Book Review: I Forgot How to Write When They Diagnosed Me

blackout poetry, poetry collection, poems, new book, copyright Emily Ramser
Copyright Emily Ramser

Emily Ramser’s new collection of poetry, I Forgot How to Write When They Diagnosed Mepublished by Weasel Press, is superb. Rarely is Erasure–or Blackout–poetry done so well. The compositions are woven together with agony and beauty, reality and mythology, the natural world and the supernatural world. The words are carefully chosen and pieced together, the other words blotted out with expressive swirls and strokes, to create a work of art on each page.

One thing that is so important to notice about Ramser’s poetry is the way she so vividly describes nature and, specifically, birds. Her dedication for the collection reads “For the little bird that inspired me.” Several of the works mention the creatures directly or allude to them with flying imagery. These particular descriptions give the collection a sense of freedom and hope, even in the midst of pain.

Ramser was inspired to create this particular style of poetry after she was diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy. Joseph Cooper writes the introduction and explains more about her struggle. Although it was a misdiagnosis, her physical pain was real and directly influenced her work. It is a testament to her strong will that she did not let something as debilitating as chronic pain stand in the way of her art.

Ramser is already an accomplished poet with a successful career, despite her young age. That being said, her newest collection is her best yet. With each success, she grows in her awareness and her ability. I highly recommend reading I Forgot How to Write When They Diagnosed Me, now available for preorder.

For more information about Emily Ramser and her artistic career, check out her interview here.

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