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Wordgathering

ISSN 2690-7089

Editor-in-Chief: Diane R. Wiener
Flash Memoir Editor: Daniel Simpson
Gatherer’s Blog Editor: Ona Gritz
Poetry Editor: Emily K. Michael
Prose Editor: Sean J. Mahoney
Special Guest Editor, 2020-2023: Kenny Fries
Assistant Editor: Rachael A. Zubal-Ruggieri
Assistant Book Reviews Editor: Kate Champlin

Founding Emeritus Editors: Stuart Sanderson, Dana Hirsch, Yvette Green, and Denise March

Very Special Thanks to Michael Northen, Editor-in-Chief, 2007-2019

Editorial Bios:

Diane R. Wiener

Diane R. Wiener (she/they) became Editor-in-Chief of Wordgathering in January 2020. She is the author of The Golem Verses (Nine Mile Press, 2018), Flashes & Specks (Finishing Line Press, 2021), and The Golem Returns (swallow::tale press, 2022). Diane’s poems also appear in Nine Mile Magazine, Wordgathering, Tammy, Queerly, The South Carolina ReviewWelcome to the Resistance: Poetry as ProtestDiagrams Sketched on the Wind, Jason’s Connection, the Kalonopia Collective’s 2021 Disability Pride Anthology, and elsewhere. Her creative nonfiction appears in Stone CanoeMollyhouse, The Abstract Elephant Magazine, and Pop the Culture Pill. Diane’s flash fiction appears in Ordinary Madness; her short fiction is published in A Coup of Owls. Diane served as Nine Mile Literary Magazine’s Assistant Editor after being Guest Editor for the Fall 2019 Special Double Issue on Neurodivergent, Disability, Deaf, Mad, and Crip poetics. Diane has published widely on Disability, education, accessibility, equity, and empowerment, among other subjects. She is a proud Neuroqueer, Mad, Crip, Genderqueer and Enby, Ashkenazi Jewish Hylozoist Nerd (etc.) who is honored to serve in the nonprofit sector–including as a Zoeglossia Board member. You can visit Diane online at: https://dianerwiener.com.

Daniel Simpson

Daniel Simpson’s School for the Blind was published in 2014 by Poets Wear Prada. He and his wife, Ona Gritz, co-authored Border Songs: A Conversation in Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2017), and collaborated as poetry editors for Referential Magazine. The New York Times and numerous poetry magazines have printed his work. The recipient of a Pennsylvania Council of the Arts fellowship, he tends a blog at https://insidetheinvisible.wordpress.com/.

Ona Gritz

Ona Gritz’s new collection of essays, Present Imperfect, is now out from Poets Wear Prada. She is also the author of Geode, a Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award Finalist, and On the Whole: A Story of Mothering and Disability. A longtime columnist at Literary Mama, Ona’s poems and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, The New York TimesRiver Teeth, The Bellevue Literary Review, Brevity, and elsewhere. Recent honors include two Notable Mentions in Best American Essays, a Best Life Story in Salon, and a winning entry in The Poetry Archive Now: Worldview 2020 project.

Emily K. Michael

Emily K. Michael is a blind poet, musician, and writing instructor from Jacksonville, FL. Since 2016, she has edited poetry for Wordgathering. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Wordgathering, The Hopper, Artemis Journal, The South Carolina Review, The Deaf Poets Society, Nine Mile Magazine, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog, Barriers and Belonging, and AWP Writer’s Notebook. Her first book Neoteny: Poems is out from Finishing Line Press; it includes a finalist for The Atlantis Award as well as a nominee for The Pushcart Prize. Emily’s work centers on ecology, disability, and music. She develops grammar workshops for multilingual learners and delivers poetry workshops for writers at all levels. She also curates the Blind Academy Blog. Emily is passionate about grammar, singing, birding, and guide dogs. Find more of her work at http://emilykmichael.com.

Sean J. Mahoney

Sean J. Mahoney believes that Judas was a way better singer than Jesus. He trusts in salsa (the 7th food group), dark chocolate, and CBD. Sean has had work published at Poets Reading the News, The Good Men Project, Nine Mile Literary Magazine, Amsterdam Quarterly, and Wordgathering, and a score of other public walls. Sean has worked as a prose editor at Wordgathering for almost four years, now. He live in Santa Ana, California with Dianne, her mother, three dogs, and four renters. There is a large garden and two trees with big bitter oranges that look more lemon-like. Sean helped create the Disability Literature Consortium, roots for Tardigrades, and syncs to Little Shop of Horrors at least twice a year.

Kenny Fries

Kenny Fries is the author of In the Province of the Gods (Creative Capital literature award); The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin’s Theory (Outstanding Book Award, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights); and Body, Remember: A Memoir. He edited Staring Back: The Disability Experience from the Inside Out and was commissioned by Houston Grand Opera to write the libretto for The Memory Stone. His books of poems include In the Gardens of JapanDesert Walking, and Anesthesia. His work has appeared in many places including The New York TimesGrantaThe Believer, Evergreen ReviewLos Angeles Review of Books, and Lit/Hub. He wrote the Disability Beat column for How We Get to Next, and created the Fries Test for disability in literature and film. Twice a Fulbright Scholar (Japan and Germany), he was a Creative Arts Fellow of the Japan/US Friendship Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, received a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Arts and Literary Arts Fellowship, and grants from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange), Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Arts Council. In 2021, he was a Heinrich Böll Foundation and Cultural Vistas DAICOR Fellow for transatlantic diverse and inclusive public remembrance. His current work-in-progress is Stumbling over History: Disability and the Holocaust, excerpts of which are featured in his video series What Happened Here in the Summer of 1940? He is pleased to be a Special Guest Editor for Wordgathering (2020 – 2023), during which he will curate, edit, and introduce “Disability Futures in the Arts,” a series of 15 essays by disabled writers and artists focusing on role models and disability representation, a project funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Rachael A. Zubal-Ruggieri

Rachael A. Zubal-Ruggieri is the Administrative Assistant of the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach at the Burton Blatt Institute. Mother to an Autistic teenage son, Rachael writes and presents about neurodiversity and autism parenting, seeking to debunk and disrupt traditional representations of “the autism mom.” She is a recent cum laude graduate of the Human Development & Family Science program at Falk College, with a Disability Studies Minor, at Syracuse University (SU). Her research interests include Creative and Design Thinking, Technical Documentation and Usability, Technology and Disability, and Parent and Family Involvement in Education. Rachael has dedicated her career to improving the lives of people with disabilities, including broad-based support to multiple disability rights initiatives on campus, in the CNY area, and nationally, through many grant-funded projects and opportunities and via long-term relationships with community agencies and programs. Rachael worked for over 30 years at the Center on Human Policy at SU. She is a founding member of the university’s undergraduate disability rights organization, the Disability Student Union (DSU). Rachael’s current activities include her roles as Co-Advisor of the Self-Advocacy Network (formerly Self-Advocates of CNY), and as a Board Member of Disabled in Action of Greater Syracuse, Inc. Rachael is also co-creator (with Diane R. Wiener) of “Cripping” the Comic Con, the first of its kind interdisciplinary and international symposium on disability and popular culture, previously held at SU. At conferences and as a guest lecturer, she has for many years presented on the X-Men comic books, popular culture, and disability rights and identities.

Kate Champlin

Kate Champlin (she/her) is a late-deafened adult and a graduate of Ball State University (Indiana). She currently works as a writing tutor and as a contract worker for BK International Education Consultancy, a company whose aim is to normalize the success of underserved students.