A guest post by Ana Prundaru
Regardless of your disability or health status, the following ten barrier-breaking literary venues are absolutely worth your time.
A literary magazine for disabled women and non binary individuals, Monstering features a clean design and showcases pieces that intersect race, gender and class with disability, while addressing commonly faced issues of oppression, poverty and discrimination. The advice column “Dear Monster” adds a pleasingly offbeat touch to the otherwise writing-centric publication.
The editors of The Deaf Poets Society publish art, interviews, reviews, poems, prose and cross-genre works by deaf and disabled creatives. The issues are filled with hauntingly vivid creations, which draw heavily from personal experience and – in line with its manifesto – elegantly capture complex topics like intersectional discrimination, breaking down marginalising rhetoric about deafness or disability. Deaf Poets Society also offers community writing workshops focused on the lived experience of deafness or disability.
Founded by Mike Porath in the aftermath of a family health crisis, The Mighty is one of a kind community for disabled people. The easy to navigate site is updated daily with gutsy and stunning accounts of disability, which are accompanied by evocative illustrations. Providing members with a delightful space to celebrate accomplishments and share hardships, this venue is truly a work of art that does the disabled community a great service in working toward dismantling ableism.
Due to work-related obstacles, marginalised writers face scarce options when it comes to job opportunities with fair pay. This online platform aims to change that, by connecting people across the media field, such as journalists with expert sources. There is also a sporadically updated blog, addressing such topics as how to pitch publishers and cultivating a thriving relationship with an editor.
Self-described as a socio-cultural movement aiming to combat stigma of invisible disabilities, the Invisibile Disability Project raises awareness of the glorious and devastating experiences of diverse bodies, while challenging systemic forms of ableism. The site addresses these goals through a set of thoughtful projects, such as “This is Me” – a video series displaying new perspectives on topics around invisible disabilities. In a seriously curated space, visitors will find timely and boundary-pushing articles, accompanied by impressive visuals.
This relatively young publication is dedicated to writers with chronic illnesses and disabilities. It vibrates with eye-opening, raw works that read like tributes to the unique identities of persons with disabilities. Tiny Tim highlights the human dimension of illness, focussing on experiential and emotional layers embedded in life with a disability. While they are on a brief hiatus at the moment, the editors plan to accept submissions again in 2018. The magazine aims to grow to offer writing classes to disabled people and medical staff, next to providing books to children`s hospitals, infusion clinics and others in the near future.
One of the longest running online journals on disability, Breath & Shadow has a new issue out every three months. Part of its mission is to educate the general public on the significance of disability literature, promote recognition of the valuable contributions by disabled people and create opportunities in the literary field. The current issue radiates an overwhelming sense of inclusivity. The diverse collection of stellar work aptly chronicles the rich tapestry of disability and intersectionality, which will register with a wide range of people.
Founded by the Inglis House Poetry Workshop in Philadelphia, Wordgathering describes itself as an online quarterly, committed to highlighting brilliant works by writers with disabilities. The outstanding publication delivers on its promise, as it is filled with thoughtful voices and memorable work across the spectrum of literary genres and styles.
Recognised as the first magazine to publish nuanced examinations of disability in every day life, Ohio-based Kaleidoscope has recently shifted to an online publication with a bi-annual schedule. True to its editorial goal to explore the experience of disability through literature and fine arts, overcoming stereotypical depictions often found in pop culture and the literary community, Kaleidoscope is a paying venue that delivers impeccably curated issues of heartfelt and intimate works that wow, offering enlightenment for abled bodied and not.
Barking Sycamores started in 2014, with the mission of providing a platform for neurodivergent creatives. Its name was coined by founder N.I. Nicholson, who visualised shared similarities between the characteristic shedding of bark by the American Sycamore tree and the sensory overload frequently experienced by autistic individuals, as if they lacked protective skin. Edited by queer, neurodivergent people of color, Barking Sycamores is filled with gut-punching, contemplative works.The current issue is available for perusal online for free, while previous issues can be viewed in ebook format, in exchange for a small fee.
Ana Prundaru is the author of five poetry chapbooks, including most recently Anima and Unstable Tales (Dancing Girl Press). Her work appears in Bust, Storm Cellar, Litro, Kyoto Journal, New England Review, among other venues. She lives in Switzerland. You can find her on Twitter via @the_anamaria.