Book Review — The New Asylum: A Memoir of Psychiatry, by Frank Prem

Thank you so much, Ms Jade Li for your wonderful support. I’m truly delighted you enjoyed the collection.

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Frank Prem’s new poetry book, “The New Asylum:  A Memoir of Psychiatry” contains memoirs spanning his life from a small child to forty or more years as a psychiatric nurse, all in relation to the psychiatric hospital on the hill in his small town in Australia. It starts with both of his parents working there, then he works as a student nurse for three years before becoming certified as a psychiatric nurse. The bulk of the poems are about his career as a nurse. A small number are about “hostel life” which sounds like a halfway house or supervised transitional living for the patients.

Frank has exceptional skill in being able to distill vital and intimate moments to their essence. The poems are minimalist but the messages are clear. He unflinchingly creates portraits of patients at their best, at their most challenging, and at their most vulnerable. He does the…

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