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   Leopold’s Maneuvers

   Intensive Care: More Poetry
   and Prose by Nurses

   I Knew a Woman: Four
   Women Patients and Their
   Female Caregiver

   Willy Nilly Poems for Children

   Details of Flesh

   Between the Heartbeats:
   Poetry and Prose by Nurses

   The Body Flute

   Is It a Baby, or Just Some
   Cells?

 

 

Details of Flesh

In Details of Flesh, Cortney Davis conducts a frank exploration of caregiving in its many guises—a nurse tending her patients, a woman relating to parents, children, and lovers. Poems in this collection first appeared in journals such as Hudson Review, Ms., Crazyhorse, Calyx, Yankee, Literature & Medicine, Poetry East, and Viet Nam Generation.

Details of Flesh is a book of uncompromising emotional integrity, imaginative verve, even virtuosity.” —Thomas Lux

“A practicing nurse, Davis creates indelibly vivid portraits of patients and healers. Her poetry gleams with clear-eyed compassion, the unflinching courage to confront the suffering that few of us are willing to face. This book offers us a new vocabulary for agony and tenderness, mortality and transcendence of mortality.” —Martín Espada

Reviewer Doug Marx writes, “For Davis, there’s no split between what Yeats called the ‘life’ and the ‘work.’ Her profession provides an emotional and metaphorical framework for her art. There’s a compassionate matter-of-factness in these frequently graphic poems, and that tone is, in many ways, the book’s real success. Davis avoids the dangers inherent in this kind of material: voyeurism, self-martyrdom, New Age sentiment. Somewhat surprisingly, these poems are fairly free of black humor, a not uncommon characteristic among those who witness a lot of suffering. Instead, Davis brings to her experience an awareness of human sexuality that is almost revelatory in this seemingly asexual context. A kind of liberation is generated by such honesty, something a thousand hours of ‘ER’ or “Chicago Hope’ could never induce.”

 

 

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