New and Permanent
by Frances Klein
Coming July 12, 2022
10% of BSP’s proceeds go to The Little Timmy Project
The poems in Frances Klein’s chapbook, New and Permanent, revolve around her transition from an abled body into a disabled one. After the birth of her son, she found herself experiencing chronic pain. Klein grapples with her new reality, as well as accompanying mental health effects like anxiety and depression, while challenging society’s insistence on dismissal, invalidation, and unsolicited advice when confronted with chronic pain and illness.
From New and Permanent:
I can only last an hour.
I don’t cry in the car
on the way home.
There is music on the radio,
the sounds of traffic.
They come to me faintly
as if from behind
the closed door of a dark room.
What am I, if not a collection
of the things I love most?
What am I, when I can no longer
love them the way I want to?
“Klein’s poetry is disability sitpoint theory—a series of meditations on the very lived, embodied realities of disabled life. Disability in this collection is not represented in its extremes but instead more accurately in its subtle ordinariness, where pill bottles, depression, and pain can coexist precariously with trees, moisturizers, and cookies. Klein invites the reader into the constant, uncertain becoming that is disability without shying away from its contradictions and the constant encounters with ableism in its many casual and seemingly innocuous forms. New and Permanent reminds us just what kind of ‘fragile animals’ we are despite how much we may believe otherwise.”—Travis Chi Wing Lau, author of Paring
“In New and Permanent, Klein bravely writes of motherhood and grief—chronic pain, negative pregnancy tests, and pill bottles piling up, the relentless purgatory of strangers offering unsolicited medical advice. Through all, Klein carries herself with a smirk: ‘By no means should the poem simply end / by refusing to change its bra / and taking the whole sleeve of Oreos to bed / but it will anyway.’ In this mournful display of one woman trying to live in her body against a cold and unaccepting world, Klein understands that a poem, just like life, should ‘also include one devastating stanza about a bower of white roses.'”—Rae Hoffman Jager, author of American Bitch
Frances Klein (she/her) is a poet writing at the intersection of disability and gender. She has also been a teacher of English and Creative Writing at the high school level for over a decade. Born and raised in Southeast Alaska, Klein now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her husband, Kris, and her son, Paul. Besides New and Permanent, Klein is also the author of the micro-chapbook, The Best Secret (Bottlecap Press). She has been published in numerous online and print publications, including River Styx, Tupelo Press, and So it Goes: The Literary Journal of the Vonnegut Memorial Library. Klein currently serves as assistant editor of Southern Humanities Review. Readers can find more of her work on her website.