Crazy / Mad

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Crazy/Mad is the latest modern poetry of resistance, against the norms and standards of a moment and against the idea of the confessional poem as a tool only for the poet themselves. Written around the poet’s lifelong fears of how their mental health, gender and orientation could be perceived and potentially punished, the poems whimper, rail and spin against continued psychological, personal and political oppressions at the human and institutional levels, including heteronormativity, monosexism and ableism; and rally for embracing all our forms of diversity, within and without.

Hear AJ interviewed about the book by Alan Neal of CBC Radio here –

"Anywhere you put yourself down here, you’ll find a thought or an outlook or jab that’s particularly relevant. This is the first work I’ve read of theirs, and I’ll certainly be waiting for the next" – Jerry L. Wheeler for Out in Print

"AJ Dolman’s poems wade through uncertainties and worries to mark passages that trouble memory, identity, and place. Their poems resist redemption arcs to frankly lay down the dissonance(s) of living amid the breakdowns of this modern life." – Nancy Jo Cullen, author of Nothing Will Save Your Life

"Crazy/Mad is a sharply observed collection of poems which glance sideways at life. A kaleidoscope that captures a new angle we didn't know was possible. Using a strong mental health conceit that runs through the titles and topics, Dolman writes a diagnosis for our suffering culture through the accumulation of multiple narrators, each displaying a unique symptom. Injecting their poems with great care and intimacy, Dolman concocts a wry irony as medicine for a troubled world." –  Michael V. Smith, author of Queers Like Me

"Dolman’s terrific Crazy/Mad tears through the geography of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, deconstructing its Malleus Malleficarum, puzzle-piece-approach to mental health and illuminating the in-between spaces no one discusses aloud. Poems pick-apart symptoms and diagnoses around “madness” the way one carefully knifes apart a sumptuous Sunday brunch in a too-bright, formal room with others watching, while detritus rains from the rafters just outside. Here, the ugly insightfully intertwines with the mundane, punctuated by elegant moments of warmth. Rage, displacement, and desperation contend with the will to survive. The collection then works to rebuild a redeeming cityscape of wholeness and compassion." – Natalie Hanna, author of lisan al'asfour