A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature

Volume 12     Issue 1     March 2018

Book Reviews and Interviews in this Issue in this Issue

covers of four books being reviewed

Wordgathering is proud to begin its twelfth year of publication with book reviews that highlight the wide selection of quality disability literature currently being written. Especially exciting is the first anthology of disability poetry from Australia, Shaping the Fractured Self. In the tradition of Beauty is a Verb (USA) and Stairs and Whispers (UK), this anthology has sought out the work of its country's most talented disabled poets and made their work available to the world at large. It is also gratifying to see new work in fiction by three of the field's pioneering writers. Anne Finger's new novel, A Woman, in Bed is her first major work since Call Me Ahab in 2009. Kristen Witucki has transferred her skill as a writer of YA fiction to an adult novel and the always productive Raymond Luczak has released his collection of short fiction featuring disabled and LGBTQ characters.


Other books reviewed in this issue include new work from two poets, Andy Jackson (whose work also appears in the Australian anthology) and Jen Karetnick, and Ann Chiappetta's memoir of life with her guide dog.

One of the ways that Wordgathering's attitude towards book reviews differs from most other journals is in its willingness to occasionally review manuscripts that have not yet found a publisher. In its September 2015 issue, Wordgathering reviewed MaryAnn Miller's manuscript for her poetry book La Belle Indifference . Miller's manuscript has recently been published by Finishing Line Press and their incredile editor Leah Maines as Cures for Hysteria. Though it remains a fresh and important book, the gap between composition and publication of Miller's volume illustrates both the need for publishers committed to publishing the work of disabled writers and the importance of reading journals like Wordgathering and others in the Disability Literature Consortium that can make new poetry available as it happens.

Interviews in Wordgathering give readers another angle from which to look at the work of writers, publishers, and others involved in disability literature. The first interview in this issue is with Corbett O'Toole, the founder of the relatively new Reclamation Press. It focuses on the publication of work by writers with disabilities, such as the book by Raymond Luczak above. The second inteview, conducted by writer Shane Neilson is with Canadian poet Kevin Spenst whose latest book deals with his father's schizophrenia.

As always, Wordgathering is indebted to those who offered their skills as book reviewers in this issue: Suzanne Kamata, Travis Lau, Olivia Mammone, Shane Neilson and Maya Northen Augelli. Each of them is an accomplished writer in their own right whose work can be seen listed in the journal's "Author Index." This journal is continually looking for writers interested in revieing books in addition to recommendations for new books by writers with disabilities or in the field of disability literature to review. Queries can be addressed to comments@wordgathering.com.


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