Chronic Poetics and the Poetry of Chronic Illness (in a Global Pandemic)
In this paper, I query what the poetry and poetics of chronic illness might offer now, in the time of a pandemic. In doing so, I take up Hillary Gravendyk’s “chronic poetics” which brims with generative potential especially when focused on the poetry and poetics of chronic illness which presents unique insights—not to mention poetic forms—into how to live with uncertainty. Specifically, I turn to Fionncara MacEoin’s Not the First Thing I’ve Missed (2014), Anna Swanson’s The Nights Also (2010), and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s Bodymap (2015) in order to illustrate why chronic illness is a poignant site of living in precarity but also in “collective affinity” (Kafer 10). The poetry and poetics of chronic illness provides a crucial site to explore feminist, queer and crip experience in giving voice to the intensity of living with mind, body and/or bodymind unpredictability.