A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature

Volume 9     Issue 4     December 2015

Essays and Fiction in this Issue

When Wordgathering first began, it focused on two main forms that it hoped would help develop the genre of disability literature. The first was poetry. The second was the literary essay that would make a theoretical contribution to disability literature through the pushing of boundaries. Such essays are not written every day but in this issue, Wordgathering is able to offer two of them. The first is John Lee Clark's exploration of metatactile knowledge. As a Deaf-Blind poet, essayist and anthologist, Clark is often asked, "How Do You Know?" Here he tries to sketch out an answer. The second probing essay comes from Andrea Nicki. Nicki proposes a category that she calls "psychological disability poetry." Nicki argues the need to differentiate between poetry that is generally considered confessional and the poetry of psychogical disability. She further asks why so much of the latter poetry is rejected by main stream publishers. Because Nicki's topic is a ripe one for discussion, a dialogue among Nicki and three other poets that considers this essay has been created in the interviews section.

In addition to these two theoretical essays, four personal essays are presented in this issue as well. Each comes from a very different point of view but in one way or another they all involve disability and education. Peter Pingerelli looks at classroom experiences from the perspective of a wheelchair user, while Kathleen Levinstein sees it as a person with autism. Timothy Allen's cameo piece looks at the possibility of loss of the chance for education and Bill Levine uses humor to describe the difficulties of even arriving at school when one has a neurological condition.

TWo prose fiction selections round out this issue. The first is the final installment of Kristen Harmon's tri-part story about young adults in Deaf culture. The other selection is a short story is from Lee Todd Lacks, a writer whose work appears in this journal for the first time.

As announced in the previous issue, the first anthology of short fiction comprised entirely of work from writers with disabilities is scheduled to appear in the fall of 2016. Included in this anthology will be Kristen Harmon's "What Lay Ahead." The anthology, The Right Way to be Crippled and Naked, comes from Cinco Puntos Press and is edited by Sheila Black, Annabelle Hayse, and Michael Northen.

Wordgathering is always seeking new work of fiction by writers with disabilities. We also accept disability-related fiction by writers without disabilities that counters stereotypes of disability. Please note that Wordgathering is not interested in work whose primary purpose is to be "inspriational" or in narratives of overcoming. Queries can be addressed to comments@wordgathering.com.


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