Taking Care of Time cover
Taking Care of Time
For poet and nurse practitioner Cortney Davis, the truth revealed through poetry is similar to what she has experienced in the heightened and urgent dramas that occur in health care—those suspended moments in which a dying heart might be revived or unbearable suffering relieved. We are vulnerable, her poems say, and we are dependent on one another—on the ways in which we care or fail to care for one another, in how we love or fail to love. In poems that are sensual, emotionally searing, and yet unfailingly tender, Davis shines a caregiver’s light on the most intimate details of the human body and the spirit within—how the flesh might betray, how it endures, and how ultimately it triumphs. 
Subjects: Health Sciences | Poetry
Publication Date: March 1st, 2018
70 pages| 6 in x 9 in
CORTNEY DAVIS is a nurse practitioner and the author of Details of Flesh and Leopold's Maneuvers, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Her honors include an NEA Poetry Fellowship; three Connecticut Commission on the Arts poetry grants; an Independent Publisher's Silver Medal; a Living Now Body Award; the Connecticut Center for the Book Award in Non-Fiction; an Independent Book Publishers Association's Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal in Body, Mind & Spirit; and four Book of the Year awards from the American Journal of Nursing.

Early Praise

“Perhaps not since Whitman has anyone like Cortney Davis practiced the two professions of nursing and poetry with such eminence. Like Whitman, she thinks of nursing as a battleground experience and gives it to us with deep feeling and superb concision. Taking Care of Time contains work in which her own trials as a patient only deepen her empathy. Faced with her first surgical death she exclaims “let this be, let this be, let this be my life’s work,” and so it has been. This “Angel of Mercy” is blessed with a gift for the startling verb (the penlight that has “wormed” through a patient’s lids) and the powerful concluding image (the boy “dancing on her back like awkward wings”), the very stuff of poetry. We are fortunate to have her.”
Michael Salcman, MD, former chair of neurosurgery, University of Maryland; editor of the anthology Poetry in Medicine; and author of A Prague Spring, Before & After, winner of the 2015 Sinclair Poetry Prize

 Nursing is the poetry of medicine, and Cortney Davis is unafraid to lay bare the intimate, the messy, and the beautiful. In poems that are simultaneously lilting and wrenching, Davis pins us to our seats for 70 pages. We come up for air at the end—grateful, haunted, awed, uplifted.”
Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, author of What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear and editor-in-chief of the Bellevue Literary Review

To see the world through these poems is to enter the life of a nurse and to take on the weight of strangers and the self. I am drawn to the way each poem is a confrontation, how the lines hold fear and resilience up to the same light. There is a rush concealed in the language, each poem busy and alive with the noises of oxygen machines and lightning, and in the background the ticking clock conducting our lives. Always, the unknown buzzes through these poems, which offer us little guides to recover ourselves in the return from suffering.”
Dorianne Laux, author of The Book of Men and recipient of the 2001 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry


Book Award1st place, American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards 2018

Book AwardWheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize, Established Poet
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