May 28, 2023

Foss Presents Paper on Claudia Emerson’s “Impossible Bottle”

On Oct. 8, Professor of English Chris Foss presented a paper titled “Moulting Anatomies: Cancer, Disability, and Resilience in Claudia Emerson’s Impossible Bottle,” at the Midwest Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association annual conference, held this year in Chicago.

His paper surveyed all 16 poems from the volume’s opening section, Anatomies, explicating Claudia’s subtle and sophisticated framing of binaries such as interiority/exteriority, presence/absence, past/present, permanence/impermanence, and perfection/imperfection. In the end, her exploration of the multiple layers of the question of mortality raised by disease, disability, and death reveals the many ways in which beauty survives amidst fragility and loss.