Books for Independent Thinkers

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A Hospital Odyssey is an outrageously imaginative voyage through illness and healing. Drawing on the most recent biomedical research into stem cells and cancer, the poem is a journey through the body's inner space and the strange habitats created by disease, including the chimeras people see when they're unwell.

Maris, whose husband, Hardy, has been diagnosed with cancer, is separated from him. Her mythical journey leads though a surreal landscape, peopled by true and false physicians, god-celebrities, rabid statues, diseases hunting healthy bodies and a microbes holding their annual ball. The Otherworld is located in the hospital's basement. In her desperate search Maris meets and converses with Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS.

Immensely readable, A Hospital Odyssey is a modern epic: Dr Who meets Paradise Lost. The poem asks: what is health? And what does it mean to care for someone who's ill?

"[a] remarkable long poem, an epic for our time... a kind of surreal modern morality taleÖ overall, this is a performance that more than confirms Gwyneth Lewis's reputation as one of the most exhilaratingly gifted poets of her generation."
M. Wynn Thomas, The Guardian

"True stars in poetry like Gwyneth Lewis always match brilliance with warmth. She is the one to bet on."
Les Murray

"Felicitous, urbane, heartbreaking, the poems of Gwyneth Lewis form a universe whose planets use language for oxygen and thus are inhabitable."
Joseph Brodsky

"Gwyneth Lewis has so many of the gifts required for good poetry: command of form, with improvisation enlivening tradition; supple rhythm; originality of subject-matter and the right eye to pin down detail; humour, both sardonic and direct; and, above all, commitment to human feeling."
Peter Porter

"Her descriptive eye and innate formal intelligence merge in places to create truly magical poems, full of metaphysical mystery and spirit."
Aingeal Clare

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A Hospital Odyssey