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Swollening. Poems. Jason Purcell.

WATCH: Swollening: The Film

By Arsenal Pulp Date: October 15, 2023 Tags: Swollening, Jason Purcell, videos


Celebrating Jason Purcell’s poetry collection of the same name, Swollening is a short film that brings readers deeper into the thinking and inspiration behind this book that falls at the intersection of queerness and sickness. Featuring readings of poems and conversations with other artists about this collection, the Swollening film contextualizes the work and opens spaces for conversations about queerness, illness, masculinity, and more.

This 50-minute film is broken into three parts to mirror the three sections in the book, and each features selections from that section followed by interviews with writers and visual artists whose own work also touches upon the themes present in the book. Participating artists include Chelsey Campbell, a queer, chronically ill printmaker whose delicate visual art is interested in the relationship between disability and identity; Kyle Terrence, whose exhibition ‘Berta Boys speaks to constructions of masculinity in Alberta and whose show inspired poems in this collection; and Joshua Whitehead, a Two-Spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw writer from Peguis First Nation whose work is also deeply interested in queerness and the body, and who served as editor for this collection. These discussions open up the book from a variety of perspectives and put it in conversation with art across disciplines.

Directed by Jason Purcell & Tatiana Zagorac
Filmed and edited by Tatiana Zagorac
Featuring Chelsey Campbell, Joshua Whitehead, and Kyle Terrence

Special thanks to Glass Bookshop and Latitude 53 for production support.