This essay examines the late work of one poet strongly identified with disability studies in order to offer an account of disability’s role in poetic practice at the turn of the twentieth century. A phenomenological engagement with Larry Eigner’s work demonstrates how traditions of disability studies and formalist discourse can produce a more flexible mode of criticism that incorporates both. What I’m calling chronic poetics extends the reach of disability criticism’s relevance to all bodies, not the disabled body alone. Chronic poetics is a phenomenological account of perception and artistic practice that allows the shared conditions of embodiment to emerge from the text. Thus chronic poetics fulfills the imperatives to significantly address the fact of disability and further to determine whether disability is a meaningful critical frame for thinking about literature.


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pp. 1-19
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