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Anatomy link inspires poet

Acclaimed American poet Marianne Boruch will explore the links between literature and medicine at an event at the Old Anatomy Lecture Theatre on Wednesday, 21March.

Professor Boruch, who has been appointed as the first Fulbright-Scotland Visiting Professor at the University, will present her sequence ‘Cadaver, Speak’ - poems from the Dissection Lab’.

Inspired readings

Students from the Medical School and English Literature will join Professor Boruch in reading the poems inspired by her experience in the dissection lab at Indiana University Medical School on the Purdue University campus, where she has taught as a Professor of English since 1987.

Professor Boruch, who is also a respected literary critic, is based at Edinburgh as part of a prestigious Fulbright exchange which commenced in January.

Medicine and Literature links

During the six-month visit, Professor Boruch is teaching a poetry workshop and is giving lectures and readings as part of the University’s creative writing programme. She is also a Fellow in IASH, the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities.

Professor Boruch will also spend time at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh as she completes her eighth collection of poetry. She will also research an essay on the connection between the idea of poetry and diagnosis, and the medical training of Conan Doyle and John Keats.

She will be giving a reading of more of her poems at Surgeons Hall in Nicolson Street on Saturday evening, 28 April. She will also be lecturing on how poems end at 4.30pm in Faculty Room North, David Hume Tower, on Friday, March 30.

Academic exchange

The visit is organised by the US-UK Fulbright Commission, which is part of the worldwide Fulbright Program - one of the world’s most prestigious academic exchange programmes.

The Fulbright Program was set up by US Senator J. William Fulbright after the Second World War to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange.

Notable alumni

Notable alumni of the scheme include economist Milton Friedman, poet Slyvia Plath and Edinburgh-based mathematician Sir Michael Atiyah.

E.M.Forster famously wrote ‘only connect’. And I think that’s exactly what we are doing, bringing poetry and medicine together. I’m grateful to the University of Edinburgh which has long aided and abetted such vital crossings, and to my co-readers – brave volunteers from the Medical School and English Literature – for helping this leap.

Professor Boruch

The University of Edinburgh has been attracting international scholars and contributing to international debate for more than four centuries; having such scholars join us broadens and complements our research community. The University is proud to attract staff and students from all over the world and we are delighted to extend this through this prestigious Fulbright Distinguished Chair Programme.

Vice-Principal Professor Dorothy MiellHead of the College of Humanities and Social Science,

Professor Boruch’s reading are also part of the celebrations for the 250th anniversary of English Literature at the Universary. The occasion is being marked with exhibitions, events, talks, readings and seminars throughout the year.