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Medical students plan to publish "a literary collage"

The word "lifeline" acquired a new meaning a few years ago, thanks to the TV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Suddenly, the word implied not just literal survival for ropedtogether mountaineers, but a chance for quiz contestants to survive another round of play.

Meaning: Now, a group of Dartmouth medical students is trying to give the word yet another meaning—one having to do with survival of the soul.

Lifelines is the name of a nascent project to publish "a Dartmouth Medical School literary journal." The mission of the journal, says its founder and editor-in-chief, first-year student Sai Li, "is reflected in its name— to connect the experiences and perspectives of all participants in the medical community, in order to facilitate better communication and understanding."

The editors plan to publish, according to the project's Web site, "works of art and word that, through their poignant accounts of everyday lives, as [the famous doctor-poet William Carlos] Williams wrote, offer us that 'glimpse of something, from time to time, which shows us that a presence has just brushed past us.' " Lifelines will feature the work of DMS students and alumni, of DMS and DHMC healthcare professionals, of patients at DHMC-affiliated hospitals, and of prominent writers.

Li and his colleagues are now soliciting submissions for the inaugural issue, which they plan to publish in an online edition this fall. They are looking for original, unpublished short stories, works of literary nonfiction, poems, artwork, or photographs. Their hope is to eventually produce a print version of Lifelines as well.

This is the home page of the new DMS literary journal's Web site. Its URL is www.dartmouth.edu/lifelines/.

Li's vision is that the project will serve as "a thread that winds amongst all those who have been touched by the medical experience . . . a literary collage that offers a much-needed creative outlet for doctors and patients alike.

"It is our hope," he says, "that this journal will enhance the atmosphere of the health-care community by instilling in its readers a respect for the enduring human spirit and a profound hope for better understanding and dialogue between doctors and patients."

Guidelines: Submission guidelines are available at the URL in the caption below, or by writing to Lifelines@Dartmouth.edu or to Lifelines, DMS, Hanover, NH 03755-3833.

Alan Smithee

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