A Journal of Disability Poetry

Volume 4     Issue 2     July 2010

For the first time since we have been publishing, a scheduled issue of Wordgathering is truly late. The June issue of Wordgathering has become the July issue. The editors would like to apologize to both contributors and readers for the delay.

Despite the temporal detour in publication, Wordgathering continues in its effort to provide a forum for new work in poetry and poetry-related commentary by writers with disabilities. In this issue we are fortunate to be able provide readers with an exciting virtual seminar in disability poetry. In April of this year five poets Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, Ann Bogle, Barbara Crooker, and Ellen McGrath Smith came together at the national Associated Writers Programs conference in Denver to present a panel "Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetics of Disability." It was the first panel of its kind of the conference and Wordgathering is fortunate to be able to present the complete texts of their presentation in our essays section.

One of the most exciting aspects Wordgathering for the editors and, we hope, for returning readers is the chance to watch the development of the work of writers who appear in our journal for the first time and then continue to build a body of work that, over time, makes a real contribution to disability literature. In this issue we have the work of many returning poets including Jimmy Burns, John Lee Clark, Barbara Crooker, Venetia Ghozlan, Ona Gritz, Michael Lee Johnson, Patricia Wallace Jones, Louise Mathewson, Tony Ramsay and Robert Riche. Many of these writers like Clark, Crooker and Gritz return not only with poetry but with essays, interviews and books for review in a continuing conversation. This issue also presents the work of four writers new to Wordgathering: Mike Berger, Mbizo Chirasha, Tom Hudgens and Liz Whiteacre.

Three books of poetry are reviewed by the editors in this issue, Woman on a Shaky Bridge (Millicent Borges Accardi), Mute (Raymond Luczak) and A Life Interrupted (Louise Mathewson). Poet Janet McCann contributes a guest review of Sheila Black's latest book Continental Divide. Finally, readers will find a review of Gravity Pulls You In, an anthology of writing by parents of children with autism.

Among the remaining features of the July issue of Wordgathering are an in depth interview with poet/editor John Lee Clark on issues surrounding blind and deaf writers and ASL poetry. In the essay section, in addition to the AWP conference essays, Jessica Lewis Luck writes of her experience in teaching a class in disability literature at California State College at Riverside. Editor Michael Northen describes Philadelphia's recent art mural project for artists with disabilities in the art section.

Our final feature in this issue, and one that many readers have been waiting patiently (and in some cases, not so patiently) for is the results of the 2010 Inglis House Poetry Contest. This year, the contest received a greater than ever before number of submissions. In fact, the judges were deluged, and our hope to include the results of the contest in this issue of Wordgathering is one of the major reasons for the delay in publication. The winners of the contest can be seen by clicking on the "Contest Winners" link.

Wordgathering is a journal that seeks to develop the field of disability literature by publishing and promoting the work of poets with disabilities or work that counteracts stereotypes about disability. In addition to poetry (see our submissions guidelines), we invite essays that discuss poetry from a disability perspective or that contribute to the theoretical development of the field of disability literature. Writers or editors with books they would like reviewed by Wordgathering can submit queries to comments@wordgathering.com. Readers who enjoy tweeting can now also follow occasional Wordgathering news on Twitter. Look for us at http://twitter.com/wordgathering .

The Editors

This site is maintained by Michael Northen.