My creative and critical research examines questions concerning cultural encounters and embodied phenomenological responses in the practice of disability/illness poetry. My most recent chapbook Umwelt interrogates the traumas of living with —and through— autoimmune illness. It maps the contradictory impulses of writing the aberrant body and examines the intimacies and gaps between societal gaze, patient experience and clinical discourse. Other work in the area include: a collaborative reading with musician Matthew Bourne; the film Catastrophe Praxis, which shifts the focus to the non-linguistic, material encounter, and visualises disability as a route for embodiment; and a collaborative piece in progress with Elinor Cleghorn that asks what implicit sensibilities are revealed in immunological terminology when those terms are opened up through polyvocal dialogue and how meaning might be produced in both the convergences and constraints between technicality and sensibility.
My most recent sequence, Bettbehandlung [Bedrest] is constructed out of an interest in the performativity of illness, and I attempt to present historical acts of diagnoses crossing paths with issues of witnessing, and theories of agency within performance spaces. It is my intention that this piece operates as a feminist re-visioning of historical and medical treatments of ‘hysterical’ female subjects and performative spaces of illness, but it also entangles personal elements and testimonies from vulnerable subjects, as well as quotations from a number of critical and historical sources. The multi-vocal approach prevents the writing from drawing too much on any one particular narrative, rather it becomes an anti-narrative, ethical, community document that maps and critiques the political and medical treatment of the sick female body throughout history.
Riot? Who would do that? Out of bricks? Dreams
would do that, out of bricks, out of skies
they have no bricks, so there are no skies, acts
of dreams, from what I dreamt to what they sd,
for they have no force, their electrics dead,
floats of milk parked (on their side) at dusk,
blue glass, tin can plumbed in white noise,
where should be force, a jack & a plug,
"kiss me in shadow" written on their fists
Mostly, it's language in bits that interests me, as that relates to gaming, politics and form.
I'm also interested in visual, sound and kinetic translations of work, though one of the projects I'm engaged in is the intralingual translation of H.P. Lovecraft's mythos poems from the original, pretty stilted English poetry into more contemporary, innovative language and form.