When Karin Miller's husband, Thom, was diagnosed with cancer, she found writing poetry helped her cope.
Miller, a full-time writer and editor, guessed that others would, like her, find their experiences with cancer best expressed through poetry. So began The Cancer Poetry Project—a national effort to collect poetry that captured the cancer experience.
More than 1,200 poems poured in, and the award-winning collection includes the best 140 entries: poems by published poets and first-time poets covering a wide range of themes including denial and anger, hope and recovery, even humor. Poets include patients, spouses and partners, family members, friends and caregivers.
Today, while the book is often selected by cancer support groups for discussion or purchased by cancer organizations, it is most frequently given by individuals to friends and loved ones affected by cancer. Fans of the book say again and again that the poems let them know that they are not alone in the cancer experience.