A Journal of Disability Poetry

Volume 7     Issue 1     March 2013


Wordgathering is beginning its seventh year of publication with a focus on life writing. Along with poetry, this is probably the genre of disability literature that has been most fertile for new writers. In this issue we review Harilyn Rousso's just released, Don't Call me Inspirational. An interview with poet Anne Kaier discusses her recent work in memoir writing, and an essay by Marilyn Brandt Smith describes her conversation with writer Bonnie Blose on the craft of using their experience as blind persons in life writing. There are also two excerpts from recent autobiographies, one from Rousso's book and the other from South African writer Leslie Swartz's Able-Bodied, and an excerpt from Jennifer Bartlett's upcoming biography of poet Lary Eigner.

Writer André Le Mont Wilson also connects life writing to poetry in an essay that narrates his work in transforming the oral stories and notes of Tyrone Cobb into poetry and his subsequent work with the poetic efforts of Monique Harris in describing her experiences with cerebral palsy. Among the other poets whose work appears for the first time in Wordgathering are Akua Lezli Hope, Emily K. Michael, Michael Morrell, Danielle Pafunda and David Wolach. We also have exceptionally strong representation from poets previously published in our journal in the work of Mark Burnhope, One Gritz, Jill Khoury, Rusty Morrison, Ed Northen, and Kristen Ringman.

The December issue's Reading Loop on the poetry of writers with visual disabilities curated by Dan Simpson is the proverbial tough act to follow, but Australian poet Andy Jackson’s Reading Loop in this issue definitely shows how it can be done. Jackson focuses on the work of three strong Australian writers with disabilities whose books may not be familiar to American readers, poets Aidan Coleman and Mal McKimmie and novelist Antony Riddell. The book reviews in this issue also focus primarily on poetry. These include the debut poetry collection of Liz Whiteacre, whose work is already known to Wordgathering readers, as well as new work from two writers whose credentials are well established, Rusty Morrison and Hal Sirowitz. Also reviewed is the important fourth edition of Lennard Davis now classic, Disability Studies Reader.

Discussions of disability and film are present in two pieces in this issue. In our arts section, Diane Kendig reviews a Spanish documentary - the first ever - on the life of artist Maria Blanchard. In our essays section, Teresa Blankmeyer Burke reflects on the silent film The Artist from the perspective of a Deaf viewer. Also in this issue and rounding out the literary arts is part two of Michael Northen's discussion of disability short fiction.

The world of social media makes it increasingly easy for us to share work and ideas. We have been happy to have many new viewers on our Facebook page where we will continue to let you know about the work of Wordgathering contributors. We hope you will join us with your comments about the journal or about poetry and writing in general. Wordgathering can also be found on Twitter where readers can receive updates related to the field of disability literature by following us @wordgathering.com. We'll follow your work as well.

As always, Wordgathering seeks work that develops the field of disability literature. We invite the submission of poetry, short fiction, and essays that discuss poetry from a disability perspective or that contribute to the theoretical development of the field of disability literature. If you have authored a book that you think should be reviewed in Wordgathering, and is consistant with our mission, please let us know about that as well. Submission guidelines are provided at the guidelines link on this page. We value our readers' opinions and hope you will send your comments to us at comments@wordgathering.com.

A final note to teachers and educators. If you have used any work from Wordgathering in classrooms and are willing to share your experiences, we'd be interested in hearing about them and possibly letting others know about them in future issues of our journal.

The Editors

Return to Top

This site is maintained by Michael Northen and Eliot Spindel.