A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature
The September 2016 issue of Wordgathering emerges against a theme of increased interest in disability literature. As Sarah Katz promised in an interview in the June issue of Wordgathering, the new disability literary journal Deaf Poets Society is up and running over the summer and off to a hearty start. In this issue, we interview Sami Jankins who discusses another journal for writers with disability, the Tiny Tim Literary Review, on the horizon for December of this year. A record number of disability-related panels and readings have been accepted for the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, DC, and the members of the Disability Caucus, formed in this year's conference have been working over the summer to achieve increased accessibility to that event. Caucus members Sheila Black and Jennifer Barlett have joined with Connie Voisine to head up Zoeglossia, an organization dedicated to providing retreats for writers with disabilities as Voisine describes in the essay section of this issue. Finally, the Disability Literature Consortium has not been entirely idle. It is ramping up to have a large display of the books in the upcoming Collingswood Book Festival in New Jersey on October 1.
In this milieu, Wordgathering continues to offer the work of many new voices. In our poetry section for the first time are poems by Sylvia Bowersox, Renee Chaisson, Carrie Cuinn, Tessara Dudley, Colin James, Diane Martin and Ann E. Wallace. Back with more of their poetry are old friends like Millicent Borges Accardi, Tony Gloeggler, Jyothsnaphanija, Petra Kuppers, Nancy Scott, and Avra Wing.
In addition to the essay by Connie Voisine on Zoeglossia, mentioned above, Liz Whiteacre follows up with part two of her essay on disability persona poetry. These essays are joined by Stephen Kuusisto's thoughts on inspirational writing, Dylan Emmons' reflections on Aspergers and outbursts, and Diane Kendig’s response to being wrongly cited in Wikipedia. A contribution to our music section comes from Emily K. Michael who writes about the experience of being blind and having perfect pitch. "Missing Andrew," new fiction by Lorna McInnis that centers on a character with OCD, rounds out the prose selections.
Interviews in this issue are particularly informative. Joining Janson's discussion of her new literary journal, are interviews Diane Weiner who previews next years ComicCon at Syracuse University, and mental health advocate Maya Northen's interview with Rachel Kallem Whitman on blogging about bipolar disorder and other mental health issues.
This issue's book reviews section is admittedly less robust than those of recent issues, but still provide new writing for discovery. Reviewed are Petra Kuppers' newest poetry book, Dylan Emmons memoir on growing up with Asperger's syndrome, Paul Kahn's posthumous poetry collection and A. Rahman Ford efforts at a mythological political poetics.
Writers interested in keeping current on disability literature can join us on Facebook and on Twitter at @wordgathering.com. The activities of the Disability Literature Consortium can be followed on their blog or contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wordgathering continues to seek work that develops the field of disability literature. We invite the submission of poetry, short fiction, drama, art and essays that discuss poetry from a disability perspective or that contribute to the theoretical development of the field of disability literature. The journal appreciates hearing from authors whose books are consistant with the mission of Wordgathering and would like them reviewed. Our guidelines provide further information about the kind of work we seek. We value our readers' opinions and hope you will send your comments, concerns or ideas to us at email@example.com.
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