A History of Nursing

 

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See Anne as the featured reader at Charis Books on August 20, 7:30 PM.

She will also read at the Decatur Book Festival on Sept. 6, 1:15 PM, as part of the Poet's Stage at Java Monkey.

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 AnneWebster@Earthlink.net.

On July 18, Anne presented a poetry workshop at the Harriett Austin Writers Conference at the University of Georgia, to rave reviews.

 

    

©Copyright 2008-2009 Anne Webster

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