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You May Not Take the Sad and Angry Consolations

You May Not Take the Sad and Angry Consolations

80 pages
Published:   March 15, 2022
Poetry  /  icehouse poetry
Paperback:   9781773102481    $19.95

Conceived as an archive of wisdom written by a disabled man for his children, You May Not Take the Sad and Angry Consolations gives voice to the experience of living in an ableist society: "Why does it hurt when emotion spills out of a body? How does emotion spell ‘body’? What does it mean to be good? Why is the surplus of beauty everywhere? What is the password?" Weaving together reflections on fatherhood, Walt Whitman’s place in American history, art, and the lingering effects of past trauma, these ringing and raw poems theorize on the concept of shame, its intended purpose, and its effects for and on disabled body-minds.


Shane Neilson is a disabled poet, physician, and critic, who grew up in New Brunswick and now lives in Oakville, Ontario. Neilson is the author of four non-fiction books on medicine and literary criticism. His poetry has won the Walrus Poetry Prize and Arc Magazine’s Poem of the Year Award (twice). His five previous poetry collections include Dysphoria, winner of the Hamilton Literary Award for Poetry and Complete Physical, a finalist for the Trillium Award.


“Striking not just because of the relentless questioning, but because those questions are always pressing at the core of what it means to be here together. The clarity comes in realizing how few answers we actually have.” — Jordan Abel

“Like an AI algorithm gone haywire, Shane Neilson's work, with its beautifully bewildering rush of questions, breaks open the half-truths, the denials and evasions that we draw on when giving an account of ourselves to ourselves. It's a vision of consciousness as crossexamination, and a perfect expression of our polarizing era.” — Carmine Starnino