A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature

Volume 11     Issue 4     December 2017

Essays and Fiction in this Issue

If there were any doubts about the wide range of essays that disability literature is capable of, this issue of Wordgathering would put those to rest. The essays here go from Emily K. Michael's brief tongue-in-cheek description of the language of disability as a video game to Liesl Jobson's sobering ten-part memoir of her life in South Africa. Between these is much variety. Veteran disabilities poet and memoirist Kenny Fries comes up with "he Fries Test," his proposed answer to the Bechdel test for disability literature. Megan Burgess describes the sea change in her attitude resulting from life with her autistic son. Two other writers focus on the arts. Grace Lapointe considers the relevance of the musical Cabaret to our modern political climate. Jennifer Richardson's powerful essay intertwines art with Nazi treatment of people in psychiatric facilities in World War II.

Short fiction remains one of the least acknowledged and published forms of disability literature. This issue of Wordgathering offers stories by two of its more accomplished practitioners, Kara Dorris and Jonathan Mack. In addition, readers have a chance to take a first look at a story by Joan Sobcak geared to slightly younger readers about the frustrations of growing up with an unrecognized disability.

Readers who enjoy the stories by Kara Dorris and Jonathan Mack included here should seriously consider taking a look at The Right Way to Be Crippled and Naked (Cinco Puntos Press), which includes not only the work of these two writers but two dozen others. Writers interested submitting their short fiction to Wordgathering may also want to consider seeing how their story stacks up against "The Fries Test" in the list above.

Wordgathering invites the submissions of literary essays, particularly those that help establish disability literature as a field of study. Essays on the work of other writers with disabilities are especially desirable. Queries can be addressed to comments@wordgathering.com.


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