Bad Weather Mammals: Poems

Best, Ashley-Elizabeth

  • “The sick should be good. / It is a kind of undoing,” Ashley-Elizabeth Best writes in her second collection. Bad Weather Mammals navigates the devastations and joys of living in a disabled and traumatized body. By taking a backward glance, she traces how growing up under the maladaptive bureaucracy of social services with a single disabled mother and five younger siblings led her to a precarious future in which she is also disabled and living on social assistance. In poems that explore a variety of formal constraints, such as the suite “ODSP 1, 2, & 3,” which infuses government forms with lyric poetry, she suggests all the ways the medical and bureaucratic systems can dehumanize and traumatize our most vulnerable citizens. By digging deep into her own experiences, Best has archived the ways we fail each other in our most desperate times — while at the same time outlining how we can show up to revel in disabled joy and community. Bad Weather Mammals disassembles dominant narratives about how disabled individuals should be and reconceptualizes the embodied experiences that recenter us in our own narrative.

    Available September 17, 2024. PRE-ORDER NOW!

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  • Ashley-Elizabeth Best is a disabled poet and essayist from Kingston, ON. Her work can be found in the Capilano Review, New Welsh Review, CV2, Ambit, Mslexia, and Chatelaine. Recently, she was a finalist for the CBC Literary Award for Poetry.

  • Published: September 2024

    ISBN: 9781770417816

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.

    Pages: 88