Bodymap


Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha - 2015
    The first book of the author to examine disability from a queer femme of color lens, Bodymap contains work created and performed with Sins Invalid. Bodymap maps hard and vulnerable terrains of queer desire, survivorhood, transformative love, sick and disabled queer genius and all the homes we claim and deserve."These poems are a gift for your love for self, your love itself and everyone you love. It is rare that a poet priestess offers words that allow us to emerge reborn with dirt, glitter and tenderness... Revere it. Revel in it. Read it again and again!" —Alexis Pauline Gumbs"Bodymap uses the alchemy of the voice on the page to transform words into an ache in the pit of me. I want what these poems demand: to be free to love & die, to be resurrected in time, & to be restored by desire. Piepzna-Samarasinha has located where this body houses the smirk learned from the sidewalk, the reason to do the difficult, and the blessings for the best worst thing."—Meg Day, author of Last Psalm at Sea Level "Sharp, yet remarkably compassionate, Piepzna-Samarasinha knows that the poem is no place for tidy inquiry and easy answers. She offers her own tenacious guts and veins on each and every page. Only someone who understands rage and reconciliation and blood and bone can write like this."—Amber Dawn, author of How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir and Sub Rosa

Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability


Jennifer Bartlett - 2011
    Crip Poetry. Disability Poetry. Poems with Disabilities. This is where poetry and disability intersect, overlap, collide and make peace."[BEAUTY IS A VERB] is going to be one of the defining collections of the 21st century...the discourse between ability, identity & poetry will never be the same." —Ron Silliman, author of In The American Tree"This powerful anthology succeeds at intimately showing...disability through the lenses of poetry. What emerges from the book as a whole is a stunningly diverse array of conceptions of self and other.”—Publishers Weekly, starred reviewFrom "Beauty and Variations" by Kenny Fries:How else can I quench this thirst? My lipstravel down your spine, drink the smoothnessof your skin. I am searching for the core:What is beautiful? Who decides? Can the lawsof nature be defied? Your body tells me: comeclose. But beauty distances even as it drawsme near. What does my body want from yours?My twisted legs around your neck. You bendme back. Even though you can't give the bonesat birth I wasn't given, I let you deep inside.You give me—what? Peeling back my skin, youexpose my missing bones. And my heart, longbefore you came, just as broken. I don't know whoto blame. So each night, naked on the bed, my bodydoesn't want repair, but longs for innocence. Ifinnocent, despite the flaws I wear, I am beautiful.Sheila Black is a poet and children's book writer. In 2012, Poet Laureate Philip Levine chose her as a recipient of the Witter Bynner Fellowship.Disability activist Jennifer Bartlett is a poet and critic with roots in the Language school.Michael Northen is a poet and the editor of Wordgathering: A Journal of Poetics and Disability.

Children of a Lesser God


Mark Medoff - 1980
    As Sarah says, It is a silence full of sound.

The Amputee's Guide to Sex


Jillian Weise - 2007
    The first section presents disability in a historical context, from the first “deaf and dumb” person granted the right to have sex to the surgeon who first cauterized war wounds. The middle section explores the physician as lover, and the final section depicts the rise and fall of a relationship. Characterized by a flesh-and-blood character, Holman, who also represents the larger tensions that arise between the abled and disabled.

Stim: An Autistic Anthology


Lizzie Huxley-Jones - 2020
    It is rare that autistic people get to share their own experiences, show how creative and talented and passionate they are, how different they are from media stereotypes. This insightful and eye-opening collection of essays, fiction and visual art showcases the immense talents of some of the UK's most exciting writers and artists - who just happen to be on the spectrum. Here they reclaim the power to speak for themselves and redefine what it means to be autistic. Stim invites the reader into the lives, experiences, minds of the eighteen contributors, and asks them to recognise the hurdles of being autistic in a non-autistic world and to uncover the empathy and understanding necessary to continue to champion brilliant yet unheard voices.

Where a Nickel Costs a Dime


Willie Perdomo - 1996
    They throw us off rooftops and say we slipped. They shoot my father and say he was crazy. They put a bullet in my head and say they found me that way."Blending images of street life, drugs, and AIDS against hope and determination, Willie Perdomo is a cutting-edge bard who speaks to the soul of his generation.

Just Breathe Normally


Peggy Shumaker - 2007
    Shattered perceptions and shards of narrative recount the events, from wreck through recovery and beyond. In lyric prose, the stories spiral back through generations to touch on questions of mortality and family, immigration and migration, legacies intended or inflicted. In the wake of her near-fatal cycling collision, Peggy Shumaker searches for meaning within extremity. Through a long convalescence, she reevaluates her family’s past, treating us to a meditation on the meaning of justice and the role of love in the grueling process of healing. Her book, a moving memoir of childhood and family, testifies to the power of collective empathy in the transformations that make and remake us throughout our lives. We all live with injury and loss. This book transforms injury, transforms loss. Shumaker crafts language unlike anyone else, language at once poetic and profound. Her memoir enacts our human desire to understand the fragmented self. We see in practice the power of words to restore what medical science cannot: the fragile human psyche and its immense capacity for forgiveness.

My Darling from the Lions


Rachel Long - 2020
    Described as a narrative collection in three parts, My Darling from the Lions “threads experiences of the learning and unlearning of shame, the body, sex, faith, blackness, lineage, prophecy and healing”

Up Jump the Boogie


John Murillo - 2010
    African American Studies. Latino/Latina Studies. "Up jumps the boogie. That's almost all one needs to say. Murillo is headbreakingly brilliant. I didn't have a favorite poet for this year: Now I do. But with this kind of verve and intelligence and ferocity Murillo just might be a favorite for many years to come."—Junot Diaz"The feel of now lives in John Murillo's UP JUMP THE BOOGIE, but it's tempered by bows to the tradition of soulful music and oral poetry. The lived dimensions embodied in this collection say that here's an earned street knowledge and a measured intellectual inquiry that dare to live side by side, in one unique voice. The pages of UP JUMP THE BOOGIE breathe and sing; the tributes and cultural nods are heartfelt, and in these honest poems no one gets off the hook."—Yusef Komunyakaa

Sad Girl Poems


Christopher Soto - 2016
    Their first chapbook Sad Girl Poems delves into their relationship with domestic violence, queer youth homelessness, & the suicide of a close friend. Of the chapbook, Eileen Myles wrote "Sad Girl Poems are revolutionary and sad and finely wrought on the fly… I keep reading, needing to be living in the world of them.” CAConrad wrote “You are an asshole if you read this book and are not destroyed and renewed and see through the poet Loma a way to redemption for us all.” Christopher Soto is originally from the Los Angeles area but now lives in Brooklyn.

Still Can't Do My Daughter's Hair


William Evans - 2017
    Evans is a long-standing voice in the performance poetry scene, who has performed at venues across the country and been featured on numerous final stages, including the National Poetry Slam and Individual World Poetry Slam. Evans's commanding, confident style shines through in these poems, which explore masculinity, fatherhood, and family, and what it means to make a home as a black man in contemporary America.

Bodega: Poems


Su Hwang - 2019
    Against the backdrop of the war on drugs and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, a Korean girl comes of age in her parents' bodega in the Queensbridge projects, offering a singular perspective on our nation of immigrants and the tensions pulsing in the margins where they live and work.In Su Hwang's rich lyrical and narrative poetics, the bodega and its surrounding neighborhoods are cast not as mere setting, but as an ecosystem of human interactions where a dollar passed from one stranger to another is an act of peaceful revolution, and desperate acts of violence are "the price / of doing business in the projects where we / were trapped inside human cages--binding us / in a strange circus where atoms of haves / and have-nots always forcefully collide." These poems also reveal stark contrasts in the domestic lives of immigrants, as the speaker's own family must navigate the many personal, cultural, and generational chasms that arise from having to assume a hyphenated identity--lending a voice to the traumatic toll invisibility, assimilation, and sacrifice take on so many pursuing the American Dream."We each suffer alone in / tandem," Hwang declares, but in Bodega, she has written an antidote to this solitary hurt--an incisive poetic debut that acknowledges and gives shape to anguish as much as it cherishes human life, suggesting frameworks for how we might collectively move forward with awareness and compassion.

Fast Animal


Tim Seibles - 2012
    Like a "fast animal," the poet's voice can swiftly change direction and tone as he crisscrosses between present and past.Built like one single sustained song, Fast Animal is alive with music, ardor, and wit that flow in utterances that are uniquely [Seibles'] and his alone."—Laure-Anne Bosselaar, author of The Hour BetweenFrom "Delores Jepps"It seems insane now, butshe’d be standing soakedin schoolday morning light,her loose-leaf notebook,flickering at the bus stop,and we almost trembledat the thought of her mouthfilled for a moment with bothof our short names. I don’t knowwhat we saw when we sawher face, but at fifteen there’sso much left to believe in… Tim Seibles, who teaches at Old Dominion University, is the author of six previous books, including Body Moves and Hurdy-Gurdy. His poetry has been featured in Best American Poetry 2010. Seibles has been the recipient of an NEA grant for poetry and Open Voice award.

Pain Woman Takes Your Keys, and Other Essays from a Nervous System


Sonya Huber - 2017
    What about on a scale of spicy to citrus? Is it more like a lava lamp or a mosaic? Pain, though a universal element of human experience, is dimly understood and sometimes barely managed. Pain Woman Takes Your Keys, and Other Essays from a Nervous System is a collection of literary and experimental essays about living with chronic pain. Sonya Huber moves away from a linear narrative to step through the doorway into pain itself, into that strange, unbounded reality. Although the essays are personal in nature, this collection is not a record of the author’s specific condition but an exploration that transcends pain’s airless and constraining world and focuses on its edges from wild and widely ranging angles. Huber addresses the nature and experience of invisible disability, including the challenges of gender bias in our health care system, the search for effective treatment options, and the difficulty of articulating chronic pain. She makes pain a lens of inquiry and lyricism, finds its humor and complexity, describes its irascible character, and explores its temperature, taste, and even its beauty.

Brazilian Is Not a Race


Wendy Trevino - 2016
    The particular poetic phrasing of Wendy Treviño, personal and geopolitical, immediate and speculative, manages to give shape to the multiple ghosts of the future transnational insurrection. "Hugo García Manríquez