A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature

Volume 10     Issue 1     March 2016


Wordgathering begins its 2016 year with a slightly international flavor. The state of disability rights in Tunisia is highlighted in an interview with Saloua Ali Ben Zahra who also provides the written English translation of a video performed in Tunisian Sign language in this issue's art section. Tunisian literature is represented further in the poetry of Olfa Drid. In the reviews section, South African poet and playwright Kobus Moolman takes a look at the collection Best "New" African Poets 2015. Four poems from this anthology, each by a different poet, can be found in the journal's excerpts section. British writer Beth Jellicoe's short story of London school girls, "Amaris", adds a another flavor to the mix.

As usual, the journal offers a wide variety of disability poetry. In addition to Drid, poets whose work is new to Wordgathering are David Flynn, Travis Lawrence Naught and Meghan O'Hern. Returning poets include Michael Amram, Tasha Chemel, Tony Gloeggler, Kathryn Jacobs, Anne Kaier, Karyn Lie-Nielsen, and J. F. Pritchard. In addition, the journal's poetry's section challenges writers to submit poetry for the next issue that involves the work of another writer with a disability.

With Wordgathering's participation in the AWP's upcoming conference through the Disability Literature Consortium, the reviews section takes on special importance. In addition, to Moolman's review of the African poetry anthology, there are new books by Eileen Cronin, Gretchen Henderson, and Ellen McGrath Smith as well as Susan Antebi and Beth Jorgensen's collection of essays on Latin American literature Libre Acesso and the third volume of Something on Our Minds. The excerpts section contains an essay by Tamara Sellman from this last anthology, as well as poetry from Brian Teare's latest book and the African poets mentioned above.

Essays in this issue come from Emily Michael, Nick Pentzell, Dana Robbins and Tanya Frank, and represent a spectrum of styles from discussion of literary work to personal essay. Particularly important to those interested in disability literature is an essay from the editors with a complete list of the authors and works that will be available at the Dis Lit Consortium booth at AWP. Not only does the essay give potential conference attendees a preview of what will be available, but it makes evident to all readers, the growing amount and variety of disability literature available.

As always, Wordgathering is fortunate to have a talented guest editor in charge of its reading loop. This time around it is poet and ASL translator Paul Hostovsky. Hostovsky takes a look at some of the many writers without disabilities that write about disability and could arguably be considered contributors to disability literature.

Writers interested in following in the progress of the Dis Lit Consortium at the 2016 AWP conference or keeping current on other aspects of disability literature can join us on Facebook and on Twitter at @wordgathering.com. Writers interested in participating in the DisLit Consortium and having their books represented at the 2016 AWP conference can also follow the consortiums clicking blog or contacting them at dislit666@gmail.com.

Wordgathering continues to seek work that develops the field of disability literature. We invite the submission of poetry, short fiction, drama, art and essays that discuss poetry from a disability perspective or that contribute to the theoretical development of the field of disability literature. The journal appreciates hearing from authors whose books are consistant with the mission of Wordgathering and would like them reviewed. Our guidelines provide further information about the kind of work we seek. We value our readers' opinions and hope you will send your comments, concerns or ideas to us at comments@wordgathering.com.

The Editors

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