A poem begins with a lump in your throat ~~ Robert Frost

Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page


In A Celebration of Healing, Eve Hoffman, Georgia, Jewish, Poetry, Political, Race, Sal Brownfield, Southern History & Culture, Women on August 27, 2010 at 3:16 PM


Available now at readings or from Amazon

From SHE–Part One

She was a scaredy-cat

afraid of howling winds tossing back tin roofs,

of coonhounds braying on full-moon Georgia nights,

of snakes – all of them…

 SHE, a quintet of wind-swept poems, is a compact memoir tracing the steps of a diffident child as she becomes a confident woman who simultaneously follows the rules and pushes the boundaries. She chooses a man who deals in the “uncommon currencies” of bear hugs and laughter, recalls the rumbly-tumbly of her now adult children, shoulders an array of civic duties, accepts—bewildered—widowhood. Love comes again, almost stealthily, then rooted like the trees she celebrates. The fifth poem, a prayer, leads the reader toward the future, acknowledging fear and affirming joy. Lucky reader.”    Paula Bevington, Attorney, civic and business leader, Atlanta


From Jumping Off the Refrigerator…

I miss you jumping off the top of the refrigerator

into Dad’s arms, giggling the whole way…

 Eve Hoffman, in SHE, offers us the gift of a rich and deeply-experienced life, a woman’s life seen through the prism of the poet’s craft. In language that’s both lyrical and accessible – the direct language of the everyday lifted to the level of song, of praise – she creates a vibrant and meticulously interwoven narrative that pulls the reader along, and further along, and ever more deeply into the world and the life that this generous poet shares with us. SHE is a work of sustained beauty and creative energy, the kind of beauty and creative energy that can sustain us all.’  Cecilia Woloch, Award-winning poet,  Los Angeles and Paris


From Oh Lord…

Oh Lord

of births and beheading

(for if you are there, you must be God of both)

put your thumb not he scales

of new stars

and the air we breathe.

Eve Hoffman, SHE, invites us to take a journey into a life unfolding, lovingly experienced with the full range of human emotions. No road maps are needed as we move along her journey, drawn in and moved by the depth and vulnerability of her personal exploration. SHE is a celebration of a complex life shaped by events that define our generation and inform our humanness.  Dr. Shimon Waldfogel, Psychiatrist , Philadelphia


Cover: Lady in a Blue  Chair by Sal Brownfield


Contact: Eve Hoffman to arrange readings and book signings. SHE is available on Amazon.



In A Celebration of Healing, Breast cancer, Eve Hoffman, Sal Brownfield, Women on August 27, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Copy of draft#101 early cover

SAL BROWNFIELD, artist, with EVE HOFFMAN, writer

Available on Amazon


 A Celebration of Healing   is an art book, a book of stories bringing encouragement and confidence to those impacted by breast cancer and other serious illness.  It is neither a cancer “how to” guide nor a Hallmark card – rather a book giving permission to laugh, to cry, rage and to know one is not alone.  The twenty-one paintings and narratives build bridges between the physical and emotional needs of patients, families, friends and the medical community. They become a part of the healing.

A Celebration of Healing includes a wide range of breast cancer experiences and demographics.  Reader after reader, including those with different kinds of cancer, have commented, I wish I’d had this book when diagnosed.  These are my stories, my stories!  Others have suggested A stack of Celebration  should be in every doctor’s waiting room.

Available on Amazon


The power of art in healing, the strength in community. A few Celebration of Healing moments —

  • Members of a breast cancer support group taking photos of each other beside their favorite painting.
  • A woman bringing a friend to the exhibition who had shut down about her diagnosis and opened up when surrounded by the paintings and stories.
  • Pre-K teachers, who with their children, unexpectedly walked past the paintings on the way to a children’s areas and quietly explain that these were people who had been sick and are now much better.  No apologies or embarrassment about nudity.

 A portion of all sales go to breast cancer organizations.

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To arrange readings and/or exhibitions contact:

Sal Brownfield




Go to http://www.celebrationofhealing.com and to http://www.salbrownfield.com for images and updates.


From the Decatur Book Festival …

Back down the hill to the Marriott for my friends’ Eve Hoffman and Sal Brownfield’s presentation of their book of art and essay, “A Celebration of Healing.” Sal is a painter and Eve, a poet. Sal began a project of painting breast cancer survivors which culminated in twenty-one large canvasses that are more like stained glass windows. They are luminous and what they illuminate is courage, damage and the will to live on. Eve’s poetic essays give us the stories behind the paintings. Two of Sal’s paintings framed them as they talked and read. These images and stories were intended to move us to deeper empathy and they did. I dried my eyes and walked back up the hill. Franklin Abbott, poet and psychologist

During the discussion and sharing that happened in the room at the Decatur Book Festival talk by Eve and Sal, the chasm between physician services and the emotional needs of patients came to the forefront. It’s clear that this book bridges that chasm with its emotional support and healing art. Any caring physician in the breast cancer treatment arena should provide a copy to their patients. Maureen McGovern

Sal and Eve, congratulations on the fine evolution of your breast cancer project. Splendid, outstanding job in your presentation. The combination of the artist and the writer with two paintings nearby (arts and humanities) seems to be absolutely right for the subject matter and the spirit you both bring. Jamil Zainaldin, Georgia Humanities Council.

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Other Comments…

While I was waiting for my wife to have a biopsy, the Celebration of Healing painting and story in the waiting room of the university cancer center wasn’t just art, but an expression of life, of hope, of encouragement for a novice spouse in the world of breast cancer clinic visits. — David Schechter, CNN Senior National Editor

Unfortunately medical professionals do not adequately address the emotional side of mastectomy. These topics are often left out of discussions patients have with their doctors and those who care for them when they are going through this difficult and traumatic experience. In addition, facing a diagnosis of breast cancer (or risk of breast cancer) and trying to wade through the complexities of surgical treatment, medical treatment and reconstruction options is overwhelming. Most women do not have time to think about what they are going through emotionally, let alone talk about it or express it in a constructive way. ACelebration of Healing provides a much-needed outlet. Celebration gives patients the opportunity to discuss their feelings about going through a very difficult experience. The women in these stories talk about facing mortality, making life or death decisions, learning how to cope with new realities, and figuring out what is most important in life. The paintings help to address the complex mix of disfigurement, strength and beauty of the women portrayed. A Celebration of Healing helps to bring important stories of survival into focus in a very artistic and meaningful way. — Joshua L. Levine, MD, Center for Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction; Center for the Advancement of Breast Reconstruction, New York

Although the Celebration of Healing paintings are about women and breast cancer – fear thereof, survival therefrom, living with, triumphing over – they are more about the beauty of human life. Artists through time have used the human body, especially the female body, to celebrate creation. Not many (none that I can think of with the possible exception of Goya) have used illness and even disfigurement in the service of beauty. Celebration is one of the most powerful platforms for education about breast cancer that I have encountered, dramatically encouraging prevention and resoundingly affirming the fullness of life attainable after cancer, including after cancer surgery. — Paula Lawton Bevington, First Woman President, Rotary Club of Atlanta; Past Chair, Georgia Human Relations Commission