Shaping the Fractured Self: poetry of chronic illness and pain
Edited by Heather Taylor Johnson
Of course not all great art has its genesis in pain, and not all pain – not even a fraction – leads to the partial consolations of art. But if lancing an abscess is the surest way to healing, can poetry offer that same cleansing of emotional wounds?
Shaping the Fractured Self showcases twenty-eight of Australia’s finest poets who happen to live with chronic illness and pain. The autobiographical short essays, in conjunction with the three poems from each of the poets, capture the body in trauma in its many and varied moods. Because those who live with chronic illness and pain experience shifts in their relationship to it on a yearly, monthly or daily basis, so do the words they use to describe it.
Shaping the Fractured Self gives voice to sufferers, carers, medical practitioners and researchers, building understanding in a community of caring.
Won - 2018 Mascara Literary Review Avant-garde Award
Praise for Shaping the Fractured Self:
There is a lot to admire and relish in the poetry on offer in this book. Johnson is to be congratulated for putting together such an intelligent and brave and heartfelt and honest collection of poetry and mini-essays.KEVIN BROPHY, THE CONVERSATION