I Wish I Wasn’t Royalty
is a poetic and artistic collaboration among four bipolar poets and a bipolar poet/illustrator resulting in a functional 52-card playing card deck. A standard card deck (ex: the classic Bicycle Poker Deck) contains four suits: hearts, clubs, spades, and diamonds. I Wish I Wasn’t Royalty follows the same format. Each of the four poets is given a suite in which their poem is written across. 

All of the cards and deck boxes will be sized like standard poker cards: 2.5" x 3.5".


The cards are printed in color on both sides and feature custom artwork from Catherine Weiss. The backs of the cards will all be uniform, but the faces of the cards are individually designed with an illustration and one line from a featured poet’s poem. 

Living with bipolar disorder is often full of surprising juxtapositions. Mania can cause thoughts to make unexpected connections. Depression can bring confusion and a sense of distant unreality. Every line of every poem in I Wish I Wasn’t Royalty is designed to be a stand-alone thought or image, read as part of its whole poem, or combined in unexpected ways with cards from other suits. Playing a game of cards with this deck creates opportunities for poetic fragments to offer up an ever-shifting found poem, which echoes the experience of living with extreme mood-states.


Any game you can play with a standard 52-card deck, you will be able to play with I Wish I Wasn’t Royalty.


For more information, click here.


ISBN: 9781735886404

I Wish I Wasn't Royalty: A Playable Chapbook