Contemporary Canadian Literature with a Distinctly Urban Twist

Anvil Press

Trauma Head

Trauma Head

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  • us/world orders $18


In 2012, poet Elee Kraljii Gardiner precipitously lost feeling in, and use of, her left side. The mini-stroke passed quickly but was symptomatic of something larger: a tear in the lining of an artery that opened an examination of mortality and crisis. This long-poem memoir tracks the author’s experiences with un/wellness and un/re-familiarity with herself. Shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, Trauma Head disturbs and disorders language and syntax to reconcile appearance with experience.


MEDIA PRAISE FOR TRAUMA HEAD:
“In her remarkable second collection, Elee Kraljii Gardiner chronicles a health crisis, from sudden onset through slow recovery to healing …”
— Toronto Star


ADVANCE PRAISE FOR TRAUMA HEAD:
“Intimate and powerful. An astonishing paradox as Elee Kraljii Gardiner stages a series of verbal break-throughs in her poetic testimony to what is incommunicable during and after a stroke. Trauma Head brings it all home on many levels.”
—Daphne Marlatt


“Elee Kraljii Gardiner’s Trauma Head is a quicksilvered mirror—a startling and exquisite sequence of poems. The ‘unspeakable’ reflected is intensely fierce and sublimely sensual. Difficult, devastating, and meticulously crafted, this work is a rewarding chronicle of persistence through the trauma of recovery and return. Speech and soma are disrupted, shattered, unsheathed and reshaped—and they shimmer with Kraljii Gardiner’s luminous strength and control.”
—Sandra Ridley


“The unit of composition in Trauma Head is the page used as a mirror, a reflection of the synapses detonated by the poet as she triggers the intricate mechanisms of language. Elee Kraljii Gardiner seizes this linguistic dream (traum) world with skill and playfulness; these are poems to wake up from.”
— Fred Wah


  • Publication: November 2018
  • ISBN: 978-1-77214-122-1
  • Pages: 136 pp.
  • Size: 5.75 x 7.75 inches

Elee Kraljii Gardiner is the author of serpentine loop (Anvil Press, 2016) and the co-editor with John Asfour of V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012). She is the founder and creative mentor of Thursdays Writing Collective, a non-profit organization of Downtown Eastside writers, and editor and publisher of eight of its anthologies. www.eleekg.com

Books by Elee Kraljii Gardiner