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Living in Storms: Contemporary Poetry and the Moods of Manic-Depression
Manic-depression, also known as bipolar disorder, is estimated to affect several million Americans. Researchers and popular writers alike have argued that symptoms of the condition occur with disproportionate frequency among writers, artists, and composers, a view that has tended to reinforce the familiar stereotype of the "mad artist." But, as poet and volume editor Thom Schramm points out, "the stereotype persists partly because the literature generally overlooks the intricate details and contexts of individual lives—the fact that no two people suffer depression or mania in precisely the same way."
Living in Storms gathers poems by eighty contemporary poets whose lives have been in some way touched by manic-depression. Their singular perspectives combine to create an intimate and richly textured portrait of the disorder—its rhythms and metaphors. By opening a series of windows onto the experience of acute moods, the collection aims to bring depth and nuance to the popular imagination and to serve as a counterpoint to the existing literature.
Thom Schramm earned his MFA in creative writing at the University of Washington. He also holds an MSSA in clinical social work from Case Western Reserve University. He is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, and his work has appeared in The American Scholar, New Letters, Ploughshares, and Poetry Northwest.
Thom Schramm has chosen his selections well. . . . The vexing emotional swings and extremities characteristic of manic-depression are shown to us in an almost comprehensive fashion. All the cycles, all the inexplicable euphorias, and all the self-nullifying despairs are here—but so are the brave and tentative recoveries from such states. The accomplishment of these poems is that they express, with dignity and grace, what Coleridge in his "Dejection" ode called "the eddying of [the] living soul."
—David Wojahn, writing in the foreword
To purchase Living in Storms by Thom Schramm, please contact our distributor, University Press of New England toll free at 1-800-421-1561 or by fax at 1-603-448-9729. The book is also available online at UPNE, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine retailers.
To request a copy for review, please contact the Carnegie Mellon University Press Editorial Offices at (412) 268-2861 or by email at CarnegieMellonUniversityPress@gmail.com.