I am an Assistant Professor of Medical Humanities at Bard Early College. I am also the first African American PhD graduate from the University of Texas Medical Branch at the Institute for the Medical Humanities. The crux of my academic and professional interests have been critical, sociomedical analyses of the ways in which culture (particularly American culture) has informed and affected the knowledges and practice of medicine.
During the past ten years, I have published articles on infanticide among indigenous peoples in Alaska, presented papers nationally and internationally on the trajectory of medical processes and medical education, and published a book examining the effects of race and stigma on the survivorship of victims of Hurricane Katrina. The latter is entitled Health, Healing, and Hurricane Katrina: A Critical Analysis of Psychosomatic Illness in Survivorsand is sold in five countries.
Throughout my academic and professional journey, however, I have had to compartmentalize my creative Self from my scientific Self. An introduction to medical narrative, and poetry and medicine at a writer’s retreat in Taos, New Mexico—while I was in graduate school—changed all of that. It not only informed me of a space in science and medicine where the creative voice was championed, but it also afforded me the opportunity to be a more cohesive Self. The poems published here, in leaflet, evidence a new leaf (pun intended) in my journey as a poet-scientist, poet-social scientist, medical humanist-poet or just poet (with a medical humanist, social scientific, medical background).