“La pluma es la lengua del alma.”
(“The pen is the tongue of the soul.”)
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, Part II, Book III, Ch. 16
La Pluma is a creative writing group (narrative essay, poetry, and short fiction) for the Duke Medical community, founded in October 2019, and associated with Duke’s Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine. The purpose of the group is for medical practitioners interested in writing to come together, share efforts, and, through editorial commentary and encouragement, improve works of writing. The short-term goal is to help authors create publishable pieces; the ultimate goal is to develop authors whose writing enhances both their own lives, and the lives of those around them.
Meetings take place monthly, on Wednesday evenings, with submissions for the meeting due on the Friday prior. All of the submitted work will receive editorial comment, with a selection chosen for open review at the meeting.
La Pluma is a place in which the rigid hierarchy of the medical world is put aside in favor of the egalitarian community of the artist. Students, residents, faculty, and staff review and comment on one another’s work, in a safe environment. All commentary must be offered in good will, and with the benefit of the recipient in mind.
In addition to providing editorial feedback, the group shares writing advice, provides suggestions and information on potential journals for submission, and offers camaraderie and support during the challenging process of becoming a published writer. The group also aspires to support the work of VOICES, the literary journal of the Duke medical community.