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< Poetry >


The New Poetry of Disability

by Sheila Black / Jennifer Bartlett / Michael Northen

A ground-breaking anthology that brings fresh understanding to the American experience of poetry, beauty, the body, and disability.

Product Details

10-digit ISBN1-935955-05-5
13-digit ISBN9781935955054
Page Count326
Product Dimensions6x9
Starred Review1 Stars - see reviews
RightsAll Rights Available
[BEAUTY IS A VERB] is going to be one of the defining collections of the 21st century...the discourse between ability, identity & poetry will never be the same."
—Ron Silliman

For the reader of good poetry interested in the diversity of American expression. The anthology provides an understanding of the history and contemporary vitality of the poetry and poetics of the non-normative body. Three sections—“Foremothers and Forefathers,” “The Disability Poetics Movement, and “A Language of New Embodiment”—gather the poems and statements on poetics together in a meaningful whole.

From "Poems with Disabilities" by Jim Ferris:

I’m sorry—this space is reserved
for poems with disabilities. I know
it’s one of the best spaces in the book,
but the Poems with Disabilities Act
requires us to make all reasonable
accommodations for poems that aren’t
normal. There is a nice space just
a few pages over—in fact (don’t
tell anyone) I think it’s better
than this one, I myself prefer it.
Actually I don’t see any of those
poems right now myself, but you never know
when one might show up, so we have to keep
this space open. You can’t always tell
just from looking at them either. Sometimes
they’ll look just like a regular poem
when they roll in…you’re reading along
and suddenly everything
changes, the world tilts
a little, angle of vision
jumps, your entrails aren’t
where you left them. You
remember your aunt died
of cancer at just your age
and maybe yesterday’s twinge means
something after all. Your sloppy,
fragile heart beats
a little faster
and then you know.
You just know:
the poem
is right
where it


Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, Norma Cole, John Lee Clark, Michael Davidson, Amber DiPietra, Kara Dorris, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Robert Fagan, Jim Ferris, Kenny Fries, Lisa Gill, C.S. Giscombe, Ona Gritz, Gretchen Henderson, Laura Hershey, Cynthia Hogue, Anne Kaier, Petra Kuppers, Stephen Kuusisto, Laurie Clements Lambeth, Alex Lemon, Denise Leto, Raymond Luczak, Bernadette Mayer, Rusty Morrison, Michael Northen, Danielle Pafunda, Susan Schweik, Hal Sirowitz, Ellen McGrath Smith, Dan Simpson, Brian Teare, Jillian Weise, Kathi Wolfe, and David Wolach.

For book tour dates, contributor links, videos and more, visit the Beauty is a Verb website:
Publishers Weekly 1 Stars
This powerful anthology attempts to—and succeeds at—intimately showing...disability through the lenses of poetry...What emerges from the book as a whole is a stunningly diverse array of conceptions of self and other.
- September 19, 2011 
full review >>
[BEAUTY IS A VERB] is going to be one of the defining collections of the 21st century...the discourse between ability, identity & poetry will never be the same."
- Ron Silliman, author of In The American Tree, September 21, 2011  Visit Website
“Probably the most intelligent thematic anthology I’ve ever read."
- Ron Silliman, author of In The American Tree
"A groundbreaking collection, bringing together those, like Larry Eigner and Josephine Miles...and powerful new voices, like Amber DiPietra and Rusty Morrison. As the poets and poems speak to—and sometimes argue with—one another, we see a new strain of poetry growing before or eyes. The effect is far more than cumulative: it is astonishing.”
- Anne Finger, author of Elegy for a Disease
"This is a sensational, stunning book--one of the best literary collections in a very long time. We are speaking about powerful writing changing us--readers of BEAUTY IS A VERB will be mightily, irrevocably altered and enlarged--in ways we deeply need to be. Thank you authors and editors for a brilliant anthology."
- Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Fuel
"Revelatory, provocative, harrowing, and bold, the poems are also accompanied by personal essays that create thresholds into each poet’s whys and wherefores. These voices range from the specific and personal to the abstract and philosophical, sweeping any reader—including the temporarily able—into the profoundest questions of how to live."
- Molly Peacock, author of The Paper Garden
"Immerse yourself in muscular poems of tenderness and intensity, intimate poems of eloquence and bluntness, profound poems that present disability's difficulty, challenge, and pride–all the while exploring the triumph of the human condition." [Full review here.]
- Marie Kane, author of Survivors in the Garden
Ron Silliman
Beauty is the volume that most surprised me in 2011, and most deeply expanded how I look not just at the world, but even at myself. I can’t imagine a literature that doesn’t include ALL of the books here, but if I had to pick one book for 2011 that remade the world, it would be this one.
- December 22, 2011  Visit Website
NewPages Book Reviews
[T]his insightful new collection deserves the widest audience possible.
- Aimee Nicole, May 1, 2012  Visit Website
Click here to view all the reviews

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