Against Death is an anthology of creative non-fiction exploring the psychological shifts that occur when we prematurely or unexpectedly confront death.
Against Death is a natural outgrowth of the editor's experience of surviving a vertebral artery dissection and stroke and the subsequent writing of a long poem memoir about the event.
To be "against" something can mean two different things at the same time. "Against" can mean pressed up close to something, yet it can also signify refusal. These texts deal with the affects of this proximity, taking into account any meaning of the word. Rather than showcase only extreme survival stories or difficult biological situations, the pieces in Against Death consider the ways we make sense of death on a personal level and how we integrate that thinking as we continue forward.
Against Death articulates the personal experiences of each author's "near-deathness," utilizing fresh and inventive language to represent what "magical thinking" proposes. These pieces are incisive and articulate, avoiding the usual platitudes, feel-good bromides, and pep talks associated with near-death encounters. The writing moves past the sob story and confronts the tough circumstance of facing death with truth and compassion, no matter how ugly or (in)convenient.
Contributors include: angela rawlings, Joe Average, Aislinn Hunter, Jennifer van Evra, Maureen Medved, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Bruce Meyer and many others.
Elee Kraljii Gardiner is the author of the book of poems serpentine loop (Anvil Press, 2016), nominated for the 2017 Raymond Souster Award. She is the co-editor with John Asfour of V6A: Writing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012), a City of Vancouver Book Award finalist, and she is the founder of Thursdays Writing Collective as well as the editor and publisher of eight of its anthologies. Her chapbook Trauma Head (Otter Press, 2017) is a precursor to a second book of poetry by the same title (Anvil, fall 2018), which has been shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry.