While accommodating playfulness and even a bit of audacity, both psychoanalysis and poetry deeply respect formality of structure, nuance of affect, and the multifaceted resonance of the spoken word.Twinship of the analytic and poetic discourse is also evident in the parallels between a fumbling pause in free associations and an aching line break in a poem, a telling parapraxis and an inspired metaphor, an ackwledgment of the repressed via its negation and the irony of simultaneous hiding and revealing in verse, and so on.To put it bluntly, psychoanalysis is two-person poetry and poetry one-person psychoanalysis. Nowhere is this juxtaposition more apparent than in this book of poems by psychoanalysts, which is the first ever collection of its sort.
Salman Akhtar, MD, was born in India and completed his medical and psychiatric education there. Upon arriving in the USA in 1973, he repeated his psychiatric training at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and then obtained psychoanalytic training from the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute. Currently, he is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a training and supervising analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He has authored, edited or co-edited more than 300 publications including books on psychiatry and psychoanalysis and several collections of poetry. He is also a Scholar-in-Residence at the Inter-Act Theatre Company in Philadelphia. Salman Akhtar received the Sigourney Award in 2012.