Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

“I am/in pain”: The Form of Suffering in David Wolach’s Hospitalogy and Amber DiPietra and Denise Leto’s Waveform

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2017), 11, (2), 169–185.

Abstract

The article focuses on David Wolach’s Hospitalogy and Amber DiPietra and Denise Leto’s Waveform in order to examine how experimental poetry allows them to write through and with the pain that is a part of their disabilities. Instead of responding to the stereotype that disability is reducible to suffering by writing around or writing off this pain, they re-envision their ongoing suffering as a productive constraint that leads them to collaboration and formal innovation. For all three poets, this formal innovation coheres into a prosody of disability that includes indeterminacy, unstable analogy, and dysfluency. However, while Wolach focuses on making a space for revolution via the critique from inside the “hospital-industrial complex,” DiPietra and Leto focus on producing alternative concepts of time and the disabled body (Hospitalogy 123). Despite their differences, Hospitalogy and Waveform are testaments to the ethical necessity of both maintaining the avant-garde as a site where linguistic openness and experimentation are encouraged, and of maintaining disability poetry as a site where aesthetic innovation can be deployed in order to initiate critique, meaning-making, and world remaking.

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DiPietra, Amber. “My Notebook Has a Rigid Spine or How to Operate the Body in Writing.” Nonsite Collective. 9 May 2009. Web. 21 Feb. 2011. My Notebook Has a Rigid Spine or How to Operate the Body in Writing Nonsite Collective Google Scholar

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DiPietra, Amber and Denise Leto. “Amber DiPietra and Denise Leto.” The Conversant. 15 May 2014. Web. Dec. 2013. Amber DiPietra and Denise Leto The Conversant Google Scholar

DiPietra, Amber and Denise Leto. Waveform. Chicago: Kenning Editions, 2011. Print. Waveform Google Scholar

Donovan, Thom. “Nonsite Collective (Redistributing Poetic Effort Part II).” Harriet: a poetry blog. 30 April 2010. Web. 16 May 2014. Nonsite Collective (Redistributing Poetic Effort Part II) Harriet: a poetry blog Google Scholar

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Hughes, Bill and Kevin Paterson. “The Social Model of Disability and the Disappearing Body: Towards a Sociology of Impairment.” Disability and Society 3.12 (1997): 325–40. Web. 20 April 2016. The Social Model of Disability and the Disappearing Body: Towards a Sociology of Impairment Disability and Society 3.12 325 40 Google Scholar

Kuppers, Petra. Disability Culture and Community Performance. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Print. Disability Culture and Community Performance Google Scholar

Kuppers, Petra. “Poetry-ing: Feminist Disability Aesthetics and Poetry Communities.” English Language Notes 49.2 (2011): 73–82. Web. 15 May 2014. Poetry-ing: Feminist Disability Aesthetics and Poetry Communities English Language Notes 49.2 73 82 Google Scholar

Leto, Denise “Oulipo at the Laundromat.” Beauty is a Verb. Ed. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northern. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2011. 291–93. Print. Oulipo at the Laundromat Beauty is a Verb 291 93 Google Scholar

Mollow, Anna. “‘When Black Women Start Going on Prozac…’: The Politics of Race, Gender, and Emotional Distress in Meri Nana-Ama Danquah’s Willow Weep for Me.” The Disability Studies Reader. Ed. Lennard J. Davis. New York: Routledge, 2006. Web. 15 May 2014. ‘When Black Women Start Going on Prozac…’: The Politics of Race, Gender, and Emotional Distress in Meri Nana-Ama Danquah’s Willow Weep for Me The Disability Studies Reader Google Scholar

Patsavas, Alyson. “Recovering a Cripistemology of Pain.” Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. 8.2 (2014): 203–18. Web. 20 April 2016. Recovering a Cripistemology of Pain Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 8.2 203 18 Google Scholar

Scarry, Elaine. The Body in Pain. New York: Oxford UP, 1985. Print. The Body in Pain Google Scholar

Schultz, Susan. “Writing Alzheimer’s: It Must Be Experimental.” Brunel University. Uxbridge, United Kingdom. 8 April 2011. New Cultures of Ageing Conference. Web. 15 May 2014. Writing Alzheimer’s: It Must Be Experimental Google Scholar

Toufic, Jalal. Distracted. United States: Tuumba P, 2003. Web. 15 May 2014. Distracted Google Scholar

Wolach, David. “The Commons & the Body.” 2 Aug. 2010. TS. Collection of Judith Goldman, Buffalo. E-mail. The Commons & the Body Google Scholar

Wolach, David. Hospitalogy. Grafton: Tarpaulin Sky P, 2013. Print. Hospitalogy Google Scholar

Wolach, David. “Re: Inquiry re: Hospitalogy.” Message from the author. 29 April 2014. E-mail. Re: Inquiry re: Hospitalogy Google Scholar

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Author details

Gould, Declan