It is definitely one of those nice problems to have that so many new books are coming out from disabled writers and/or about disability related topics that it is hard to keep up with them all. Here are some of the books that are slated to come out in later in summer or in early fall of this year. As might be expected, many of these are books of poetry. Some of the poetry comes from veterans like Kathi Wolfe and Kara Dorris known by those of you in the field. Others are the first collections by writers like Emily K. Michael and Ann E. Wallace whose work has found its way into journals but has yet to be collected. It is a great opportunity to see what their work is about. U.S. readers might want to take particular notice of the work of Canadian writer Roxanna Bennett whose work has made its mark in Canada but is new hear. Of special importance is Med Day and Niki Herd’s posthumous collection of the work of poet and activist Laura Hershey, whose place is being recognized as part of the Unsung Masters series.
Kathy Wolfe, Love and Kumquats: New and Selected Poems (Brickhouse Books)
Kara Dorris, Have Ruin, Will Travel (Finishing Line Press)
Ann E. Wallace, Counting By Sevens (Main Street Rag Press)
Emily K. Michael , Neotony: Poems (Finishing Line Press)
Roxanna Bennett, Unseen Garden (knife|fork|book)
Meg day and Niki Herd, Laura Hershey (Unsung Masters Series)
Upcoming non-fiction books to keep in mind include:
Therí Pickens, Mad Blackness::Black Madness (Duke University Press) – Loosening the academic language on a still scholarly work, Pickens attempts to open a discussion between two fields that are not generally in conversation with each other.
Chris Gabbard, A Life Beyond Reason (Beacon Press) – Gabbard’s memoir describes the process whereby the birth of his son with profound physical and intellectual disabilities transformed him from a scholar to a disabilities advocate.
Two upcoming books of fiction are also worth your attention:
Brian Birnbaum, Emerald City (Dead Rabbits Press) – Birnbaum’s book is the first from a press with a special interest in promoting work relating to Deaf culture. The protagonist of this novel set in Seattle is a deaf man caught in the world of money, power and professional sports.
Kathryn Trueblood, Take Daily as Needed (University of New Mexico Press). Trueblood’s short stories of a woman dealing with the medical issues of both herself and her children amidst a myriad of other problems add up to a complete novel.
In addition to these books relating to directly to disability are two other books whose writers do not make disability the subject of their work.
Carol Jeffers, The Question of Empathy (köehlerbooks) – In a unique episodic narrative, Jeffers traces the history of human beings awareness of and capacity for empathy with others.
Maya Northen Augelli, Johanna’s Secret (Book Baby) – In an engaging tale of sleuthing, a young writer uncovers the pieces of a century old disappearance and, in the process,s discovers some things about herself.
These are by no means the only new books coming out in the field of disability literature, but they are a good place to start reading. Incidentally, the links are to reviews of the books in the current issue of Wordgathering. There is always a need for reviewers for journals such as Deaf Poets Society, Breath and Shadow, Kaleidoscope and Wordgathering. If you are a writer yourself, you may want to consider it.