Trauma Head – the chapbook

Shortlisted for the 2018 bpNichol Chapbook Award

Trauma Head is a chapbook I made to keep my hands busy while I wait for my second book of poetry to come out this spring. Trauma Head is a collection of poems and concrete interventions in the medical file. In fact, the binding IS a medical file.

IMG_5546I used the graphs, charts, reports and info from my treatment for vertebral artery dissection and stroke as one part of the content. The other is the poems, explorations and word games that are related to the events in Tunica Intima but not suited to the more formal long poem format.

This is the “b-side” of the album.

Lately, it has been satisfying to make things with my hands. Trauma Head is all cut-and-paste, produced entirely on photocopiers with Sharpies, double-sided tape, transparencies, and scissors. I liked the tension between the reproduced high tech MRI scans and the analog process. You’ll notice my slanted scissor skills, the gaps between paste jobs. More than intentional this is unavoidable, and a reminder that no matter how machine-driven we become we remain softly human.

Ultimately, what does all the advanced technological testing reveal? How advanced are we? What can we know without touching?



Trauma Head has an ISBN (Otter Press) but I’ve only made 50 copies, which I will probably sell one by one. In spring 2018 I did a second printing, which is also sold out.


Thank you to Ali Blythe for taking these photos of the beautiful afternoon he helped me bind it. Ali has the first copy and we made sure to use the appropriate alphabetical labels, BLY, on the edge. Mine has my initials, EKG, on it.

I’m hoping to personalize each copy for the purchaser but like Scrabble tiles, the labels come in stacked quantities.

Dina del Bucchia helps launch Trauma Head at the VAG Patio Cafe on Thursday, August 31, 5pm-8pm. Please join us! And if you would like a copy, please bring cash.

UPDATE: Here are photos from the launch! The grapes are from Lindsay’s Strathcona patio! Thanks for the photos, Dina!