Julene's Reviews > The Underwater Hospital

The Underwater Hospital by Jan Steckel
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's review
Dec 14, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: poetry

This chapbook tells brave stories from inside the hospital and inside the heart. These narratives are raw, and honest, at times intense. From her poem, "Hard as Nails," she reflects on working as a senior resident in pediatrics, "if my nails were pretty on call nights,/no one on my floor would die."

She explores sexuality as a bisexual woman and the stereotypes inherent in societies perceptions; in her poem "Daddy's Little Girl" she explores how a father perceives a female doctor as the future perfect mate for his daughter.

Within this short book are many stories of female lives; her poetry is cross cultural bringing us the poem "Three Little Sisters" from Selinas, and the distraught mother in "Dios le bendiga" who begs the female doctor to fix her too after her daughter has been cured of syphilis. In one poem we know it is she who was encouraged by her grandmother to write. While reading I laughed and was filled with sadness.

My gut tells me each story, in this short chapbook of twelve poems, has at least a hundred stories wrapped inside it waiting to be told. There no doubt will be more coming. I look forward to reading more of her writing.
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message 2: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan Thanks, Jolene, I hope you like it! You wouldn't be interested in trading chapbooks, would you?

message 1: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan Thanks for the great review, Jolene! It means a lot coming from someone like yourself who works with difficult "cases" (read: people with great hardships) and who writes such stunning poems herself.

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