Give Us A Whirl: Submit Poems and Visual Art to AJN’s Art of Nursing

Artist at Work by ms. Tea / Tracy Ducasse, via Flickr.

Artist at Work by ms. Tea / Tracy Ducasse, via Flickr.

First off, here’s some (perhaps) startling news: the work you’ll find in our Art of Nursing department might not be by a nurse or even about nursing, although of course it often is. It will somehow pertain to health or health care, and it will—we heartily believe—be worth the reader’s while. So, whether you’re a nurse or not, if you’re thinking about sending us a poem or visual art, why not give it a whirl? (We’ll also consider very short fiction—950 words or less.) As long as your work makes a connection to health or health care, is previously unpublished, and is well made, we’ll consider it happily.

Of course, we have published poetry and visual art by RNs and LPNs and NPs who work in settings as varied as hospital ICUs and EDs, dermatology clinics, schools, and hospices. We’ve also published the work of several physicians, two reference librarians, an Episcopalian priest, and a high-school sophomore, among others. Some have won awards, shown in galleries, been widely published. And a few are just beginning to try their hand at writing poems or making art.

How a given piece in Art of Nursing connects to health and health care is often immediately clear. See, for instance, the following (for the cleanest view, when the link opens, click on “Article as PDF”): Therese Cipiti Herron’s series of paintings titled “Nursing Caps,”  Ed Kashi’s photograph of an elderly woman in “Tornado Victim,” Atar Hadari’s poem about a nurse tending a fellow stabbed through his Hawaiian shirt in “My Name Is Pablo Chanto,”  or Ron Giles’s prose poem “Rounds with the Public Health Nurse, 1966.”  Sometimes the association is subtler, as in Charles Kaiman’s “New Mexico Desert, Late Winter”  or Laurie Kutchins’s “Song for the Coming of Winter,”  but it’s there.

To get an even better sense of what sort of written or visual artwork makes it into Art of Nursing, take a look at previous issues (Art of Nursing is always free; you may need to click through to page 2 or 3 of an issue’s table of contents). Acceptance is based on peer review, and with only 12 spots a year, space is limited. Submission guidelines can be found here. Questions? Write to me at I hope you’ll let us consider your creative work. Who knows? Yours might be the submission that startles, tantalizes, makes us weep or grin—and gets itself published.—Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

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2016-11-21T13:29:01+00:00 May 13th, 2009|nursing perspective|5 Comments

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  1. jm September 8, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Sally-A further clarification. It turns out that you submitted your poem as a feature, therefore were sent the author agreement for features writers. I’ve now sent you the Art of Nursing agreement for you to fill out instead.

    Alison Bulman
    Senior Editorial Coordinator

  2. sfoleyajn September 8, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Sally, thanks for your question. AJN asks all authors to submit bio, financial disclosure, and copyright forms, and patient case forms are required when a patient case is given — but as you note, the financial disclosure and patient case forms probably don’t apply to Art of Nursing! Still, bureaucracy being what it is, we ask you to fill them out anyway – just indicate that you have no financial conflicts and that no real patient is depicted. If you have further questions, feel free to contact and she’ll be happy to walk you through it. We look forward to reading your work!

  3. Sally August 26, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    So I did submit a poem after reading Jim Stubenrauch’s invitation on Best American Poetry Blog this month and have subsequently received a request to fill out 2 forms neither of which can be said to relate to the poem I sent. I’m sure you’re familiar with them; is this necessary for poets who aren’t submitting a poem based on a patient? Thanks for your info.

  4. sfoleyajn May 26, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Hello, James — There is no deadline for submitting to Art of Nursing. We consider work as it comes in. Thanks for your interest!

  5. James Ferraro May 26, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Hello ,
    When is the deadline? Thanks.

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