The Examined Life Journal began in the Fall of 2010 when a group of physicians who were also writers approached the director of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Writing and Humanities Program with the idea for starting a journal that explored the confluence of art and medicine. The docs had the desire to read and edit the submissions and the Writing and Humanities Director knew a little about how to put together a publication, and there was a little money available.
After a couple brief meetings it was settled: The journal would publish its first issue in conjunction with the Examined Life Conference in the spring of 2011, and twice a year thereafter. That gave them about 4 months to put out a call for submissions, read the submissions, make the choices, design and edit the journal, and get it out to the printer and back. Over three hundred submission came in for that first call, more than anyone expected, but somehow it all worked.
We didn’t know half as much as we really needed to know, but the journal has always been a labor of love. Along the way we’ve had a piece nominated for a Pushcart Prize. One of our authors has gone on to have her memoir published, and we’ve been fortunate enough to publish incredibly strong work twice a year. We get better figuring out what works with each issue, but the truth of it is, it the writers and the words that make it work. We look for the best possible writing. We cast the net as wide as we can, asking for work that is related to health and the human condition. Honestly, that could be just about anything, but don’t send us poems about your car, please.
Thank you for taking to time to read and write and allow us to be part of those lives. We are honored to present the work to the world and look forward to doing so for many years to come.
Bruce P. Brown, MD, Editor-in-Chief
Cate Dicharry, MFA, Managing Editor