Creativity and Mental Health

Artists' Books

Rubenstein Library’s collection of artists’ books by women document their creators’ technical skill and their imaginative takes on issues related to gender. Works related to women’s health are some of the most powerful, including Maureen Cummins’ explorations of patient treatment in 19th century mental hospitals, and the many women literary figures who have been deemed “crazy.”

In the poetry collection Poemas para Entretener al Loco (Poems to Entertain a Madman) Marilin “Mae” Roque Gonzalez, a native of Matanzas Province, grapples with the simultaneous love of country and loss of hope and traumas suffered by Cubans as their conditions of life have spiraled downward. In “Legado” she recalls her mother’s effort to instill sparkling memories of times when public life included carefree events, knowing that such times could now only be found by leaving the island.