Winter Weekend teachers


Literature & Public Life

Bringing Mainers together to engage with topics that profoundly shape our communities.


Lizz Sinclair
Program Director
(207) 773-5051


Literature & Medicine

Experience from Within: Literature & Medicine

By Kate Webber One evening a month, a group gathers for three hours to share a potluck dinner and a book discussion. These aren’t teachers, and they’re not meeting at their local library. They’re a group of medical professionals at the Togus Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center who have come to actively improve their professional abilities… Read more

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MHC’s Domestic Violence Initiative

By Lizz Sinclair What does A Streetcar Named Desire, a play written 47 years ago about a family in New Orleans, have to say to Mainers today? Quite a lot, it turns out. There has been a lot of debate about the value of the humanities in the press recently, with many questioning their relevance…. Read more

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At the Thomas Nevola, MD Symposium on Spirituality and Health

By Lizz Sinclair Earlier this month, I led a workshop at the Thomas Nevola, MD Symposium on Spirituality and Health an annual conference focused on integrating medical and spiritual perspectives and resources in health, healing, and wellness (sponsored by the Thomas Nevola, MD Memorial Fund; Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency; and MaineGeneral Medical Center). This year’s… Read more

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On Literature & Medicine

By Abby Cutler For me, it’s always been about stories. But it hasn’t always been about patients. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a doctor. In high school and in college, I pursued my passions for writing, literature, and East Asian Studies. After graduation, I chose to chase a career in journalism and began… Read more

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The After Glow of After Shock

Victoria Bonebakker The crisis of health care! The disgraceful inadequacy of care for our veterans! Cut from these shrieking headlines and talk show sound bites to the scene of 170 health professionals, health professions students, scholars, and humanities council staff from 24 states, Canada and Argentina, mingling in an ornate Washington hotel lobby. Or imagine… Read more

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Caring for the Caregiver: Perspectives on Literature and Medicine

By Annie Medeiros One of the first things you noticed when you walked into the former armory—the central gathering place at the Maine Humanities Council’s November 9-10 conference for health care professionals—was a large mobile of 1,001 hand-folded, multi-colored peace cranes. On each table, instead of Prozac pens and Diflucan mints, there were Gerber daisies… Read more

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Quantifying the Power and Pleasure of Ideas

By Brita Zitin Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care® is a reading and discussion program for medical professionals that, as one participant writes, “renews the heart and soul of health care.” Program participants work in all aspects of patient care, and include nurses, physicians, support and allied staff, administrators, clergy, social… Read more

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Literature & Medicine | Ellsworth

Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care is unique among programs serving health care professionals. In hospitals or other health care facility settings, it brings together people with very diverse roles within the world of medicine, in a setting where everyone is on equal footing, to discuss a reading that has resonance… Read more

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Summary of Programs, 2004

By Diane Magras New Books, New Readers In 2004, New Books, New Readers served 27 sites, offering 45 four-session series to over 600people. People who are first learning to read often find the process frustrating. Many experience dismissive attitudes from friends and families, which sometimes persuades them to give up. Through reading and discussion groups… Read more

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Caring About You, Not Just Your Cat Scan

Imagine doctors, nurses, hospital trustees, administrators, lab techs, and physicians’ assistants meeting to talk about a book or short story they had all just read and reflecting on what it meant to them as professionals engaged in health care. This scene has taken place in 25 of Maine’s 38 hospitals in recent years, involving more… Read more

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The Humanities Interview: Dr. Charles Alexander | Literature & Medicine

By Charles Calhoun Dr. Charles Alexander is an internist who divides his time between clinical practice and serving as medical director of the 54-bed Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth. He helped organize the first year of participation by his hospital last winter in the Maine Humanities Council’s project Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the… Read more

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