CONTRIBUTORS | Spring 2019
If you'd like to read the work of a specific contributor, click on the photo and be linked to the work.
Jennifer Abcug - "Daddy" (Non-Fiction)
Jennifer Abcug is a psychotherapist in New York City where she maintains a private practice focused on women’s life transitions. Formerly, she worked at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center providing counseling to patients and families. While there, she experienced the privilege of being present with others facing the most personal of crises. Along with this came a daily dose of humility and a grounding in shared humanity. Writing is how Abcug makes meaning of bearing witness. Her non-fiction essay “Daddy” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Pat Arnow “A Death in Chicago, 1972: Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and My Family” (Studio Art)
Pat Arnow is a photographer, writer, and more lately, a cartoonist in New York. She often writes and draws stories about death. “Posey’s Plan: A Memoir of a Timely Death” is the story of a reclusive woman in a big high rise and a small, informal community that made it possible for her to choose her own end. Arnow presented “Posey’s Plan” at the Comics and Medicine conference in 2018. She also exhibited illustrations from it and spoke on a comics panel at Reimagining Death in New York—a death panel! With “Dad,” she tells the story of her father’s death, which involved Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, because it’s a personal story from a time of momentous change in the way we think about death. Her artwork “A Death in Chicago, 1972: Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and My Family” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine
Nikhil Barot "Numb" (Non-Fiction)
Nikhil Barot is an Associate Professor of Medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and practices Pulmonary & Critical Medicine and Palliative Care Medicine at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. He has written essays and poetry for Nautilus, The Smart Set, Open Letters Monthly, and Medical Humanities. His non-fiction essay “Numb” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Julia Michie Bruckner "Peppermint Oil" (Field Notes)
Julia Michie Bruckner is a writer, pediatrician and mother of two in Colorado. Find more about her at juliamd.com and @JuliaMDWriter. Her Field Notes essay “Peppermint Oil” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Matthew Bucknor "The Birth Plan" (Fiction)
Matthew Bucknor is an Assistant Professor of Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco, where he serves as Chair of the department’s Diversity and Inclusion committee. He received his medical degree from the Stanford School of Medicine and is a member of the Pegasus Physician Writers at Stanford. His short story “The Birth Plan” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Simona Carini “Diagnosis” (Poetry)
Simona Carini, who was born in Perugia, Italy, is a graduate of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy and Mills College. Carini writes nonfiction and poetry and has been published in various print and online venues. She lives in Northern California with her husband and works as an academic researcher in Medical Information Science. Find more of her work at simonacarini.com. Her poem “Diagnosis” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine
Prerana Chatty “Auscultation of a Failing Heart” (Poetry) and “A Parent’s Trust” (Field Notes)
Prerana Chatty is a third-year medical student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Prior to medical school, she received her BA in Biological Sciences with a minor in Creative Writing from Cornell University. She firmly believes that the core of medicine is made up of patients' stories and hopes to continue to integrate narrative medicine into her career. She will be applying for a residency in pediatrics this fall and is looking forward to the next step of her journey. Outside of medicine, she has a voracious love of tea, dogs, and outdoor walks. Her poem “Auscultation of a Failing Heart” and Field Notes essay “A Parent’s Trust” appear in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Orly Farber "Watch and Wait" (Non-Fiction)
Orly Farber is a medical student at Stanford University School of Medicine. She is passionate about bioethics, medical humanities, and journalism. Farber has written stories on medical education, health research, illness experiences, and more as a reporting intern for STAT News. Several of her articles have been reprinted in The Boston Globe. She is also a regular contributor to the Stanford Medicine blog, Scope, where she reflects on her time as a student. Before starting at Stanford, Farber studied allergic disease at the National Institutes of Health; she now focuses on more qualitative research projects. Her non-fiction piece “Watch and Wait” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
William French "Waiting" (Fiction)
William French is a retired respiratory therapist who throughout his long career worked in more than twenty different clinical venues. He is also a professor emeritus and has published research-based nonfiction, some poetry and short fiction, including two books, Breath of Life: Poems and Stories from the Front Lines of Health Care. His latest work appears in the West Texas Literary Review. He has a MA from Ohio State and a diploma from University of Chicago. His short story “Waiting” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Jonathan Garfinkel "Diabetes Diary" (Non-Fiction)
Jonathan Garfinkel is a writer whose work has been translated into twelve languages. He is the author of the book of poems Glass Psalms (Turnstone Press, 2005) and the chapbook Bociany (Storks) (KFB, 2017). He has written numerous plays including The Trials of John Demjanjuk: A Holocaust Cabaret (2004), the Governor-General shortlisted House of Many Tongues (2009) and Cockroach (2015); they have been produced throughout Canada, Germany, Russia and Ukraine. His memoir Ambivalence: Crossing the Israel/Palestine Divide (2008) was published in five countries to critical acclaim. Jonathan is also an award-winning non-fiction writer and has been anthologized in Cabin Fever: The Best New Canadian Non-Fiction. His first novel, The Altruist, is forthcoming from House of Anansi (2020). Named by the Toronto Star as “one to watch,” Garfinkel is currently doing a PhD in Cultural Studies in the field of Medical Humanities at University of Alberta. Find more of his work at jonathan-garfinkel.com. His non-fiction piece “Diabetes Diary” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Brandon Grill "A Brother Like You" (Poetry)
Brandon Grill is working towards his MS in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. He works as an EMT at Lenox Hill Hospital and sits on the executive board of the Central Park Medical Unit, a nonprofit volunteer ambulance service. His passion for improving communication between patients and clinicians has drawn him towards Narrative Medicine, and he hopes to attend medical school in the near future. His poem “A Brother Like You” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Laura G. Goetz "Cerros" (Poetry)
Laura G. Goetz is an overly enthusiastic medical student (at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons), writer, photographer, runner, and research dork, with a penchant for cooking without recipes and referencing Audre Lorde, Donna Haraway, and Buffy. Her goal (as both an artist and a doctor-in-training) is to help people feel seen. Her prior training includes an MS in transgender hormone therapy and BS in biochemistry and gender studies, focusing on interdisciplinary scientific research informed by individual embodied experiences. More of her poetry and photography can be found in SIREN, Vitality, Broad Recognition, La Madrugada, and Reflexions, and at lauragouldgoetz.bandcamp.com and @lauragouldgoetz on Instagram. Her poem “Cerros” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Supreetha Gubbala "Glitterless" (Field Notes)
Supreetha Gubbala is in her fourth-year at University of Massachusetts Medical School and heading to University of New Mexico for her family medicine residency. A former journalist and global rugrat raised in four countries by immigrant parents, she writes most often of navigating her many identities: a first generation physician, a South Asian woman and a woman of color. Her essays “A Fine Balance” and “White Coats and Black Magic” have received first place and second place respectively at the Gerald F. Berlin Creative Writing Awards. “A Fine Balance” was later published in Worcester Medicine, The Berkshire Medical Journal, and Streams of Consciousness. Her poems “Léon” and “Where Loneliness Lives” received honorable mention and third place respectively also in the Gerald F. Berlin Creative Writing Awards. Her Field Notes essay “Glitterless” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Yoshiko Iwai "The Witness" (Fiction)
Yoshiko Iwai is a writer and dancer from Japan, living in New York City. She is a master’s candidate at Columbia University for her MFA in Creative Nonfiction and MS in Narrative Medicine. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA in Dance and BS in Neuroscience, and was also an editor/writer for The Michigan Daily. At Michigan, she was the recipient of the Earl V. Moore Award for Excellence in Dance and the Hopwood Nonfiction Award. At Columbia, she is a Chair’s Fellow for the Graduate Writing Program and teaches creative writing in prison facilities as a member of Columbia Artist/Teachers. Her non-fiction essay “The Witness’” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Lisa Jacobs "March Manic" (Non-Fiction) and "Perilous Privilege" (Field Notes)
Lisa Jacobs, MD, MBA, is a fellow in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Stanford University, where she serves as an assistant director for The Pegasus Physician Writers. She was the 2019 recipient of the Irvin David Yalom, MD Literary Award for an excerpt from her first book, which she is currently writing. Dr. Jacobs did her undergraduate studies at Cornell University, earned an MBA from the University of Rochester, and completed medical school at Brown University. As a resident physician in psychiatry at The University of Pennsylvania, she was the founding editor of The Penndulum magazine. Dr. Jacobs has a private practice in adolescent and adult psychiatry in Palo Alto, California. Her Field Notes essay “Perilous Privilege” and non-fiction piece “March Manic” appear in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Alyse Keller "The Gypsy" (Non-Fiction)
Alyse Keller is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at CUNY Kingsborough. Her research looks at the intersection of performance and Narrative Medicine, and specifically focuses on her family’s experience with maternal multiple sclerosis. She resides in Brooklyn, NY. Her non-fiction essay “The Gypsy” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Richard Kravitz "R&R" (Poetry)
Richard Kravitz is a psychiatrist at the VA Medical Center in West Haven, CT and teaches psychotherapy and clinical interviewing in the Yale Department of Psychiatry. His poems have been published in JAMA, The British Journal of Psychiatry and Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine. His poem “R&R” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Karl Gustav Kroeppler "Intractable 2" (Studio Art)
Karl Gustav Kroeppler received his MFA in Drawing and Painting and BA in Studio Art from the Katherine K. Herberger College of Fine Art at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. He has exhibited in local and national venues including Joan Derryberry Gallery, Tennessee Tech University, Spiva Gallery, Missouri Southern State University Gallery, The Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia, Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, Phoenix Art Museum, Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky, The Cancer Institute, St. Joseph Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland and Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, California. Kroeppler is an adjunct professor at Georgia State University’s Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design. His artwork “Intractable2” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Ron Lands "Decision" (Poetry)
Ron Lands is a semi-retired hematologist at UT Medical Center, Knoxville, Tennessee and an MFA alumnus of Queens University of Charlotte. He practiced medicine for many years near the community in East Tennessee where he grew up and was privileged to treat strangers, lifelong friends and a few relatives. He has published short stories, poems and essays in literary and medical journals. His writing is about those experiences. His poem “Decision” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Katya Lavine "MRI Safe" (Poetry)
Katya Lavine is an incoming medical student at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University. She received her B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles where she studied short fiction. Prior to medical school, she worked at a global health nonprofit, Watsi, and in clinical research at Stanford. Her poetry has been published in the Journal of War, Literature, and the Arts. Her poem “MRI Safe” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Beth Lown "Three Home Visits" (Poetry)
Beth Lown is Chief Medical Officer of the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, Boston MA, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Director of Faculty Development and the Fellowship in Health Professional Education at Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge MA. As an intern, she began writing poems as a way to remember and honor her patients, to try to understand their experiences and to make meaning of her own. Now retired from clinical practice, she finds joy in supporting the empathy and compassion of those who touch the care of patients and families. She continues developing and spreading programs, and teaching and researching the impact of these essential foundations of caring. Her poem “Three Home Visits” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Zainab Mabizari "Room 427" (Non-Fiction)
Zainab Mabizari is an Algerian American medical student at Baylor College of Medicine and a graduate of the Narrative Medicine Master’s program at Columbia University. She is a writer and poet passionate about health policies, the care of the underserved and underrepresented, social justice and activism as it pertains to medicine, and medical humanities. In her free time you can catch her performing slam poetry for Performing Arts Mosaic, a NYC based non-profit organization that aims to elevate the voices of underrepresented artists. Her non-fiction piece “Room 427” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Kerry Malawista "Personal Effects" (Non-Fiction)
Kerry Leddy is a writer and psychoanalyst and co-chair of New Directions in Writing. Her personal essays have appeared nationally in newspapers, magazines and literary journals including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Zone 3, Washingtonian Magazine, Voices, Intima, Delmarva Review, Arlington Magazine and The Account Magazine. Her psychology books, include: “Wearing my Tutu to Analysis and Other Stories” (2011), The Therapist in Mourning: From the Faraway Nearby (2013), both with Columbia University Press, and Who’s Behind the Couch (2017) with Routledge Press. Her non-fiction essay “Personal Effects” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Benjamin Mazer "Death’s Other Kingdom: Reflections on Uncertainty in Pathology" (Field Notes)
Benjamin Mazer is a pathology resident at Yale-New Haven Hospital. His Field Notes essay “Death’s Other Kingdom: Reflections on Uncertainty in Pathology” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Justin Millan "Edentulism" (Non-Fiction)
Justin Millan is a writer and registered nurse working in long-term acute care in New England. His non-fiction essay “Edentulism” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Giannina Muncey "We Should All Be Storytellers" (Field Notes)
Giannina (Lissa Garces-Ambrossi) Muncey, MD, is an intensivist, writer and mom. She is the founder of the first ICU in Jupiter, Florida, where she lives with her husband and son. Dr. Muncey graduated college Phi Beta Kappa at 18 years old, then received her M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine after winning the Cushing Neurosurgery Research Award. She trained at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, winning the Accomplished Teaching Award in Surgery. She is a former journalist whose articles have appeared in The Nation. Her Field Notes essay “We Should All Be Storytellers” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Jeffrey Newman "Wisdom in the End: Folktales and Narrative Technique in End-of-Life Palliation” (Academic)
Jeff Newman is a Professor in the Institute for Health & Aging at UCSF. Trained in Preventive and Internal Medicine, his previous positions were in the US Public Health Service, the California Medicare Quality Improvement Organization, and Sutter Health. Current research and community project foci are advance care planning, medical ethics, and the arts. He also writes stories about clinical epiphanies. “Wisdom in the End: Folktales and Narrative Technique in End-of-Life Palliation” by Newman and co-author Henry Sussman appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Rory O'Sullivan "The Country Doctor" (Fiction)
Rory O’Sullivan is a practicing family physician in Toronto, Canada. Before starting
in medicine he worked briefly in newspaper journalism, and has maintained an interest in creative and non-fiction writing. His medical career has taken him to rural and remote parts of four different Canadian provinces, and he feels privileged to have collected the extraordinary stories of people and places along the way. He is passionate about Indigenous health, care of the elderly and care of vulnerable populations. His short story “The Country Doctor” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Sarah Se-Jung Oh "Hard as Nails" (Studio Art)
Sarah Se-Jung Oh is a graduating high school senior at Korea International School. Originally from Australia, she moved to South Korea about 4 years ago. Oh was drawn to Narrative Medicine because it encompasses her values: literature, medicine, and most importantly empathy. After publishing her AP Capstone Research Paper on the application of Narrative Medicine to South Korea in the Intima 2018 Fall issue, Oh has taken a more creative approach to her understanding of Narrative Medicine—art—creating works that reveal the truths of today's healthcare. Integrating her love for writing and drawing, the artwork was made in an effort to fortify the power of embedding the arts with medicine. Her artwork “Hard as Nails” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Suzanne Ohlmann "Hallelujah" (Non-Fiction)
Suzanne Ohlmann is a writer and registered nurse who manages rural heart failure patients in south Texas. She received an MFA from Wilkes University, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from St. Olaf College. A native Nebraskan, she currently lives in San Antonio with her husband and a quintet of dogs and cats. She has had prior work published by the Associated Press in both magazines and online journals. Her non-fiction piece “Hallelujah” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Barry Peters "Pascal, The Hard Way" (Poetry)
Barry Peters lives in Durham, NC, with his wife, the writer Maureen Sherbondy. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The American Journal of Poetry, Best New Poets 2018, Connecticut River Review, The Healing Muse, Medical Literary Messenger, Miramar, The National Poetry Review, Negative Capability, Poetry East, Presence, Rattle, South Florida Poetry Journal, The Southampton Review, Sport Literate, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere. His poem “Pascal, The Hard Way” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Marianne R. Petit “The Breath Series: Anatomical Flap Book” (Studio Art)
Marianne R. Petit is an artist and educator who explores fairy tales, anatomical obsessions, and collective storytelling through mechanical books that combine animation and paper craft. Her artwork has appeared internationally in festivals and exhibitions and been featured in publications such as Hyperallergic, Make, and Wired, and broadcast on IFC and PBS. Her movable books can be found in numerous museum and library collections as well as University and private collections. She is an Associate Arts Professor at New York University Tisch ITP, and was the co-founder of the Interactive Media Arts Program at NYU Shanghai. Additionally, she serves as an Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Network Academic Planning for the University and received the University Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016. Her artwork “Breath Series: Anatomical Flap Book” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Vik Reddy "The Weight" (Field Notes)
Vik Reddy is a practicing plastic surgeon and Vice President of Medical Affairs at Wellstar Kennestone and Windy Hill Hospitals. He has written about both healthcare policy and his own experiences as a healthcare provider. His work has been published in The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press, Bridge Magazine, Crain's Detroit, KevinMD, The Healthcare Blog and Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine. He lives with his family in Marietta, Georgia. His Field Notes essay “The Weight” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Lailah Dainin Shima "Body of Wisdom" (Poetry)
Lailah Dainin Shima lives and writes in Wisconsin, where she’s a single mom of teenagers, an aspiring hospice chaplain, and a practitioner of Zen Buddhism. It also so happens that she has survived cancer, finding deeper healing every step of the way. Her poem “Body of Wisdom” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Ethan Stonerook “A Gullah Woman Comes to Clinic” (Poetry)
Ethan Stonerook is a native Floridian, fisherman, former ecologist, and physician assistant in bone marrow transplant at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Throughout his career in medicine he has used creative writing as a means to honor and memorialize patients and their families. He is particularly interested in the use of creative writing as a way to make meaning in the context of life limiting and altering illness. He is passionate about teaching and mentoring PA students. He is currently conducting a pilot project with staff and faculty at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Most importantly, Ethan is really excited about his role as a spouse and father. His poem “A Gullah Woman Comes to Clinic” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Henry Sussman “Wisdom in the End: Folktales and Narrative Technique in End-of-Life Palliation” (Academic)
Henry Sussman received his PhD in Comparative Literature from Johns Hopkins University in 1975 and taught Comparative and German Literatures at universities including Johns Hopkins, SUNY Buffalo, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rutgers, and Yale. At Yale, he evolved a course in German fairy tales out of his interests in critical theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis and cybernetics. His books on literary criticism and theory include: Playful Intelligence: Digitizing Tradition (Bloomsbury, 2014); The Task of The Critic (Fordham, 2005); The Aesthetic Contract (Stanford, 1997); Afterimages of Modernity (Johns Hopkins, 1990), and The Hegelian Aftermath (Johns Hopkins, 1981). “Wisdom in the End: Folktales and Narrative Technique in End-of-Life Palliation” by Sussman and co-author Jeffrey Newman appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Tharshika Thangarasa "Stroked" (Studio Art)
Tharshika Thangarasa is a daughter, sister, friend and fourth year medical student at the University of Ottawa. She cultivates her own wellness at the intersection of art and medicine, and hopes to continue to embrace the humanities on her journey to becoming a psychiatrist. Her artwork “Stroked” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Xanthia Tucker "Neuropathy" (Poetry)
Xanthia Tucker is a third-year medical student at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Before deciding to become a doctor, she studied comparative literature, theater, and creative writing at Harvard College. She dreams of a humanistic and artistic career in medicine, inspired by her childhood idol, William Carlos Williams, and her grandmother, a painter. She also loves to sing, cook, backpack, and take naps with her cat, Elio. Her poem “Neuropathy” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Kevin Want "Trisomy 18" (Poetry)
Kevin Wang is a first-year medical student at the Yale School of Medicine. His work has been featured in Nature, The Yale Daily News, The Key Reporter, and others. His poetry won second place in Yale’s Marguerite Rush-Lerner Creative Writing and Art Contest in 2019, and he currently leads the YSM Writer’s Workshop. Kevin graduated summa cum laude and junior Phi Beta Kappa from Yale College in 2017. His poem “Trisomy 18” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Laura-Anne White "Vacant Lots" (Non-Fiction)
Laura-Anne White, RN, BSN graduated from the University of Texas. She currently works with adults suffering from leukemia at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a clinical nurse. Her writing and artwork provide balance to her life and have appeared in the Intima, Hektoen International, and the Healing Muse. Her non-fiction “Vacant Lots” appears in the Spring 2019 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.