Writing Place 2021

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The Art of Sickness

By Andi Snelling

(Note: This poem has been reverted to plain text to be accessible for screen readers. Please view the Writing Place 2021 PDF to see this poem in its original format.)


the confusion of my body wears such a confidence that even i am tricked by my own performance.


the more my disease progresses the more urgent my creation expresses.

it’s a dramaturgy of elongated emergency.


the second my sickness enters the space it’s already a risk-taking race.

but the danger is divisible because it’s invisible.


as experimental as my art now is on my body it is necessity that is my greatest innovator.


if i am to risk my heartbeat or an entire week of sleep then i shall make

the choreography count.


always in improvisation there is live realisation

no matter the loss of direction or memory recollection.


even when i’m seizure still pounding primal dead awake impossibly alive

i find my movement medicine or else it finds me.


when i surrender to the call is when i rise in my fall.

this is the art of sickness.


About Andi Snelling

Andi Snelling is a multi-award-winning performer, writer and theatre-maker with an MA Acting from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London. Her career highlights include: Edith in Picnic at Hanging Rock (BBC), Brinda Appadoo in Neighbours (Fremantle Media), Ensemble in Crazy for You (London Palladium), Inflight Voice for Qatar Airways, and her critically-acclaimed solo theatre shows, #DearDiary, Déjà Vu and Happy-Go-Wrong, with the latter receiving five awards and being named a “highlight of the year” (The Age). Andi is also an ambassador for the Lyme Disease Association of Australia, on the board of No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability, and runs her own creative mentoring business, Kick Up The Arts.


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