The Healing Muse Cafe

Healing Muse 15 cover art by Ted Meyer

Thursday, October 1, 2015

New Books from our Writers

As the countdown continues to our Muse 15 launch (October 14), we want to share some good news from two of the issue's writers, Ron Pies and Mary Gardner.

Ron Pies MD is a psychiatrist, poet, novelist, and ethicist who serves on the faculties of SUNY Upstate Medical University and Tufts University School of Medicine. His latest book, The Myeloma Year, is both a physician and husband's account of his wife's journey through a serious illness. In addition to poetry, the book includes six short essays that examine the threads connecting psychology, philosophy, and different spiritual traditions. You can find his book on Amazon.

Mary Gardner, whose poetry has appeared in anthologies and literary magazines, has published her first chapbook, When All Danger of Frost Is Past, from Foothills Publishing. In these pages she unites her love for nature and gardening with her belief that writing too depends upon seasons, "times for sowing and repeating, laying things to rest, and daring to sow again. You can order her book here. Gardner is also author of My Life Matters, now in its fifth printing, and she is an active member of the National League of American Pen Women, CNY.

We send our congratulations to Ron and Mary and encourage our readers to give these books serious consideration. If you've been published in The Muse and have other work appearing elsewhere, let us know and we'll be happy to spread the word here in the cafe.

Also, as we approach the launch of Muse 15, please keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages for giveaway contests! We'll be giving away free copies of Muse 14 to the first people to retweet/"like" our contest posts on social media in the coming weeks.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Launch News and Upcoming Readings

Healing Muse 15 is at Sheridan Press, and we are happily finalizing plans for the launch. For our area contributors, we hope to see you at the Medical Alumni Auditorium 766 Irving Ave in Syracuse NY Wednesday afternoon, October 14  at 4 pm for an hour of celebration and readings followed by a meet and greet the artists and writers with cake for all.

The program runs one hour so we have asked those of our writers who wish to read to sign up with our managing editor, Jessica Barbuto. She is compiling a list and we will provide the names and order of readers when you arrive at the auditorium. We have reminded our readers that time is limited; for our prose writers, you must plan in advance and practice your reading to be under 5 minutes. We realize this is difficult, but we are hoping to accommodate as many writers as we can in this short amount of time.

We'd also love to know if you are coming so we can have your complimentary copies and badges waiting for you. Please let Jess know.

This is our first double issue. Our cover artist is Ted Meyer whose work encompasses painting, curating, designing, writing, illustrating, and photographing. He's currently Artist in Residence at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. We are quite pleased to be able to present his work to you. His cover continues the conversation we've been having with people about illness and health and healing.

We'd also like to remind you that we have two readings scheduled for October: the first is at Wells College in Aurora, NY at 7 pm Thursday October 22. The second one is the following week at the Trumansburg Library Thursday October 29 at 6:30 pm.

We've heard from several area writers that they would like to be included; if there are others out there who would also like to read, please let Jess know soon.

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon. Happy Autumn.

The Editors

Monday, August 31, 2015

Two Announcements!

Hopefully everyone is having a fantastic summer so far. Here at The Healing Muse we are busy reviewing proofs for our upcoming 15th issue and enjoying these last long days of sun and warmth here in Central New York.

Today we have two big announcements that we’re excited to share with you.

First, our submission period for the 2016 issue of The Muse begins September 1st (tomorrow!) and this year we are switching to a new online submission system called Submittable.

Submittable is an easy-to-use platform that allows you to upload your written and visual art pieces directly to our dedicated site for our editorial staff to review. All you have to do to enter your work is click the “Submit” button on our Submission Guidelines website and follow the instructions from there.  

Submittable has great customer service, so if you run into any problems you can call them at (855) 467-8264, and you can always get in touch with us here by emailing We think this new submission process will make things run more smoothly for all of us.

Second, the latest edition of The Healing Muse will launch October 14, 2015. To celebrate this fifteenth year of Musing, we've made it a double issue. More details will come very soon. Stay tuned here and on our Twitter and Facebook pages for updates.

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, or tell us what you think on Twitter (

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.