This inspiring collection of poems offers insight into living with Multiple Sclerosis and the strength it takes to persevere. With every purchase, 10% of the proceeds goes to ProLiteracy, a nonprofit dedicated to improving adult literacy worldwide. Unlock a deeper understanding of life with MS while spreading the power of literacy today.
From Bev & Her Books:
Bryan Monte takes us on a journey through the shifting realities of attempting to live a "normal" life with a disease that challenges every attempt to be consistently "normal." Written candidly with warmth, humor, and acceptance, Monte gives us "normal" people a heads-up on how to live in the present moment with gratitude and grace.
On the Level: Poems on Living with Multiple Sclerosis cuts to the reality of living with disability. Fear and courage-and humor-make their appearance, along with family trauma, invasive examinations, constantly moving medical targets, and accessibility barriers. Without pulling any punches, Bryan R. Monte shows us that life and joy push through and beyond limitations both self- and other-imposed.
From the back cover:
"Gifted narrative poet Bryan R. Monte turns medical anthropologist in this transfixing exploration of his four-decade brawl with multiple sclerosis, meeting his disease's "tongues of fire" with wit, erudition and insight. On the Level is not only a deft exploration of the author's life as patient, but also a daring foray into the nature of illness, the limits of the medical profession and the boundless potential of the human psyche to transcend its physical shell. In the spirit of Sarah Manguso and Porochista Khakpour, Monte transforms his own body into a literary landscape. An arresting debut." - Jacob M. Appel, MD and author of Who Says You're Dead?
"The extraordinary thing about this collection is its positivity. Not in a facile sense-these poems are unsparingly real, bringing readers as close as I dare imagine to the experience of MS in their own bodies as well as in the mind. But the grace of the writing, its tenderness and often humor, lifts us, as does its determination to look through sometimes harrowing details to wider perspectives, ones we can all use, simply being human, moving outwards and on." - Philip Gross, Between the Islands and The Water Table (T.S. Eliot Prize)
Bryan R. Monte is an anthropologist, lecturer, and writer. In 2021, he was shortlisted for both the Hippocrates Open Category Prize and the Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award. His poetry has appeared in The Arlington Literary Journal, Friends Journal, Italian Americana, Kaleidoscope Magazine, and the South Florida Poetry Journal, and is anthologized in Gathered: Contemporary Quaker Poets (Sundress Press), Voices from the Fierce Intangible World, (SoFloPoJo Press), and The 2021 & 2022 Hippocrates Prize anthologies (The Hippocrates Press). He edits Amsterdam Quarterly and is a member of the Amsterdam (Netherlands) Friends Monthly Meeting, the Authors Guild, and the Communal Studies Association. He lives in the Netherlands with his partner and their dachshund.