As a professional woman, I often receive praise for overcoming my disability: “I admire how you don’t let blindness get in your way.” “You are where you are because you overcame your vision loss.” “You show that with hard work, anyone can overcome a disability.” “You’re an inspiration because you don’t let blindness stop you … More To Overcome or to Flourish? There Is No Question.
The Blindness Arts issue of Disability Studies Quarterly is finally here! This special issue, edited by Hannah Thompson and Vanessa Warne, represents several years of work, research, performance, and art among disabled contributors. My piece is called “Sacred Positions: A Personal History of Blindness and Singing.” This is how it begins… On a crisp December evening, … More My musical essay in Disability Studies Quarterly!
In March, blind poet and writing professor Stephen Kuusisto released Have Dog, Will Travel: A Poet’s Journey — a memoir about his life with his first guide dog, Corky. This is an exceptional book that will resonate with a wide audience beyond the obvious blind people and guide dog handlers. Kuusisto was featured on the PBS … More Book Review: Have Dog, Will Travel
I am excited to share my latest publication, a review of Jill Khoury’s Suites for the Modern Dancer. Khoury’s book is a full-length poetry collection, published by Sundress Press in 2016. My review was published in Issue #5 of The Deaf Poets Society. Here’s how the review begins: I indulge in the fantasy of maneuvering effortlessly … More Book Review: Suites for the Modern Dancer
April 26 is International Guide Dog Day, a chance to celebrate the countless beautiful handler-guide dog teams around the world. It is a day to honor not only the hard work we do with our companions but the circle of loving support that makes this work possible. From the families that encourage us to go in for training to the trainers, volunteers, and … More #InternationalGuideDogDay
In November, I participated in the Brown Bag Series hosted by UNF’s Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society). I had the opportunity to read my work and discuss the challenges and joys of writing as a blind poet. Here’s what it’s about: As a blind poet, Emily K. Michael understands the politics of disclosure. Publishing … More Watch my presentation: “Creative Activism: The Poetry of Disability and Disclosure”
About a month ago, I gave a talk as part of TEDxFSCJ: Engage. The process involved a lot of work—rehearsals, revisions, workshops—but it was an incredible experience. I was blessed with the TEDxFSCJ crew to guide me, including a test audience and awesome speech coach! Here’s how the video is described on YouTube: Today one … More Watch my TEDx Talk, “The confluence of disability and imagination”
Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen, age 53, is an associate professor in the Department of English at Bowling Green State University (in Bowling Green, Ohio). She teaches technical linguistics courses for people who wish to teach English to speakers of other languages. She says it’s a marvelous job: “I sort of love it.” She has a scattering … More October Interview: Spark, Startle, Enlighten!
April Ogden, age 45, is a full-time manager with the Florida Department of Education in Northeast Florida. She enjoys reading and traveling. You can learn more about her on her LinkedIn page. How would you describe your vision or blindness? Is it congenital or has it developed recently? I was diagnosed with Glaucoma during December … More October Interview: Faith in a Life After Loss
Jennifer Pearlstein, age 26, is a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at University of California -Berkeley. Outside her professional life, she enjoys reading, running, and spending time with her dog. She has recently started a blog on issues related to vulnerability and identity. How would you describe your vision or blindness? Is it congenital or … More October Interview: Understanding Begins in Presence
Eric Harvey, age 34, is a Ph.D. candidate at Brandeis University in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. He studies the texts, religions, and cultures of ancient Israel, Syria, and Mesopotamia (what is now Iraq). He is writing his dissertation on a group of biblical Psalms which reused pieces of older texts. He lives with his … More October Interview: Scholar, Teacher, and Guide
Alan Brint, age 19, is a swimmer at Beloit College in Beloit, WI. He loves to read and watch sports. He describes his vision as light perception from Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA). He travels with a white cane. You can find him on Facebook as Alan Brint. What is the most consistent challenge or frustration … More October Interview: Magic, Swimming, and Social Acceptance
Welcome to October, and welcome to Blindness Awareness Month! On the Blink is celebrating blindness with a second round of October Interviews. In the coming days, you’ll hear from blind friends and colleagues as they describe their passions, their challenges, and their perspectives on disability. Our first October conversation features Katherine Schneider, Ph.D., a retired … More October Interview: Love, Work, Play, and Pray Like Everybody Else
I am honored to be featured on Hannah Lee Jones’s fabulous poetry blog, Primal School. Her blog is designed as a place to discuss poetry outside the academy, to go back to basics and understand what makes a poem tick. In this interview, she asked me to describe my motivation and process for “A Phenomenology … More Poetry as Activism, The Rhetoric of Empathy, and The Breaking of Beliefs: My interview with Primal School
We’re starting the week off right with a luminous interview from Elizabeth L. Sammons. Elizabeth’s interview bridges the Sacred Space series and the October Interview series—opening a dialogue about faith and disability that is rich and rewarding. I know you’ll enjoy this extended conversation! Elizabeth L. Sammons, age 50, is a Program Administrator with Ohio’s … More Sacred Space Interview: Calling for Balance with Faith, Hope, and Love