Tuesday News: Jewish American poets, book doctors, another 2016 list, and heartbreaking wedding video
Spotlight on Jewish American Poets – Hanukkah begins this weekend, and My Poetic Side has a nice feature on Jewish American poets from the 19th – 21st centuries. The list is particularly noteworthy because it contains a number of female poets, including Emma Lazarus, Louise Gluck, and Alicia Ostriker, among others:
Born in 1937 in Brooklyn, Alicia Ostriker took inspiration from the Robert Browning poems and Shakespeare plays her mother read to her as a child and began writing poems at an early age. Ostriker is both a Jewish and feminist poet and her writing demonstrates these identities with beautiful ferocity. The Mother-Child Papers, published in 1980, is a response to the birth of her son during the Vietnam War and the country’s reaction to the Kent State shootings. Her 1996 collection The Crack in Everything ambitiously explores illness, healing, art, and the flawed world we all exist in. Ostriker currently teaches poetry at Drew University’s Low-Residency MFA Program. – My Poetic Side
‘Book Doctors’ Say What You Need Is a Good Read – I’ve noticed that the Wall Street Journal tends to put many of its articles behind a paywall after a time, so hopefully you can catch this one before it gets truncated. Because it’s, uh, interesting. The general topic is the rising field of “bibliotherapy,” in which everyone from novelists to medical doctors are using book recommendations for therapeutic purposes. The article starts with a cheesy example of a novelist dressed in a doctor’s costume at the Frankfurt Book Fair, handing out “scripts” for different book, including his own, then moves on to more literal interpretations of the term. In some cases, the argument is that “book prescriptions” can substitute for psychologists (no, I’m not kidding), while in other examples, M.D.’s are using books to augment or supplement other therapies:
In the U.K., even M.D.s are recommending books. The Reading Agency, a charity, works with health professionals and libraries to offer “books on prescription”—reading lists to help patients manage different areas of health and well-being. These are mostly self-help but the agency also assembles lists of mood-boosting books, including one it puts together with a cancer organization.
The Reader, another U.K. organization, hosts reading groups for patients with dementia and chronic pain. “We concentrate on literature—not in a snobby sense but in a sense that everyone can connect,” said spokeswoman Emma Walsh. She said some chronic-pain patients respond better to reading in groups than to cognitive behavioral therapy.
Caroline Donahue, a life coach based in Los Angeles, offers fee-based literary “prescriptions” of mostly self-help and nonfiction, and hosts a free podcast along with her website, The Book Dr. – Wall Street Journal
THE BOOKS WE LOVED IN 2016 – One nice thing about this list from The New Yorker, besides the fact that it contains recommendations from multiple contributors, is that it’s not completely made up of new release books (and therefore feels like less of an extended advertisement). All Quiet on the Western Front and Madame Bovary are mixed in with Eleven Hours and A Strangeness in My Mind. Also, I must say I could related to Rebecca Mead’s description of her 2016 headspace:
It sometimes felt like there was little time for Books I Loved this year, what with staying on top of the all-consuming Twitter Feed I Hated. But some of the reading that I did (in actual books, on real paper—what a relief) took me away from the appalling questions that the news was raising, questions like “So is this what American fascism looks like?,” or “Wait, what happened to my E.U. citizenship?,” or, simply, “Are you fucking kidding me?” – The New Yorker
Man Marries Fiancée Hours Before He Dies of Cancer – A young man who wanted to give his fiancee a “fairytale wedding” wasn’t able to manage it before he was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, but the couple did get a pretty special ceremony. What makes this story even more heartrending is that the wedding is captured in video. And I suggest that you only watch it if you can handle your romance with a major dose of tragedy (with no mutual HEA and a wedding ceremony in Texas, with lots of ‘marriage between a man and a woman’ rhetoric).
When a chaplain at Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital in Amarillo, Texas, asked Raul “Tiny” Hinojosa, 33, what he wanted his final wish to be, Hinojosa told him he “wanted to marry her. I want her to be mine.” According to CNN, “her” was Yvonne Lamas, his girlfriend of 11 years, fiancée of nine. The hospital staff arranged the wedding for the couple hours before Hinojosa died. . . .
A 19-minute video posted by a family member to Facebook shows critical care nurses forming an aisle for Lamas to walk down. Also in the room are Lamas’s three children from a previous relationship who Hinojosa raised with her and the couple’s 9-year-old son. – Yahoo News