Filmed at a large teaching hospital in Florida, Healing Words tells the stories of patients whose lives have been dramatically changed as a result of Dr. John Graham-Pole and poetry therapist John Fox’s incorporation of poetry into their recovery process. This film affirms that art can build compassion between doctor and patient and facilitate healing among the most critically ill.


Still You

edited by Joan Baranow

Still You gathers together poems that invite us into private rooms of suffering and solace. In these profoundly personal stanzas, we recognize our own encounters with nature’s inevitable blows. By turns we fall ill, we recover, we care for a loved one, we prepare for loss. At these times poetry can open the door to the sickroom and offer a potent physic for the isolation that comes with illness. Here you will find a wife’s fierce resistance to cancer’s attack as well as the courage to accept a feared diagnosis. You will find poems of humor, joy, gratitude, and consolation. Ultimately, a resilient spirit binds us together. As poet Gail Tierney says, “whatever it may be, you’re not alone.”

— Joan Baranow, WRP editor and author of In the Next Life


Mercy by Judith H. Montgomery

These poems offer an intimate look at the long journey of treatment, an unflinching search for hidden meaning in medical tests and operations, the equipment that houses some new form of data, those splintered sparks of hope. Yet despite the harshness of medical reality, these poems render butterflies on our sleeves, “fireflies in late twilight” artfully knit into the pattern here, yielding healing insight. Montgomery’s craft is equal to her story, evoking startling images in exquisite lines, which break into our psyches, our own “watchful waiting.”

— Carol Barrett, Ph.D., author of Calling in the Bones and Pansies

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Breath Enough

BREATH ENOUGH by Vivian Teter

What a painfully beautiful book this is: poems tenaciously disciplined in form yet wrought from the sorrow of a sister’s loss to brain cancer. Breath Enough is the perfect title for this collection, for never does Teter get sentimental. She leaves us instead with just enough breath, just enough, with these poems that are in Yeats’ words, “cold and passionate as the dawn.”

— Bruce Guernsey, author of From Rain: Poems, 1970-2010

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floating world by Rick Benjamin

Time, deep time, is living in the resonant poems of Rick Benjamin. It’s amazing how legacies of family and habitation may be so neatly shaped and contained in lilting stanzas. Benjamin has a clear tongue for saying and a fine hold on mystery. After reading his poems, the world feels both more floating and more firm.

– naomi shihab nye

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ULTRASOUND by Elizabeth Percer

In these compelling and ambitious poems, Elizabeth Percer interrogates “the murky significance” of life: its genesis, tenuousness, and our hope for its very existence. As if arguing that life begins in the root of a word, Percer’s moving and miraculous poems echo with a curiosity both “tender” and “invasive,” and prove, by their primal and presumptive longing, that language itself can be umbilical: at once clinical and lyrical.

– Robin Ekiss

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sleep not sleep by harvey ellis

Wow! Lovely. Stark. Rich. Strange. I’d say these poems spy out the mind’s quickest turns and flights and falls. They are comprehensively alert in the present of their making, even as they range widely in subject matter.

– Li-young Lee

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PASSING LOVE by Rick Benjamin

The artful compression in these fine poems enriches insight, magnifies detail, and allows for more spacious contemplation. Word by word, revelation after revelation, Rick Benjamin has given us a memorable collection of poems.

– Margaret Gibson

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