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Problems and Polemics

Problems and Polemics is intended to be a critical (sceptical) look at what passes for current mental health practice within ‘the community’. Throughout the mental health field now, both with those diagnosed unwell and with their ‘treatments’, there are many disagreements over, and holes in, the reasoning processes of the professionals.

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(4 customer reviews)

£3.99£8.99

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Description

Problems and Polemics is intended to be a critical (sceptical) look at what passes for current mental health practice within ‘the community’. Throughout the mental health field now, both with those diagnosed unwell and with their ‘treatments’, there are many disagreements over, and holes in, the reasoning processes of the professionals – purported ‘cures’ often being as illogical as the ‘illnesses’, the human fallibility of the professionals at odds with the ‘therapeutic environments’ that they are supposed to maintain. And it is because of the disparate nature of mental health practise that I have found that poetry (or prose poetry if you’d prefer) conveys, in book form, far more accurately the fragmentary realities of the world of mental ill-health – carers & cared-for – rather than straightforward prose, with its temptations to argue a singular point of view, subjecting all to the author’s template.

Additional information

Weight N/A
Pages

106

Imprint

Wordcatcher Publishing

MainBISAC

POETRY / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh

PubDate

20181222

Series

Wordcatcher Modern Poetry

4 reviews for Problems and Polemics

  1. Andrew Belsey: NHI Online Review

    “Problems and Polemics contains poetry that is shockingly analytical but always compassionate, even with touches of fully-justified dark humour. Sometimes it is lyrical, with images so arresting that they constantly force the reading eye/I to stop and think. Above all the book is powerfully sceptical, and is a work of great political subversiveness. I’d put it at the top of the reading list for all ministers and civil servants at the Department of Health.”

  2. Jo Whittle : Mind Ground

    Brings together the threads of the psychiatric system, only to pull them apart again. Everyone is potentially vulnerable; everyone is potential victim or antagonist… These poems are full with disenchantment and irony concerning the paradox of care. And whilst Smith seems a polemicist he leaves us with no answers and no final judgement but for the evident fact that these systems are not working… I would highly recommend this compilation of poems to anyone who wants to unpick these problems as well as to those who appreciate proficiently crafted poetry.

  3. Paula Brown

    “The big question hanging over this collection appears to be summarised in the poem ‘What is Social, What Mental Illness?’ and the lines are blurred with much manipulation and co-morbidity…. It’s rare that I enjoy more than a third of any collection (and this goes for the “greats” as much as any other work) but I have to say that with this work, I was gripped from cover to cover, despite the uncomfortable subject matter and if you are going to invest £7.99 in poetry this year, I would recommend that this book be the one that finds itself on your bookshelf as the price doesn’t remotely reach the value of the text.”

  4. Alan Corkish

    “Voices echo throughout this collection, not only the voices of the schizophrenic, the bipolar, the possessed and the dispossessed but also the many voices of the poet which are often locked in contradiction and conflict. Contradictions that make Sam Smith’s honest and humane observations, at times, almost too painful to read…
    …Don’t throw away the key that Smith offers you in this brilliant and humbling anthology, for he offers you a key to an insight that few can offer us. If Shlovsky would have it that the work of the artist is to make the stone stonier then Smith asks you to consider the possibility that to label people as insane is perhaps the most insane thing that Society ever does. Few books, anthologies, poems leave you with the feeling that you have gained a privileged insight, Problems & Polemics however is one of those anthologies…”

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