"After reading Steve Cushman's poems in Midnight Stroll, I couldn't help but feel privileged to have 'walked the dark night' with this fine poet, while 'all around us the world slept.' These tender portraits of people he loves and others who have touched his life, seem like the soft whispers and revelations between the closest of friends in the most vulnerable of hours, yet the themes are universal and infinitely relatable. '...all I ever wanted/was to get to the heart of things,' read the last lines of 'Sophomore Biology.' In this poignant, compassionate collection, he has done so."
--Terri Kirby Erickson, author of A Lake of Light and Clouds
“Steve Cushman’s glittering, deeply affecting poetry possesses a Raymond Carver-esque urgency in which so much depends on the flight of a golf ball, a plum fight between spouses, and a nibbled bologna sandwich. With a poet’s surgical precision and his novelist’s knack for narrative, Cushman explores the grimness of hospital work, the vicissitudes of marriage, and his aching love for his son. In these slices of life, which are intensely personal and universal, Cushman’s drive is to find the “beating heart” of reality. “Midnight Stroll” excels in its evocation of adolescent angst and adult wonder. You will recognize yourself in both the shadows and the light along Cushman’s walk, and his quest for meaning will remind you of the occasional magic in everyday life.”
--Michael Gaspeny, author of Vocation
It comes as no surprise that the author of these poems is an x-ray technician, because Steve Cushman has an uncanny ability to see beyond the surface of things. Physician-poet, William Carlos Williams, once pronounced, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet men die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” The poems in Cushman’s Hospital Work read like news reports from a life where the mundane 9-to-5 is a daily confrontation with life and death. Their insights—both harsh and tender—could perhaps heal a reader’s soul.
--Dan Albergotti, author of The Boatload
In these slice-of-life poems, Steve Cushman introduces characters--hospital staff, patients, and family members--who show us what it means to live, to die, and most importantly, to love. I am grateful for this glimpse behind the examining room door.
---Gwen Hart, author of Lost and Found
Steve Cushman’s Hospital Work: These poems ask of death and work and pain and life, “Shouldn’t it account for more?” They ask what is it that matters in “this world of words and images/and people, beautiful and simple and complicated”? And they answer. Empathy. Small moments of talk and touch. Compassion. An understanding that comes even when words will not.
--Joseph Mills, author of Love and Other Collisions