Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Readers' Guides: What Do You Think?

By Kate Ghezzi-Kopel

Happy spring (and almost summer) from all of us here at the Healing Muse! Our submission period for Volume 15 is now closed, and we’re really enjoying reading your prose and poetry and viewing your visual art submissions.

As we begin to prepare the proofs for the new edition of the journal, we’d like to solicit some feedback from you, our readers and contributors, about our “Readers’ Guide” feature.

For volumes 7-12 of the Muse we’ve provided discussion questions to accompany poems and essays. The aim of these guides is to encourage critical thinking and conversation in the classroom and among colleagues and friends surrounding the theme of each piece.

Have you ever used these guides in a course that you’re teaching, or to stimulate your thinking as you read The Healing Muse?

Even if you didn’t know we offered these guides, would you like to see a Readers’ Guide appear in Volume 15 when it publishes this fall? 

We’d love to hear your thoughts if you’d like to share. Feel free to leave a comment on this blog post, email us at hlgmuse@upstate.edu, or tell us what you think on Twitter (https://twitter.com/TheHealingMuse).

Thank you so much and stay tuned for more updates on production progress, reading events, and Muse contributor accomplishments!

Friday, May 15, 2015


by Lois Dorschel

It was fourteen and a half years ago that I starting working for the Center for Bioethics and Humanities department and one week after the publication launch of the first Muse. Dr. Bonnie St. Andrews and Dr. Deirdre Neilen took me under their wings and made me managing editor of the journal and it’s been the most satisfying job experience I’ve ever had. I call The Muse “our 11 month baby.” As you know, we start accepting submissions the beginning of September through May, and in October, it’s published. But within those eleven months, I have had correspondence with hundreds of writers and visual artists who submit their work in hopes of being published. We couldn’t possibly accept everyone’s work but my best wishes to all on their future endeavors.

I will be retiring soon and look forward to the new chapter of my life with my family but would like to say adieu with heartfelt thanks to all of the people that have crossed my path while working on The Healing Muse.

Please welcome Jessica Barbuto as The Muse’s new managing editor! I know it will be in good hands with her.

From the Editor:

There are no words sufficient to express all that Lois has meant to me personally and to The Muse; there isn't even space enough to hold all our feelings as we say Happy Retirement. Lois has been our steady and focused managing editor, the person who solves crises and double checks everything so that each issue of The Healing Muse is as perfect as we can make it. We have laughed and cried together; we have sworn (well, okay, I've sworn and Lois just looks disappointed) together and worried together. We have been like kids at Christmas in October when the new issue first arrives and we open it together. We've gone home with eyes twitching after marathon proofing sessions. We've shared kindness; what can be better than that?

We will miss Lois so much, but she has promised to stay on the blog, stay near a phone, and stay in touch. Our thanks and best wishes go with her as she begins a richly deserved retirement with Marty. I'll close with one of my favorite lines from Eliot: "Not fare well / but fare forward, voyagers." Deirdre

News from our Writers

Barbara Crooker's (Muse 11) latest book is called Small Rain,
and is an exploration of the wheel of the year, the seasons that roll in a continuous circle and yet move inexorably forward. It can be found on Amazon.

George Drew (Muse 14) has a new chapbook coming out in June called Down & Dirty published by Texas Review Press. You may pre-order it on Amazon. His sixth collection of poems called Fancy’s Orphan, will be released this October by Tiger Park Press. 

Long time Muse contributor (12, 13, 14) Tish Pearlman has news to share. She recently stepped down as the Poet Laureate of Tompkins County in New York. Full article about Tish can be found here...  

Monday, April 13, 2015

News and Muse

A big thank you to Buffalo Street Books and our Muse authors for a great reading on Sunday. It is so wonderful to sit among bookcases and book lovers as writers read. As usual, I found myself listening to the poems and essays as though for the first time; there is nothing quite like hearing a writer read his or her own words. At the end of this blog, you'll find details for our next reading in Auburn at the Schweinfurth Museum. Please come and bring a friend or two.

First, however, let me share good news from our readers and artists. Our good friend, poet Bruce Bennett has been chosen to receive the first "Writing the Rockies Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Creative Writing"; he will receive the award July 22 at Western State Colorado University in Taylor Hall as part of the opening banquet for the conference. Bruce retired last fall from Wells College where he headed the creative writing department. His many students will attest to the reasons he deserves to be recognized in this fashion: his love of writing, his dedication to his craft, and his enthusiasm for getting others to want to write their best as well have been the hallmarks of his long and honored career. We are very happy for him and add our congratulations to the chorus praising his selection. Our western readers should look into that conference.

Muse 14 poet Janis Butler Holm's Sound Poems appears in the inaugural edition of Best American Experimental Writing.

Cortney Davis has a new book, When the Nurse Becomes a Patient: A Story in Words and Images (Kent State University Press). As a nurse practitioner, Davis has written powerful essays and poems about illness and healing; this book reflects her own experiences of being a patient and having a "simple" surgery go very wrong. As she healed, she found herself painting, and this book is the result, an evocative and beautiful meditation on all aspects of care and care-giving. Her book will be offered on Amazon.

Artist Karen Burns has a painting, Illuminati, in the juried Made In New York exhibition currently at the Schweinfurth Museum in Auburn, New York. Karen also tells us her work can be found at Broad Street Gallery in Hamilton, New York which had a grand reopening this weekend. You can find a coupon worth 10% off on their site and it's good for the rest of the month. Hamilton is a sweet town, great for a visit on these warm days.

Another of our gifted artists, Susannah Loiselle, has published a young adult novel, Places of Light by Rain Mountain Press of NYC. The book deals with upheaval, transitions, secrets, and hidden truths. We are looking forward to buying a copy through Amazon.

Back to our writers--Carole Glasser Langille whose story appeared in Muse 12 announces a book of linked short stories I Am What I Am Because You Are What You Are will be published in October 2015. She is giving a poetry reading Sunday, April 26 at 1 pm at the Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery between Houston and Bleecker for those of you in NYC area. The reading is called Other Worlds and will feature a concert as well.

Poet Tish Pearlman (Muse 12, 13, 14) will be reading in Ithaca as part of the 2015 Spring Writes Literary Festival Saturday, May 2, from 4:15-5:15 at Buffalo Street Books. It will be a "passing the Poet Laureate torch" to the new poet laureate of Tompkins County, Jack Hopper. Tish has been a great ambassador of poetry and writing for the last two years.

And finally we remind our local friends that we'll be having a reading at the Schweinfurth Museum in Auburn, April 23, Thursday at 7 pm. The museum is kindly opening for us at 6:30 so we can tour the Made in New York exhibit for free! Do come early and see which paintings, which sculptures, which photographs capture your mind and heart. And then we'll enjoy listening to our writers.

Enjoy the spring which seems finally to have arrived. I look forward to seeing you in Auburn. Deirdre

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Time to go a'reading

We're happy to remind area readers and writers and listeners that we're taking a couple of road trips this month. We'll be at Ithaca's Buffalo St. Books next Sunday, April 12 at 1 pm. This is one of our favorite venues; get there early and browse. Buffalo Books reminds us of the power and necessity of indie booksellers. You will find many gifts there for friends and family; our writers too will bring copies of their chapbooks and books. Plus it's just a great way to celebrate Poetry Month. I hope we'll see you there.

Monday, February 16, 2015

News from our Writers and Artists

by Deirdre Neilen. While we're in the deep freeze in Syracuse, it's a great time to catch up with our writers and artists. They have been busy and productive and making us exceedingly proud. I'm going to use their own words to list and discuss their latest publications.

Claudia Reder (Muse 13) recently had a poem published in Feminist Studies, poems forthcoming in ASKEW, and Blue Light Anthology.

Lisa Romeo (Muse 14) now has her own blog and has kindly written about The Muse there. Check it out at lisaromeo.blogspot.com. Thank you, Lisa, for the kind words and we'll hope to see you at one of our upcoming readings in the spring.

Exciting news from FutureCycle Press as it celebrates the new year with Barbara Crooker: Selected Poems. Barbara (Muses 4 and 8) chose work from her previous ten chapbooks, two of which won national prizes, as well as a handful of uncollected poems for this volume which contains 102 of her poems. It is now available on Amazon.

Gaetan Sgro (Muses 13 and 14) keeps busy as both a physician and writer; his poetry has recently appeared in Annals of Internal Medicine and Blueline. His story "Sun White Hot and Blinding" made the Top 25 in Glimmer Train's Very Short Fiction contest (October 2014), and his story "We Are All Snowflakes and Cities" is forthcoming in the Winter 2015 issue of Five Quarterly. Gaetan's blog is called Ward Stories.

Michael Salcman (Muse 14) has an anthology of classic and contemporary poems on doctors, patients, illnesses, and recovery called Poetry in Medicine from Persea Books in New York. His book can be found on Amazon with a release date March 5.

Kathleen McClung (Muse 12) is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee for her sonnet, "For the Man at Macy's Lurking in Swimwear" which appeared in the Marin Poetry Center Anthology.

Evan Morgan Williams (Muse 6) won the GS Sharat Chandra Prize at BkMK Press (U of MO at KC) for his collection of short stories, Thorn. You can now purchase the collection at Barnes and Noble

Elaine Mansfield (Muse 14) did a reading at TEDx in November called "Good Grief! What I learned from Loss." You can watch this video on YouTube and can order Elaine's beautiful book Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journal through Grief on Amazon.

Joan Applebaum's watercolor painting "Cardinals" was awarded a Blue Ribbon for Staff Pick at the Art of Winter Show at the Thousand Islands Arts Center a few weeks ago. Visit her website Windy Hill Studio for more exciting news! 

Finally, my thanks to those of you who have written to tell us that you're enjoying listening to the weekly reading I do at the university's radio show called HealthLink On Air. I am delighted to share your work with a radio audience, and we cross link the show with our Muse Media page in our attempt to get your work to a wider viewership.

Until next time, stay warm!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Year, New Additions

by Deirdre Neilen. Happy 2015 to all Muse friends. Here in CNY it's been a very cold one thus far, but we warm up quite easily as we read new submissions for next fall's Muse. We'll be reading through April.

I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome our new research associate and editorial assistant, Kate Ghezzi-Kopel. Kate comes to us from NYC where she was an Acquisitions Editor in medical textbook publishing. She's enthusiastic about The Muse, and she has a wealth of experience to share with us. I'll ask her to tell you a little bit about herself. Kate will be organizing our spring readings. We already have two readings scheduled for April.

"Hello, readers of and contributors to The Muse! I'm so pleased to have the opportunity to support the development of this publication. As Deirdre mentioned I come from an STM publishing background, and I'm also completing my MS in Library and Information Science at Syracuse University. I'm very interested in how social media can serve as a connector and an outreach tool in the health care community, and in that vein I encourage you to follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/TheHealingMuse. I hope to meet some of you at upcoming Muse events, and thank you for the warm welcome!"

Please keep us informed of your publishing successes. We'll be happy to pass them along in future blogs. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Celebrating Muse 14

Deirdre, Nancy, and Lois
by Deirdre Neilen. What a fabulous launch we had: 14 of our writers were able to come and read for us. We had folks who traveled from PA and St. Louis MO--now that's true dedication to the craft. It was as always very fun for us to meet in person the people we've been corresponding with over the year and to hear them interpret their works through their reading. Our audience was enthusiastic and applause was sustained for each artist. Here are some photos that will allow you to share in the moment.
We also have on our website two videos we were given by writers Vanessa Raney and Patsy Asuncion. Please give them a listen.
Andrew Schep
Robert Daly
Julienne Grace Abad
Ann Botash
Joyce McAllister and Kathleen Kramer
Pam Freeman
Mary Arguelles
Jill Swenson
Carson Jordan
Elaine Mansfield

Leah Givens

Now begins the work of publicizing and selling the issue. As always, we hope our readers will help us with this. Holidays are approaching and Muse 14 makes a wonderful gift that truly keeps giving. For only $10, you can have many days and nights of good reading and hours of talking afterwards about the pieces. If you're a member of a book club, consider ordering Muse 14 for your next discussion. If you're a clinician, consider buying a book or two for your waiting room. If you're a teacher, consider using our Muse as a classroom text. We've had good feedback from psychology teachers, creative writing teachers, and English teachers who have had lively discussions with their classes on various essays and poems and stories.

Consider too organizing a reading in your town; we know that our writers and artists are in touch with each other regionally. If you have two or three writers and artists who live near each other, you have a reading waiting to happen! We'll be happy to send you some flyers about the Muse too.

New Publications!!

We have news to share too from previous and current contributors. This is another favorite part of our job: recognizing the valuable and ongoing work of the Muse family and feeling a little bit proud that we are a part of their continuing success.

Poet Charlotte Otten (Muse 13 and 11) has published a picture book about fly fishing, The Flying Mouse with Bunker Hills Publishing. It has the endorsement of national fly fishermen and Richard Adams of Watership Down fame. http://www.amazon.com/The-Flying-Mouse-Charlotte-Otten/dp/1593731523

Karen Donley-Hayes (Muse 13) had her essay "What You Learn in College" published in the Fall 2014 issue of Creative Nonfiction. They have also posted the essay on their website:
Sarah Gilbert (Muse 13) writes that she's celebrating several milestones: her 26th anniversary of colon cancer surgery, a five year anniversary of rectal cancer surgery, and publication of her chapbook Tendril in January 2015. One critic notes, "the consciousness behind these poems is capacious, embracing graciously and joyfully 'the life I've been given / cancers and all / for as long as I have.'" It is currently listed on Finishing Line Press's website for a two month pre-sales period.  Wonderful news, Sarah.

Annita Sawyer who calls the Muse "my first home" writes with great excitement that her book Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass: A Psychologist's Memoir has won the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Award's grand prize. It will be published in June 2015. One of the essays from her book has been chose for an anthology about mental health and psychotherapy called Same Time Next Week. Creative Nonfiction/InFact Books will bring that out in Spring 2015. Annita says having to "put oneself out there" to get her work published has become less onerous and somewhat comfortable even. And we  appreciate how she mentions the Muse when she's talking about her writing career.

Poetry Reading at Wells College

A group of writers will travel and meet at Wells College this coming Thursday, November 13 for our annual fall reading. This is a gathering of students, faculty, and community folks who love a good poem or story. In Muse 14 we have two Wells College students included in our contributors, quite a feat for young writers. We'll be delighted to hear them read among their peers. If you're in the neighborhood, come listen.

That's all for now. Bundle up, everyone. The season is definitely shifting toward cold; it's the perfect time to curl up with your Muse and read! Keep us informed of your successes and take good care.