Cross-Pollinations: Canadian Health Humanities Virtual Rounds Series

The HARC is excited to be supporting Cross-Pollinations: Canadian Health Humanities Virtual Rounds Series. Cross-Pollinations is an exciting new series that will connect the perspectives of health, humanities and the arts in new ways, combining artistic expression with health practice and research. The conversations of Cross-Pollinations will illuminate new and emerging insights and perspectives about health care opportunities and challenges, health care approaches and advances, as well as build connections between health professionals, humanities and the arts. To access a description and a hyperlink to all of the recordings, please visit the following link. This one-credit-per-hour Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 12  Mainpro+® credits.

To register for all Cross Pollinations events, please visit this link.

The following information can also be found on the League of Canadian Poets website.

Upcoming Event

Future Events

October 27th, 2021: A presentation by doctor and poet Bahar Orang, featuring poet Khashayar Mohammadi

November 24th, 2021: A presentation by Christine Anonuevo of the University of Northern British Columbia

Stay tuned to this page for updates on upcoming events in this series. Mark your calendars for the dates below!

Sign up for all events in the CAHH Series here and receive a reminder for each event 

August 25th, 2021
September 29th, 2021
October 27th, 2021
November 24th, 2021
December 29th, 2021
January 26th, 2022
February 23, 2022
March 30th, 2022
April 27th, 2022
May 25th, 2022
June 29th, 2022
July 27th, 2022
August 32st, 2022

Past Events

A presentation from Hsien Seow (left) and Shazia Hafiz Ramji (right)

Date: September 29th, 2021

January 10, 2018; Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Hsien Seow, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University. Photo by Ron Scheffler for McMaster University.

About this event: A presentation from Hsien Seowh of McMaster University, discussing the health care podcast The Waiting Room Revolution.. Hsien Seow, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology, McMaster University and the Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care and Health System Innovation. His interests are to improve the experience of facing serious illness for patients and families. Funded research focuses on provider education, home care interventions, and patient-family experience. He earned a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and a BSc from Yale University. His research website is He is the co-host of the popular health care podcast The Waiting Room Revolution, a public facing education about a re-imagining of palliative care, with a new season launching in September 2021.

A presentation from Zamina Mithani (right), Nancy Duan (middle), and Karen Wang (left) of the University of British Columbia

Date: August 25, 2021

About this event: Join us in exploring our personal experiences along with interactive narrative exercises as medical students and physicians with Narrative Medicine as a tool for self-reflection and community building. Originally developed by Rita Charon from Columbia University, Narrative Medicine invites us to turn to the humanities to guide the way we think about our medical practice and interactions. Finding ways to connect and share human experiences has been especially critical during the pandemic, and these virtual sessions have grown into spaces to share stories of burnout, professional identity, and healing.

A poet will join the presentation to provide a 10-15 minute reading.

Nancy Duan (she/her) is a first year Internal Medicine resident in Vancouver at UBC. She is an artist who was formally trained in the visual arts before deciding to pursue medicine, but art will forever be her first passion. She has been intimately involved in the arts and humanities community in medicine at UBC and has organized art shows, performing arts events, and coordinated and participated in Narrative Medicine workshops for healthcare. She believes exploration of the arts and humanities in medicine builds resilience in healthcare providers and allows for more empathetic and compassionate care for patients.

Zamina Mithani (she/her) is a second year medical student at the University of British Columbia. Before medical school, she completed her masters of bioethics at Harvard Medical School where her love for narrative ethics melded with her love for poetry, comedy, and our ways of understanding our identities in the world. She believes that narrative medicine can be a tool patients and providers can use to work through medical dilemmas and has given workshops on Sufi Poetry and Bioethics to physicians and ethicists at the American Bioethics and Humanities Conference. Her work can be found in ethics/psychiatry academic journals and in her family Whatsapp groups.

Karen Wang (she/her) is a first year Psychiatry resident training in Winnipeg (Treaty One territory). During medical school, she was involved with Frames of Mind, an initiative in Vancouver utilizing film and the arts to spark conversations about mental illness, centering the voices of people with lived experiences. Her love of literature and medical humanities brought her to the practice of Narrative Medicine.

Please register for this event here . After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Cross Pollinations: Literary Lessons on Doctoring.

Date: June 30, 2021

Maryam Golafshani presented “Literary Lessons on Doctoring.” Maryam, now half way through medical school, reflects back upon her own literary education and experience with mental illness to try to fill in the gaps of all medical school has failed to teach her: what it means to care for another, to come close to suffering, and where to find beauty amidst it all.

Maryam was joined by poet, Jody Chan, author of the Trillium Award-winning collection sick. Jody is a writer, drummer, organizer, and therapist based in Toronto. They are the author of haunt (Damaged Goods Press), all our futures (PANK), and sick, winner of the 2018 St. Lawrence Book Award and the Trillium Poetry Award. They can be found online at and offline in bookstores or dog parks.

Maryam (she/her) is a mad—in both senses—medical student by way of previous degrees in English literature and critical theory. She lives as a settler in Tkaronto with her grumpy senior calico cat named Pepper. Maryam is considering training further in psychiatry, mostly because she’s so critical of it. Broadly, her research and writing explores what medicine is and does discursively, phenomenologically, and politically—and how it should change.

Cross-Pollinations: Let’s Talk About Art Therapy!

Date: May 26, 2021

Jessika Welch took participants through the benefits, misconceptions and the various populations that art therapists can work with, both clinical and non-clinical. Medical Art Therapy will be briefly explored as well as externalization from a narrative based approach. Resources on free and accessible brief Art Therapy will be shared and questions are welcome! After our presentation on art therapy, poet, registered psychotherapist and author Ronna Bloom will join our presentation for a spontaneous poem and thoughts on her multi-faceted work. Ronna Bloom, poet, registered psychotherapist and author will joined the presentation to provide spontaneous poetry and thoughts on this multi-faceted work.


Cross-Pollinations: Party Like It’s 1699: The Political Economy of Medical Education in an Era of “Societal Needs”

Date: April 28, 2021 

Canadian medical education currently finds itself governed by competency-based frameworks based around societal needs. But whose “societal needs” are at the heart of these frameworks? Using an approach of critical discourse analysis, this talk examined the Professional Role of CanMEDS, the discursive construction of “societal needs”, and consider what effects this elaboration may have for the learners, the medical education field, and society writ large. After an informative presentation by Brett Schrewe, Kate Marshall Flaherty performed a spontaneous poem, and shared some of her own work and perspective on health, healing and recovery.


Cross-Pollinations: Canadian Health Humanities Virtual Rounds Series featuring Jen Sebring and Lauren Turner 

Date: March 3, 2021

Jen Sebring’s presentation will explore the emerging scholarship of “sickness” as a critical methodology, and how it might be useful in humanizing medical care for those living with chronic illness or disability. Rooted in feminist theory and disability studies, sickness as a methodology considers not only the embodied, felt experience of living with illness, but also the politics of navigating healthcare as a body that biomedicine cannot “fix.” Jen draws on lived experiences of chronic illness and disability, including that from their own life, to propose a methodological framework that privileges care over cure, and counters conventional understandings of health and wellness. 

Poet Lauren Turner will provide a poetic reading and reflection for attendees.

Jen Sebring, Lauren Turner

Jennifer Hammond Sebring (Jen Sebring) is a Master of Science student in the Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba. Jen is an artist-activist-scholar whose work engages narratives of illness and social studies of medicine through a feminist lens. They have publications in Crossings (2019), Marvels & Tales (2020), and Still Living the Edges: A Disabled Women’s Reader (Inanna 2021). They currently work as a research assistant on the SSHRC-funded project, Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life. Their thesis looks at the effects of repeated healthcare encounters experienced by women and gender-diverse people living with chronic illness. Jen’s research is supported by Research Manitoba, and they are a Sex-and-Gender Science Trainee through CIHR’s Institute of Gender and Health. They hold an Honours BA in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Winnipeg.

Lauren Turner is a disabled poet and essayist. Her chapbook, We’re Not Going to Do Better Next Time, was published by knife | fork | book in March 2018, and her full-length debut, The Only Card in a Deck of Knives, came out with Wolsak & Wynn in August 2020. Her work has appeared in Grain, Arc Magazine, PRISM International, Poetry is Dead, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Maynard, The Puritan, BAD NUDES, canthius, and elsewhere. She won the 2018 Short Grain Contest, was a finalist for carte blanche’s 2017 3Macs Prize, and made the longlist for Room Magazine’s 2019 creative non-fiction contest. Originally from Ottawa, she lives in Tiohtiá:ke/Montréal on the unceded land of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation.

Cross-Pollinations: Launch Event

Date: January 27 2021

The launch event featured the talented poets Ronna Bloom, Charlie Petch and Ron Charach. The launch event took place on January 27, 2021 at 6PM EST via Zoom to kick off the Virtual Rounds series.