Transforming Your Medical Records Into Poetry Workshop

“Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick,” opens Susan Sontag’s book Illness as Metaphor.

And in the kingdom of illness, surgery, and disease, we encounter mysterious words such as electrocautery, compression deformity, and peak systolic strain. For those of us who are not medical professionals, these words may feel overly complicated and overwhelming.

So, what happens when we define these words? Explore their etymological roots? Demystify them? What happens when we listen to their musicality and rhythm? What happens when we begin to use a medical report’s terminology to craft a poem?

Transforming Medical Reports into Poetry is an interactive 90-minute poetry workshop that will invite you to reclaim what may feel like the disembodied language of a medical report, embody it, and utilize that language in a poem.

Throughout our time, I will share examples of poems that incorporate medical language and provide writing prompts. You will dig into the language of your medical report and transform it into a poem (or two or three).

Read Deconstructing “Deconstructing the Right Breast.” Here is an example of a poem made with a medical report and a narrative explanation of the process.

Sign up for Transforming Medical Reports into Poetry TODAY!

2 responses to “Transforming Your Medical Records Into Poetry Workshop”

  1. Jenny, thank you for offering this workshop. I had the honor to take part in your class and it was a moving and healing experience for me. Looking at my record with a writer’s eye instead of a patient’s eye was deeply meaningful and such a powerful way to reclaim words that held so many negative connotations. It was fascinating to me to take a painful part of my past (and current journey) with chronic illness, a sterile detached-from-feeling medical report, and turn it into poetry. Thank you for sharing this unique writing process with others. It is such a gift along the unpredictable road of chronic disease.

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    1. Carla, thank you for your kind and thoughtful reflection. I am honored to have been given the space and time to share my reflections and poetry with you. And I am so glad that the process offered a space for healing. Thank you again for your willingness to dive in and open yourself up to the potential for transformation. Truly, poetry is the gift!

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