“Disability Futures in the Arts” is a vibrant project on the disability arts and culture that is sponsored by a prestigious grant awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts. As a component of this three-year, multi-project grant, 2020-2023 Special Guest Editor, Prof. Kenny Fries, will curate and edit a series of 15 invited essays by disabled artists to be published in Wordgathering—in three sections (five essays, each) and during three sequences (2020, 2021-22, and 2022-23). Accompanied by audio recordings of each work, the first five of these groundbreaking essays, along with Prof. Fries’s contemplative introduction, can be found in the December 2020 issue of Wordgathering.
“Disability Futures in the Arts” is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts/Conseil des arts du Canada.
An exciting series of free, online creative writing workshops crafted especially for teens with disabilities, Numberless Dreams is taught by professional writers who are themselves disabled. This series is coordinated by the Syracuse YMCA’s Downtown Writers Center, the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, and Nine Mile Press, and is made possible with the support of the Gifford Foundation, Onondaga County, CNY Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Selections of students’ work will appear in futures issues of Wordgathering. Complete details and brochure for the current session can be found online.
(Dis)courses is an ongoing, interactive series on disability literature, media, and the arts, focusing on critical reflection, teaching, and research in today’s world. Hosted by the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach at the Burton Blatt Institute and Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature, the series returns for the Spring 2022 semester with four exciting conversations—with luminaries who are engaged variously with many forms of innovative and intersectional Disability cultural work:
- Disability Justice Lessons for Our Collective Survival: A Discussion about Crip Kinship – with Shayda Kafai (3/8/2022)
- Ecocrip Sensibilities: Mending, Care, and Love Affairs – with Naomi Ortiz (4/7/2022)
- Enabling and “Cripping” the Back-to-the-Land Movement – with Clark A. Pomerleau (4/11/2022)
- The Ethics of Passing and Disability Disclosure in Higher Education – with Joseph A. Stramondo (4/19/2022)
Each webinar will include American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, live captioning, and image descriptions. Additional accommodations requests for each event can be made when registering via Zoom. The four events will be recorded, and accessible videos will be shared publicly on the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach (OIPO) website.
Copies of selected texts will be available for purchase via the Syracuse University Campus Store.
A PDF copy of the Spring 2022 series poster, suitable for printing, is available on the (Dis)courses website.
The Wordgathering team hosted Ona Gritz for an online prose reading and discussion on June 25, 2021. Ona read from her forthcoming collection, Present Imperfect: Essays, and engaged in conversation with Zoom participants. This event highlighted and celebrated Ona’s creative work, as well as her contributions as Wordgathering’s Gatherer’s Blog Editor. Ona’s books include Geode, a Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award finalist; On the Whole: A Story of Mothering and Disability, a memoir; and Present Imperfect: Essays (Poets Wear Prada). Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Ploughshares, Bellevue Literary Review, River Teeth, Brevity, and elsewhere. Recent honors include two Notable Mentions in Best American Essays and a winning entry in The Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2020 project. This event was funded in part by Poets & Writers with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. An accessible video recording can be found online.
The World on Fire: Ecology, Poetry, & Disability Justice: An Intergenerational Performance and Discussion
An unforgettable evening of readings and dialogue among distinguished poets and the young poets of tomorrow, this collaborative, public, online event on March 30, 2021 centered and celebrated a chorus of diverse voices exploring the transformative power of words at the intersection of disability and climate justice. The World on Fire was presented as a part of the National Poetry Coalition’s exploration of the theme, “It is burning./It is dreaming./ It is waking up.: Poetry & Environmental Justice.” Presented by Theater of War Productions, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach at the Burton Blatt Institute, Nine Mile Art Corp, Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature, and The International Writing Program. An accessible video recording can be found online.
The Wordgathering team and our collaborators were proud to host torrin a. greathouse for an online poetry reading and discussion on March 25, 2021. A transgender, cripple-punk, MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota, torrin is the recipient of a prestigious National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) fellowship. Their debut collection, Wound from the Mouth of a Wound, winner of the Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry, was published in 2020 by Milkweed Editions. Visit https://www.torringreathouse.com/ for more information. This event was made possible with generous support from our co-sponsors at Syracuse University: LGBTQ Studies, Disability Studies, the LGBTQ Resource Center, the MFA Program in Creative Writing, the Department of English, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.