A Journal of Disability Poetry

Volume 1     Issue 3     September 2007


When we launched the first issue of Wordgathering, in March of this year, our stated purpose was to provide a forum for those whose interest in poetry and disability literature converged. In the first two issue we were fortunate to be able to present the work of over twenty-five poets, some well known in the disabilities community and others published for the first time. In addition, we have tried to contribute to the growing body of disability literary criticism through the publication of essays, interviews and book reviews. We have also featured some disability-related art.

One of the joys of editing a publication of this kind is that for those who return each issue, a sense of community begins to build. With this third issue in particular, you may begin recognize the names of some of those poets you have encountered in previous issues of Wordgathering. Although the editors’ own philosophies and personal preferences play a large role in the process, we are also strongly influenced by comments we receive from our readers. When several readers tell us that they enjoyed a particular poet’s work, we are likely to ask that writer to send us more. You may also have noticed that a writer whose poems appear in one issue, reappears in an essay, interview or book review in the next issue. This too is purposeful since we believe that the cross-pollination of theory and art helps to give shape to disability literature as a growing genre.

In this issue you will encounter some of those poets whose work you’ve seen in previous issues of Wordgathering: Sheila Black, Paul Kahn, Petra Kuppers and Kobus Moolman. You will also see many poets new to this journal: Jennifer Bartlett, Ned Condini, Linda Fuchs, Ona Gritz, Therése Halsheid, Susan Keith, Neil Marcus, Louise Matthewson, Nancy Scott, Kaia Sherrit and Karen Stromberg. Though Wordgathering does set out to run issues, sometimes these themes emerge through the work submitted. In June, this occurred around Helen Keller. In the present issue, many of the poems relate to disabled veterans. They represent quite a mixture. Mary Hamrick and Stuart Sanderson write about people they have met, Ed Northen writes of veterans he has worked with, and Ron Cervo and George Sheen write from their person experiences with war.

Once again we offer two essays, one by Petra Kuppers in which she explores a Jim Ferris poem and another by Yvette Green describing a unique film project. This issue's interview is with poet/playwrite Paul Kahn, discussing his work in theater. Because we think it so important that collections of work by new writers in the field are recognized, we have enlarged the number of book reviews in this issue to three. These include two first books of poetry: Left Standing by Ona Gritz and House of Bone by Sheila Black. It also includes a review of a more academic work Disability and the Teaching of Writing an anthology edited by Cynthia Leweicki-Wilson and Brenda Brueggmann, two distinguished scholars in the field of disability studies.

As always, we welcome your comments about Wordgathering and the work that you see here. As we said above, 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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