A Journal of Disability Poetry

Volume 5     Issue 1     March 2011

Book Reviews in This Issue

As Wordgathering begins its fifth year, the editor are proud to be able to say that we have been able to review over forty books that relate in some way to poetry, disability, and writing. With books of poetry barely visible in mainstream book stores, we work hard to let you know about some of the new books in the field. This issue offers reviews of two new books of poetry, one by an established writer and one, a first book. Barbara Crooker is the author of many books of poetry and has appeared frequently in Wordgathering. Linda Benninghoff's work has appeared frequently in poetry magazines, but Whose Sounds are Not Music is her first published collection. Though they come from very different perspecitve the two writer work with some similar themes and make for an interesting comparison instyle and tone.

Wordgathering does not as a rule promote the work of any indvidual writer, but special circumstances sometimes warrant exceptions. 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, a press that has provided the oppurtunity for publication of small books of poetry for a number of women with disabilities. 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." The press release for the book gives a window into its importance.

Spark Before Dark will be released in June 2011, but advance copies can be ordered prior to April 12, by clicking here.

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