A Journal of Disability Poetry

Volume 3     Issue 1     March 2009


Wordgathering begins its third year with two exciting features. The first is our “Dialogue on Teaching Disability Literature.” As readers of past issues know, we not only try to provide a forum for the work of writers with disabilities, but we are also interested in promoting dialogue around the creation of a body of disability literature. The posting of writers’ works on internet journals is a great start, but nowhere do works of literature become a more accepted part of the culture than when taught in classrooms. As a result, Wordgathering has invited writers and scholars who teach disability literature at the college level to discuss their experiences. These include Sheila Black (New Mexico State University at Los Cruces), Lydia Fecteau (Stockton State College), Heather Garrison (East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania), Therése Halscheid (Rutgers/Camden), and Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson (Miami University of Ohio). The results of that dialogue can be read in out interview section.

The second exciting feature in this issue is an emphasis on fiction. While not abandoning our commitment to poetry, we have gathered together several works that shed light on disability fiction. This includes experimental fiction by Christine Stark, flash fiction of Liezl Jobson, Steff Green’s essay on portraying characters who are blind, and Tracy Koretsky’s discussion of fiction for young that portrays characters with developmental disabilities.

Naturally, poetry is still one of our main features. We are glad to be able to continue the work of veteran writers like Patricia Wellingham-Jones, Linda Cronin and Rebecca Foust, but also are happy to publish the work of first time writers like Fran Gardner, Olivia Mammone, and Ashley Ewing. Other poets whose works you will read in this issue are C.E. Chaffin, Liz Dolan, Dana Hirsch, Juleigh Howard-Hobson, Judith Krum. Ed Northen and Sienna Elizabeth Raimonde. Wellingham-Jones essay "Poetry Fits My Body" discusses her writing process, and compliments the poems of Chaffin, Northen and Mammone that focus on the body.

Our book review in this issue considers Gary Presley’s Seven Wheelchairs, which was excerpted in the last issue of Wordgathering, in the context of the developing field of disability life narrative. Another popular feature in the last issue, The Index of Authors, is being carried over into this issue as well. There you will be able to locate all authors and works that have been published in our journal.

Finally, April is moving in soon and that means it is time for the annual Inglis House Poetry Contest. We invite all of our readers to participate. There is no entry fee. The contest rules can be found by clicking the contest guidelines tab. You can check out last year’s winners in the June 2008 issue. We would love to see your work.

As always, we are very interested in your comments, ideas, suggestions or questions. For information about submitting your work, click on the submission guidelines link on this page. For all else, please contact us at comments@wordgathering.com.

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