A Journal of Disability Poetry

Volume 1     Issue 4     December 2007


With the current issue, Wordgathering has completed its first year of publication. During this year we feel fortunate to have been able to publish the work of many talented writers with disabilities. One of the really exciting events during fall, for those of us in the Philadelphia area, was Philly’s Disability and the Arts festival. Several writers who contribute to Wordgathering, as well as some of the editors, had the good luck to be able to participate in it.

The December issue presents some poets like Trish Ayer, John Thomas Clark, Rebecca Foust, Lorraine Inabinnet, and Antoinette Libro who may be new to Wordgathering readers, but it also continues offering the poetry of Barbara Crooker, Anna Evans, Nancy Scott, Mary Tisera and other writers who have made previous appearances. We’re also please to include the poetry of three African writers: Kobus Moolman, Tendai Mwanaka, and Omosun Sylvester.

In the book review section, readers of this issue will get an extended look at the poetry of some writers they have seen in past issues. One of the most satisfying aspects of editing this journal is the opportunity to give wider exposure to the recent work of poets who deserve a wider reading and, in the process, help enlarge the genre of disability poetry. In this issue we take a more in depth look at three collections of poetry: Linda Cronin’s Dream Bones, Therése Halscheid’s Last Movements , and Megan Webster’s Bipolar Express.

We continue our interview and photography features with an interview of award-winning poet and playwright Kobus Moolman and the edgy photographic art of Elijah Northen. The essay section has been expanded in this issue to include the writings of Ellen LaFlèche, Omosun Sylvester, John Thomas Clark and Sharon Wachsler. Each of the essays gives insight into the cultural sources from which the forms of disability poetry spring. Finally, there are two new features in this issue. The first is called “Play Excerpts.” Though it is impractical for Wordgathering to be able to offer full length or even one act plays, we believe that drama is an extremely important contribution to disability literature. Here we have taken short excerpts from the work of two playwrights who are also poets. The plays represented are Paul Kahn’s The Making of Free Verse and John Pixley’s The Body Here You See. The second new feature is Art. This issue presents poet Dana Hirsch’s illustrated discussion of her computer art designs.

As always, we welcome your comments about Wordgathering and the work that you see here. As we never tire of reminding readers, your input helps us to know how effective we have been and which writers you would like to hear from again. Wordgathering is a quarterly publication. If you are interested in being notified when the next issue comes out or would like to send us your comments, please write to us at comments@wordgathering.com.

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