About Ann

I am a proud to be a nurse. I have also been a member of many interdisciplinary health care teams during my years working as a Registered Nurse in hospitals, clinics, home care, nursing homes, and hospices in four states.
I am pleased currently to be applying my nursing skills by helping to care for my infant grandchild. 


"...A poem is a box, tiny, enameled,
collecting escaped beads,
rings too tight to wear,
mates of lost earrings, 
chains without clasps,
hearts without chains..."

On “Poem Box”:

"Poem Box” surprised me by arriving quickly and unexpectedly,almost all in one piece.  
For some time prior, I had been intrigued 
by the wonderful quote by Marianne Boruch.  
I love reading definitions of poetry, 
but had never before learned one by heart.
Granted, this definition is small and easy to commit to memory, 
but more: I was fascinated by its perfection.
Its five small words describe a poem just as I envision it: 
a unique object, carefully created, then strong enough
to stand alone.  Because of the collection of contents 
placed into the poem, and the alchemy of  their proximity,
 the poem box became its own self.  
The more I thought about this, the more examples came
 to my mind.  Somehow, even now, I visualize each stanza 
as though looking at a picture book.  
The experience was that rare delight in poem making a poem that seems to create itself. But not really, of course.  
It was quietly simmering somewhere in the subconscious,
watching, collecting dear tidbits, and waiting for its time
to be born." 

For almost as long as I can remember I have loved Doris Lessing. I believe I have read all of her books. When she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, I was glad. When she recently died, I mourned. Decades ago I wrote her a thank you letter for "The Golden Notebook," a book that strongly influenced my life and that of many other women. I treasure 
her reply:


Chapbook Reviews:  Comstock Review Poets

"In her second chapbook, The Undifferentiated (Pudding House, 2003), Ann Neuser Lederer mines the depths of her long-time job as Oncology and Hospice nurse in poems that both seer and illumine. The more cheerful panorama of plants and landscape are the subjects of her first chapbook, Approaching Freeze (FootHills, 2003), which can delight with surprising metaphors."


Judy Schaefer, Poetry editor of anthology Pulse, More Voices 2102 writes in the introduction "good poems not only survive rereadings, they thrive on them."
She continues "Consider, for instance, the poem "Morphine, Pearl Harbor" by Ann Neuser Lederer. She writes of the nurses that "they make their gentle marks on the the dead, the dying, and those who have received the morphine." This lovely poem's meaning could be read in many ways. A mark can simply be a mark, a signature or sometimes a
scar; in this poem it is certainly also a method of creating
recognition of triage and caregiving. One recalls how, in the Odyssey, it is Odysseus' old nurse who is the first to recognize him by his scar. Only by this kind of scrutiny can we intuit or divine the kind of experience the poet aims to convey--and whether he or she has pulled it off. An single word set within an adequate space, and with just the right sound and depth of meaning, cuts immediately into the
poet's message, and to the heart of the reader. With poetry, less is indeed more. And in the hands of a wordsmith, nuanced words, sounds, and format can convey the author's experience subtly but exactly. The more indescribable and elusive the experience, the greater the challenge for the poet--but the greater potential, too, for a truly compelling poem."


"The summer when I turned seventeen, I worked in a factory and got my first real paycheck. One dollar and sixty five cents per hour, minimum wage but a gold mine to me, compared to random babysitting stints in the neighborhood at fifty cents per hour, sometimes seventy five, after midnight.
I rode my bike to work. . .I packed my lunch, just like for school: an apple, some raisins, a peanut butter sandwich.

The place was concrete block and double storied, its unscreened windows open to the air. I walked up the steps and clocked in. No elevator or air conditioning here. . . The factory’s focus was crafts, possibly seasonally determined. . .I found myself frequently assigned to duck decoy duty. Newly hatched plastic ducks, the color of human flesh, the size of an actual wild duck, had to be prepared for painting. Ragged edges of plastic left from the mold were trimmed with exacto knives, then sanded. I sat on a small stool with a raw, shaggy duck on my lap and polished until it was smooth. To this day, I carry a small badge of that effort in the form of a thumbnail size scar on my left thigh, from a knife that slipped from the duck, into my flesh.. . . I did not know at the time this would be my first and last factory job.."


The Ohio State University 1972    BA Anthropology

University of Pittsburgh  1987  BSN Nursing 

The Ohio State University 1974 for Best Poem
or Group of no more than three poems by a Graduate Student
Poems in Ohio Journal Winter 1974 volume 2 number 2

2007  Poem "January Thaw" selected from Segue

2011  Pool Without Ropes poetry manuscript by Ann was among seven
other finalists for the 2011 Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature

About Ann & Twitter. . .

". . . I find Twitter an excellent way to learn – much more so than any other social media platform. How else could I directly connect with smart, creative people from around the world? 10 examples:"
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1) My mother, Ann Neuser Lederer, was born in Ohio and has also lived and worked in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Kentucky as a Registered Nurse. Prior to nursing she studied art and earned degrees in Anthropology. From early childhood she has loved to hear, read and write poems. She has kept a journal, which sometimes includes notes and drafts for poems, since an English class assignment at age sixteen. Her poetry and nonfiction appear in online and print journals; anthologies such as Best of the Net, A Call To Nursing, Pulse, and The Country Doctor Revisited; and in her chapbooks Approaching Freeze, The Undifferentiated, and Weaning the Babies. . . . 

Personal Note: My son is a teacher. Among other things, he taught me to Tweet. An avid fan of Twitter, he offered me a quick and efficient tutorial. Motivated partly by my goal to stay in touch as he lives hundreds of miles away, I gradually became hooked. An added bonus was that after he posted this article including me in his List of 10 examples, my number of Twitter Followers jumped. And through his Tweets (and group chats) I continue to learn -- about Global Health, Social issues, Prevention of Illness, and many other interesting topics.