Poetry and Nursing: A Match Made in Heaven


On October 28th, 2013, we hosted a very special episode of RN.FM Radio which focused on poetry and its relationship to nursing and medicine. Our three guests waxed poetic (pun intended) and it was a wonderful evening of deep sharing and moving poetic voices.

Here is a description of our three guests:

Stacy Nigliazzo

One of our guests was Stacy Nigliazzo, a brilliant nurse poet who was previously our guest during the most recent Scrubs Magazine Extravaganza.

Stacy is an emergency room nurse. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including JAMA, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, and Annals of Emergency Medicine. Her poem “Relic” was a finalist for the 2012 Marica and Jan Vilcek Poetry Prize. She reviews poetry for the American Journal of Nursing and the Bellevue Literary Review.

Stacy’s debut book of poetry, Scissored Moon, is a beautiful piece of work in which many nurses will find solace and familiar territory translated into moving verse. Please click here to purchase a copy–you will not be disappointed.

Judy Shaefer

Judy Schaefer, RN, MA, edited the first biographical/autobiographical work of English speaking nurse-poets, The Poetry of Nursing: Poems and Commentaries of Leading Nurse-Poets, (The Kent State University Press, 2006) and co-edited the first international anthology of creative writing by nurses, Between the Heartbeats (University of Iowa Press, 1995). She has been published in journals such as Academic Medicine, The American Journal of Nursing and The Lancet.  Judy is Poetry Co-editor for Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine (www.pulsemagazine.org).   Her most recent book is Wild Onion Nurse (Radcliffe, 2010), a collection of her poetry published in a college of medicine literary journal.

Tom Lombardo

Tom Lombardo was the founding Editor-in-Chief of WebMD and has been a medical editor/writer for 20 years. He is also  a poet, essayist, and freelance medical writer who lives in Midtown Atlanta. Tom’s poems have appeared in journals in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and India (translated to Hindi and Mayalayam), including Southern Poetry Review, Ambit, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, and many others. His nonfiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Small Press, 2009. He was editor of After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life Shattering Events, an anthology featuring 152 poems by 115 poets from 15 nations. Tom runs the Poetry of Recovery blog at www.poetryofrecovery.blogspot.com. Tom is also poetry series editor for Press 53, which is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (and is the publisher of Scissored Moon, Stacy Nigliazzo’s debut book pf poetry mentioned above). Please visit Tom’s two poetry Facebook pages, What Bends Us Blue and Poetry of Recovery.

Creativity, Poetry and RN.FM Radio

We hope that the growing pantheon of creative nurses who have graced the airwaves of RN.FM Radio will continue to inspire other nurses in the pursuit of their own creative outlets and personal expression, and we encourage our readers and listeners to visit the websites of our esteemed guests and add their poetry collections to your bookshelves.

Here’s to our collective and individual inspiration and creativity!