Speakers and Panelists
Ray Barfield is a pediatric oncologist at Duke who is interested in the intersection of medicine, philosophy and theology. Most recently his medical research has focused on immune therapies for childhood cancer and on improving of the quality of life for children with severe or fatal diseases. His work in philosophy focuses on ethics and the history of the impact of literature on philosophical thought. As director of pediatric palliative care for Duke, Dr. Barfield works closely with the Institute for Care at the End of Life drawing on the strengths of both the Medical School and the Divinity School. He is working on a program called “The Healing Arts: Divinity, Medicine, Nursing” that brings together students from the schools of medicine, nursing and divinity around issues of illness, suffering and death.
William Blackley practices family and emergency medicine and is a past president of the North Carolina Poetry Society. His poems have been published in numerous journals including Southern Accent, Iris, Pinesong, Award Winning Poems, Kakalak, and The Moonwort Review among others. Dr. Blackley is the founder and current chairman of the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series.
Grey Brown co-founded the literary arts program for Health Arts Network of Duke in 1986. She began offering the literary arts in a medical setting as a graduate student at New York University when she assisted poet Sharon Olds teaching creative writing at Goldwater Memorial Hospital. Currently Grey offers writing workshops to patients and staff of Duke Medical Center and gives presentations locally and nationally on the role of the literary arts programming in health care settings. She is the author of Staying In, winner of the North Carolina Writers’ Network Harper Prints Poetry Contest and When They Tell Me, from Finishing Line Press, 2009. What It Takes, a collection of poetry narrating her experience parenting a daughter with autism, will be released from Turning Point Press in 2010.
Jack Coulehan is a retired Professor of Medicine and currently Senior Fellow of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. He has written extensively about communication, empathy, and the role of the humanities in medical education. Dr. Coulehan co-edited two anthologies of poems by physicians, Blood & Bone and Primary Care; and collections of his own poetry include First Photographs of Heaven, The Heavenly Ladder, and Medicine Stone.
Kate Daniels' fourth volume of poetry, A Walk in Victoria's Secret, will be published later this year by LSU Press. Her work has been awarded the Pushcart Prize, the Crazyhorse Prize, the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, the James Dickey Prize, and included in the Best American Poetry 2008, and 2010. Currently, she teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Vanderbilt University, and lives in Nashville. Kate directed the literary arts program of Duke University Medical Center from 1992-1994, and served as Vanderbilt Medical Center's poet in residence from 1995-97. She has just completed a book called Slow Fuse of the Possible: Ruminations on Poetry & Psychoanalysis. She teaches writing at the Washington (D.C.) Center for Psychoanalysis, and conducts workshops in creative writing and psychoanalysis.
The members of Fleur de Lisa write and perform original a cappella music and often set haiku and other poetry forms to music. Their diverse musical experiences blend into a versatile style of their own. The members of Fleur de Lisa have been singing together since 2002.
Jaki Shelton Green was selected as the first NC Piedmont Poet Laureate in 2008 and she received the Sam Ragan Award in 2007 and the North Carolina Award for Literature in 2003. Green is the author of six collections of poetry including most recently, breath of song from Carolina Wren Press. Green holds a Master’s degree in community economic development from the Development Training Institute, University of Maryland and maintains an independent consultancy specializing in non-profit board training, arts and education, and the humanities. In addition, she continues to teach creative writing to marginalized populations of our society such as the homeless, the newly literate, the incarcerated and the writer-as-survivor. She collaborates as a creativity coach with human service agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations whose focus is using writing and creativity as tools of healing and transformation. Green's workshops such as “Building Community through Poetry and the Arts” are available through the North Carolina Humanities Council Speaker’s Bureau. She also serves as the spokeswoman for the North Carolina Women’s Health Report Card, Center for Women’s Heath Research at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jane Hirshfield is the author of six collections of poetry, including After (shortlisted for England’s T.S. Eliot Prize and named a “best book of 2006” by the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the ,em>London Financial Times). Hirshfield’s poetry speaks to the central issues of human existence—desire and loss, impermanence and beauty, the many dimensions of our connection with others and the wider community of creatures and objects with which we share our lives. Described by The New York Times as “radiant and passionate” and by other reviewers as “ethically aware,” “insightful and eloquent,” and as conveying “succinct wisdom,” her subjects range from the metaphysical and passionate to the political, ecological, and scientific to subtle unfoldings of daily life and experience. An intimate, profound, and generous master of her art, Hirshfield has taught at UC Berkeley, Duke University, Bennington College and elsewhere, and her many appearances at writers conferences and literary festivals in this country and abroad have been highly acclaimed.
Poet, playwright and non-fiction writer, Rita Brady Kiefer is the author of Unveiling (Chicory Blue Press), Trying on Faces (Monkshood Press) and Nesting Doll (University Press of Colorado), a finalist for the Colorado Book Award in 2000. Her work appear in many journals notably Ploughshares, Cimarron Review, Southern Poetry Review and in several anthologies; one poem was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The play, “My Name is Not Eve,” grew from 23 years of writing with survivors of domestic violence in local shelters. As Professor of English and Women’s Studies, she invited her students from the University of Northern Colorado to participate in the writing program. Grants from the Colorado Arts Council (3), the Colorado Humanities Endowment, the Puffin Foundation and the Gary Barnett Foundation furthered her work with the survivors. She has read and lectured in many states and in Argentina. Translated into Spanish her poems are published in Spain and Argentina; one was set to music and recorded on the CD, Soundscapes. Beyond Unveiling, a recently completed creative non-fiction manuscript, merges her memoir with the survivors’ stories and a selection of their writings.
A poet, novelist, playwright and short story writer, Richard Krawiec, is the author of Timesharing and the editor of two collections of work by North Carolina authors, Cardinal and Voices from Home. Krawiec has won a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, two fellowships from the NC Arts Council, and one from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts In addition to writing, he was one of the first to teach writing in homeless shelters, prisons, literacy classes, housing projects and in other community locations. His anthology of writing from homeless shelters, In Our Own Words was the first published work to feature writing by people who were homeless. His play, Here, There, or in the Air was co-written with the women on death row in Raleigh, NC.
Peter Kussin is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Duke University. Dr. Kussin is a native of New York City where he obtained his bachelor's degree at Columbia College, majoring in French Literature. After attending Bank St College of Education, Dr. Kussin worked as a teacher of emotionally handicapped children in the New York School system for eight years. He then attended Mt Sinai School of Medicine where he was the only liberal arts major in a class of 100 students. Dr. Kussin came to Duke for his residency and fellowship training and has been a member of the faculty since 1989. He is mainly involved in the care of patients with critical illness and advanced lung disease. Previous research interests focused on patient preferences and outcomes in critical illness. Currently, Dr. Kussin is preoccupied with examining the use of use poetry and the humanities to save the souls of young and old physicians.
Florence Nash worked as a writer and editor at Duke Medical Center for 16 years. Her poems, book and music reviews, program notes, and feature articles have appeared here and on the West Coast. She has two collections of poetry, Fish Music (Gravity Press, 2010) and Crossing Water (Gravity Press, 1996). She is a past winner of the Blumenthal/NC Writers Network Readers and Writers Award and was featured as an emerging poet at the Millennial Gathering of Southern Writers at Vanderbilt University. She has taught poetry and music in public schools and for Duke Continuing Studies, and, since 2000, she has led the poetry workshop for Duke's Osher Institute for Life-long Learning.
Francis A. Neelon, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, spent 30 years as an endocrinologist and general internist at Duke University Medical Center. Since retiring from Duke in 2002, he has served as Medical Director of the Rice Diet Program in Durham. Dr. Neelon is past-president of the American Osler Society and a charter member of the Osler Literary Roundtable at Duke. He has long been interested in poetry, especially the use of poetry in the care of patients.
Danielle Ofri is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the first literary journal published by a hospital, the Bellevue Literary Journal. As a physician and teacher at the oldest public hospital in the United States, and as a writer and literary editor, Dr. Ofri speaks with unique insight into the practice of medicine in America. In her practice and as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at New York University, Dr. Ofri has focused on reaching the real humanity of her patients and on teaching young doctors to how to do the same. She is medicine’s leading proponent of the power of story—and of literature—to teach healthcare providers and to improve the practice of medicine.
Alan Shapiro, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has published ten books of poetry, most recently, Old War (Houghton Mifflin 2008). He has been the winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award and an LA Times Book Award in poetry, and has been a finalist in poetry and nonfiction for the National Books Critics Circle Award. A recipient of two awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, the O.B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C., the Sarah Teasdale Award from Wellesley College, and an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Shapiro has taught at UNC since 1995.
David Whyte is the author of The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America (Doubleday/Currency), Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity (Riverhead Books), and The Three Marriages: Understanding the Essentials of Work, Self and Relationship (Penguin Putman). His life as a poet has created a readership and listener-ship in three normally mutually exclusive areas, the literary world, the psychological and theological worlds of philosophical enquiry and the world of vocation, work and organizational leadership. In organizational settings, using poetry and thoughtful commentary, he illustrates how we can foster qualities of courage and engagement; qualities needed if we are to respond to today’s call for increased creativity and adaptability in the workplace. He brings a unique and important contribution to our understanding of the nature of individual and organizational change particularly through his unique perspectives on Conversational Leadership.
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