Recently I wrote a short post for social media that included five facts about guide dogs. I wanted to share these facts as responses to common misconceptions that people have. People often ask me, “Does your dog EVER get to play?” or “What is he like when the harness comes off?” I did not expect … More 5 Facts about Guide Dogs
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
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
I am excited to begin the new year in a spirit of gratitude. Your gift to Southeastern Guide Dogs blesses all future guides and graduates—but it also touches every member of the Southeastern community. I graduated with my first guide dog from Southeastern Guide Dogs in July 2014. I had been matched with York, an … More An Open Letter to the Donors of Southeastern Guide Dogs
I’ve got some exciting things to share! First up are two short promo videos I did for TEDxFSCJ: each one offers a sneak peek at my upcoming talk, “The Confluence of Disability and Imagination.” Here’s the first promo: And the second one: If you’re interested in coming to my performance of the talk, I’ve got … More A sneak peek at my TEDx Talk and a radio spot for Blindness Awareness!
I’m excited to announce my first publication in The Hopper, an ecologically minded literary magazine from Green Writers Press! Today they published my essay, “Working Resonance: Concerto for Guide Dog, Handler, and World.” Here’s how it begins: “In darkness, the audience rises, applauding the last performance of the evening. Before I can bang my hands … More Essay: “Working Resonance: Concerto for Guide Dog, Handler, and World”
Our next interviewee is Elaine Mara, age 28. She lives in Pennsylvania and works with disabled individuals at the high school level, preparing them for the transition to college or work. She enjoys public speaking, disability awareness, guide dog lifestyle awareness, creating and delivering dynamic presentations, and composing music for piano. How would you describe … More October Interviews: Elaine from Pennsylvania
In May of this year, I followed a friend’s recommendation and began reading His Majesty’s Dragon, a novel by Naomi Novik. The book is the first in Novik’s Temeraire series, a historical fantasy narrative that chronicles the adventures of Capt. Will Laurence and his combat dragon, Temeraire. Reviews often describe this series as “the Napoleonic … More Of Dogs and Dragons
Today two of my essays appeared in the June issue of Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature. The first, “Designing the Parachorus,” was originally posted on this blog (that’s right folks, you read it here!), and is now in a section of the online journal called “The Arts.” In this piece, I described … More Two Essays Published!
I love the shape of the Starbucks in Riverside. The open doors reveal a wide, welcoming interior with counter and pastry case along the back wall. Seats at short round tables are the most common, but a few high-tops and one long wooden table break up the monotony. The pathway to the counter is easy … More Market Day
In his 2011 TED Talk, British conductor Charles Hazlewood insists that music-making depends not on skill, but on trust. Describing past and present musical projects, Hazlewood emphasizes how trust grows through collaboration. “Where there is trust,” says Hazlewood, “there is music—by extension life.” One of Hazlewood’s remarkable projects is the British Paraorchestra, an ensemble of … More Designing the Parachorus—Or Why I Sing with a Dog
I am lucky to enjoy regular correspondence with York’s puppy raiser, a dynamic and intelligent woman named Melissa. A few weeks ago, she sent me an essay she wrote about the emotions of Puppy Raiser Day – the day when a student meets the family who raised their dog for a year. With Melissa’s permission, … More A Good Boy for Emily [Guest Perspective]
For the past few years, I’ve prepared the same two Thanksgiving favorites: a batch of hot spiced cider and a colorful fruit and cheese platter. The cider mulls in the crockpot for several hours, glorifying the house with its perfume of cloves, oranges, cinnamon, ginger, and cranberries. The cheese platter usually consists of fresh blackberries, … More An Early Celebration
Today Minnesota Public Radio published my piece about York’s presence in my musical life: “JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It’s Tuesday evening, and after a four-week hiatus, I’m finally attending chorus rehearsal again — but I haven’t assumed my usual place on the risers. I’m seated toward the back of the hall, awaiting a cue from my … More Article: Introducing my guide dog to the world of classical music
My essay, “Lightspending” was published in the September issue of Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature. The essay is part of a larger collection: blind writers responding to John Milton’s sonnet “On His Blindness.” Here is how the editors introduced my essay: “Michael’s essay is a narrative of personal experience. It is pegged … More Essay: “Lightspending”