Imagined as a living, breathing, pulsing body of work through which the poetry of blood courses, visceral is a collection of poems, personal essays, and photographs inspired by blood and what it represents. Divided thematically into chapters or vis-cera he work was conceived in 2015 after the author penned a series of poems using his own blood as ink, in protest of the blood donor ban on men who have sex with men. With Oulipian constraints and an unconventional use of the cæsura, Arkhipov invites the reader to pause, inhale, and reflect on abjection, ancestry, faith, intimacy, mortality, and stigma. The diversity of the book’s six organs stands as testament to the omnipresent beat of blood in our languages and cultures; Arkhipov’s treat- ment of the homosexual experi- ence in particular highlights the intersection of blood with sex, love, and shame in the gay community. visceral is illustrated with powerful and intimate photographs, conceived by RJ Arkhipov and captured by French photographer Maud Maillard.
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