The struggle to understand our differences is real! Likewise, “real” is the stirring collection of poems in Stay Awhile: Poetic Narratives on Multiculturalism and Diversity that enlightens, enlivens, and entertains. As Hoffman and Granger so eloquently state in their introduction, poetry is a sacred healing art that has been shared across many cultures throughout history. It is in this sharing that empathy is fostered, the struggle to understand our differences assuaged, and we appreciate how such a collection of poems bears witness to our shared humanity. Although Stay Awhile is a beautiful collection for personal enjoyment, reflection, and growth, from the Introduction, which serves to frame many of the lessons emergent from the poems, and the Appendix, which contains several activities to help utilize the poems, this book of poetry has immense efficacy in classrooms and group discussions. For those who choose to read and “stay awhile” with this collection, they are certain to be touched through the honest and thoughtful portrayals represented in each poem.
This moving book can change us; it should change us. It even shows how we can change ourselves—can open up, assume another’s shoes, find love not fear, and share our core humanity. It honors the sparkling diversity of life’s variety, in which we all, after all, are one. It is an added teaching tool helping us go further with cultural empathy, on our own or with our students.
-Ruth Richards, MD, PhD, Faculty, Saybrook University, McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Editor, Everyday Creativity and New Views of Human Nature
This book defines humanness. It embraces every aspect of life: the joy of parenting; the sorrow of parenting; the horror of war and intergenerational trauma; eating disorders and aging; privilege and second class citizenship. I wanted more.
– Regina Walter, 4th Judicial District County Court Judge,El Paso County, Colorado; Co-chair, Educating Children of Color Summit
Stay Awhile is a safe place where you will want to open yourself up to the possibilities for connection. You will laugh, cry, and genuinely be moved by the honesty contained within these pages. The poems bring to light the inherent subjectivity of our diverse human race in ways that are sensitive, inspiring, and phenomenological. The gravity of the poems is immediately apparent and it is magical to be welcomed into such deep, personal lessons that transcend the intersubjectivities that too often separate us. Stay Awhile is an offering of love, of promise, of the truth-telling that is integral to healing on this journey called life. It is a demonstration of the type of empathy required for understanding those things we have not always experienced ourselves. The poets’ voices are simultaneously unique and similar, personal and political. This collection is for everyone.
– Geneva Reynaga-Abiko, PhD, Director, Counseling Services, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Stay Awhile is a collection of poignant “real life” poems written by culturally diverse psychologists, students of psychology, and other poets attuned to the human condition about their “encounters and struggles” arising from just being different. The poems are inspirational and educational for raising consciousness on cultural and diversity issues. The poets speak from their hearts, and the poems require listening with your hearts.
– Krishna Kumar, PhD, Professor, West Chester University of Pennsylvania; Past-President, Society for Humanistic Psychology (American Psychological Association, Division 32)
The teaching, training, and practice of clinical psychology throughout the United States has become overly rigid, narrow, and scientistic. This landmark book is an important counter to that dehumanizing trend and seeks to restore the richness and depths of diverse cultural experiences—with a respectful, empathic honoring of our collective struggles and suffering towards our potential for communal healing and growth. Many of the contributors are psychologists and therapists who, as a consequence of their forays into the lifeworlds of their clients, have been touched and sensitized to the hurt and hopelessness of discrimination, prejudice, and exclusion. By listening to the marginalized and neglected voices among us, as Stay Awhile does, we can come together in the spirit of renewed understanding of our shared pain. Then, we can work to rebuild our relationship with the world, and set a more loving and compassionate example for future generations. We owe the contributors of this book a debt of gratitude for sharing the depths of their souls, their courage in vulnerability, their strength to persevere, and their hope for a more just appreciation of the full spectrum of our humanity.
– Shawn Rubin, PsyD, Editor, Journal of Humanistic Psychology; President, Society for Humanistic Psychology (American Psychological Association, Division 32)