Why Stories Matter: Writing about Illness

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HARTSVILLE, S.C. – April 9, 2013 – A poem by a Coker College professor of Spanish Cathy Cuppett has been included in a new anthology entitled “The Art of Medicine in Metaphors: A Collection of Poems and Narratives.”

Cuppett, along with other local contributors to the anthology, will read her poem in a forum titled “Why Stories Matter:  Writing about Illness” at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27 in the Main Meeting Room of the Sumter Public Library.

Cuppett’s poem, “the surgeon’s art,” describes part of her experience following an unexpected gallbladder surgery that was performed laparoscopically.

James Borton, who edited the anthology and is a writing instructor at the University of South Carolina Sumter, became interested in stories about illness after undergoing a nearly fatal triple bypass surgery. In 2011, he developed a class that explores writings about illness and recovery called Themes in Medicine and Literature. The class led to a statewide competition and festival, Medicine and Metaphors: Writing from the Heart, in 2011.

Cuppett submitted “the surgeon’s art” to the competition and was recognized with an Honorable Mention award at the Medical Humanities Symposium of the 2011 Humanities Festival held in Sumter.

“The Art of Medicine in Metaphors: A Collection of Poems and Narratives” was released this January and includes Cuppett’s poem on page 44.




Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.



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