[The throat that swallowed the scope came out crazy; but leaving is crazy too.]

• R L • powell (he/they) is a gender/queer, neurodivergent, poz author whose writing intersects with memoir, poetry, fiction, and the essay.

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• R L • s work has appeared in a range professional and independent publications since the the late 90s. Writing in and across diverse genres has produced a breadth of style and subject matter that is characteristic of their work. What has unified his voice throughout his career is the puzzle of how and where their experience of the world differs from the normative. Much of his work focuses on what is inherently difficult when it comes to the nature of living. The world he encounters and writes about is frequently—and beautifully—strange; but they also feel an imperative to express what is callous in the turmoil to be found there. Much of his creative energy is spent in attempt to reconcile an ongoing dichotomy, keenly felt—a disconnect that falls somewhere between what is possible, and knowing a thing to be true. It is in this way that his writing has led to crossing genres and styles—to better reflect the difficulty he finds in maintaining discreet categories of experience.

Negotiating lifelong mental and physical health issues has not made writing easy for them. • R L • s life has been queer; odd; peculiar; difficult; and frankly weird. This history is also reflected in his work. They have travelled to distant parts of the world; but even when far from home, they have attempted to bridge what stories his past to what is imperative in the present. As • R L • s history is disparate (he has worked as a dishwasher, a theatre ticketer, bookseller, bartender, Pilates instructor, alongside more atypical paths) it is often a challenge to articulate what being divergent and living a “crazy life means—or even looks like. As they are frequently at odds with the narratives they uncover within their own life, speaking those stories to an outer world can be a daunting task.

These realities have lead • R L • to openly identify themself as mad; but in amongst the many lives he has passed through, writing has offered them solace and refuge that has been otherwise scarce, even when that voice has been hard to maintain. What bears emphasizing, is that writing is also their first love.

• R L • is presently in the latter stages of completing a PhD in English Literature. He proposes that an attentive form of “epistemic reading” demonstrates how the affect of boredom can coincide with problems of intersubjectivity, as opposed to isolation—and that the writing of three American women* exploits that mechanism willfully, to challenge social and philosophical assumptions found within the modernist period. Beyond working toward completion of his dissertation, after a profound period of incubation, he feels it is no less important to re-connect his creative work with a broader public.

Future publications will be announced or linked-to here; in addition to any other ongoing projects. Earlier writings may also be featured on this site—provided they can be recovered from obscure grottos, deep within the internet.

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• R L • is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, where they study and teach anglophone literatures and critical theory. He resides in the community of Hamilton—located in the traditional territory of Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabeg peoples.

* Marianne Moore, Gertrude Stein, and Djuna Barnes, respectively