Perpetual Care

Susan Eisenberg (Author)


Poet and visual artist Susan Eisenberg's fourth collection lyrically explores the particular doctor-patient relationships, medical experiences, encounters, and adjustments of longterm chronic illness. Perpetual Care takes the reader from "whirlpools/of symptoms that shifted shape," through diagnosis of lupus and thyroid cancer, to navigate between scares and dailiness. Striking fine art photographs of her medication bottles traversing a Victorian cemetery through changing seasons, complement these strong poems.

From the back cover:
"In this powerful collection, Eisenberg captures the essence of being a patient in the modern health care system. Always poignant, at times playful, Eisenberg's economical and evocative words allow the reader to experience the full array of emotion associated with being a patient. I have shared these treasures with my patients and professional colleagues alike. So real, so true, so honest--at times breathtaking "
--Donald I. Abrams, MD, Chief, Hematology-Oncology, San Francisco General Hospital

"Incisive, lively, witty, Perpetual Care brilliantly defies its subject matter. Using an impressive range of forms, styles, and metaphors, Susan Eisenberg draws us deeply into the emotional complexities of a 'flock of illnesses.' Whatever your background--as patient and/or provider--you will find this book difficult to put down. The poet's striking photographs add resonance to both the title and these surprisingly hopeful poems."
-- Martha Collins, poet, Blue Front

"Through this haunting collection of poetry and photographic images, we bear witness to the patient's experience with the uncertainties of illness, the sharp edges of the health care system, and the communication divide between patient and doctor, guided, challenged, inspired, and humbled by Eisenberg's stark humor, wisdom and resilience." --Barbara Gottlieb, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston

Product Details

$22.95  $21.11
Third Rail Press
Publish Date
March 19, 2016
8.5 X 0.21 X 8.5 inches | 0.48 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Susan Eisenberg, born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, is a poet, visual artist, and oral historian, who works within and across genres. First introduced to the craft of poetry by Denise Levertov, she is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and taught for a decade at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is author of three previous poetry collections-Blind Spot, Pioneering, and It's a Good Thing I'm Not Macho-as well as the nonfiction New York Times Notable Book, We'll Call You If We Need You: Experiences of Women Working Construction, optioned by MGM. Awards include a Mass Humanities "Freedom and Justice for All" grant and three residencies at Hedgebrook. A 35-year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), she was among the first women in the country to become a licensed union electrician. On Equal Terms, her 900-square-foot installation combining poetry with 3-D mixed media, audio, photography, found objects, and artifacts, has been exhibited in galleries in Massachusetts, Michigan, and New York. A longtime resident of the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, she is a Resident Artist/Scholar at the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center where her projects focus on medical humanities and employment equity; and the 2016-2017 Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist at the University of Michigan.