Disabled Voices Anthology

Edited by sb smith
Introduction by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Disabled Voices Anthology
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Featuring multi-genre writing and artwork from Disabled creators in Canada, the US, and the UK, Disabled Voices embraces multiple perspectives on Disability culture, community, and identity. From the bad and ugly, to the good and victorious, and anything in between, Disabled ... Read more


Overview

Featuring multi-genre writing and artwork from Disabled creators in Canada, the US, and the UK, Disabled Voices embraces multiple perspectives on Disability culture, community, and identity. From the bad and ugly, to the good and victorious, and anything in between, Disabled Voices is a vibrant part of that krip literary future that is now.

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 student 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

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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