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Last night A bellyful of roses was officially launched by Jennifer Liston at the Broadcast Bar and what a fab evening it was.

This is my third collection of poems from Ginninderra Press with a focus on endometriosis and Jen did a wonderful job of launching it for me.

I shared a few facts about the condition, explaining what it is for those who weren’t familiar with it, and rued not bringing some slides and a pointer!

The poems cover a variety of aspects – diagnosis, fertility, surgery, medication – and a number of people came up to me after saying how they knew someone with endometriosis, buying a copy for them. Indeed, I was overwhelmed by how many attended and copies were sold. Hopefully it helps to raise awareness.

If you’re looking for a launch venue, I’d highly recommend the Broadcast Bar with its cool vibe and intimate performance space. I read five poems, so here’s the last to see if you’d like to know more.

 

Cycle

 

And there’s a certain drawing down & I’m a child again,

fascinated as my nan hooks the chimney’s tongue

 

to pull breath from outside, tall the fire taller.

The creature in me burrows deeper, gnaws as if trying

 

to treasure my bones. I fever every layer of skin,

on turning leave a glistening trail like something in peril.

 

There is nowhere I can be, tremble in the in-between

when stars are being blinded by a melodramatic morning.

 

Seismic shifts curl me undone, river my youth,

the promise of it falling wordlessly, reaching to be held.

 

Copyright @ J V Birch 2018

is a collection of poems about endometriosis, a debilitating condition affecting one in ten women, with an average diagnosis time of seven years from onset of symptoms.

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue lining the uterus, the endometrium, grows in other areas of the body, typically over ovaries, fallopian tubes and in pelvic tissue. During menstruation, the endometrium in the uterus is shed. The endometrial cells that have grown outside the uterus can’t be shed, causing pain, infertility and adhesions.

It’s a chronic condition with no known cause or cure. Diagnosis is by laparoscopy. Treatment is with medication, surgery or both. I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis at 31, which had been masked by the contraceptive pill I was prescribed for heavy painful periods. After laparoscopies, removal of recurring endometriomas and finding the right combination of medication, mine is currently manageable.

And so these 19 poems, thanks to Brenda and Stephen Matthews of Ginninderra Press, explore different aspects of endometriosis, mixing my own experience with those of others, which I hope will help to raise awareness of the condition, albeit a little.

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