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 six books for non-professional readers—three non-fiction, three poetry—one of which won the William Carlos Williams award.

I co-founded Shands Arts in Medicine in 1991 (, and the Center for Arts Medicine (, 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; and on the advisory board for Arts Health Network Canada ( ). Most recently I co-founded Arts Health Antigonish (

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). I have completed a young adult novel, Blood Work, and my memoir, Journeys with a Thousand Heroes: A Child Oncologist’s Story, will be published by Wising Up Press this July. You can find them here:   I’ve written several hundred essays, short stories, and poems, as well as academic articles and book chapters, as well, and given keynote presentations in North America, Europe, Asia and South America. Here’s a list:

  • Illness and the Art of Creative Self-Expression. New Harbinger Publications, 2000
  • Physical. Pudding House Publications, 2001
  • Quick. Writers Club Press, 2002
  • On Wings of Spirit. Enhancement Books, 2002
  • The Arts and Health. Praeger Publications, 2007
  • Journeys with a Thousand Heroes: A Child Oncologist’s Story. Wising Up Press, 2018 (in press)

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)

I’m active with several national and local organizations dedicated to arts and health, our community’s heritage, and recent immigrants to our community. Here they are: