May 7, 2019
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About The Body at a Loss
Cati Porter’s mother began chemo on July 19, 2012, Cati’s 41st birthday. Throughout the process, from diagnosis through treatment and recovery, Cati became her mother’s patient advocate, shepherding her through an “inconvenient year”. Then, during her mother’s recovery, Cati receives her own medical diagnosis, quickly transforming advocate into patient.
In Cati Porter’s newest book, The Body at a Loss, the poet bears powerful witness as both a support to her mother undergoing cancer treatment and as the prime figure in her own story of illness. Where the rush and blur of “normalcy” starkly end in the cold realm of medical offices, a kind of suspension enters—part underworld, part dreamscape, part hyper-presence—and Porter stays here at the knife-edge of knowing and unknowing, following every contour of perception. Awash with singularity, Porter gifts these poems with a fearless attention that exposes loss after loss as she keeps turning the gaze in toward the body so completely that a remarkable intimacy emerges, the moment when the body is reclaimed with exquisite kindness. -- Jennifer K. Sweeney
Included in this collection:
MockingHeart Review: "Match" (nominated for a Pushcart prize), "The Fly Implores You to Attend to Your Life" and "Wake, Butterfly, It's Late"
West Trestle Review: "Reading Miller's Essay 'On Tragedy and the Common Man' the Night before Reading the Radiologist's Report"
Hartskill Review: "Patient Survey"
PoetryMagazine.com: "How I Came into the Body", "We Set Sail for the Margins", "Snowstorm, What She Knows", "Since You Insist" and "Soliloquay"