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Published on April 23, 2015

Cone Health Explores the Juncture of Poetry and Medicine

For people coping with accidents or disease—as well as those who care for them— poetry can provide a way to deal with these stressful situations. The Cone Health Department for Spiritual Care and Wholeness invites people to “Writing To Heal: a Poetry and Medicine Literary Festival.” The event is 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, at The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital.

“The illnesses and accidents that happen to us or our loved ones can unleash a world of emotion,” says poet and Cone Health Instructional Designer Steve Cushman. “But writing poetry or taking inspiration from poems, allows our patients to tell their stories as they cope with a difficult situation. Caregivers deal with complex emotional experiences every day, but again, writing about that experience is one way to make sense of the work we choose to do.”   

The festival will help attendees learn more about the creative intersection of poetry and medicine. Award-winning North Carolina poets Grey Brown, Terri Kirby Erickson, Mike Gaspenny, Mark Smith-Soto and Jacinta White will read from their works and lead writing workshops. 

Patients, doctors, nurses and other caregivers are invited to share their writings as well as the inspirational writings of others. A journal of writing may be produced from the workshop.

The festival is free. People wanting to participate in “Writing To Heal: a Poetry and Medicine Literary Festival” should send poems, or poems they love, related to health care, healing, and the patient or provider experience to

For more information or to register, the public can send an email to that same address.