Narrative Medicine: Community Poetry Heals Young and Old

Allison Smith Walker

Abstract


This is a snapshot of a service learning course founded on narrative medicine, a clinical practice designed to replace impersonal care with empathic listening. By utilizing poetry therapy techniques among nursing home populations, a program called HPU LifeLines promotes a community literacy of illness and provides psychological and physical benefits to elders and students alike through intergenerational relationships sustained by a community writing infrastructure. 


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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.