September Spotlight: Bonnie Hancell
Updated: Sep 19, 2022
Bonnie Hancell (she/they) is an artist/poet from Northern England. She predominantly uses creativity as a coping strategy for ongoing struggles with mental illness (OCD, MDD, EUPD) and catharsis from trauma / survivorship. Her work often explores illness, queerness, the trans body, net culture and reestablishing notions of divinity or sacredness.
Bonnie has been published in anthologies by Easter Road Press, Poet’s Hardship Fund and Pilot Press. She has also had work included in The Rialto and The Poetry Review and LUDD GANG amongst other periodicals and zines.
About the piece
Doldrum Solidarity is me finding the gobby northern lass in my guts. It's a shot at unpacking the hypocrisy and problematic values inherent to "the Trans bathroom debate". It's about survivorship beyond the necessity of a gender binary, about the illusion of safe spaces. I wrote these words trying to keep hold of my strength. Strength from unity; from relating to experiences of class division and poverty, sexism and phobia. Strength to use our queer capacity for affection or tenderness as radical acts of self-defence or blow kisses to the men who scream "F*ggot" at us in the street. Mostly it's a litany of dysphoric struggles and a eulogy to the f***s I used to give.
Doldrum solidarity bitch a body
is murder to be in
Don't picket me pissing i'll use the boys
if it means we all feel safer (remember
being groped in men's rooms, on
muddy fields/wet verges beside
railway arches/ at low budget studio
space Sci trance raves by girls in black)
- I will never be spankable entirely
will never get my ass back together
enough to make you stay entirely
even if I've got what some might call
an hourglass shape, the sand is all spilled
breathing in this body is an act civil
people want me dead, waking in
this body is a civil war like
I put on pink lipgloss
to go get drug money and
two boys try to fight me in the street
So I kiss the air off their shoulders
to keep breathing, I died
then I finally came
If you enjoyed this poem and want to read more work by Bonnie, then please head here to read In the stupid stupid present where I was living.