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Poetry of Healing and Hope – 2nd Annual Symposium

Thursday, Jan 10, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

poetry of hope and healing
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Background: Increasingly, both lay persons and health professionals recognize the value of writing about the illness experiences of themselves, their families, and their patients as a way of giving voice to these experiences, processing their emotions, gaining insight and finding healing.

Purpose: Our goal for this event is to demonstrate the benefits of reading and writing poetry as a method of emotional regulation, social critique, and perspective-taking.


5:30-7:00 Presenters will share their own original illness-themed poetry. Dr. Jayne Lewis, professor of English at UCI, will facilitate a discussion of their work with the audience.

7:00-8:00 Small group poetry-writing workshops led by the presenters. Participants will practice expressing themselves in writing to begin to explore the value of creating health-related poetry.

Interested individuals may sign up for the poetry reading, the writing workshop, or both. 


Speakers: Presenters will be healthcare professionals, most of whom are published poets, all of whom recognize the healing power of poetry.

Frank Meyskens MD, FACP is an internationally recognized cancer researcher and has published two books of clinically-themed poetry.

Steve Cramer MD is a neurologist and professor at UCI who writes about his clinical experiences.

Gabriella Miotto MD is a family physician and published poet, active in the Laguna Poets Workshop, with extensive experience using poetry, art, and movement in medical education.

Katherine Brown-Saltzman, R.N., M.A. is the Co-Director of the UCLA Health System Ethics Center and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCLA School of Nursing. She is also a well-regarded poet.

Nazin Sedehi is a third year medical student at UC Irvine whose work has been published in Plexus.

Karen Dale MFA is a poet and cancer survivor.

Johanna Shapiro PhD is director of the Program in Medical Humanities & Arts at UCI-SoM and also a cancer survivor who has published her poetry in many medical journals.

This program was organized by Dr. Frank Meyskens, an internationally recognized oncology researcher and clinician with his own journey toward poetry and his discovery of its therapeutic properties and Dr. Johanna Shapiro, director of the Program in Medical Humanities & Arts at UCI School of Medicine.

This event is co-sponsored by the UCI Center for Medical Humanities, the UCI-SoM Program in Medical Humanities & Arts, and by the UCI School of Nursing