Published by: Porcupine's Quill
Imprint: Porcupine's Quill
Sales Date: 2017-03-31
Published: March 2017
Imprint: Porcupine's Quill
Page Count: 104 Pages
Illustrations: 10 greyscale images
Dimensions: 5.00 x 8.00
104 Pages, 5.00 x 8.00 in, 10 greyscale images
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A heart-rending poetic commentary on the pain, anxiety and dissatisfaction that go hand-in-hand with mental illness, and on the complex and emotional interplay between doctor, patient and outsider.
`A key component of Neilson's work, as it is in all narrative medicine, is voice. Neilson's poetry has influenced me immensely-his words are a methodology, not of cure but of recovery. Though, in illness, those who suffer may lose themselves, shake their fists in bewilderment at circumstance, Neilson's books are fundamentally an appeal for wonder, complexity and love.
`As patient, as poet, and as practioner, Neilson urges those in distress to sing their passions, their furies, their illnesses-precisely what he has done in the trilogy reviewed here-and, just as importantly, encourages the rest of us to stand alongside, in the glare, and bear witness.'Ally Fleming, CMAJ Blogs
`Dysphoria is a powerful example of narrative medicine, and Neilson's poems hope that we might all strive to deliver better care guided by compassion, understanding, and definitive deduction: any other path points toward despair. Apathy, callousness, cruelty, and distance: these attitudes and approaches have no place in healthcare, and it is these practices, rather than archaic ones, that Dysphoria takes to task.'Conor McDonnell, Arc Poetry Magazine
`Above all, Dysphoria and the trilogy as a whole ask that we adopt new ways of seeing, hearing, and feeling, and open ourselves to the abilities of the dis/abled: "do not break / the line" of "delusion," Neilson urges: "Instead, / redraw it by first / marvelling at the line's elegance"....
`These are not easy books. The poetry is dark and difficult; its reading requires the close attentiveness, the perseverance through confusion and disorientation, that Neilson demands we devote also to those who suffer. And yet potential-hope-glimmers at the heart of the trilogy.'Laura Cameron, Canadian Literature
Neilson's poetry itself matures from volume to volume. Where Complete Physical is straight lyric poetry that is common in early twenty-first century Canadian literature, On Shaving Off His Face is a jarring, muscular exploration of ideas through play in prose and poetry. Dysphoria finds Neilson mastering the balance between the two. It is a difficult and sometimes uncomfortable read, but it insists on being revisited. The whole trilogy stands as necessary reading at a time when society continues to demonize mental illness rather than support those who live with it daily.Robert Colman, PRISM International
- ReLit Awards: Poetry
- Hamilton Arts Council Literary Award for Poetry