This issue of Esopus—our first annual edition—explores the intersections between the world of medicine and the world of art. Its contributors include artists, physicians, writers, psychiatrists, filmmakers, poets, hospitalists, archivists, medical illustrators, dentists, musicians, interior designers, phlebotomists, photographers, graphic novelists, teachers, and nurses.
Some fall into more than one category. The late poet and doctor William Carlos Williams is represented here by never-before-published prescription pads containing his notes for poems, plays, and essays jotted down between patient visits. Paul Austin, an emergency-room physician and the author of the 2008 memoir Something for the Pain, introduces a selection of 100 frames from Frederick Wiseman’s classic 1970 documentary Hospital. Comic artists MK Czerwiec and Ian Williams, who make their living as a nurse and doctor, respectively, offer excerpts from their forthcoming graphic novels detailing the challenges and rewards of their profession. For the artist’s project Singles, psychiatrist and artist Martin Wilner has crafted meticulous drawings using the same musical model he employs when listening to the encoded “melodies, motifs, and rhythms” of his analysands.