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In the Blood

Poems

Alan Hill

In the Blood traces the relationship of two brothers through childhood to adulthood and in and out of institutions to reveal the intricate, often hidden bonds that are broken and forged by the effects of mental illness.

In his debut full-length collection, former City of New Westminster Poet Laureate Alan Hill delivers a deeply revealing and heartfelt depiction of a lifetime of mental illness—both his own and that of his brother. In the Blood traces the brothers’ relationship from childhood to adulthood, and examines how his brother’s diagnosis became inextricably intertwined with Hill’s own mental health struggles. As his brother spends much of his life in and out of institutions, Hill grapples with his own guilt, shame, and loss. Moving from the past to the present and back again, In the Blood looks for meaning and comfort in the confusion of childhood and the untethered searching of adulthood. With stark vulnerability, Hill reveals the intricate and often hidden bonds that are both broken and created by mental illness and pushes toward a form of relief, release and recovery.