This past week at Reiter’s Block has been heavy on reprints, hasn’t it? Well, you all already know what I think about everything. And when you figure it out, could you please tell me?
From time to time I like to share links to my favorite online journals and poetry sites. One of the very best is Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry. Published quarterly, Wordgathering features poetry, essays, book reviews and artwork by disabled authors and/or about the intersection of disability and literature. The blurb for their upcoming workshop at the AWP 2010 conference in Denver is a good summary of their mission:
This panel will discuss how the poetry of disability seeks to tackle and refigure traditional discourses of the disabled around an interrogation of “normalcy” and of the notions of beauty and function that have been so foundational to Western culture and aesthetics. The panel will focus on poetic strategies, including the subversion of historical discourses and the decentering of the subject through which a range of disabled poets have sought to address these issues.
Highlights of the December 2009 issue include Paul Kahn’s essay “The Deepening Fog (Part 2)”, about how his perspective as a disabled person helps him advocate for his parents in the nursing home; a review of Zimbabwean poet Tendai Mwanaka’s new collection; Rebecca Foust’s poems about her autistic son, which find beauty in what the world calls errors and mutations, without negating her maternal pain and anger; and other poems by Michael Basile and my friend Ellen LaFleche.
The Dirty Napkin is a literary journal whose content is available online for subscribers only ($16 per year). However, in each issue they feature a cover poem that can be read on the site. Their latest offering, an untitled poem from Simon Perchik, is a free-associative meditation on impermanence and beauty. Read and listen to the audio version here.
The Pedestal Magazine, edited by poet and songwriter John Amen, celebrates its ninth anniversary this month with Issue #55. The theme for this issue was speculative flash fiction. Notable contributors include Jane Yolen and Liz Argall. I also can’t resist poems about dolls, the creepier the better. Check out “The Doll After Play” by Rebecca Cross.