Jennifer Richter s penetrating second collection of poems, "e;No Acute Distress,"e; introduces us to the unspoken struggles and unanticipated epiphanies of illness and motherhood, subjects rarely explored together in contemporary poetry. The first poem of each section borrows from a classic joke form one begins, An intractable migraine walks into a bar to consider the thin line this mother walks between the tragic and comic: debilitating pain met with increasingly absurd and desperate medical treatments.
Richter seasons her work with irony from the start, titling the book s opening poem, Pleasant, healthy-appearing adult white female in no acute distress. As the collection progresses, the speaker s growing children bring new, wider perspective to the poems; the heart of the book opens up to embrace the adolescents increasing self-sufficiency and the body s vibrant re-emergence into health.
"e;No Acute Distress"e; offers readers fresh language grounded in a masterful use of form, speaking with an urgency that acknowledges chronic pain s cumulative damage to the body and spirit, and with an openness that allows for hope and the inexplicable on the path to victorious recovery."e;
No Acute Distress
Southern Illinois University Press