Manic-depression, also known as bipolar disorder, is estimated to affect several million Americans. Researchers and popular writers alike have argued that symptoms of the condition occur with disproportionate frequency among writers, artists, and composers, a view that has tended to reinforce the familiar stereotype of the "mad artist." But, as poet and volume editor Thom Schramm points out, "the stereotype persists partly because the literature generally overlooks the intricate details and contexts of individual lives—the fact that no two people suffer depression or mania in precisely the same way."
Living in Storms gathers poems by eighty contemporary poets whose lives have been in some way touched by manic-depression. Their singular perspectives combine to create an intimate and richly textured portrait of the disorder—its rhythms and metaphors. By opening a series of windows onto the experience of acute moods, the collection aims to bring depth and nuance to the popular imagination and to serve as a counterpoint to the existing literature.