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VA New Jersey Health Care System

 

Veteran patient returns to poetry for healing

Cornel Spalding-Brown (center) holds a published book of his poems surrounded by VA New Jersey Health Care System staff that attended his recital.

Cornel Spalding-Brown (center) holds a published book of his poems surrounded by VA New Jersey Health Care System staff that attended his recital.

By Jason Kaneshiro, VANJHCS public affairs officer
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A Veteran patient read a selection of his published poems for caregivers, administrators and patients during a recital April 8 at the VA Medical Center at East Orange, New Jersey.

Cornel Spalding-Brown, who has two published books of his poems, thanked those who gathered for the reading.

“You have lifted the spirit of someone who has been down,” Spalding-Brown said.

Spalding-Brown said that sharing his works with the attendees gave him a better sense of being and he found happiness though expressing himself through poetry.

“My material comes from my emotions,” Spalding-Brown said. “The pages are my canvas.”

Carol Gibson-Gill, Chief of Spinal Cord Injury Service at VA New Jersey, learned that Spalding-Brown was a published poet and thought he may be interested in sharing some of his poems with others there.

“I asked him if he’d be willing to do a reading for patients and staff and he said he’d be more than happy to do that,” Gibson-Gill said.

Gibson-Gill asked Spalding-Brown for the titles of his published books and had ordered one to bring to the recital for Spalding-Brown to read from.

“He was very pleased he got the chance to be recognized as a poet and respected for his accomplishments,” Gibson-Gill said.

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