Jeanne Bryner

Please join us on Saturday, July 27 at 7:00 PM when we welcome Jeanne Bryner to City Books. Bryner will be discussing Learning to Heal: Reflections on Nursing School in Poetry and Prose which she co-edited with Cortney Davis.

Individually, Bryner is the author of several collections of poetry, one book of short stories, and a play. Her poetry collection Smoke received an American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award, and No Matter How Many Windows won the Working Class Studies Association Tillie Olsen Award. Bryner has received writing fellowships from Bucknell University, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Vermont Studio Center.

In brave, revealing, and often humorous poetry and prose, Learning to Heal explores these questions with contributions by nurses from a variety of social, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds. Readers meet a black nursing student who is surrounded by white teachers and patients in 1940, a mother who rises every morning at 5 a.m. to help her family ready for their day before she herself heads to anatomy class, and an itinerant Jewish teenager who is asked, “What will you become?” These individuals, and many other women and men, share personal stories of finding their way to nursing school, where they begin a long, often wonderful, and sometimes daunting, journey.

“In this remarkable anthology, 51 women and men describe their nursing school experiences, from initial fears and anxieties to increasing confidence and appreciation of the profession. Jeanne Bryner and Cortney Davis deliberately sought a diverse group of nurse-writers, from recent nursing graduates in their twenties to seasoned veterans in their nineties. Their collection includes writing about different races, nationalities, social and economic classes, and education levels. Besides being nurses, the contributors are gifted writers able to capture in poetry or prose the transforming moments of their lives.” —Carol C. Donley, co-founder of the Center for Literature and Medicine, Hiram College.