Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sharon Wachsler and Breath & Shadow

Though it is late, it is still appropriate to add Dispoet’s two cents to recognizing Sharon Wachsler, who has stepped down this year as the poetry editor of Breath & Shadow for health reasons. As Sharon tells it, the creation of Breath & Shadow was something that was more or less thrust upon her over five years ago. Once she had it handed to her, though, she pursued it with a passion which has made it one of America’s pioneering small literary magazines.

Breath & Shadow was the first quarterly literary magazine in the country to be totally written and published by writers with disabilities. Wachsler imbued the magazine with her own personality, drawing to her talented poets and writers with disabilities from around the country who were more politically vocal than those appearing in Kaleidoscope but did not always have the academic pedigrees or connections that sometimes seems requisite for Disability Studies Quarterly. Moreover, because of Wachsler’s hard work and creativity, B & S has always been free to anyone with access to a computer. Her ongoing dialogue with readers about just what disability is and the platform that she provided for writers, especially poets, with disabilities has and is continuing to help shape the genre of disability literature in the United States.

The job of poetry editor for Breath & Shadow has now been handed over to Arden Eli Hill, who comes with his own credentials. If poetry style of the editor is any indication, the magazine will be in for a change. While Wachsler’s own political-style poetry is about as subtle as a vaudeville pie in the face, Hill’s put a much greater emphasize on literary innovation. It should be an interesting transition to watch.


Blogger Brittney said...

I enjoy your blog and wonder if you might post this call for submissions? I'm the poetry editor for this new online literary journal celebrating the autistic spectrum. Thanks!

Here is the info:

Hyperlexia: A Literary Journal Celebrating the Autistic Spectrum is looking for your fiction, poetry, and personal essays. Our inaugural issue, which will be found at, is planned for October. Send to Deadline for submissions is August 31st.

Submission Guidelines:

* Hyperlexia is interested in honest, thoughtful, well-written poetry and prose about being autistic and loving someone with autism. We want genuine and truthful writing about autism. Our journal is a celebration of real life with autism, both the good and the bad. You can be serious, sad, or funny. We believe in respecting the diversity of the human mind and discriminatory writing or hatred of any kind will not be published.
* Submissions should be 1500 words or less
* Send submission inside the body of the email, as well as attached as a Word doc.

July 29, 2008  
Blogger Gary said...

Would you consider mentioning my newly-published memoir on your blog? I would be happy to exchange blog feeds as well.

Seven Wheelchairs: A Life beyond Polio was recently released by The University of Iowa Press.

The memoir is a history -- an American tale -- of my fifty year wheelchair journey after being struck by both bulbar and lumbar poliomyelitis after a vaccine accident in 1959. The Press says Seven Wheelchairs gives "readers the unromantic truth about life in a wheelchair, he escapes stereotypes about people with disabilities and moves toward a place where every individual is irreplaceable."

Other reviewers have called Seven Wheelchairs "sardonic and blunt," "a compelling account," and "powerful and poetic."

I hope you can mention Seven Wheelchairs on your blog. We all live different disability stories, I know, but perhaps if you find the memoir worthwhile, you might want to recommend the book to others who are curious about what polio or disability in general.

Of course, the book is also available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Gary Presley
SEVEN WHEELCHAIRS: A Life beyond Polio
Fall 2008 University of Iowa Press

October 27, 2008  
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December 10, 2009  

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