A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature

Volume 8     Issue 1     March 2014


It is hard to believe that Wordgathering is entering its eighth year of publication. In our very first issue the editors stated this goal: “In launching this journal, we hope to provide an opportunity for those whose talent in writing poetry converges with an interest in the growing field of disabilities literature.” In the intervening seven years, the journal has flourished and grown to include many other literary genres, but our purpose remains the same. As a glance back through any of the past issues will show, Wordgathering has striven to present high quality literary writing and criticism. At the same time, we have not lost sight of our pledge to provide the opportunity for new or previously unpublished writers whose work might contribute to disability literature. It is a delicate balance and, in this issue, readers will meet both – the experienced writer with established literary credentials and the writer who is seeing their first published work in a literary journal.

Each issue of Wordgathering seems to take on its own personality and in this issue concerns surrounding children with disabilities (in the work of Yarrow, Witucki and Jones/Whiteacre) and young adults (Forrest, Frierson, Leonard) emerge as obvious examples. Not surprisingly, a related topic, anorexia, plays a major part in the work of other writers, like Lizz Schumer and Therése Halscheid. In addition to these, readers will find a great many other topics as well, including several contributors each whose work speaks particularly to blind or Deaf readers.

Poets in this issue whose names will be familiar to Wordgathering followers are Barbara Crooker, Kara Dorris, Meg Eden, Catherine Edmunds, Trace Estes, Pravat Kumar Padhy and Karen Stromberg. Appearing for the first time is the poetry of Tasha Chemel, Vanessa Kirkpatrick, Barbara Perez, Gerard Sarnat and Randy Smit.

The three short stories in this issue are by Alyssa Frierson, Claire Forrest and Raymond Luczak. Essays come from Stephen Kuusisto, Michael Uniacke, Curtis Robbins, Tasha Chemel, Anna Barry, and Stephanie Leonard. Clicking the Fiction and Essay links will provide a bit more information about each. The editors have also included a short essay describing some blogs related to disability and literature that are well worth following.

Interviews this time around range widely and include interviews with Nancy and Peter Torpey (radio hosts), Scott Rains (disability travel), Therése Halscheid (essayist/poet), Adrean Clark (art), and literature anthologists Darolyn Jones and Liz Whiteacre. Fiction dominates the book review and excerpts sections with reviews of novels by Suzanne Kamata and Lizz Schumer and excerpts from the fictional works by Kristen Witucki and B. J.Horton. The remaining two reviews include a look at David Rawson's unique approach to literary criticism and an anthology edited by Darolin Jones and Liz Whiteacre.

Art also has a prominent place in this issue, both in our Reading Loop and then in our Arts section. Poet Denise Leto provides the Reading Loop, examining grief, language, speech and the body in the performance art and literary work of Violet Juno and Norma Cole. The Art section samples the work of artist Adrean Clark, photographer Anna Yarrow and musician Peter Torpey.

Wordgathering continues to maintain a presence on social media. Readers can follow us on Twitter at @wordgathering.com, where you will also be able to see the tweets of some of the other writers who appear in this journal. We also hope you'll share your comment with us on Facebook 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 consistent 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, concerns or ideas to us at comments@wordgathering.com.

The Editors

Return to Top

This site is maintained by Michael Northen and Eliot Spindel.