Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize
Date: 30th September 2021
Extent: 72 pp
Daniel Sluman’s third collection, single window is a hybrid memoir of poetry and images.
One an amputee with chronic pain, the other suffering from Crohn's Disease and Fibromyalgia, Daniel Sluman and his wife Emily found the year of 2016 almost untenable. Unable to safely navigate the stairs to bed, they spent 24 hours a day together on their sofa, isolated from society except for a single window, where they watched the world moving around them.
single window is an incomparable, uncompromising and starkly-realised sequence of poems in the form of a journal, which bear witness to the loneliness and fear experienced by disabled people living in Tory Britain. Through a precise, hyper-confessional fusion of poetry and photography, this book details the realities of disabled lives, exploring intimacy and unconditional love as well as isolation and confinement, and documenting a world that many people otherwise never see.
Praise for single window:
"Insightful, poignant and revelatory, single window offers us a language of tortured temporality: time accelerates, halts, collapses, marked by shifting patterns of light that ‘wash in and out’. Limited by chronic illness, hemmed in and marginalised, events outside the window garner new resonance as the occupants witness the world slipping by. Inside, we journey through scenes of companionship, territories of love, touch and tenderness. Rendered with delicate and gritty word play, husband and wife ‘wake in yesterday’s clothes’ and watch the ‘piss-bright sunrise’. Thoughts and observations are scored to the fragmented experience of living with illness—bodies are wrapped and unwrapped, pushed beyond their limits, as the couple leak and love, participating in each other’s healing. Love is a comfort, an intervention and important inquiry; time spent in this liminal space provokes an all-consuming intimacy that normative bodies may never experience. Switching between somatic, psychic and emotional registers, single window provides an immersive experience into the erratic, unpredictable and unstable processes of illness. A stunning read." - Dorothy Lehane
"In single window Daniel Sluman gives us a noir view into the world of disability, drugs and pain. Like Larry Eigner from his single post on a front porch, Sluman crafts poems from a singularly restrictive view - the small space that he and his wife shared virtually immobile for a year. Through his skillful use of language the poet draws the reader into a visceral miasma in which the hope generated by love is often only a faint flicker. It is an experience rarely found in disability poetry." - Michael Northen, editor Beauty is a Verb: the New Poetry of Disability
Daniel Sluman is a poet and disability rights activist. He co-edited the first major UK Disability anthology Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back, and his second collection the terrible was published by Nine Arches Press in 2015. He has appeared widely in UK poetry journals and his third collection of poetry, single window, about living with disability and chronic pain, is published by Nine Arches Press in September 2021.