “I See Sky” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Ahmed Salahudeen was born in Abu Dhabi to an Indian father and Lebanese mother. His family moved to Minnesota when he was a child and subsequently to Jackson, Mississippi when he was about six years old. He completed his undergraduate degree at Tulane University and attended medical school at Texas Tech University. He is currently a third year Internal Medicine resident at the University of Houston Health Science Center in Houston, Texas. See his artwork, "Nervous" in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Dean Schillinger, M.D. has authored a number of short stories, one of which was featured in the AMA’s compilation of best short stories, A Piece of My Mind. He is UCSF Professor of Medicine and primary care physician at San Francisco General Hospital. Schillinger serves as Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine and directs the Health Communications Program and served as Chief of the Diabetes Control Program for California from 2008-13. He contributed to IOM Reports on Health Literacy and Attributes of Health Literate Organizations and was honored with awards from the Institute for Healthcare Advancement Research Award, National Patient Safety Foundation, and APHA for his contributions to public health communication. He co-created a youth-led diabetes prevention social media campaign, The Bigger Picture, http://thebiggerpicture.org/. Read his work, “The Quixotic Pursuit of Quality” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Daniel Shalev is a native New Yorker and a first year resident in psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. His interests include palliative care and medical humanities. He has a particular interest in physician writers and narratives of caregiving. Read his work, “Night River” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Carol Smallwood's most recent books include Divining the Prime Meridian (WordTech Communications, 2015); Women, Work, and the Web (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015); Writing After Retirement (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014); Water, Earth, Air, Fire, and Picket Fences (Lamar University Press, 2014). Carol has founded and supports humane societies. Read her poem, “Acoustic Tiles” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Deborah Starr, M.S., Narrative Medicine, Columbia University is a licensed therapist in California, with a dynamic background in psychology and neuroscience. Her dissertation and early work was with eating disorders, having most recently spent ten years in litigation consulting. Her Narrative Medicinestudy has led her to focus on contemporary end-of-life issues and death in our culture. Watch her video, “Plain Talk” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Kate Swenson is a recent graduate of Oregon State University’s Honors College, where she completed a degree in Philosophy with a Certificate in Medical Humanities. A native of Portland, Oregon, Swenson also completed a creative thesis in the realm of Narrative Medicine, from which “On Schedule” is excerpted. Her areas of particular interest are adolescent and female health, phenomenology and embodiment, and narrative bioethics. Swenson fulfilled the prerequisites for medical school, but is as of yet unsure whether medical school is in her future. She was one of two Oregon State students who attended the Symposium in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University during June 2014, a program that deeply affected and inspired Kate’s work, and opened her up to the world of Narrative Medicine. She currently lives in Colorado, and is contemplating the next chapter of her life. Read her work, “On Schedule” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Daniel Waters is a native of Southern New Jersey and has been cardiothoracic surgeon practicing at Mercy Medical Center in Iowa for over 25 years. He is a 1982 graduate of the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey/School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his specialty training at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, in 1989. Waters had his first story published as a 3rd year medical student and has had a number of short stories and essays published since then, as well authoring two small books of surgical advice. Still in full-time practice, he is currently pursuing graduate studies in Narrative Medicine at Lenoir-Rhyne University, Asheville, NC. Read his work, “’Meaningfull’” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Joanna White, a music professor, returned to an early love of creative writing after performing on a concert with a poet, and is particularly grateful for the medical humanities dialog. She studies with Robert Fanning, Darrin Doyle, and Jeffrey Bean, and has works appearing or forthcoming in The Examined Life Journal, Ars Medica, Pulse, Cape Rock, The MacGuffin, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Milo Review, Poetalk, Hummingbird, Temenos, KYSO Flash, Chest Journal, Medical Literary Messenger, Minerva Rising, and Naugatuck River Review, among others. She lives in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan with her husband and has a daughter and son in college. Read her poem, “The Nacirema” in the Fall 2015 Intima.
Kriota Willberg focuses on the intersection between body sciences and creative practice through graphic narratives, such as Friction 5, which appears in this issue of Intima, as well as her self-care comics for artists ((NO) PAIN!, First Aid for Drawing Injuries), a mini-comic series called Pathology Laffs, and thecinematologist.blogspot.com, which examines medical themes through the lens of Hollywood films. Willberg is a massage therapist working in the Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. KriotaWelt.blogspot.com