the Healing Muse

The Healing Muse is the annual journal of literary and visual art published by SUNY Upstate Medical University's Center for Bioethics & Humanities. We welcome fiction, poetry, narratives, essays, memoirs and visual art, particularly but not exclusively focusing on themes of medicine, illness, disability and healing.

Poetry Month with Two-Bit Haiku April 2014

gumball machine
In celebration of National Poetry Month, The Healing Muse installed a poetry gumball machine last April on the 9th floor of Weiskotten Hall on the Upstate Medical University campus for the month of April. A mere quarter got you a poem from a recent issue of The Healing Muse.



This year we asked Upstate’s students, faculty, and staff, to write a haiku for the gumball machine. The response was overwhelming! All proceeds from the gumball machine will go to support Upstate's annual Dearing Writing Award for students.

A haiku from Laura Prestia, PhD Candidate 2014, Neuroscience Graduate Program celebrates this effort:

Gumball, gumball, yum!
A quarter you paid for one.
Gumballs? You got none!

The Healing Muse 13

   Excerpts from the Editor's Note Page

     A defining characteristic of being human is our passionate devotion to anniversaries, beginning with our birth date and spiraling out from there. Each of us has particular occasions inscribed within us that we mark in public and private ways. When we fall in love, for example, every “first” seems worthy of commemoration: “the first day I saw you; the first day I knew I loved you; the first day we said we loved each other,” but this being planet Earth that joy eventually has to give way to other less desirable dates. Almost out of nowhere, we come to a time when we mark a different kind of milestone: the day we heard the diagnosis, the day we started chemo or radiation, the day we had surgery or the days when we seemed to be losing ground. Perhaps we even reach the ultimate anniversary, the day a beloved person dies.

     For us here at The Muse, this October marks the tenth anniversary since our founder, B.A. St. Andrews, died. I write those words and still feel that loss with a sense of disbelief, the same disbelief we find in the following pages where a narrator cannot believe how easily the world goes on, happily even, while at home all has been turned upside down, inside out, and “life as we know it” takes on a very different look. Consolation comes in various ways and in its own time as we learn to accommodate to the new life; we may stumble, but we keep moving forward.

     To be human is to be in transit; we are always moving, and we cannot stop the clock. We can, however, insist upon our place in the world. We mark it with anniversaries and people, and when we write about them, we move them past ourselves into the wider world that goes on beyond and after us. I hope you will cherish what you find in these pages, evidence of our common journey and our mutual dependence. I thank our writers and artists for reminding me again that art like love endures and transcends all things.

Deirdre Neilen Vol. 13, No. 1 (Fall) 2013

To order our latest volume, visit our Support the Muse/Order Copies page.

The Healing Muse celebrated its thirteenth anniversary publication launch on October 30, 2013. Many of the local writers and visual artists from our 13th issue attended, read, and shared their stories with us.

SUNY Upstate Medical University's HealthLink On Air
Sundays on WRVO Public Media at 9 am

Interviews with host Linda Cohen and Dr. Deirdre Neilen, Editor of The Healing Muse

Visit our Muse Media webpage for interviews and videos.

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Accepted annually September 1 through May 1.