In the middle of his life, Robert Lowell wrote “Memories of West Street and Lepke,” a poem that reflected on Lowell’s recurrent manias and included the lines “My manic statement.” This is Shane Neilson’s manic statement, arching backwards through his personal histories (rural, difficult) and then into the current scale of illness: how it prophecizes and destroys. But this is not a book solely given over to a state; Neilson gives most of the book over to love, how it moves him, the disaster of chasing it, and how it settles all the accounts in his life.
“Neilson’s ability to make the bipolar mind comprehensible, a place that needs to be understood, in ‘Manic Statement’ is perhaps the book’s greatest success. It never lapses into cliché and even manages to slip in a bit of wit…”—Canadian Literature
“Neilson’s use of language is stark, but this off-kilter beauty is arresting…Although the territory Neilson covers in his debut tradebook is undoubtedly dark, there are still many worthwhile moments to be forged in its depths.”—Northern Poetry Review
“Shane Neilson’s Meniscus is an example of that rare and defining moment in a poet’s career when subject and language meld into authentic poetic voice.”—Winnipeg Free Press