Adam Dickinson's collection of poetry explores the relationship of chemicals in a human body.

Adam Dickinson

The poems of Anatomic have emerged from biomonitoring and microbiome testing on the author's body to examine the way the outside writes the inside, both harmfully and necessarily. This information and research has been turned into a chemical/microbial autobiography that explores the subject as an assemblage of nonhuman objects and actors. All of the chemicals for which the author is tested are widely present in the environment and believed to exist in most humans to varying degrees.

By focusing on the "outside" that's "inside," Dickinson draws attention to the permeable and coextensive nature of the body with its environment and the consequent implications for linking the human to the nonhuman and the personal to the global. Working with the hormone as a compositional method, the poems deliberately combine biographical details (the author's exposure to various chemicals, his diet and lifestyle as contributors to his microbial health) with historical details (famous spills, accidental poisonings, military applications, and attempted political assassinations).

Dickinson sees his own body, the chemicals in his blood and urine, the Western­-diet-­influenced microbes in his stomach, as forms of media expressing the biology of "petroculture," revealing his own strange intimacy with the energy sources of our current historical moment. (From Coach House)


Why Canadian poet Adam Dickinson believes poetry is needed now more than ever

5 years ago
Duration 4:46
Featured VideoWhy Canadian poet Adam Dickinson believes poetry is needed now more than ever

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