edited by Jennifer Bartlett, Michael Northen, Sheila Black — from Cinco Puntos Press
This anthology makes a compelling case for rethinking postwar poetic practice in/through/by the frame of disability. pdf: table of contents Preface, Jennifer Bartlett “A Short History of American Disability Poetry,” Michael Northen
from Bartlett's intro: For me, the idea for Beauty is a Verb can be pinpointed to one single moment, December 10, 2005, the day Norma Cole read at the Bowery Poetry Club for the Segue Reading Series. A few years earlier, after a stroke, Cole lost and regained her ability to speak. Now, she used her temporary aphasia and slurred speech to compose a poem that noted a list of words she could no longer enunciate. The result of her reading this work was alternately hilarious and devastating. Cole laughed at the ridiculous, yet utterly wrenching, situation of a poet losing words, and the audience laughed with her. Yet, it wasn’t as simple as that. Although the audience laughed, they were also visibly uncomfortable. From the sophistication of Cole’s work and her genius as a person, one can guess that this was no accident. Can an entire anthology be sparked by one reading of one poet; I am sure crazier things have happened in this world we called poetry.