You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Bosom Pals’ tag.

Writing about experience is extremely cathartic, removing the noise in the head, expressing what never makes it into conversation, and so being a poet it was only natural for me to write about my breast cancer journey, which thanks to Ginninderra Press, forms a chapbook of poems called Venus.

Starting with diagnosis, it charts the path I took – five months of chemotherapy, a mastectomy, six weeks of radiotherapy every day – and still take with daily anti-hormones and a six-monthly bone drug infusion. The outcome was a new me, an alive me, with a different perspective and sense of purpose. (The image on the front by the way, is the pattern from what became my chemo pants, which I’d planned to ceremoniously burn at the end of active treatment, but they’re extremely comfortable!).

I follow in the footsteps of many fine poets who’ve also written about their own experiences – Jo Shapcott’s Of Mutability and Sharon Black’s To Know Bedrock whose launch I attended in London in 2011, plus a fascinating collaboration between Irish poets in Bosom Pals, to name a few. With one in eight women diagnosed with the disease, it’s a common condition with voice.

I’ve given copies to my doctor, specialist and oncologist as I’m keen for it to reach other women embarking on the same journey as a source of comfort, a source of you can do this.

Anniversary

A year ago today my world was smashed
by a man in a suit and wire-rimmed glasses.
His voice was small and grew smaller.

Over the next nine months I lost my aversion
to needles and swallowing tablets
found I preferred my hair short.

So I take my husband out to dinner
like some macabre anniversary
because I feel the need to mark this path

from a place that howled to one made of bricks
where I savour the simplest things –
the sharpness of orange juice in the morning

how fast I can cycle with the wind behind me
watching the sun slip into the sea.

from Venus, Ginninderra Press 2022

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 18,375 hits
The Amphibian Literary Journal

for the culturally amphibious

Whitmore Press

Publishers of fine contemporary Australian poetry

Claw & Blossom

human nature, natural world

Poetry in Process

Understanding poetic process from inspiration to final edit

Plumwood Mountain

Where poetry meets purpose

Wakefield Press

Wakefield Press blog

Andy Jackson

Poetry from a body shaped like a question mark.

Tears in the Fence

an independent, international literary magazine

Shooter Literary Magazine

Short fiction, non-fiction and poetry

mistakenforarealpoet

odd posts from an occasional poet (or vice versa)

Karen Dennison

Poet and artist

Cath Drake writing & communications

This site has been archived. Please head over to: https://cathdrake.com/

The Bell Jar

Projects and news from UK writer Jo Bell