In spring of 2012, I was preparing to graduate with my M.A. in English. I was teaching with a respected professor and touching up my first real CV. Terrified of the great blankness that would follow graduation, I planned to teach, but I had no idea how I would continue to meet intelligent and fascinating … More Why We Still Need Literary Spaces for Disabled Writers
Krista Waters, age 29, is a DeafBlind Human Services major at Florida State College at Jacksonville. She has found her passion working with other disabled people, and she currently holds two positions in disability services organizations. She enjoys discussing assistive technology, self-advocacy, and accommodations for disabled students and employees. She agreed to talk with me … More October Interviews: Krista from FSCJ
The young writer struggles with self-definition. So many incredible reputations hover above us, casting sparks in all directions. Every established literary presence is crisp and luminous, an identity in complete control of its own labels. So I ask my poetry for this control, and it withers. I find I possess nothing worthy of a poem. … More I Ask My Poetry
This essay appeared in the Winter 2013 issue of Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, a journal published by Johns Hopkins University. The issue’s theme was “living with the label ‘disability.’” As the issue is no longer in print, I am sharing the essay here. * * * Today I am meeting Diana, one of my … More Surprised by Disability
Good evening, [Moderator], My name is [Modwyn], and I’m teaching a business writing course at [my university]. My students are beginning a unit on appropriate language use, and I’m directing them to the OWL’s excellent entry on this topic. While reviewing the entry on stereotyped and biased language, I couldn’t help but notice the omission … More My letter to the Purdue OWL coordinator
With other disabled writers, I participated in an interview for the September issue of Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature: “Jill Khoury, Emily Lund, Emily Michael and Kristen Witucki are four writers whose work in poetry and fiction has openly addressed issues of physical disability. Wordgathering invited them to take part in a … More Interview: “Dialogue on Blindness and Writing”
When I introduce or identify myself as a disabled woman, I often encounter surprised reactions. People frankly reply, “I don’t think of you as disable”—and why would they? For most nondisabled people (that’s “able-bodied” people in outdated lingo), the word “disability” summons a troupe of negative conditions. Suffering, impairments, trips to the doctor, the inability … More Why Identify?