The Healer’s Burden Book Launch Celebration

January 14, 2021 - 7:00pm
Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

Pour yourself a glass of wine or your favorite winter beverage and join us virtually at Prairie Lights Bookstore as we celebrate the launch of one healthcare's most needed books, The Healer's Burden: Stories and Poems of Professional Grief.  Listen to contributors read their work and  show your support and gratitude for those on the frontlines.  Anyone willing to be moved by powerful stories and poems about the weight our healthcare workers carry will want to attend.

To join this virtuel event, register here.

In a culture that discourages vulnerability, how can a healthcare professional effectively deal with death, especially now in this critical time of pandemic? The Healer’s Burden: Stories and Poems of Professional Grief makes a space to tend this occult grief, and not a moment too soon. Kenneth J. Doka, PhD and author of Disenfranchised Grief, Grief Is a Journey says of the book, "The Healer’s Burden: Stories and Poems of Professional Grief brings to the fore the feelings of end-of-life professionals as they daily face dying and death. Such workers will find their grief– heretofore disenfranchised–now validated. While this alone is so valuable, they can also find strategies to cope with the inevitable experience, yet often hidden, of the impact of loss and grief. Given the current pandemic, this book could not have arrived at a more needed time. It is a mandated read for seasoned and beginning health carers now working in that thin space between life and death." 

Melissa Fournier works as the Program Director for Michael’s Place, a nonprofit bereavement support center in Traverse City, MI, where she designs and facilitates grief support programs including Writing Through Loss, an ongoing writing workshop aimed at helping individuals shape their grief narrative. Melissa has worked in adult, pediatric, and perinatal hospice, mental health, and has been a featured speaker on end-of-life, bereavement, and ethics. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wayne State University, and a Certificate of Professional Achievement in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University. Her writing has appeared in Dunes Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine, and Medical Literary Messenger. She is coeditor of AFTER: Stories about Loss and What Comes Next (Barnwood Books, 2019) and author of Abruptio (The Poetry Box, 2019).

Gina Pribaz is a clinical associate in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, where she teaches creative writing and health humanities. She has developed humanities, arts, and ethics programming at a nonprofit healthcare system in Peoria, IL. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Northwestern University, a Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Iowa, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame. Her essays have appeared in Body and Soul: Narratives of Healing from Ars Medica, Tampa Review, Brain,Child Magazine, and elsewhere.

Contributors include: Jafar Al-Mondhiry, Shannon Arntfield, Daniel Becker, Christopher Blake, Joseph Bocchicchio, Lila Flavin, Rachel, Fleishman, Serena J. Fox, William French, Jennifer Hu, Simone Kantola, Pam Lenkov, Mary C. Lindberg, Teegan Mannion, Veneta Masson, Pamela A. Mitchell, Richard Morand, Kacper Niburski, Paivi E. Pittman, Aneesh Rajmaira, Sheri Reda, Lara Ronan, Hui-wen Alina Sato, Thom Schwartz, Elena Schwolsky, Katherine DiBella Seluja, Howard F. Stein, Daniel J. Waters, Kelley White, Rondalyn Varney Whitney, Anna-leila Williams, and Maria Wolfe.