A Journal of Disability Poetry

Volume 4     Issue 4     December 2010


Poet and activist Laura Hershey’s death in November was a shock to the disability literary community. Laura was a pioneer in disability rights and disability poetry, and few who were deeply involved in these areas did not know of her. Her poem “You Get Proud By Practicing” is often cited and even made into posters. Laura was just finishing an interview with Wordgathering when she passed away, and we are fortunate to be able to feature that interview in this issue. In addition, we have included several of Laura’s poems and a link to the blog on her website.

In keeping with Laura’s efforts at community building we are providing links to blogs by others who write about disability and poetry hoping that readers will check these out and help to keep up the dialogue. In addition to Laura, these writers include Stephen Kuusisto, Ona Gritz, John Pixley, Jon Christopher Heuer and Raymond Luczak. You find the links to these writer’s blogs in this issue’s essay section.

Naturally, poetry is still the centerpiece of Wordgathering. This issue sports several humorous poems including work by Jon Christopher Heuer, Jean McLeod and newcomer Ashok Rajamani. To these Ann Eustace adds a seasonal holiday poem by Ann Eustace. Sheila Black and Rebecca Foust are represented by selections from their latest books. We here back again from Mandie Beattie, Jimmy Burns, Barbara Crooker, Barry J. L. Horton, John Mannone, Abby Johnson Taylor and Liz Whiteacre, and are glad to introduce the work of Robin Kirk, A. C. Leming, James Magill, Nancy Owen Nelson, and Kay Peters to our journal.

Those interested in getting their poetry chapbooks published may be interested in several pieces in this issue. In addition to our interview with Laura Hershey, we also have interviews but Leah Maines and Barry J. H. Horton. Maines is the editor/publisher of Finishing Line Press and, in her interview gives some insights into the kind of work she is likely to publish. Horton talks about his recent publication experiences with Publish America. In addition to the interviews, Tracy Koretsky writes an essay about why she decided to simply give her book away free and how that has worked out.

The other prose writings in this issue include an essay by poet Jimmy Burns and short fiction by Ed Krizek. Finally, we are happy to be able to provide a review of Rebecca Foust’s most recent book of poetry, All That Glorious Pitiless Song.

Those of you who read our September issue know that we invited readers to write in and tell us which of the poems in that issue was their favorite. The most frequent vote getter and winner of the $25 award was Liz Whiteacre’s "Two Feet Shorter than My Usual Height".

Wordgathering is always seeking new writing. We encourage you to read our guidelines and submit your work. If you have a new book out that you want others to know about or have you had other disability related poems published? Let us know. Wordgathering is on Twitter and will be glad to tweet out or retweet your announcements. You can find us at http://twitter.com/wordgathering . For those on Facebook, we have also provided a Wordgathering page on Facebook where you can feel free to post any news about your literary endeavors, just comment on writing in general or connect with other writers whose work you may have seen.

The Editors

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