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.
From the bio note in Day: Frank Samperi was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933. Discovered by poet Louis Zukofsky, his first poems were published in the early 1960’s. Through study of Aquinas, Aristotle, Dante and the Hindu Vedantist, Shankaracarya, Samperi created a body of work that was a unique exploration of the ability of language to exist in a pure musicality apart from thingly reference. “Frank’s work was truly abstract, truly resisted the things of the world and boasted rather the refining fire of the spirit,” said Robert Kelly. In his lifetime, he published 20 collections of poetry.