by Ennis Rook Bashe
Queer Disability told through Fairytales, Folklore, and Fantasy
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 Rook 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 https://linktr.ee/ennisrookbashe.
Praise for Beautiful Malady
“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 MacNut, author of If Not Skin
“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