An invitation to Narrative Healthcare

January 4, 2021

Dear Doctors,

While you have been working so hard at the frontlines of the pandemic, a group of physicians, counselors, and writers in the Narrative Healthcare program at Lenoir-Rhyne have created a website offering poems, writing prompts, art, and music as sustenance during the pandemic. The site has more than 5000 visits. The Academy of American Poets is more than delighted that we are posting the poems they share. I have heard from some doctors that on some days a poem can help alleviate the stress and horror of what you see every day. That is the spirit in which this website exists, a quiet sustenance.

I also invite you to share your own writings, be they poems, reflections, stories, or something you just came up with without knowing for sure what it is. 

For me, writing is a means of decompression. It also resembles play even if I am writing about something difficult. It relaxes my mind. Whether you are a seasoned writer or interested in starting, please send me what you have written. I will post it to the site, and together we can build a community of healthcare writers and poets and see where it leads.

A little about me, I am the coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at Lenoir-Rhyne University's Graduate School in Asheville. I launched the Narrative Healthcare Program in 2013 after attending training in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and exploring Poetic Medicine and Expressive Writing. These modalities intrigued me as a writer who is also the daughter and grand-daughter of doctors. There is healing for the body, and there is healing for the soul, and this website and invitation are directed at the latter of these.

I hope you will consider sending me some of your writing. If you wish for some editorial support, I am happy to connect you with our students, some of them physicians themselves. You are also welcome to join us for a visit if you wish on a Tuesday evening. 

The website is www.narrativehealthcare.net. My email address is Laura.HopeGill@LR.EDU.