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Virtual Reading: Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal Poetry Rx: How 50 Inspiring Poems Can Heal and Bring Joy To Your Life

May 25, 2021

07:00 PM

Prairie Lights Books,

15 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City, IA 52240

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The David Lynch Foundation and Prairie Lights Bookstore cordially invite you to POETRY RX: How Poetry Can Heal and Bring Joy to Your Life, featuring world-renowned psychiatrist, Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., Prairie Lights Bookstore owner and published poet Jan Weissmiller, along with moderator Bob Roth, CEO of The David Lynch Foundation. To attend this virtual event, register here.

Imagine your therapist writing a prescription for “Hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson or a Shakespeare sonnet or “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas—before prescribing an anxiety medication…
Dr. Norman Rosenthal is that therapist! World-renowned for his pioneering NIH research on seasonal affective disorder (SAD), Dr. Rosenthal’s new book, Poetry Rx, delivers potent medicine—without side effects. “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has closed down in many ways, depriving us of joy, companionship, love and adventure,” says Dr. Rosenthal. “Against this backdrop of loss and hardship, we are seeking novel remedies, and poetry is a surprisingly powerful remedy, not just for the moment but for our entire life. Poetry can serve both as a balm and a vaccine for the soul.”

“Dr. Rosenthal, a renowned psychiatric researcher and clinician, has given us a gift with Poetry Rx. He takes us on a journey through the varieties of human experience and shows us specifically how poetry has the power to help us understand ourselves and to heal. The wonderful effect of Rosenthal’s humanity and lucid analysis is to make us feel that our own experiences are universal and that we are not alone.” —Richard A. Friedman, M.D., Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Director of Psychopharmacology Clinic, Weill Cornell Medical College  

Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School and was the psychiatrist who first described SAD and pioneered the use of light in its treatment during his 20 years at the National Institute of Mental Health. He has researched other innovative psychiatric treatments and is also the author of several books including the New York Times bestseller Transcendence: Healing and Transformation through Transcendental Meditation and Super Mind.  He currently maintains a private clinical and coaching practice in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.  He will donate 100% of his portion of proceeds of sales of the book to the David Lynch Foundation’s Resilient Warrior Program to help reduce the epidemic of suicides among U.S. military veterans.

He will be joined in conversation by Prairie Lights Bookstore owner, Jan Weissmiller.  Weissmiller was Prairie Lights Books’ first full-time employee after it opened in 1978. She and fellow poet, Jane Mead, bought the store in 2008, and she has been the sole owner since Jane’s untimely death in 2019.   She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1984 and was awarded the Loess Hills Poetry Award for her collection, In Divided Light (Mid-Prairie Books), in 1999. She occasionally teaches at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and has reviewed poetry for the Boston Review.  Bob Roth is CEO of the David Lynch Foundation.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at

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