These poems have everything to do with the hospital. These poems have nothing to do with the hospital. This is the psychosis of the word/ward. The personal and the mythic. Obsessive and unrequited love. The twisted syntax of imagery and phrases. They conceal and expose. For those whom there is no outside ward: the Old Testament God, Plato, the mythic Irish legend Cuchulain, 19th century teenage poet Arthur Rimbaud, high wire artist The Great Wallenda, the mystery woman in the ward Kingsley, and the women of the inner landscapes Mary, Zoe, the Hazard Woman, and the Nihilistic Ticket Girl. Not to mention the author. Life is lived on consignment. Some of these poems were written while the poet suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Or perhaps, they were written on the other side of there.
Praise for The Hospital Poems
“In Robert Anderson’s The Hospital Poems, the ward becomes the world, becomes the word, becomes the war. Drawing the reader into the strained intimacies of hospital halls and personal and social breakdown, Anderson’s fragmented, fragmenting poems are “spills/spells of narrative” that brilliantly sabotage the institutional from the inside.” —Julie Joosten, author of Light Light, Finalist for the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry
“Gormenghastic! There may no better single word to describe the ward/word world of The Hospital Poems. Confronting the crises of our pathologized and psychiatrized selves, Anderson’s dream-like elocutions, labyrinthine syntax, and (dis)integrative fragments of resistance are raggedly fierce, curative, and marvelously disturbing.” —Sandra Ridley, author of The Counting House, Finalist of the 2014 Archibald Lampman Award
Interviews and Profiles:
12 or 20 Questions with Robert Anderson —rob mclennan’s blog
Robert Anderson is a poet, art writer, and photographic artist. He holds a BFA and MA from York University. His award-winning photography has been widely exhibited in Toronto. His poetry has been published in Rampike, BafterC, and House Organ. His art reviews can be seen on Canadian Art Online and Fjords Review. His first book represents a long journey and he has been helped by many people along the way.