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Dorothy Lehane

Dorothy Lehane


Dorothy Lehane is the author of three poetry publications: Umwelt (Leafe Press, 2016), Ephemeris (Nine Arches Press, 2014) and Places of Articulation (dancing girl press, 2014). She is the founding editor of Litmus Publishing. Her research explores social, ethical and perceptual questions surrounding and concerning cultural encounters and embodied responses in the practice of disability/illness poetry. She is currently working on a long sequence, Bettbehandlung [Bedrest], examining the historical treatments of sick female subjects. Some of this work can be found in the Journal of Poetics ResearchDISCLAIMER Magazineaglimpseof and Molly Bloom.  She has read her work to audiences at Magnetic South Festival, Sounds New Music Festival, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Impaired/Heightened Senses conference, the Science Museum, the Wellcome Trust Gallery, the Barbican, the Roundhouse, and BBC Radio Kent. Recent poetry and reviews appear in Molly Bloom, Journal of Poetics Research, and Blackbox Manifold. Dorothy teaches Creative Writing as the University of Kent.






• Ephemeris, (Nine Arches Press, 2014)
• Places of Articulation, (dancing girl press, 2014)
• Umwelt, (Leafe Press, 2016)

Sample Text

                                    these documents seem to pass
            long gaps in the body periphery
the associated words
            in chains of nerve fibre in chains of
                        enter your pit of mouth
the lashes on your back rise
            inasmuch tragedian dwell
her womb held back sounds           pathways rebuilt by rote
small vector small motor paribus actions / / ceteris
            Often at its worried cradle
            high society-lower strata      
you seem un-aspirated
I've never known      such present dead parents
dead glottis, low fricative
as voiceless comes for you            it comes for me


outstretched hands
Il se couchait derrière le brin d'herbe
Pour agrandir le ciel
                        -Noël Bureau
you still have most of your hair
destroying all your 70's cine 8
curl up in the baseline
inside the pineal gland
circadian rhythms
pagan symposiums
give me the slip 
listen means obey
all hallows haven holiday
forensics to caravan eighty-three
selectively mute with sensory overload
my Münchhausen sister  
pleased we talked

adduce some                        y bound
turned into arship,
a little              substrate in you,      by dissent
terms afford two moments
children, not unlike the adults we'd become
            born to imitate speakers
impoverished vernacular   
             grasped by   pith linguist
       by saying that a person is deadline
bound to limitation               if reported                 
still speaking             how spectre, how death of tongue                       
leaves paraphrasing alone
antiquity         spoken to be put down
            naturally forced to confront
            elusive           in the morning
by bed we favour                
are you leaving as the song suggests
leave then,  no acoustics in fact
will reminisce                       
wipe away     halcyon
all very well  
            aren't you missing your


Umwelt begins with a strong sonic and rhythmic surge into the abyss of the traumatised body with ‘verbal machinery annexed’ as ‘the body still roams’ and ‘is a throne of abuse’ delineating a split between body and speech. There is a clash between an impersonal use of medical language, as in ‘social pleasures rely on the pineal gland’ or flowing backwards / from the alveolar ridge’ and the implied problems of dysfunction, and a personalised anger leading to a ferocious rant with witty asides. This clash of register is at the heart of the poem’s momentum and success. The poem is both personal and impersonal, being imbued in medical language, emotionally and linguistically powerful as shifting attitudes and understanding of the self and the body’s condition change over time. This produces a powerful testimony, as it is both detached and emotionally charged. -David Caddy

"Ephemeris is a stellar nursery for new poetic formations to address our changing perceptions: here, the stars simultaneously twinkle and are giant gas clouds. Renewing lyric's hunger for discovery, for the edge of making and unmaking, they are doubly experimental, yoking Albert Einstein's particles and Gertrude Stein's participles. These poems are colliders as much as star charts: Schröedinger texts, they effect what they document in their 'lexis, praxis… nexus… flux.'"– Sophie Mayer

"Ephemeris is a ‘diary’ or day-book, more accurately the Greek word of which the Latin word for ‘diary’ is a translation. Ausonius wrote around 380 AD a poem called Ephemeris describing a day of domestic routine hour by hour. One folio seems to be missing. More locally, it is an astronomical table for determining the position of a heavenly body on a given day. Swim-suit, space-suit. Seismic waves of deviance/ tongue-tied miasma, Dorothy Lehane’s book of this name is an extended metaphor in which the course of a heavenly body through the sky draws after it shifting experiences, in an organism susceptible to the influences of heat and light." - Andrew Duncan


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