Society for Veterinary Medicine and Literature was founded
by a veterinarian / veterinary educator and a poet to
support and advance the discussion of literature and
other arts in veterinary medicine education and practice.
8/3/14: A nice write-up on the Society by Jane Karr in today's Sunday NY Times Education Life and online - interview with Elizabeth and Hilde's short poem, "Diagnosis."
Our anthology, Animal Companions, Animal Doctors, Animal People: Poems, essays, and stories on our essential connections, was published in June 2012 by Ontario Veterinary College, as part of the College's 150th anniversary celebration. The book is available at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, the Bookshelf in Guelph, and can be ordered from most local bookstores.
The collection of poems, stories, essays, and art combines the editors' selection of 45 pieces from several hundred anonymous submissions, and another twenty or so invited contributions from well-known writers including Lorna Crozier, Molly Peacock, Mark Doty, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Laura Boss, Patrick Lane, and a few of our students in past veterinary medicine and literature classes.
The anthology is divided into four sections: "The Work of the Animal," "Animal Doctors," "Passages," and "Imagination Itself."
From the editors' selections, we asked the award-winning poet Lorna Crozier to pick her favourites, which she writes about in her piece, "Five Favourites".
June 5, 2012 book launch for Animal Companions, Animal Doctors, Animal People - Wonderful reading introduced by Hilde and Elizabeth and including Donna Curtin ("Don't You Love Animals"), Eufemia Fantetti ("How to Become a Cat Person"), Jeff Thomason ("The Subtle Distinctions between Housecats and First-Year Veterinary Students"), and Hilde Weisert ("Imagination Itself").
Our May 2010
Veterinary Medicine and Literature Symposium at Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Canada was the first-ever international gathering on veterinary medicine and the literary arts.
Featured: Poets Mark Doty, Molly Peacock and Lorna Crozier and writer Erika Ritter
The symposium examined the role of poetry, fiction, and essays in veterinary medicine and explore how literature enriches relationships among veterinarians, their clients, and (nonhuman) animals. The 2-1/2 day event brought together writers, veterinarians, veterinary students and scholars in diverse disciplines to explore common themes in veterinary medicine and literature. See our blog for a conference report.
Read Molly Peacock's "Widow".
About the Society Founding Directors Board Membership
the discussion on our blog - View reviews of books by Mark Doty, Molly Peacock, Lorna Crozier!
Creatures and Other Tales for the latest on the
veterinary medicine and literature elective offered
at Ontario Veterinary College.
About the Society
Society promotes the reading and discussion of literary
works to explore important issues in veterinary medicine—and
for the intrinsic pleasure and value of reading and
discussing good literature, a way of renewing one's
joy in being a veterinarian and a human being. It also
promotes the exchange of ideas between writers and veterinarians,
animal scientists, animal behaviorists and others interested
in animal life, and among the different areas of veterinary
little has been written on literature and veterinary
medicine, our initial focus is making the interested
communities aware of the possibilities of bringing literature
and veterinary medicine together, and demonstrating
some ways of doing so. This includes:
and disseminating information on the web (here!)
this topic to the professional literature and conversation.
a central point for the exchange of information and
the building of a community of interest, initially
Stone, DVM, MS, MPP, DACVS, is a veterinary surgeon
and Dean of the Ontario
Veterinary College at the University of Guelph in
Canada. Elizabeth was formerly Department Head, Department
of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine,
North Carolina State University, where she instituted
the selective in Veterinary Medicine and Literature.
Weisert is a poet, technology writer, and writing coach.
She is a 2009 Virginia Center of Creative Arts fellow,
a Geraldine Dodge Foundation Poet in the Schools, and
a NJ State Council on the Arts Fellowship winner, and her poems
have appeared in magazines such as Prairie Schooner, The Sun, Ms, The
Southern Poetry Review, and The
Cortland Review. Her poem, "Finding
Wilfred Owen Again," won the 2008 Lois Cranston
Memorial Poetry Award from Calyx Press and appeared
in the Calyx Winter 2008 issue and the Summer 2009 Wilfred Owen Journal. With Barbara Penn, she
runs writing workshops for early-career faculty and
More from Elizabeth and Hilde on founding the Society...
members from a range of medical, scientific, and artistic
disciplines bring their varied perspectives to help
further the exchange between veterinary medicine and
literature. Some of their activities include:
readings and providing commentaries
on Society programs
periodically to chart new directions
D. Jones, DVM and historian, University of Colorado;
Animals: Veterinarians and Their Patients in Modern
Patricia N. Olson, DVM, PhD, Executive Director, Morris Animal Foundation
Peacock, poet, is author of Cornucopia:
New & Selected Poems, published by W.W. Norton,
and Company and by Penguin Canada. Among her other works
To Read A Poem & Start A Poetry Circle.
Penn, writer; founder, NC Action for Animals; former
Executive Director, Moore Humane Society; Sandhills
Ritvo, Arthur J. Conner Professor of History and
Head of the History Department at Massachusetts Institute
Young, Clinical Professor of Clinical Pathology,
University of Wisconsin
is currently free and open to anyone interested in veterinary
medicine and literature. Our goal is to create, and
discover, bridges between conventionally separate disciplines
and schools of thought—broadly, veterinary medicine
and literature. For membership information, contact