Beyond Bedlam by Ken Smith
A recent study shows that poets are thirty times more likely to suffer from depressive illness than the rest of the population. Editors Smith and Sweeney state in their Introduction that: "It is the unconscious that drives poetry, the jumps and sudden lurches that forge new connections with things not connected before, new ways of seeing. And it is also the unconscious where the voices of the irrational lurk". Witty, brittle, serene, remote, here is poetry that is testament to the transforming power of the imagination, poetry that catches the reader in the full glare of its light, challenging the isolation, stigma, and myths of mental illness. Beyond Bedlam features 140 poems by over fifty poets, including John Bunyan, Christopher Smart, John Clare, T. S. Eliot, Arthur Rimbaud, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Emily Dickinson, Anne Sexton, Ezra Pound, C. K. Williams, Theodore Roethke, Paul Durcan, Ian Duhig, and John Berryman. Editor Ken Smith won the 1997 Lannan Literary Award for poetry. Produced in association with the Bethlem & Maudsley National Benefit Poetry Project to mark the 750th anniversary of the founding of the original "Bedlam" Hospital.