by Katie Stepp
The University of West Georgia will host physician and poet Dr. Charles Bardes as the winner of the 2018 New Georgia Arts Literary Achievement Award. The award is given by The New Georgia Arts Collaborative (NGAC,) a coalition of writers, educators and patrons sponsoring cultural events and community outreach in greater Atlanta.
As a recipient of this award, he will serve as an artist-in-residence for two weeks in the West Georgia area, from Feb. 16 to March 2. He will provide readings in Newnan, Carrollton, Serenbe and Atlanta, and speak about the vital and social role of poets and writers.
Currently, Bardes serves as professor of clinical medicine and associate dean at Weill Cornell Medical College at Cornell University. As a talented poet, his works have appeared in numerous literary journals.
His most recent work, “Diary of Our Fatal Illness,” is an extended prose poem that explores health care and sickness, following his father’s two-year battle with cancer.
“Dr. Charles Bardes is one of those rare individuals who excels in two professional fields at the same time,” said Dr. Gregory Fraser, UWG professor of English. “When he writes about illness and suffering, and healing and care, he does so with a mind that sees in two directions–towards medicine and art, and science and literature. This double-vision makes him doubly powerful as a poet, and we are deeply honored to present him with this year’s award.”
Dr. Kelly Dyar, UWG assistant professor of nursing, has been selected for a fellowship to work with Bardes during his visit.
“I am honored to have been chosen to participate in Dr. Bardes’ visit,” Dyar said. “Having the opportunity to incorporate Dr. Bardes’ work into a course allows me to show our students that they can learn about nursing and caring for others through literature and the arts. Our students need to develop the ability to make clinical judgments, and noticing nuances in the metaphors of the poem helps them begin to develop skills in observing things with their patients and the environments of care.”
The Tanner Health System School of Nursing (THSSON) is pleased to be included in the collaboration with COAH in hosting Bardes.
“We are looking forward to hosting Dr. Bardes and introducing him to our nurse colleagues who will be in attendance from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, as well as a group of nursing undergraduate and graduate students from UWG,” said Dr. Jenny Schuessler, dean of THSSON.