The Burden of Light

The Burden of Light is a fundraising book for cancer research, featuring poems on illness and loss. My poem “Force of Circumstance” records an experience I had when hospitalized for kidney problems. The transformational moment - which is what, ultimately, my poems always try to capture - was not my own but rather my mother’s. Or was it mine? You can read the poem here and see if you find it to be about loss or hope. 


From the publisher:

The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss is the first anthology of its kind, weaving together many solitary experiences to create a tapestry of inspiration, support, and hope. With 100% of the proceeds benefiting the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance, even a small donation to this multimedia collection has the power to effect change when collected with the generosity of others. 

When faced with serious illness or death of a loved one, too often we must each walk our path of grief or recovery alone. The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss is the first poetry anthology of its kind, weaving together many solitary experiences to create a tapestry of inspiration, support, and hope.

Part poetry anthology, part field guide, part multimedia art collection, The Burden of Light offers its readers companionship through the darkest days. With work by artists who have confronted serious illness or grief in their own lives, the poems and artwork in these pages hold the power to touch the heart, stir the mind, and heal the spirit, each in its own way. These pieces illuminate the vital force of our humanity, while encouraging us to reach out to others in need.

Editor Tanya Chernov, having lost her own father to colon cancer in 2001, has collected poems that take the pain and struggle of life's most challenging moments out of the darkness and into the light. It is in that light where we might see a way back again—back to healing, to happiness, and to rejoining our community. From the enigma of death to the sweetness of friendship, these poems speak to life's mysteries and consolations and help us navigate our most trying times. Through lyrical verse, experimental forms, powerful imagery, and an innovative use of digital multimedia technology, this collection introduces new readers to contemporary poetry, while bringing many audiences back to verse with a reminder of its intellectual force and powers of emotional healing.

With 100% of the proceeds benefiting the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance, even a small donation from one has the power to effect change when added to the contributions of others. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in America, yet this cancer is largely preventable when detected early. By supporting the groundbreaking work of the NCCRA, we’re all helping to promote regular medical screening and fund the research needed to develop better tests, treatments, and ultimately, a cure. Just as The Burden of Light is designed to help readers move forward from trauma, so too will donations help those currently experiencing serious illness. 

Ideal for lovers of poetry, loved ones in a time of need, and for therapists, clergy, and health care workers, The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss gives readers hope for reclaiming life after loss. 

*Note: We set out to create a book that helps, one you can keep close at all times and access whenever you need. With this in mind, we’ve optimized it to be read on all current-model smartphones and tablets (computers, too). Though you can still read the poems on most newer e-ink readers, I’d recommend not doing so because they don’t always support the multimedia and linked extras. Thank you for supporting colon cancer research and awareness.