August 21, 2011

Gwenn A. Nusbaum


Day opens, clouds
release their grip, light

the color of turnips, escaping.
A man reads a newspaper as though

his wife’s surgery will turn up
on one of the pages. He holds

the paper like a shield.
The nurses keep their distance.

You can’t see it from this angle,
but babies are being born.

from Rattle #34, Winter 2010
Tribute to Mental Health Workers


Gwenn A. Nusbaum: “My first recorded poem was in eighth grade. By high school, I declared in another poem that the pen was my favorite tool for expression. I followed the ‘conventional’ track of pursuing professional studies in psychology in college, yet straddled the world of the arts—especially English and literature. Graduate school in social work and post-graduate training in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis led to a career in which I have the privilege of helping people navigate their lives, engaging in personal dialogues. Before work, I write poetry. I see poems as possessing the potential for global dialogue, human to human, soul to soul.”

Rattle Logo

February 27, 2001

Tribute to Mental Health Workers

Conversations with
Ted Kooser & William O’Daly


Releasing in December, 2010, Rattle #34 turns its attention to another intimate vocation, spotlighting the poetry of 26 mental health professionals. These psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, counselors, and case-workers dive inside the mind daily and come home soggy with the muck of dreams. Many of them write about their careers, but the scope is broad, and all of their poems are informed by years of training and unique insights on the human soul. The section is highlighted throughout by the stunning abstract portraiture of art therapist Mia Barkan Clarke. As psychoanalyst Forrest Hamer writes, “so much depends on what’s under.”

Yet the Tribute is only part of the issue. Rattle #34’s open section features the work of 50 poets, plus the 11 winners of the 2010 Rattle Poetry Prize. Also, Alan Fox interviews former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser and Pablo Neruda translator William O’Daly.


Mental Health Workers

Richard Brostoff Some Thoughts on the Relationship…
Michelle Amerson Delusions
Myra Binns Bridgforth 3 p.m. Clients Must Not Be Boring
Elizabeth Burk Living Alone
Elizabeth Chapman Stella
Sharon L. Charde Love’s Executioner
Nina Corwin Speaking of Tongues
Ray Emanuel 4% of Everything or Nothing
Helen Montague Foster For a Patient…
Michael Fulop The End of the Old Woman
Kate Gleason While Reading Scientific American…
Tony Gloeggler Trading Places or Out Among…
Forrest Hamer A Poem Also About Duplicity
A Poem Also About the…
Donna C. Henderson To Tinnitus
Diane Klammer These Are the Rules
Jerry Kraft Such Music as This
Perie Longo Said
Peter Marcus The Boundaries
Fran Markover Addictions Counselor
Ken Meisel Psych Ward
Glenn Morazzini Where Do You Go?
Gwenn A. Nusbaum Hospital, Spring
Renee Podunovich This Poem Is Not About Me
Jill Stein Lunch with My Parents
Charles Harper Webb A Bad Way to Go
Maryhelen Snyder The Art of Waiting: The Parallels…


Paul David Adkins War Story #133: Helicopter Ride…
Chris Anderson The Junco and the Boy
Ron Anderson Fluid
Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz Op-Ed for the Sad Sack…
Ellen Bass Gophers
Craig Beaven Arguments About the World
Cindy Beebe While I Am Driving in the Morning…
Heather Bell Urgent Care
Marvin Bell The Book of the Dead Man…
Ace Boggess “Can They Do That?”
Marianne Boruch When’s a Fork a Spoon
Andrea Hollander Budy Field Hospital
Trent Busch The Ordinary Man
Mario Chard The Barrel
Thomas Cochran Fishing
Michael Diebert Retail
William Doreski The Concerto I Composed… 
Jehanne Dubrow Nowa Huta
J.C. Ellefson Last Words of Encouragement…
Alan Fox Vanished
Jeffrey Franklin Living Right
Anne Haines What This Poem Will Do
Christopher Kempf The Professors’ Wives
Robert W. King A Language
Michael Kriesel As Crickets Chip Away the Light
Ilyse Kusnetz Match Girls
J.T. Ledbetter Grandmother
Gary Lemons Missing in Action
M While My Mother Rots in Memory…
David T. Manning Not My World
Michael Miller The Invisible Life
Peter Nash Have You Seen My Son?
William Neumire Branches
Harry Newman Early Snow
William O’Daly To the Antiphonist, from Bill Nephele
Matthew Olzmann Rare Architecture
Joel Peckham Body Memory
Doug Ramspeck One True Poem
Lauren Schmidt Why I Am Not a Taxidermist
Prartho Sereno Mr. James’s Marvelous Thing
John L. Stanizzi Defiantly
Sarah Pemberton Strong Cold Tea
Tim Suermondt Graduation
Mark Terrill A Poem for Parking Lots
Elizabeth Volpe Loaves and Fishes
Kathleen A. Wakefield Relic
Jesse Weiner Salome
Adam Michael Wright Make a Wish Foundation
Maya Jewell Zeller My Grandmother’s Cow

Poetry Prize Winner

Patricia Smith Tavern. Tavern. Church. Shuttered…

Honorable Mentions

Michele Battiste Once More, with Feeling
Heidi Garnett Sin of Unrequited Love
Valentina Gnup We Speak of August
francine j. harris Katherine with the Lazy Eye. Short…
Courtney Kampa Avant-garde
The Miscarriage
Devon Miller-Duggan Old Blue
Andrew Nurkin The Contest
Laura Read This Time We’ll Go to Kentucky…
Scott Withiam The Petty Snow


Ted Kooser
William O’Daly