ABOUT THIS BOOK
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.