Saundra T. Russell, also known as STaR for her initials, is no stranger to pain. Living with fibromyalgia, MS, and chronic sciatica, she knows what it is like to have the kind of suffering that is not always visible to others. So when, as a healthcare worker, she worked with veterans, their struggles resonated with her.
With dealing with her physical pain, STaR has found writing poetry as a source of relief and comfort. As pain and discomfort is a regular occurrence in her life, she has soon developed a way to put her thoughts into writing. In her book, PTSD: Putting The Story Down, she shares the gift of comfort that writing poetry has given her.
In this book, STaR is not only sharing her work of poetry, but she is also teaching others to "put their story down." In her award-winning poem, "My Most Memorable Veteran," she shares a true story of a veteran that she helped care for at the hospital. This poem gives the readers a close and honest look into a slice of life for someone suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. With her "MY*KU or My Knowledge University, she guides veterans on using storytelling through poetic format as a tool to help them recover from the traumatic events that they were exposed to. With prompts such as courage, comfort, dignity, she invites people to explore their thoughts and emotions by writing about them in concise poems. In writing these My*KUs, one can begin the journey of understanding and eventually healing from pain through the powerful medium that is poetry.
PTSD: Putting The Story Down is a book for veterans and anyone dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. It is an interactive book that aims to help give relief and comfort to physical suffering and beyond.
Saundra, aka StaR (my initials). I am a registered nurse, registered dietitian nutritionist, member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (with a Master's degree from NYU), a certified image consultant and I am a multi award-winning published poet. 'MY MOST MEMORABLE VETERAN,' Is one of the poems awarded. Saundra understands mental and physical pain, living with Multiple Sclerosis, fibromyalgia, sciatica, and lifelong dyslexia. She has found some relief and comforting writing and putting her story down in Poetry. "Sometimes, I have so much pain and mental fatigue I have to compose a poem fast. So I developed a fast way to get my thoughts down (StaR*KU). I have worked with veterans at several VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITALS for 19 years. I enjoy working with veterans, and I want to give back to this population who mean so very much to me. I have and have had family members who served. Two of my nephews are West Point graduates. Veterans are our 'HEROES.' Married to husband Peter, Who is also an RN. They live in Tucson, AZ. Saundra is in the PoetryFest Hall of Fame despite having lifelong dyslexia. Please accept my invitation to attend MY KNOWLEDGE UNIVERSITY and write your 'My*KU's (my keeping up).