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The Waiting Room Reader
Words to Keep You Company
Rachel Hadas, ed.

2013 • 152 pp. 6 x 11"

$16.00 Paperback, 978-1-933880-34-1

A small dose of healing

From the introduction:

“This book, the second in the Waiting Room Reader series, grows from the belief of its visionary originators, Joan Cusack Handler, director of CavanKerry Press, and Sandra O. Gold, president of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation for Humanism in Medicine, that one good thing to be able to pay attention to in waiting rooms is poetry. This is a belief that I, as guest editor of this volume, emphatically share. Poems with staying power are always themselves acts of attentiveness, and reading any good poem both demands and rewards attention. The job, then, is to make sure poems can be found in waiting rooms, where they will always be needed. All the works in this collection (primarily poems but also a handful of short prose pieces) enact longing and memory; they recall, they evoke, they praise. The writing of just about every piece in this book turns out to have been an act of reclamation, an evocation of some lost original, which isn’t so lost after all.

“The pieces gathered here touch upon themes poets have always visited: memory, family, love, loss, nature. Voices and styles naturally and delightfully vary; some pieces are chiseled and succinct, others loose and rhapsodic. But all, in addition to being accomplished, share the generosity and intensity of their attention to a particular piece of experience.”

Among the contributors are Robin Behn, Maxine Kumin, Molly Peacock, Linda Pastan, Liz Rosenberg, Elizabeth Spires, and Jeffrey Harrison.

Reviews / Endorsements

“Patients and their families will discover an unexpected blessing in this collection of poems and short prose. The poems are warm and inviting. They sparkle with wisdom. The stories are little gems of insight and humor. The most beautiful thing about The Waiting Room Reader is its respectfulness. Medical waiting rooms are fraught with uncertainty, fear, fatigue, boredom, discomfort, and suffering. This unobtrusive collection acknowledges these feelings, while respectfully nudging the reader toward a poem or story that might well offer a moment of relief and, hopefully, leave the reader with a small dose of healing.”—Jack Coulehan, MD, author of Medicine Stone and Bursting with Danger and Music

RACHEL HADAS is the author of many books of poetry and essays, most recently Strange Relation. She teaches English at Rutgers–Newark.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:12:09 -0500