A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature

Volume 7     Issue 2     June 2013


Even though the field of disability literature is growing rapidly, there are still very few publications dedicated to its promotion, so welcome to the June issue of Wordgathering. We hope you enjoy it. One slight change that our longtime readers may notice is that Wordgathering is now described as a journal of disability and literature, instead of disability and poetry. This change reflects an important phenomenon. When Wordgathering began in March 2007, the dominant literary form in which writers with disabilities seemed to express themselves was poetry. At that time, our focus was trying to make that work available to readers who would not otherwise see it. As our readers may have noticed, however, Wordgathering has increasingly reflected the growing body of literature taking place. While poetry is still a very prominent feature of disabilitiy literature, it is no longer dominant. In this issue, disability fiction — perhaps the youngest child in the family — is well represented.

Wordgathering always strives to include writers whose work has not appear in our journal before. This time around new poets include Tricia Knoll, Craig A. Meyer, Sean Mahoney, C. R. Reardon and Sarah Rizzuto. Returning poets are represented in the work of Anne M. Carson, Ona Gritz, Donal Mahoney, Nancy Scott, Elizabeth Akin Stelling, and Liz Whiteacre.

This issue includes the largest number of book reviews that Wordgathering has ever attempted. This represents the genuine surge that is appearing in disability literature. For the most part, however, these are not books founded by browsing chain book stores. A measure of our accomplishment can be relayed in a quick anecdote. The editors recently received an email from a writer prominent in disability studies who was excited about a new book he had discovered called A Great Place for a Seizure by Terry Tracy, and asked if it was the kind of book we would be interested in. It was great to be able to answer back not only that Wordgathering editors had heard of it, but that there was a review in our March 2012 issue. In this issue we review the latest books by poets Jill Khoury, Stephen Kuusisto, Brian Teare and Kathi Wolfe, a debut novel by Robert Rudney, Liesl Jobson's collection of short stories about South Africa, Leslie Swartz's memoir and Marilyn Brandt Smith's collected writings.

As mentioned above, fiction is included in this issue with short stories by Chris Kuell, Liesl Jobson and Shannon O'Connor. In the excerpts section, readers will find a sample from Rudney's novel as well as from one of Jobson's short stories. The essays section contains the conclusion of André Le Mont Wilson's account from the March issue as well as essays from three veteran writers whose work appears here for the first time — Louis Bourgeois, Mike Ervin and Diane Hoover Bechtler.

Wordgathering does not often have the opportunity to present new plays, but in the drama section of this issue is part one of Lucas Foss' one man, one act play "Re-Calculating." The Reading Loop this time around is "Ten Poems to Kickstart Your Disability Lit Class" by Michael Northen. As the title suggests, it offers both a way to generate discussion through disability poetry as well as a chance to look back at some of the poets whose work has been pubished in past issues.

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

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