A Body of Work includes poems by writers from the dawn of Enlightenment to the 21st Century and explores changing attitudes to medicine, health and the body. The book is divided into eight thematic sections, each of which includes a chronological range of poetry and excerpts of important historical and contextual medical writing. The sections are:
Body as machine
Nerves, mind, and brain
Illness, disease, and disability
Hospitals, practitioners, and professionals
Sex, evolution, and reproduction
Ageing and dying
Includes work by such poets as: Dannie Abse, Maya Angelou, Simon Armitage, Margaret Atwood, W.H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, John Burnside, Raymond Carver, Lucille Clifton, S. T. Coleridge, Erasmus Darwin, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, Mark Doty, T.S. Eliot, Paul Farley, Ann Finch, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Graves, Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ted Hughes, Rudyard Kipling, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Paul Muldoon, Frank O'Hara, Sylvia Plath, Rainer Maria Rilke, Theodore Roethke, Anne Sexton, John Addington Symonds, Phillis Wheatley, Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams.