A Fate Worse Than Death: Poems

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    Nisha Patel

    Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

    Year: 2024

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 160 pages

    ISBN: 9781551529455

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Poems that interrogate the complexities of disability, based on the author's evaluation of her own medical records

A Fate Worse Than Death is a stunning poetic investigation of the worthiness of disabled life as told through the author's evaluation of her own medical records over the course of a decade. Living with treatment-resistant diabetes, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and complex chronic pain, Nisha Patel reveals how her multiple disabilities intertwine with her day-to-day life, even when care and treatments are not available. As she works through bouts of illness, neglect, and care, Patel reveals how poetry provides her a way to resist the sway of medical hegemony and instead offer complex accounts of pain, sickness, and anger, but also love.

Navigating the menial and capitalist systems of health care and paperwork, documentation, and forms, Patel uses clinical texts in visual poems that show how words like patient and client underscore medical access and denial of coverage more than words like person and care. Patel asks us to consider if her life is worth living - and saving. The future of her disabled body and her desire for it is a building meditation as the collection progresses, ending not so much with a finite ending of cured illness and disease than with a look at how we can embody hope and joy in a disabled body, as it is the body that, like time, goes on.

Tags: Arsenal Pulp Press ....... disability ....... health ....... Nisha Patel ....... poetry .......