KING 5 Community Blog

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date


Poetry by cancer patients inspires collage art show

Poetry by cancer patients inspires collage art show

Credit: Cancer Lifeline

by Basha Brownstein, Cancer Lifeline

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Writing has been proven to have a healing effect on people who are going through traumatic circumstances. And when you share your writing with others who are experiencing the same emotions, you build a sense of community and peace.

That’s why I started the writing groups at Cancer Lifeline to serve as a safe and supportive outlet for people living with cancer to express their emotions through writing. Artistic expression in any form is comforting and healing. Some two dozen women currently participate in our writing groups, which are offered along with dozens of other free classes and programs for people living with cancer and those who love them.

Beginning this month, more than 70 pieces of collage artwork – each inspired by a poem written by participants in our writing groups – will be featured at a unique art show co-sponsored by Cancer Lifeline and the Northwest Collage Society. The show opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, and runs through June 24 at Cancer Lifeline’s Dorothy S. O’Brien Center, 6522 Fremont Ave. North in Seattle.

The poems by Cancer Lifeline writers were provided to the artist members of the Northwest Collage Society, who used the poetry to inspire their collages. The pairing produces a very sweet, moving and synergistic experience with two different art forms speaking to each other. Here is just one example:

This Magic of Hers
She is a woman who walks the hills
She is a woman who dances all the night away in these hills
She is a woman with ice in her fur and a tattoo on her butt
She is a woman who sings with the moon and howls
with the first rays of the rising sun
She is a woman with claws
She is a gentle woman
She is a woman of lullabies and longs to hear one sung to her
She is a woman who sings in caves emerging only
when an echo returns her song
She is a woman who drinks from the stream
Wild animals come to drink beside her
She tells them tales and she remembers theirs
What is this magic of hers?
It’s in her blood, it’s in the stars.

~ Rita Bresnahan and Valerie Rose

The art show is free and open to the public. To learn more, go to

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Cancer Lifeline is a caring community that helps people face cancer with dignity, strength and hope. The Seattle-based nonprofit organization empowers people living with cancer and those who care about them to cope with their emotions, reclaim control and find peace through support groups, artistic expression, exercise and nutrition, and 24-hour emotional support.

Established in 1984 to foster appreciation of and interest in the recognized medium of collage, the Northwest Collage Society works to advance the stature of collage as a major art medium and assist in the education of its members and the public through exhibits, workshops, lectures and publications.