Trailer for Dr. Matt Mumber’s new poetry book, “In the Awakening Season.”
By Natalie Simms
For the last 24 years, Dr. Matt Mumber has been taking care of cancer patients through his radiation oncology practice at the Harbin Clinic Cancer Center. And although helping his patients battle cancer is rewarding, he also has another passion…writing poetry.
Mumber has been writing as a hobby for 35 years. He already has published an academic textbook, “Integrative Oncology: Principles and Practice” in 2005 and “Sustainable Wellness”, a lay press health and wellness book, in 2012. And now his writing talents are showcased in a poetry book, “In the Awakening Season,” just released this month.
“Poetry is able to deliver a message in such a way that other forms of writing cannot. For me, it opens up a depth of creativity surrounding my life experience that allows me to more fully inhabit my life,” says Mumber. “When I do this, sometimes I want to share the experience with others. Instead of ‘describing the rain,’ poetry allows me to attempt to ‘make it rain’ for the reader. It is an invitation into a shared experience of being human.”
The book is a compilation of several years of writing.
“Its focus is on the process of awakening to the experience of life in its fullest. That process is unique for all of us, since we are all one of a kind,” he says. “For me, it involves moments of blissful awakening, difficult times of failure and diving more deeply into the depth of experience on all levels. The inspiration for these poems came from a variety of sources, including teachers, friends, family, favorite authors, the natural world, as well as personal life experiences.”
Mumber hopes “it will speak to them (readers) in some way to provide some form of inspiration, an emotional experience and maybe even a bit of surprise.”
With a busy medical practice and family, including three sons, Mumber says writing brings him balance.
“Two boys are in college and one is a junior in high school. I try to set aside time each day to do some form of spiritual practice, which is where almost all of my writing takes place,” he says. “Writing is a creative outlet for me and helps to keep me in balance. I am working on compiling my next set of poems right now.”
Mumber may even pursue other creative interests.
“Every day is a gift for which I am thankful. I want to stay healthy so that I am capable of being with family, friends, work and creative outlets. I am not sure what that looks like right now but am curious to live into it,” he says.