A Journal of Disability Poetry

Volume 5     Issue 2     June 2011

Book Reviews in This Issue

One of the aspects of Wordgathering of which it editors are most proud is the ability to let readers know about books in the field of disability poetry that they are not likely to run across by skimming the stacks in major bookstores. This issue of the journaloffers reviews of four new books and give a heads up about two that will be appearing shortly.

Almost anyone associated with disability poetry knows the work of Jim Ferris, especially his almost classic work, The Hospital Poems, so it is a pleasure to be able to review his latest book. Wordgathering readers may remember Millicent Borges Accardi's Woman on a Shaky Bridge; her newer, more ambitious book is reviewed here. In addition, to these familiar authors, this issue looks at the recent work of two poets new to the journal, Lummox Press editor RD Armstrong and Gray Jacobik, whose book is reviewed by poet Barbara Crooker.

The March Issue of Wordgathering stated.

In fall of 2010, Laura Hershey, one of the few poets with disabilities who began writing for disability rights, passed away. Her final book of poetry, Spark Before Dark is being published posthumously by Finishing Line Press…It is a book that deserves reading. As disability poet and theorist Jim Ferris has written, "Laura Hershey's has been an important voice in disability culture for many years, and rightly so. The poems in Spark Before Dark are not 'about disability' - they are about life in a complex world.". Spark Before Dark will be appearing this summer.

Finally, Wordgathering is extremely excited by the upcoming release of Beauty is a Verb: The New Disability Poetry edited by Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black and Wordgathering editor Michael Northen. The anthology will be published by Cinco Puntos Press in September. It includes poetry and related essays by poets with physical disabilities from pioneers like Josephine Miles, though the crip poets like Kenny Fries, to more lyric poets like Lisa Gill to experimentalists like Norma Cole. Lennard J. Davis, the author of The Disability Studies Reader, whose name is synonymous with disability studies describes the anthology by saying, "At last, a disability poetry book worthy of the complexity and maturity of the field of disability studies. Not just memoir in another form, but a deep exploration of contemporary verse and thought expressed through a disability perspective. "

For a description and the complete list of poets included in Beauty is a Verb, click here . Advance copies may be ordered on Amazon.

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