Disabled Voices Anthology

Edited by sb smith
Introduction by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Disabled Voices Anthology
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Written and illustrated by the Disabled community about the Disabled community in North America, Disabled Voices is an international anthology collection of short stories (both fiction and non-fiction), personal essay, poetry, and artwork. Featuring both new as well as established ... Read more


Overview

Written and illustrated by the Disabled community about the Disabled community in North America, Disabled Voices is an international anthology collection of short stories (both fiction and non-fiction), personal essay, poetry, and artwork. Featuring both new as well as established authors, Disabled Voices is comprised of submissions written by Canadian, American, and UK authors. ?A first of its kind, Disabled Voices captures life as a Disabled person: from the bad and ugly, to the good and victorious, and anything in between. Likewise, some pieces may not fit the mainstream idea of what the Disabled community is. This is a must have book for members of the Disabled community, but it is also very necessary to bring awareness and understanding to readers of all kinds.

sb smith

sb. smith is a queer Disabled writer, editor, artist, and cat lover living in Vancouver, B.C. She is a student of Vancouver Island University's Creative Writing program, and her own writing has been published in Portal literary magazine, Sad Girl Review, and the Navigator Press newspaper. She is tirelessly dedicated to disability justice initiatives by helping amplify Disabled voices through both her professional and community-based work.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Leah is a Toronto and Seattle-based poet, writer, educator and social activist. Her writing and performance art focuses on documenting the stories of queer and trans people of colour, abuse survivors, and mixed-race people. A central concern of her work is the interconnection of systems of colonialism, abuse and violence. Her second book of poetry, Love Cake, won the Lambda Literary Award for lesbian poetry in 2012. In 2018, her latest book Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice was published by Arsenal Pulp Press.

Excerpt

Dear Wheels: A Letter of Thanks to My Wheelchair, by Rebecca Johnson

Dear Wheels,

You help me move freely in this world and soar to the highest peaks, but why can't others see how you help me fly? Instead, they see a woman in a chair who needs help with every single thing in her life. In reality, you give me the independence to rise above that ignorance and know that I am capable and eager to live my life to the fullest.

While other parents taught their infants to walk, mine patiently taught me how to use my hand to direct you. I would win races against other children who did not see the difference between their running and my moving. My childhood friends didn't even notice you. They only saw a girl who was fun to play games and dolls with.

As a teenager, I started to hate you for you scaring the boys away. They would only pay attention to the wheels, not the girl who had a crush on them. I hated you for pushing them away, making them disgusted at how different I was from all the other girls. If only I was not tethered to you, if only I could walk then I would have a boyfriend too and the rest of my life would be easy, right? Even though I directed all my hatred at you, you still rolled me forward and never left me helpless. You took me across the stage to graduate high school and then rolled me into adulthood.

I liked you again in college. You waited patiently as I was stationary at the computer desk with my studies. You understood that we would not go anywhere in this country as a Disabled woman without an secondary education. So, we went across stage together again twice more, shocking the crowds and receiving loud cheers because we inspired them. But we didn't do it to inspire others. We did it out of necessity to survive in a world that looks only at the aid, not the person sitting in it.

We became one during those years, ignoring crushes and doing what was cool. I was never ashamed of you as people stared at us in public, prayed over us without approval, or took pity on my life. You empowered me to ignore those who didn't understand and to keep going forward in life.

Now, we live a full life. You get me to work where I counsel those who are able but discouraged by their normal struggles. Then, you get me to the classroom to teach freshmen in college. They say, "those who can't, teach," but I definitely can because of you!

After work, you bring me home to a man who loves me, wheels and all, and parents who would give their lives so my own would flourish. I love my life and it is only possible because of how you move me.

Thank you, Your loving passenger

Reviews

Rebel Mountain Press has come up with some winners of late, bringing a voice to those who are not always heard in mainstream literature, including the recently published Disabled Voices Anthology. This collection is part of a burgeoning genre dubbed "Crip Lit. " Disabled Voices Anthology is filled with stories and artwork from people with varying disabilities, both visible and invisible, touching on subjects from autism, accessibility, substance use disorders, to living with unrelenting pain, plus many more. The anthology contains a mixture of poetry, fiction, art, and non-fiction created by 28 disabled writers, activists, and artists selected from Canada, the US, and the UK. The foreword is written by Toronto-based Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, a

Rebel Mountain Press has come up with some winners of late, bringing a voice to those who are not always heard in mainstream literature, including the recently published Disabled Voices Anthology is filled with stories and artwork from people with varying disabilities, both visible and invisible, touching on subjects from autism, accessibility, substance use disorders, to living with unrelenting pain, plus many more. The anthology contains a mixture of poetry, fiction, art, and non-fiction created by 28 disabled writers, activists, and artists selected from Canada, the US, and the UK. The foreword is written by Toronto-based Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, a disabled poet, performer and community activist of colour, who stresses the importance of hearing everyone's reality, realities that are not always served up in everyday literature. The strength of Disabled Voices Anthology is its diverse mix of voices stemming from each contributor's own unique life experiences and challenges. Margot Fedoruk, Ormsby Review

"Disabled Voicesis magical--It made me laugh and cry. It made me want to take to the streets in protest. But I also found community with people like me and those with other disability in its pages. "- A. H. Reaume, disabled writer and feminist activist.

"We need these stories and the spaces likeDisabled Voicesto create new narratives that imagine ourselves into Mad, Crip futures. "-Qwo-Li Driskill, author

"Finally: community realized through complexity and knowledge created by people who have for so long been effaced. " Alok V Menon, trans writer and performance artist

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