"Until now I always felt a stranger in this town, and that I'd no concern with you people. But now that I've seen what I have seen, I know that I belong here whether I want it or not. This business is everybody's business."
from The Plague by Albert Camus
(Poetic Works on Health & Illness in Human Experience)
The body as a text or network of texts - as a sign, a signified or a signifier, as a myth - articulated and performed by the self , the I, or by instinct, and read variously by the other, the I, the we, the subject, or the object, achieves complexity especially when set in illness and health narratives. The languages of the body in such contexts, as configured in cultural works, especially through a poetic insight, would be undoubtedly useful in trying to understand how health related to the vegetal, animal or human world is art and/or science, or how possible contaminations between science and art can transfer to scientific art, or artistic science by considering psychology and sociology as sciences of the behavior respectively of the single and of the many, religion and philosophy as sciences of the mind or of the metaphysical, medicine and biology as manifest sciences of the body.
Poetic works that feature, interrogate, or probe health/illness representations in culture and society are hereby invited for publication on the Poets’ Corner. The editors, Obododimma Oha and Anny Ballardini, are particularly interested in artwork that presents illness and health in unusual but inspiring modes with the aim of shedding light on the nature of both. Unusual and intuitive readings should become tools to dismantle the spiraling maelstrom of malady or to forge a consciousness to enlighten the human being in the acceptance of what is if and whenever change or improvement is impossible. Poetry should rise to the height of medical science as an assistant, an advisor, or as the healer, be it at a physical or metaphysical level.
Welcome are works that seek to present poetic languages of the mentally challenged, the aphasic, the traumatized, the schizophrenic, as well as any kind of disease, be it infectious like AIDS, or “generational” like cancer, be it connected with what is usually seen as a seasonal minor collapse like viral influenza, or with accidents that change the lives of the victims.
The present contextualization could broaden to include the idea of a nation as a single community, a constitutional body characterized by illnesses or healthy states. It could also visualize, and still not be limited to, various economic systems with their dangerous trends/breaths sweeping away hopes or bringing in new ambitious projects, be them healthy or ill. The same history of art or literary criticism could be reviewed under the lens of variables that determine the health or the illness of the category.
Visual artwork, poems, poetic fiction, poetic nonfiction, and photographs to be submitted for consideration should go beyond the traditional mimetic to narrate distortions, out-of-the-body experiences, virtual thrills and/or gratuitous hallucinations.
Visual works and photographs are to be saved in JPEG format; texts, which should not have rigid formatting, in Word.
All submissions should be emailed to the editors firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by December 1, 2009 with "Health & Illness" in the Subject line.