My Bio

John Graham-Pole, MD, MRCP-UK

Here’s something about me. I live with my wife, Dorothy, a retired professor of adult education, and our cat, Asia, in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where I work with artists, health professionals, and my community to foster the creative arts for our personal and communal health and wellbeing.

I graduated from St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School, London University in 1966, was elected a member of the UK Royal College of Medicine, and awarded my Doctorate of Medicine in 1979. I’m an emeritus professor of pediatrics, oncology, and palliative care from the University of Florida, where I spent thirty years teaching, researching and caring for young patients with cancer. I’m a “recovering academic”, having spent my early career publishing solely medical research journals and books. I’ve since written and edited nine books for non-professional readers—four non-fiction, three poetry, and two novels for teens/young adults. My second memoir and the third of my trilogy of novels will shortly go to press.

I co-founded Shands Arts in Medicine in 1991 (, the Center for Arts Medicine ( in 1994, and the Center for Spirituality & Health shortly afterwards. I served on the board of the Global Alliance for Arts & Health (, winning its 2012 Outstanding Leadership award.  I co-founded Arts Health Antigonish (  Most recently my wife Dorothy and I founded HARP PublishingThe People’s Press, a multi-media publisher focusing on the healing arts and the arts for health equity. It is aimed at a popular readership of caregivers and care receivers, in both electronic and print media.

My books for lay readers include Illness and the Art of Creative Self-Expression (New Harbinger, 2000), and Whole Person Healthcare Volume 3: The Arts & Health (Praeger, 2007). My medical memoir, Journeys with a Thousand Heroes: A Child Oncologist’s Story, was published by Wising Up Press in 2018, and the first two of my trilogy of novels for teens/young adults, Blood Work and A Boy and His Soul were published in 2019 and 2020 respectively. My second memoir, Healing by Intent, and my third novel, Songlines, will shortly go to press. I’ve written several hundred essays, short stories, and poems, as well as academic articles and book chapters, and given keynote presentations in North America, Europe, Asia and South America. Here’s a list:

And a few of my articles in magazines and journals:

  • Imagination and Health. Jessica Kingsley Press., 2006
  • Love Medicine for the Dying and their Caregivers. Journal of Health Psychology, 2008
  • Arts in Medicine. House Calls, 2008
  • Metaphors of Loss. Arts & Health Journal, 2009 (with Dorothy Lander)
  • Love Letters to the Dead. Omega, 2009
  • Welcome to Canada. Starving Writer, 2010
  • The Surgeon. Hektoen International Journal, 2011
  • Trauma. Hektoen, 2012
  • Attending. Ars Medica Journal, 2012
  • Learning to Lose. Yale Journal of Humanities, 2012
  • The Truth of the Imagination. Hektoen, 2014
  • Cell Shed. Friends Journal, 2015
  • Hands. Borderline Stories, Strange Days Books, 2015
  • First Physical. CMA Journal, 2015.
  • Premies. Intima Journal, 2016
  • First Blood. Legacy Anthology, 2016 (in press)
  • First Blood. Hektoen, 2016
  • Undeterred. Waiting Anthology, 2016
  • Informed Consent. Hospital Drive, 2017
  • Encounters with Surgeons. J. Surgical Humanities, 2017
  • Children and Death. Friends Journal, 2017
  • Dreams. Eyelands Anthology, 2018
  • Origin of an Epidemic. Med Lit Messenger, 2018
  • Blood, Black Bile, Yellow Bile, Phlegm. Hektoen, 2020
  • Twins. Hektoen, 2021