Distributed by YesYes Books and Ingram
Cover & Interior Design: Alban Fischer
Author photo: Germiniani Photography
$18 | ISBN: 978-1-936919-92-5
Lyric Memoir l Perfectbound | April 19, 2023
Praise for Cataloguing Pain
Allison Blevins writes, in Cataloguing Pain, “Do you think of me as a swallowtail, a fern, a dust covered suit coat?” These questions scaffold the collection, which acts as a lyric guide for any body that finds itself awash with change. These poems ground, stun, and transport their readers into the intimacies of the bedroom, the washroom, a closet draped in metaphor. What a gift to be pulled this closely, to be invited in like this.
—Kayleb Rae Candrilli, Water I Won't Touch
Allison Blevins plumbs the alive moments of desire and memory, breathtakingly insistent on color and depth and flesh as she asserts and interrogates her continued existence in the face of change, pain, grief, and becoming.
—Sonya Huber, Supremely Tiny Acts: A Memoir of a Day
Cataloguing Pain by Allison Blevins crips what the catalog does as a rhetorical device, meticulously capturing the intimacies of care work, which are sometimes painful, sometimes joyful in their demands of both caregiver and recipient. But, as Blevins suggests, these roles are hardly distinct; rather, they fold into one another unexpectedly as pain challenges precedent and expectation. Care and pain are revealed to always be relational and intertwined—a series of negotiations for which no one is fully prepared. This book is tender precisely because it sits with the failures of these negotiations and with the moments when care can be its own form of both hurt and balm.
—Travis Chi Wing Lau, Paring
In Cataloguing Pain, Allison Blevins is both insightful observer and attuned inhabiter of the body “always partially new and yet…still always dying..” In this stunning collection, everyone is leaving behind the bodies they knew in the midst of unfamiliar becomings. The vibrant poems and lyric paragraphs of Cataloguing Pain attend to pain and paralysis, shame and uncertainty, cage and transformation, and the many confounding truths and fables of an embodied life, a familial life. As language’s caregiver, Blevins wraps old pain, new pain, and immeasurable pain into words that we bear together. Cataloguing Pain is a visceral, contemplative collection that leaves both my skin and my mind buzzing.
—Anna Leahy, What Happened Was:
About Cataloguing Pain
Cataloguing Pain by Allison Blevins explores motherhood, sexuality, and queerness as it juxtaposes the author’s diagnosis of MS with her partner’s gender transition. As one body moves toward unfamiliarity, a state of chronic pain, a sense of being caged, the other is escaping pain, emerging into its true self, becoming free. Cataloguing Pain chronicles both trauma and hope through marriage, illness, and motherhood as the author learns how to live in a disabled body.
About the Author
ALLISON BLEVINS is a queer disabled writer. She is the author of Cataloguing Pain (YesYes Books, 2023), a finalist for the Pamet River Prize, Handbook for the Newly Disabled, A Lyric Memoir (BlazeVox, 2022), and Slowly/Suddenly (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2021). She is also the author of the chapbooks Chorus for the Kill (Seven Kitchens Press, 2022), Susurration (Blue Lyra Press, 2019), Letters to Joan (Lithic Press, 2019), and A Season for Speaking (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019), part of the Robin Becker Series. Her chapbook fiery poppies bruising their own throats (Glass Lyre Press) is forthcoming. Allison is the Founder and Director of Small Harbor Publishing, the Executive Editor at the museum of americana and she co-organizes the Downtown Poetry reading series in Pittsburg. She lives in Minnesota with her partner and three children.