A Registry of Survival
Paperback, 40 pages
Ann Tweedy’s A Registry of Survival is a deeply moving portrait of her fraught relationship with her mother. Tweedy’s story-poems explore the minutiae of her mother’s struggles with mental health, and Tweedy’s own attempts to find some safe balance in her relationship with her mother. In this short, but richly woven collection, Tweedy gives voice to the bitter struggles many fight quietly every day, offering a bit of solace to society's stigma of mental illness.
It’s like the words of A Registry of Survival were extracted from the heart, like clean sharp needles pulling out, but true and hard and needing to be said. The child, Ann Tweedy, might have survived her mother’s mental illness and homelessness, but the adult daughter has to live with the legacy ever after. This book is about the living with what comes after.
—Rebecca Brown, author
The Gifts of the Body and Not
Heaven, Somewhere Else
Ann Tweedy's poems wish for home, but witness trauma: a mother struggling with untreated mental illness, a daughter buffeted by neglect and abuse. In lyrical prose, Tweedy narrates a story fractured by innovative forms that document a chaotic childhood. This is powerful, fierce work by a brave and eloquent writer.
—Carol Guess, author
Girl Zoo and Tinderbox Lawn
Families are complicated things. They can be full of care and at the same time defined by abandonment and neglect. Ann Tweedy knows this well and uses the intimacy of the poem to tell the story of a mother, one who is on and off again homeless, and a daughter who is trying to stay true to the joys and the pains that come from this mother. These poems are quiet and yet dramatic, respectful and attentive to the terrible choices that face those who are abandoned by the state and society.
—Julianna Spahr, author
That Winter the Wolf Came
An elegant mix of poems, shopping lists, diagnostic ephemera, and more, Ann Tweedy’s A Registry of Survival compassionately explores the pain and wonder of being a daughter, a mother, any body trying to hold itself together in a precarious world. Tweedy candidly confronts the myriad ways our society systematically fails individuals with mental health conditions and their families. Eschewing the familiar survivor’s tale of perseverance and triumphance, Tweedy lingers in liminality, ultimately offering us a more generous and generative picture of survival: ongoingness.
—Elizabeth Hall, author
I have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris