About Anne Webster
When Anne Webster, a fifth generation
native of Atlanta, was born, her parents lived two blocks from the
future site of the hospital where she would attend nursing school
and later work until the end of her career.
Despite childhood Christmas gifts of toy stethoscopes and candy
pills, Anne knew that she didn’t want to be a nurse. She imagined
herself becoming a scientist or a famous artist, especially after
she won a blue ribbon in a fourth grade art contest. But following
high school, her divorced mother’s secretarial salary forced Anne to
choose not college, but a three-year nursing school that, because of
a scholarship, cost her only $175.
Following graduation and marriage, Anne worked at a downtown
hospital. She soon realized that nursing didn’t fulfill her desire
to make art, so she took evening classes at the Atlanta College of
Art. When she couldn’t find time to paint after the birth of her
second baby, her sister, Rosemary Daniell, asked Anne to join a
group of aspiring poets who met each week at Rosemary’s house.
Writing came naturally to Anne, just as it had to her mother, who
published personal essays in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and
to her sister—now the author of eight books. Soon Webster’s poems
appeared in local university presses, the Southern Poetry Review,
and The New York Quarterly.
During more than 25 years of nursing practice, Anne worked as a
critical care staff nurse, hospital supervisor, and nursing
administrator. When a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease forced her to
leave her nursing job, Anne became both a nurse and a patient. It
was only when she was on the receiving end of health care that she
learned the true importance of her profession.
All the while, Anne
continued to write. Her poems and essays have been published in
many literary journals and anthologies. She has also conducted
creative writing workshops and taught business writing. Personal
experiences with illness began to influence her later work, and
she recently contributed a chapter to The Poetry of Nursing;
Commentaries and Poems of Leading Nurse Poets, a text now
used in Medical Humanities and creative writing courses in
several universities. A poem in Stories of Illness: Women
Write Their Bodies was praised in a review in the Journal
of the American Medical Association, and other poems will
appear in spring 2009 in A Call to Nursing, an anthology
edited by Pauli Sergi, RN, and Gerry Gorman, RN, PhD.
Anne recently completed Gutshot: A Nurse
Betrayed, a memoir that chronicles her bout with Crohn’s disease
and finding herself the victim of medical error. She is now working
on A Second-Choice Life, a memoir about becoming a nurse.
Anne lives in Atlanta with her husband, near the spot where her
great-great-grandfather arrived with his nine sons in the back of a
covered wagon at the end of the Confederate War.
Contact Anne at
On July 18, Anne presented a poetry workshop at the Harriett Austin Writers Conference at
of Georgia, to rave reviews.