A heart-rending poetic commentary on the pain, anxiety and dissatisfaction that go hand-in-hand with mental illness, and on the complex and emotional interplay between doctor, patient and outsider.
`A key component of Neilson's work, as it is in all narrative medicine, is voice. Neilson's poetry has influenced me immensely-his words are a methodology, not of cure but of recovery. Though, in illness, those who suffer may lose themselves, shake their fists in bewilderment at circumstance, Neilson's books are fundamentally an appeal for wonder, complexity and love.
`As patient, as poet, and as practioner, Neilson urges those in distress to sing their passions, their furies, their illnesses-precisely what he has done in the trilogy reviewed here-and, just as importantly, encourages the rest of us to stand alongside, in the glare, and bear witness.'
— Ally Fleming, CMAJ Blogs
`Dysphoria is a powerful example of narrative medicine, and Neilson's poems hope that we might all strive to deliver better care guided by compassion, understanding, and definitive deduction: any other path points toward despair. Apathy, callousness, cruelty, and distance: these attitudes and approaches have no place in healthcare, and it is these practices, rather than archaic ones, that Dysphoria takes to task./
— Conor McDonnell, Arc Poetry Magazine
Shane Neilson is a poet and physician who, in addition to several collections of poetry, has published in the genres of memoir, short fiction, biography and literary criticism. He is currently a fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, a Vanier Scholar at McMaster University and editor for Victoria, B.C. publisher Frog Hollow Press. Though he lives in Oakville, Ontario, all of his work is rooted in rural New Brunswick.