An illustrated collage of a woman sitting in a window reading a book, a human cell and loose books

“In Story of a Poem, we witness a writer revising a poem, a father and husband revising his expectations, a human being revising the story of his life,” writes poet Maggie Smith in her Washington Post review of a memoir by Matthew Zapruder ’89 (The Unnamed Press). Zapruder teaches at Saint Mary’s College of California and has published five collections of poetry, including Father’s Day and Come On All You Ghosts. The new book interweaves his own verses, discussion of the work of other poets and personal narrative about grappling with his son’s autism diagnosis.

Also managing parenthood, career and disability is Lisa Doggett ’95, M.D., author of Up the Down Escalator: Medicine, Motherhood, and Multiple Sclerosis (Health Communications, Inc.). A family physician and mother of two, Doggett was running a clinic for uninsured patients in Austin, Texas, when she was diagnosed with MS in 2009, and her transition from doctor to patient shifted her perspective on caregiving and the inequities of the U.S. health care system. She is a columnist for Public Health Watch and co-founder and president of Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Douglas J. Cohen ’80 is an award-winning composer, lyricist and librettist whose debut book tells us How to Survive a Killer Musical: Agony and Ecstasy on the Road to Broadway (Applause). As a young man, Cohen wrote (and rewrote) the music for No Way to Treat a Lady, a show based on a novel by William Goldman, and then spent many tumultuous years trying to bring it to the stage in the United States and Europe. The new memoir describes his encounters along the way with acclaimed screenwriters, directors and actors—plus catastrophic accidents, frustrations and triumphs.

Illustration by Fien Jorissen