Poems from the Madhouse
Poems from the Madhouse invites readers into the paradoxical world of insanity: the confusion and clarity, the courage and fear, the bleak despair and the black comedy. Only a poet could make us hear the thundering whisper of insanity, the endless circling of the revolving door, the sheer practicality of whatever gets you through the night. Here are portraits of other people in wards filled with restless wanderers. In the end, it is humour, a thesaurus of monickers that enable the reader to emerge sadder, wiser, but not hopeless.
Going beyond the “liquid boundaries” of the mind and living on the razor’s edge of insanity she shares with her readers what it is like to struggle through the “torturous maze of distress/where confusion reigns and/clarity remains submerged". Julia Hancock, LOTL
'Their direct appeal lies in [the poems’] combination of comedy and despair, of terror and courage.’ Jennifer Cooke, Australian Bookseller and Publisher
'Sandy Jeffs powerfully creates madness as cultural institution and social inscape. Her vivid, cogent poetry fully conveys the harsh peremptoriness of insanity and is at the same time empoweringly sane.’ Kerry Leves, Overland
‘This is disturbing but quite wonderful poetry because of its clarity, its humour, its imagery, and the insights it gives us into being human, being mad, being sane. I read and read – and was profoundly moved. I delighted in it as poetry, I was touched by its honesty, courage and vulnerability.’ Anne Deveson