Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Medical Poetry evening

The Medical Humanities Society / Purple Coat Club is hosting a medical poetry evening on Thursday 6 December at 8 pm in the Humanities Department, level 3, Sherfield Building, Imperial College London. Our guest will be poet Carole Satyamurti, whose works include 'Stitching the Dark' and 'Love and Variations'. Her most overtly medical poetry is in the anthology 'Changing the Subject'. This include a cycle of poems about breast cancer which forms an astute commentary on so many of the themes which preoccupy the medical humanities: the doctor-patient relationship, the experience of the hospital environment, and the transition from person to patient and back again. In spite of dealing with complex themes, the poems are very accessible. I love the way they are reflexive about how the illness experience transforms the acts of seeing and saying. Flowers are congratulatory at the bedside stage, applauding the successful adoption of the role of patient, yet they also seem harbingers of doom -- what happened to the prior occupant of the bed? In the poem 'How are you?' the ritualistic phrase has its meaning rearranged in the context of serious illness.

Do come and join us for a pre-Christmas celebration of medical poetry. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge. Please e-mail me if you plan to come so that I can send details of access and directions (and it helps with the catering!).

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