Beautiful Malady


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Pub Date Jun 05 2023 | Archive Date Oct 15 2023

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A siren song of queerness, disability, and myth, these poems reinvent love, life, and death. BEAUTIFUL MALADY is an exploration of pain, weaving speculative poems about fairy tales, folklore, fantasy, and the supernatural with the reality of chronic illness and disability. Ennis Rook Bashe deftly creates a world where the broken body is beautiful.  

About the Author

Ennis Bashe is a queer romance novelist and poet whose work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Cricket, and Liminality Magazine. Their debut chapbook, Glitter Blood, was an Elgin Award nominee. If you enjoyed the disability-related themes in this chapbook, you may also enjoy their fantasy romance series Hunters of the Cairn, set in a world where only disabled and chronically ill people can become monster hunters. Find more Ennis at

A siren song of queerness, disability, and myth, these poems reinvent love, life, and death. BEAUTIFUL MALADY is an exploration of pain, weaving speculative poems about fairy tales, folklore...

Advance Praise

“From the melancholy to the manic, Bashe deftly uses fantasy, folklore, and pop culture to leave no corner of living with disability unexplored; weaving humor, rage, ache, and triumph into a mosaic that is utterly unique to them, yet deeply relatable.” —R. Thursday, poet

“In Beautiful Malady, Ennis Rook Bashe explores the painful reality of living with chronic illness and disability with gorgeous, lyrical precision. The imagery hits home with its devastating simplicity and unexpected juxtaposition, leaving the reader with bitter-sweet empathy for both the narrator and themselves.” —Rebecca A. Demarest, Author of Less Than Charming

“With Beautiful Malady, Ennis Rook Bashe brings us into a brief but compelling visit into a world of ghosts and machines, cybernetics, mobility and accessibility and the queer edges of the undiscovered country. These verses draw you into questions with few certain answers, histories and vantage points that need to be heard and read repeatedly. ‘If I transcribed a pantheon I'd say: the god of magic is the god of death,’ we're informed, and each poem moves with an assured voice and a striking imagination. This chapbook will linger with me for quite some time." —Bryan Thao Worra, former Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association President (2016-2022)

“Ennis Rook Bashe fuses classic fairy-tale archetypes and imagery with new and reimagined elements rooted in the queer, disabled bodily and social experience. They balance dreams and nightmares, love and loss, old and new, life and death, in a way that feels both unique and embedded in a much longer, deeper continuity. Throughout it all, the disabled body serves as an anchor—a touchstone, a talisman—in all its beautiful, painful complexity.” –Toby MacNutt

“The poems in Bashe’s collection are surprising in a visceral way, delicate and sharp like a finely crafted blade flaying apathy from our observations to leave a raw, vulnerable relief in the silken textures of syllables that invite us beyond the ordinary rush of senses. “Beautiful Malady” is brutal, beatific, and irresistibly beckoning; give in to the sweet melody of its pages and listen for the fairytale of your own heart’s uncertain delight.” —Saba Syed Razvi, author of In the Crocodile Gardens

“From the melancholy to the manic, Bashe deftly uses fantasy, folklore, and pop culture to leave no corner of living with disability unexplored; weaving humor, rage, ache, and triumph into a mosaic...

Marketing Plan

Goodreads Giveaway 5/18 - 6/5

Goodreads Giveaway 5/18 - 6/5

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Featured Reviews

I haven’t read much modern poetry, but after reading this book I definitely want to change that. This collection includes beautiful poems on life, disability, love, and much more. It was a delight to read and I look forward to whatever this author writes next.

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As someone who also suffers from numerous chronic illnesses and has had numerous doctors and other people not believe me about my conditions (e.g why I cant walk well, etc) I really resonated with this Authors work. I could really see the characters she portrayed and what goes through peoples minds who have chronic illness. It did take me a while to get into the writing style but I really enjoyed the work by the end of the book. Very well written.

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Wow, I loved this poetry collection. It's short but it packs a punch, and the author's note at the end was stunning. Bashe's language is beautiful, and as someone who already spends a lot of time thinking about how we can use fantasy worlds to unpack real-world issues, this one got me good. Several times, I would finish a poem only to immediately read it again to see what I might have missed the first time around.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review, and I've already tracked down the author's other works so that I can enjoy them, too.

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this was a great concept for a scifi poem collection, each poem was beautifully done and I enjoyed how good each of them was. I enjoyed the way Ennis Rook Bashe wrote this and thought it worked together well.

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I love the way this book of poetry discusses disability, fairytales, and the supernatural. The author's note at the end of the book also explains how it is sometimes easier to talk about certain issues when you put on a persona, and I thought that was an interesting perspective. Overall, the poems in this book were really well written. They explain difficult topics in a way that is easier to understand.

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Ennis Rook Bashe's Beautiful Malady masterfully weaves queerness, disability, and myth into a poignant collection of poems. The author's authentic voice and vivid imagery create a world where brokenness is beautiful. Standout poems like "my mother calls me into the living room every time there's a disabled performer on reality television" and "disease vector" showcase Bashe's ability to capture pain and triumph. This unforgettable chapbook invites readers to explore the complexities of the human spirit and celebrates the resilience found within.

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I’ve never read poetry quite this like before. I love the supernatural and fairy tale themes throughout the book! It’s quite a short book of poems but I thoroughly enjoyed them! What I loved the most was that having a disability was shown to be beautiful in this book which is rare to find.

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Will post my review to Goodreads and Instagram profiles on publish day June 5, 2023.

Beautiful Malady
By: Ennis Rook Bashe

A siren song of queerness, disability, and myth, these poems reinvent love, life, and death. BEAUTIFUL MALADY is an exploration of pain, weaving speculative poems about fairy tales, folklore, fantasy, and the supernatural with the reality of chronic illness and disability. Ennis Rook Bashe deftly creates a world where the broken body is beautiful.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Beautiful. To the point. I loved this collection of poems. The author does a great job weaving disability and sci-fi/fantasy themes together. The poems were understandable and relatable. The author did an amazing job with this and I am excited and curious to check out their other works. I’ll leave you with a couple quotes I highlighted during my read: “Have you got a name for the way you don’t feel anything” and “I want to be dying for, not dying of.” Check this out for sure!

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Dark fantasy poetry with the narrative frame of disability wasn't even something I was aware I would be able to find. I am absolutely glad I did though. Bashe utilizes monsters, wizards, and dungeons and dragons to drag out the dark part of living disabled into the light. These poems cover medical trauma, hospital stays, and quite a bit more.

It took me a few poems to adjust to how language is structured within the poems, but the content and framing here drew me in. I will be re-reading some of these poems, and I highly recommend Beautiful Malady to anyone who enjoys reading on disability and poetry. Extra bonus points if fantasy is also your jam!

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Interstellar Flight Press for letting me get my hands on a copy.

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Beautiful Malady by Ennis Rook Bashe is a queer journey through corporeal suffering and defiant joy. A collection of lyrical imagination, Bashe takes us on a journey through medical trauma to sexual pleasure that includes magic, robots, and necromancy. It is both well balanced in terms of language and musicality, and themes of saccharine melancholy. I would love nothing more but to scream it from mountain tops. As a chronically ill person myself, I too would call out to and worship the “goddess of cryogenics… gemstone dragon’s-hoard glass eyes… [and] cyborgs.” Bashe describes this collection as a “book of alibis,” where they can explore things that are not them, or an extension of them, or them at their extremes, and I adore the imagery of nightmarish hospitals, alchemy, and wingless angels. Despite it all, Bashe teaches us about a crippled body that deserves to live.

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I don't typically sit and read poetry, but I couldn't help but want to give Beautiful Malady a chance. As a queer, disabled person I found great comfort in many of these short poems. I felt seen, I felt heard, I sat in the sadness and anger felt by many, but also revelled in the strength and beauty there is to find in the community. My personal favourite was 'pain son', which had me laughing over our shared love for the furry gremlins we cat parents have, be they 4, 3 or even 2 legged companions.
I definitely recommend giving Beautiful Malady a go, regardless of if you enjoy poetry or not. The only issue I had was that the kindle edition didn't seem very well formatted, making it difficult to read at times.

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When Beautiful Malady by Ennis Rook Bashe popped up in my Twitter feed with that gorgeously maximalist cover, I knew I had to have it. I’ve been on a bit of a poetry kick lately, mainly focusing on works by queer and/or disabled poets, and this little gem had the added wonder of being spun together with speculative elements, itching at my extremely nerdy needs. So I took myself over to Netgalley and did the whole sign up thing to get myself an ARC. And, after having read only a handful of poems from the collection, I added Beautiful Malady straight onto to all of my wishlists (gifts marked for myself and others). I knew then that this was a book that I would very much need a physical copy of to fawn over, and that I would also want to talk endlessly about with other humans.
Beautiful Malady is a striking in depth look into what it is to be disabled; to live in a body that doesn’t always want to live with you. It sculpts very real moments of both difficulty and joy with brilliant flashes of fantasy that will leave you breathless with feeling.

In short, it’s the type of poetry I some day hope to write myself.

Bashe’s weaving of speculative elements with the reality of disability is seriously that good. I’m sure a lot of reviewers will talk about the robots or the ghosts (in fact, I probably will later, too), but my personal favourite example of Bashe’s masterful use of the speculative genre was the echoes of Frankenstein and witchcraft spun into ‘Mad, Without Scientist’:

I mean if they think you’re a curse.
If you have to scrawl on the walls in blood
at least write equations.
That comparison of disability with a magical blood curse conjures up those moments of living with disability where you feel like a burden, but with a dash of knowing, cruel wit in the follow up nod to the notion that the only thing disabled people are allowed to do with their disability is be inspiring. It mocks that uneasy pressure that we live with to turn our ‘misfortune’ into something constructive, rather than acknowledge that it’s not easy, that there are things we cannot do, or should not be expected to do. The meshing of genre elements with the real is impeccable.

And I think that trail of perfection stems, in part, from Bashe’s skill at making a simple image hit deeply. They manage to make the fantastical relatable by giving surreal scenarios and creatures simple language, and in turn make the real feel absurd. In ‘On Having Had Wings’, in which a once winged being complains of being wingless you get this gem:

[…] Do
you like hauling
your whole solid self everywhere?”
When I tell you that, as a disabled person, I felt that question in my heavy-ass bones. It’s so simple, gently disrupting our perception of reality for the briefest of moments by questioning a thing we do every day. But it lifts you off the ground and then sends you crashing back down in an instant. I’m a little obsessed, in case you can’t tell.

I also loved how this collection managed to avoid the usual pitfall of being one note. There’s darkness and gloom in Beautiful Malady, but also hope and humour and sweetness. And now I will talk about the robots because how freaking cute is, “Every giant robot would adore/ the ones who use machines to live.” (‘Alternate Mode: Mobility Aid’)? It conjures up feelings of nostalgia and comfort, and I’m not going to lie, all I can picture is the Iron Giant reaching down a finger to cuddle.

I could go on and on and on about Beautiful Malady. I could talk about having my own golden-eyed ‘Pain Son’ and how I too want to kiss myself on the head and go soaring (‘Rose Ghost II’), but instead, I’m just going to drop the link to buy the collection here, and wish you all a happy Queer Pride, and a Happy Disability Pride too ❤

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At first I wasn't sure how I felt about this collection. The form felt off and it felt a bit messy. But once I got more into it I was truly blown away by the emotion and creativity in these poems. The imagery was so powerful. They felt desperate and hopeless but also beautiful, romantic and optimistic at times. I haven't read poetry like it.

Bashe merges fantasy and sci-fi with hard-hitting realities of life being chronically ill/disabled. As someone who has had hospital admissions and knows what it feels like to feel like you're dealing with something nobody else understands, these poems really spoke to me.

I really wish that everyone who loves poetry will find these poems and be as moved as I was.

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC!

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My thanks to Interstellar Flight Press for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Beautiful Malady Poems’ by Ennis Rook Bash.

I tend to approach poetry a little gingerly though I was drawn to this collection by the publishers’ description of it being “speculative poems about fairy tales, folklore, fantasy, and the supernatural with the reality of chronic illness and disability.”

I am very drawn to the subject matter explored and appreciated that the poems were short and focused.

Indeed, from the first poem through to the last I found that I could relate deeply to Ennis Rook Bashe’s poems and am certainly happy to recommend this unique and powerful collection.

In addition, I found the cover art very striking and it certainly enticed me to explore the poetry within.

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This collection of poems is a fantastical, speculative ride pulling us through and into themes of disability and pain. The use of a fantasy lens, discussed directly in the author's note (one of my favorite parts of this collection), as a way to communicate trauma is extremely well done and effective. The language is gorgeous, trippy, heart wrenching, and ripe. It walks us up to topics that so often get a dry, detached treatment. These poems are also perfectly curated, each benefitting from inclusion in the whole, making the collection better than the sum of its parts. Like a great album, this is an x factor that doesn't happen often and is so satisfying to see. "All our changelings, welcome home."

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I got an ARC of this book.

I am not a poetry person. I don't understand poetry. I don't like poetry.

I do understand a body that seems to betray you, not seeing yourself in what you are engaging with, not being thought about by the majority. I understood so much of Bashe's ideas, frustrations, pains, and anger. It was nice to see both skeletons and my disabled body in poetry, not what I was expecting at all.

Still poetry, so wasn't something I loved. But I did enjoy it. For me to even admit I enjoyed poetry, there has to be something there

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One of my favorite poems from Beautiful Malady is at the beginning of the book and it talks of how immigrants perceive their new country. ‘Theoretically, inherited’ made my heart ache.

Ennis Rook Bashe has an unusual dictionary for their poetry. I don’t read a lot of this genre so I could be wrong. I liked finding collegiate vocabulary to describe the mundane and yet complex turns of life. Bashe also utilizes graphic imagery which can make you squirm - even if you are a horror film aficionado like myself. They also bring forth the uncomfortable topics that no one likes to talk about or to only talk about in “worthy” situations.

Beautiful Malady rips off the bandages and lets you see beyond the cover of politeness, society, and “the rules” to the raw feelings underneath. I love it for its honesty and the fact that it made me uncomfortable. It made me think. Art is supposed to do this and Bashe has created one heck of a Beautiful Malady.

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I want to buy multiple copies of this book and put it directly into the hands of more than a few friends with chronic illnesses, or who have suffered even the smallest microaggression in the hands of a medical provider. I want to share it with every person who's been told "it's just anxiety" or already judged by the shape of their body or the color of their skin or the timbre of their voice.

This short poetry book really beautifully gets into the griefs and horrors of living with chronic illness in a world where healthcare is a ticket line, a voice calling 'next!' as quickly as a human mouth can say the word. I think it's truly important to read even for those who haven't ever felt mistreated by a nurse or doctor or someone on a help line, who's never had to advocate for themselves or a loved one-- because so many of us have.

Thank you to NetGalley and Interstellar Flight Press for the free copy in exchange for this honest review!

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Despite being quite short, this book was filled to the brim with emotions, escapism, and determination. There were a few poems that stood out to me in particular, such as Mad, Without Scientist, or Changelings (Migratory Legend Type 5805). I loved how the author incorporated disability into fantastical situations. We can always stand to have more disability rep in our literature, and the author did it justice. I also loved the author's note at the end. It tied the whole book together and perfectly summed up the reason for why the author writes. Also, as a side note, I am now thoroughly interested in reading their romance series, and will definitely be picking it up!

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As a chronically ill, rpg and poetry enjoying queer person, finding poetry about being chronically ill and queer is a very specific niche. Before today I've never read anything that has those themes in it. I love that Ennis takes something that has distressing connotation and makes it beautiful. Stories about disabled characters can be difficult to find, and when we do find them they tend to make the character a sign of strength and 'despite everything they persevered' and lemme just say -- they all make it glaringly obvious that the person writing it isn't disabled. And disabled characters are written so blandly. Their disabilities are viewed as obstacles, rather than part of the character itself. Disability isn't always this ugly thing no one can talk about. As a disabled person, it gets infuriating. Ennis takes something that has its challenges and it's not always pretty all the time and turns it into something amazing. The fantasy aspects of it are great too. I loved the authors note at the end too--sometimes our characters are faced with pain and struggle to pull ourselves up and over the ledge, but we always make it in the end. I love that it takes rpg aspects into it--disabled characters as robots, cryptids, wizards. It's awesome. We're just as capable of being the bad ass mcs.

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This poetry collection is an honest and lyrical look into the life of someone with chronic illness and struggling with mental health issues. As someone who was sick a lot throughout my life and had many surgeries as a child, I felt this collection in a way that many others haven't hit.

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Thank you to Interstellar Press and NetGalley!

I’ll admit: I saw this in an email from Interstellar Press, saw queer sci-fi/fantasy and disability, so I immediately clicked. Poems aren’t quite my thing, but Bashe’s narrative voice was strong and soaring through metaphor and blunt speech both.

Quick read, and accessible to those who are not poetry fans, and beautiful flow!

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Gosh, this is excellent. The imagery used is so poignant and so many of the tales woven together are so good. This is a great examination of chronic illness and disability through a speculative lens, and I really enjoyed the chance to read it.

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I was provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Beautiful Malady features a collection of poems centred around disability, queerness, love, death, and trauma.

Though most of these poems are unrelated, rose water i-viii presents before the reader a poignant tale of a prince and his ghost bodyguard. I loved how the poet employs fantastical and sci-fi elements to create vivid imagery.

The poems flow together quite well and make use of different forms of literary devices to create a powerful impact. The unique perspective on disabled bodies and the bittersweet tone of discussion around death was very well done.

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and will definitely read more by the poet.
The only reason this isn't a full 5/5 is because a few of the poems were too abstract. They read like an amalgamation of different words joined together which was poor for overall clarity.

I highly recommend this collection.

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Wow! What an amazing book!!
Would love to read more from the author.
Thankyou netgalley for the Arc!

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I am not the biggest poetry person but this collection was just incredible. I barely have the words to convey how incredible this was. I'd read each poem, think that was going to be favourite, then move on to the next poem and love that one just as much (if not more). Particular favourites were: Changelings (Migratory Legend Type 5805), Trauma Is For People Who Fear Death, the universe and all others, Death Is A Lesbian And She Can Pick Me Up and all of the rose ghost poems. I just loved the weaving of fantasy and sci-fi themes and concepts in with real experiences of living with a disability. I also think the author's note is definitely worth a read is this one, it definitely added to all the poetry. All in all, just a beautiful masterpiece that I cannot recommend enough.

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This book is gorgeous
This book and its contents belongs in a poetry curriculum. This would be a book great to get younger people to see poetry, structure, and how poetry is a beautiful way to communicate things that are hard to communicate.
This book does an amazing job of using lyrical, poetry and abstract concepts and fantastical images to create a narrative that is both relatable, and also one that keeps you captivated and wanting to keep reading. There’s something about this kind of poetry that allows you to both imagine and experience the emotion, but in a way that also allows you to distance yourself, due to the fantastical nature of the writing. There’s something to be said about being able to distance yourself from this level of emotion, but also be able to relate to it on the spiritual level.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sharing an ARC of this poetry collection with me in exchange for an honest review!

"My body? I’m not really here, you know. I’m just made of thoughts and glass and light."

I really liked this poetry collection and all of the fantasy connections.
But the best part of the book, and I mean this in a positive way, is the author's note at the end.
I would absolutely pick up from this author again and would recommend this to any poetry fan who is looking for a bit of fantasy whimsy mixed in with their hard hitting poems.

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*Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy of this book

This book is dark and beautiful. I imagine it as a garden, though the cover art has likely influenced that idea. It is a collection of poetry. Poetry is not typically something that I enjoy, however this one stole my heart. I loved reading them and feeling the power and intent behind each chosen word. The poems focus on chronic illness, abilities, trauma, and is beautifully woven. It certainly has fantasy elements, which are my favorite. I loved rose ghost and how the text flowed. It provides insight into the minds of others, touching on hard topics whilst still managing to be whimsical in the same instance.

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This poetry book was raw, emotional, and had hard-hitting and descriptive writing. I thought the way the author intertwined the beauty and also the struggles of chronic illnesses and disabilities with fairytales and myth, was impactful and eye-opening.

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I absolutely loved these poems. They are exactly up my alley, the intersection of disability and spec fic/poetry. Bashe has a beautiful sense of flow and evokes really poignant themes with their imagery and stories. This is one I’ll revisit over and over, I’m sure.

Thank you to Interstellar Press and NetGalley for an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Ennis Rook Bashe celebrates life and experience in a poetic collection well worth reading and savoring. Wonderful work to explore for readers of verse.

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Huge thanks to the publisher for this ARC, what can I say? It was stunning. It was honest, raw and so emotional. The poems almost brought tears to my eyes, as I’m disabled myself, I understand feeling like you’re on a constant rollercoaster with medical stuff. Ennis Rook Bashe’s work is so powerful, it really made me hopeful for change.

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“I want to be an absolute reservoir of death-energy, a walking mausoleum, my own beautiful tomb. I want to be dying for, not dying of.”

I loved everything about this raw, fantasy book of poems. It was emotional and deep.

The author has a voice that speaks to everyone, not just those who relate to the subject written. It was beautifully dark and kept me wanting more.

I received this ARC from NetGalley and Interstellar Flight Press in exchange for an honest review.

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Beautiful Malady is the kind of book that will stay with you for a long time.
It’s just as the title describes, beautiful, but also very painful. The soul of one with chronic illness is laid bare in this book. It explores themes such as the disconnect between body and mind, how society looks upon those who are not the picture of health.
This short collection of poems describes not only the pain that a person with a disability and/or chronic illness experiences. But also, the exceptions, rejection and gaslighting (medical and emotional) that society places on them. You can be ill, but you must be brave. You can be in pain but must be strong. You can be disabled, but it must be visible. You must survive or die, but not stay anywhere in between.
If you or someone you know has chronic illness, or have experienced disease, or are disabled, I recommend that you read this book. Or even if you want to see the world from a new perspective. Either it will be reaffirming or eye opening or both.

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I thought the combination of fantasy/speculative with talk of disability was interesting, so was glad to pick this one up. I found the poems themselves to be beautifully worded and full of imagery - they definitely draw you in so that you are invested. Sometimes the talk of disability (though the inclusion is appreciated) can seem awkward or out of place, but here it was seamless. Whether the poems be about fighting against prejudices etc. or living within your disability, they were full of authenticity and heart.

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NetGalley ARC Educator 550974

An ode to the disabled with seen or unseen pain. The author takes us on a walk through their experience. Those who share the experiences will laude this prose and those who doubt might find fault. We have to remember that everyone is different and has different experiences with medical professionals and the world in general.

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Thank you so much to the publishers for providing me with an eArc in exchange for my honest review.

"Let us, in any universe, refuse to be erased."

This poetry collection was absolutely fantastic, with an ongoing disability theme throughout it was thoroughly insightful and eye-opening. To have a collection that features the struggles and frustrations that people with disabilities have is a must-read, especially for able-bodied people who wouldn't have these struggles.

From doctor visits, chronic pain, and people thinking you're making up different symptoms, this collection's beautiful and mesmerising words and imagery present only a fraction of the issues that disabled people have to go through.

I highly recommend reading these poems! With a mixture of fantasy and real life, the writing can unpack a lot and you may find yourself going back to read over specific poems because they genuinely just hit so hard and are so beautifully made.

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This is a beautiful collection of really accessible poetry. I don’t think there was a single poem I disliked in any way and I’d recommend the collection to anyone. The writing is lyrical without being confusing, and subjects are dealt with using a delicacy that doesn’t hamper the power of the poet.

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I don't read a lot of poetry but That gorgeous cover caught my attention. Beautiful Malady is a poetry collection about disability and chronic pain.  I really loved these poems. They were very emotional for me. The poems were beautifully written. I highly recommend it. Thanks to the publisher and the Netgalley for the arc.

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Poetry is always a hit or a miss for me, but when I saw that this book of poems not only had queer and disabled representation but also incorporated fantasy, I was sold! I absolutely loved how the author portrayed the fantastical elements and used the genre to tell a story that is not easy to tell. Their portrayal of chronic illness and disability was moving. I cried at many different points, and the poems made me feel seen. I will definitely be checking out more of this author’s work in the future!

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"I am utterly in love with Death."
As a suicidal queer person with invisible disability I think this book was perfect. It's not just for me or someone who could relate to the struggles, but for everyone, it's short and beautiful, heartbreaking and even hopeful.
I didn't expect anything and I got everything.
I love the art details on the cover and would love to have this masterpiece on my bookshelf.

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Beautiful Malady is a collection of speculative poetry, dealing with queerness and disability and the modern and speculative treatment of those who suffer from disability. The collection is short but powerful and contains a number of self-contained but related poems as well as a series of 8 poems which actually tells a complete short story in poetic form.

This'll be a short review, as you'd expect from something this short in page length, and I should note here quickly that I'm not a huge fan of or really a good judge of poetry. So take my words here with a grain of salt. But Beautiful Malady worked for me pretty well, really hitting home the struggles of the disabled to be taken seriously when they say their bodies are in pain, to not be laughed at when they suffer or seek treatment, and to not be treated as lesser when they try to simply live their lives like anyone else with what accomodations they require. Disabled people are people, and not in any way lesser, and the disabled perhaps (as noted in a at least one poem) are better able to recognize when they should rely on accomodations like a cane than the prideful healthy-bodied who should use one when they get old and less able.

Bashe uses speculative ideas and concepts (Fae and Changlings, Princes and Ghost Bodyguards, etc.) to illustrate these themes really well, and does include in the end a strong autobiographical piece on their own struggle and their struggle to write about it. And the aforementioned 8 part story of poems, Rose Ghost, is really great as it showcases a girl whose disability makes her body barely able to function, so she's given the ability to become a ghost who can serve as a bodyguard for the royal prince, with whom she falls in love. A really excellent way to begin and end this collection, as its first and eighth parts bookend the poems. So yeah, despite me not being a poetry guy, I recommend this one.

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Haunting, visceral, inclusive, trauma and persecutio. Dark and exciting. Prose was top notch. Devoured every page. Thank you Net Galley for ARC in exchange for my honest opinion

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