Selected by Cyril Wong as the winner of the 2020 Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize.
An urgent debut demanding a reckoning with what it means to be healthy against a backdrop of widespread illness and violence.
At the heart of Nica Bengzon’s timely debut is a bold challenge to our understanding of health. Using the language of medicine and psychology, Bengzon probes for ironies and conflicts in these fields and their professed capacity to provide care through control and scientific truth.
A true interdisciplinary experiment, Object Permanence at once embraces and refuses the scientific method, repeatedly testing what it means to have hope amid grief, illness, violence, and
survival. Subtle yet potent, philosophical yet grounded, clinical yet intimate, Bengzon’s poems expose the limits of healing in its institutionalized and professionalized forms.