Posts Tagged ‘poetry’


AJN Collections of Note: From Women’s Health Issues to Assessment Tools for Older Adults

May 18, 2015

By Jacob Molyneux, senior editor

'Nuff Said by ElektraCute / Elektra Noelani Fisher, via Flickr.

Elektra Noelani Fisher/ Flickr

It’s easy to miss, but there’s a tab at the top of the AJN home page that will take you to our collections page. There you can delve more deeply into a wide range of topics—and find many options for obtaining continuing education credits in the process.

For example, you’ll find a collection of recent continuing education (CE) feature articles devoted to women’s health issues, such as menopausal hormone therapy, cardiovascular disease prevention for women, and issues faced by young women who are BRCA positive.

The patient population in the U.S. continues to age. To gain confidence in meeting the needs of these patients, nurses can consult our practical collection of articles and videos devoted to the use of evidence-based geriatric assessment tools and best practices.

For the more creative side of nursing, we have a collection of 20 visual works and poems from our Art of Nursing column.

For those concerned with potential legal issues, it’s a good idea to have a look at the three CE articles from our Legal Clinic column on protecting your nursing license.

For would-be authors and those interested in applying knowledge to practice more effectively, there are step-by-step series on conducting a systematic review and on how nurses can implement evidence-based practice at their institutions. Read the rest of this entry ?


A Chorus of Bravo! and Huzzah! for these ‘Art of Nursing’ Contributors

April 3, 2013

By Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

Albuquerque Moon

from Two Albuquerque Moons, (c) Charles Kaiman 2007

The digital grapevine has brought news from several Art of Nursing contributors, and it makes me happy to pass it along. If you’re not already familiar with AJN’s Art of Nursing page, it’s a regular monthly department that features poetry, “flash” fiction, and visual art. Visit our Web site and have a look! (Art of Nursing is always free; please click through to the PDFs for the best view.)

Bernadette Geyer’s first full-length collection of poetry, The Scabbard of Her Throat, was published last month by The Word Works. It was selected for publication under the Hilary Tham Capital Collection imprint by Cornelius Eady. Geyer also has a poem in the second volume of the anthology The Waiting Room Reader: Words to Keep You Company, edited by Rachel Hadas and published in February by CavanKerry Press. Geyer, whose poem “Lessons” was featured in Art of Nursing (May 2010), works as a copy editor in the Washington, DC, area.

Charles Kaiman had a one-person show of his paintings in February and March at the Blue Mountain Gallery in New York City, his 15th solo show. For a virtual peek, visit the gallery’s web site. Kaiman’s art has appeared numerous times in our pages, most recently “Candlelight Self-Portrait” (September 2011) and “Lemon and Honey” (September 2009). Kaiman works as a clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric mental health nursing at the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Albuquerque.

Stacy Nigliazzo’s first full-length collection of poems has been accepted by Press 53 in North Carolina, with publication slated for November. For an early look at some of the poems, visit the author’s blog. Nigliazzo has had several poems featured in Art of Nursing, most recently “Sketch” (February 2011) and “In my first year” (December 2012). Based in Texas, she is an ED nurse.

If you’re interested in submitting your own creative work to us, please send me an email ( for guidelines.

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AJN’s Growing Collection of Podcasts

February 19, 2013
Look for the AJN podcast icon

Look for the AJN podcast icon

A note from AJN’s editor-in-chief, Maureen Shawn Kennedy: Why not head over to our Web site and check out AJN’s podcasts and video collections? Just put your mouse over the MEDIA tab at the top and choose podcasts or one of the video series in the drop-down menu.

We’ve got a variety of podcasts to choose from:

  • monthly highlights, in which editors discuss the articles in each issue
  • “Behind the Article” podcasts are interviews with authors to discuss their work or provide additional context about the article
  • and in “Conversations,” listen to, well, conversations with nurses and other notable and interesting people (there’s even one with former president Jimmy Carter!)

We also have special collections, one of which contains music from Liyana, a group of disabled African singers who graced the cover of the August 2009 issue. (See “On the Cover” from that issue to read about them.)

The other collection contains poems written by nurses who served in the Vietnam War. They were collected by Kay Schwebke, author of “The Vietnam Nurses Memorial: Better Late Than Never” in the May 2009 issue. The short poems are heartbreaking and very much worth hearing.

One final option, if you prefer to save podcasts for listening to at a more convenient time: you can subscribe to AJN‘s podcasts in the iTunes store. Just search for AJN and the podcasts should show up on your screen. Or click this link.

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Those Who Wait: Recent Work in ‘Art of Nursing’

December 19, 2011

By Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

Beach Stone Found by mscaprikell, via Flickr

“I held that stone / in my hand for hours while they split your bones,” says the narrator of Janet Parkinson’s poem “Talisman,” which appears this month in Art of Nursing. The poem speaks to the tremendous strain of waiting for the outcome of a loved one’s emergency surgery. It’s about the  need for connection over great distances, for a “stone constant” in the face of grave uncertainty. The poet’s voice is unsentimental and steady, and the poem, just seven lines, itself feels almost talismanic. (Art of Nursing is always free online—just click through to the PDF file.)

In Roger Davies’s poem “Preparing to Pretend to Knit at the Chemotherapy Clinic,” featured in October’s Art of Nursing, a husband also waits, feeling helpless. “I’ll choose the long, elegant needles,” he says, imagining homespun wools dyed in autumn colors. Recalling his mother’s “nonchalant / competence” at the craft, he longs for the solace found in knowing what to do—even if it’s only how to hold the needles. In the poem’s last lines, the narrator says, “I could look out the window / to this fading autumn day.” But it’s clear that he’s not quite ready to see that view yet.

The Waiting Room: Norma, copyright 2010 Rebecca Thomas

Rebecca Thomas’s painting “The Waiting Room: Norma,” featured in November, depicts the artist’s grandmother, who gazes out at us, her expression both yearning and fierce. She seems to lean forward slightly into a blurred foreground, much as one might lean into an unknown future. About her grandmother, Thomas writes:  “She lived through lymphoma. Her husband didn’t. Now, the cancer and my grandfather are gone from everywhere but her face in this moment—her ‘waiting face,’ right before the smile.”

We invite you to pause with these works for a few minutes and listen for what resonates within you. And if you’re interested in submitting your own work to Art of Nursing—we consider visual art, “flash” fiction, and poetry—email me for guidelines: sylvia[dot]foley[at]

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Compassion for Those Among Us: Recent Poems in ‘Art of Nursing’

August 12, 2011

By Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

Faded rose texture, by Calsidyrose via Flickr

In Carolyn Scarbrough’s poem “A Rose By Any Other Name” (Art of Nursing, August), a nurse sees an “opaque rose, unfurling” on a CT scan of an infant’s brain. Recognizing this as “evidence of violent acts,” she knows the outcome will almost certainly be tragic. Yet when she looks from the scan to the exhausted young father, another memory shifts her thoughts from “trauma to love.” With each reading, this poem reveals more about the intertwining of outrage and compassion. (Art of Nursing is always free online—just click through to the PDF file.)

“I try / to meditate on emptiness, // receive the next lungful, ignore / my prattling mind,” says the narrator of Risa Denenberg’s poem “Three-Part Breath” (Art of Nursing, July). The poem’s title refers to a yoga breathing practice, one built on trust; as the yoga teacher says, “There will always be // another inhalation.” Read the rest of this entry ?


Bearing Witness: April’s ‘Art of Nursing’ and Cover Art

April 14, 2011

By Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

In “Palm Sunday,” the poem featured in this month’s Art of Nursing, nurse and poet Rachel Betesh evokes the prolonged anguish of those who tend the dying. A man lies “sick and stained” in a bed, leaves his food untouched, and “hardly speaks anymore.” His wife and sons lament “the sin of the too-long moment”; time does not heal, but gapes like an “open wound between sickness and dying.”

A lesser poem might have slipped into sentimentality. But Betesh’s characters are a lively, indomitable bunch. “Pop!” the man’s sons say, visiting; you can feel their vigor. His wife remembers a baked potato he’d once given her, and her response: “You gonna marry me or what?” Indeed, it’s through witnessing, hearing the family’s stories, that the nurses can offer some comfort. They cannot heal the man, but they can “pack the wound, and listen.” (Art of Nursing is always free online—just click through to the PDF file.)

Windows and Doors by Paula Giovanini-Morris

This month’s cover art, a work of embroidery by nurse and fiber artist Paula Giovanini-Morris, explores the concept of memory and illustrates its mechanisms, the neurons and synapses through which the brain registers, encodes, and retrieves events. The piece, titled “Windows and Doors,” was prompted by another kind of witnessing: the artist’s visits to her mother, who was suffering from the early stages of dementia.

AJN senior editorial coordinator Alison Bulman spoke with Giovanini-Morris, who explained, “As I watched [my mother] search for words to express herself and attempt to recall recent events, I was struck by a sadness, realizing that in a short period of time the mother I knew might be replaced by someone who had no idea who I was.” Giovanini-Morris also acknowledged that she faces the possibility that she might eventually suffer from dementia herself. For more on this artist and her work, read this month’s On the Cover.

If you’re interested in submitting your own work to Art of Nursing—we consider visual art, very short “flash” fiction, and poetry—send me an email ( for more information.

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The Shape of a Woman: Two Poems in ‘Art of Nursing’

February 4, 2011

By Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

Abstract ice patterns by net_efekt, via Flickr

“I think about the woman / wilting // on the pillow of the steering wheel,” begins Stacy R. Nigliazzo’s poem “Sketch,” featured in this month’s Art of Nursing department. As the title suggests, the poem sketches out a scene, the immediate aftermath of a car accident. The driver appears dead; the paramedics “offer her up, prostrate / in white splints,” while the physician records the time. The narrator—who might be an ED nurse (perhaps Nigliazzo, an ED nurse herself)—describes what she sees. And as she does, we feel the terrible burden of her witnessing: the victim’s eyes brim “like black bowls that can’t be filled.” When the victim has been taken away, we’re left with almost nothing, only some coins and “buckled lines / in the shape of a woman.” It’s a short, spare piece that conjures up far more complicated matters, like where the dead reside, and how the living might go on.

The narrator of “Connection,” the poem by Camille Norvaisas that’s featured in January’s Art of Nursing, has undergone a double mastectomy. She is shockingly direct in her stated desire. “I want to feel the same / as my nipples, so cold, / in some jar in a sterile lab,” she tells us. She’s trying to comprehend a literal disconnection: once her breasts were part of her; now, “referred to as tissue,” they lie on a stainless steel table somewhere awaiting dispassionate study. The poem hums with sensation, real and imagined. Somehow it manages to be both fierce and stoic in its lament.

Have a look at these poems, sit with them a while; poems tend to reveal more upon rereading. (Art of Nursing poems are always free online—just click through to the PDF files.) And if you’re interested in submitting your own work to Art of Nursing—we consider visual art, short-short fiction (750 words max), and poetry—feel free to send me an email ( for more information.

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