These Are the Hands: Poems from the Heart of the NHS
Author: Edited by Katie Amiel (Clare 1997) and Deborah Alma
Publisher: Fair Acre Press
There has been a dramatic growth in the popularity and sales figures for both poetry and medical memoirs and this anthology is unique in combining both of these. In addition, it is the first poetry anthology to give a voice to NHS staff at a critically important time for the NHS and its future.
All proceeds from book sales will be going to NHS Charities Together which supports over 140 official NHS charities all over the UK e.g. Great Ormond St, Royal Marsden etc.
We invited submissions of poems by all NHS staff and students, past and present and received incredibly moving and beautiful work from a huge range of staff all over the UK - doctors and nurses at all stages of their careers and also the voices we rarely get to hear such as domestic cleaning, clerical staff, clinical scientists etc. One chapter ’The Other Side’ tells the stories of NHS staffs' experiences of becoming patients themselves and ‘Only Human’ explores areas such as the emotional cost of care, burnout etc.
Leading UK poets have also donated poems to the anthology including Michael Rosen, Roger McGough, Lemn Sissay, Sabrina Mahfouz, Kate Clanchy, Charly Cox, Sheenagh Pugh, Molly Case (nurse and author of How To Treat People), Wendy Cope and the estates of UA Fanthorpe, Elaine Feinstein, Dannie Abse and Julia Darling.
Stephen Fry: ‘A wonderful anthology to celebrate the NHS, which is itself the best poem a country has ever written’
Adam Kay: ‘This is a beautiful book: heartfelt and intimate’
Simon Armitage: ‘Every ward and waiting room should have a copy’
Michael Rosen: ’The very heart of who we are and what we are here for. An exciting and wonderful book’
Lemn Sissay: 'This is the writing wing of the NHS. This is where the open heart surgery is. What a beautiful operation.’
Mark Haddon: ‘Deeply moving poetry from the people who work to keep us whole and healthy and happy and who care for us when we’re broken’
Rachel Clarke: ‘Such a wonderful way of giving staff a voice - and of capturing the warm, caring, magnificent heart of the NHS’