Nin Andrews Interviews Robin Silbergleid


This is an incredible book (The Baby Book)—focused on your desire and difficulties of having a child.  I’d love to hear about the evolution of this book. Did you write most of these poems when you were dealing with infertility? Or did you compose them after your children were born, when you were looking back at the experience?  And how many years did it take you to write this book?

Thank you, Nin. So one of the issues the book is deliberately murky about is the chronology and time frame.  This is largely performative—dealing with grief is a cyclical experience, at least for me.  In practical terms, the book covers more than a decade, from the early poems written when I was just beginning to solidify what I called then “the baby plan”—the desire to have children as a single woman—to the months following the birth of my son, essentially 2002-2012.  The composition of the book mirrored that process; I wrote a few poems around the time I graduated (the first was a version of “The Childless Women Talk about Frida Kahlo”), then a substantial batch while I was undergoing treatment for my first child.

I sent this core group of poems out in maybe 2005, after her birth, as a chapbook, then added a section of poems that is largely not in the book anymore, based on some feedback from other writers, including a series of poems called “Notes from Famous Baby Books” (I really liked these—I should do something else with them!).   The manuscript lived in a few other forms during this time, during which I was also working on a memoir and my chapbook project Frida Kahlo, My Sister.  And then, based on feedback from the CKP editorial staff, I added a number of poems that provide a clearer framework for the book, including “Infertility Sestina,” “Lexicon,” “I Am Sorry for Your Loss,” and the postcards series.  There’s no doubt it’s a different—and better—book because of that.  That’s probably an unwieldy answer; the short version is it took about a decade, on and off, and I wrote both during the experience and after.

I love the opening quote from Virginia Woolf in which Woolf writes that she doubts any woman has told the truth about the female body. I think you have done just that in this book.  You are so honest, open, exposed, vulnerable. Do you agree with that assessment?

Absolutely; I’m glad that sentiment comes across.  That quote was my project for the book.  There’s no question that it’s difficult material, in some ways very graphic and explicit about experiences that we are told, socially, to keep quiet about.  I have a fantastic introduction to poetry class right now, with students writing about rape culture and child abuse, being transgender, dealing with anxiety, depression, ASD and more; to put it bluntly, if I’m asking them to honor those experiences as beginning poets, I need to expect the same from myself.  Some readers, including the editor of a feminist press I very much admire, told me the book was “too much.”  What does that even mean?  But miscarriage is not pretty, and I wasn’t going to pretend it was.  At the same time, how do you write a book without thinking about aesthetics?  A number of central moments in the book reflect on that problem, including the poems “Metaphor” and “I Draw My Doctor a Picture.”

Do you have any literary role models? Were you encouraged and/or guided by other poets when writing this collection?

The three female artists who meant the most to me in composing the book are all referenced in it in various ways:  Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and the painter Frida Kahlo.  In very different ways, all three of them reflect on what it means to be acculturated as female.  Kahlo, especially, provides for me imagery and critical metaphor to talk about reproductive loss; what her paintings do visually I hope I’ve been able to do in text.  To mark traumatic experience.  To make it explicit.  To ask a reader/viewer to look with respect.  Her work was on display this past summer at the Detroit Institute of Arts; I went there with two women from my writing group and just stood for a long time in front of her “Henry Ford Hospital,” a tiny little canvas compared to these mammoth wall-sized murals.  I was riveted.  To see that painting, which was set in Detroit, in Detroit, not far from the clinic where I received treatment, was profoundly moving.  Other poets I greatly admire who tackle the question of the female body in all its complexity are Sharon Olds, Julianna Baggott, Rachel Zucker, and Arielle Greenberg.  I found Baggott’s book This Country of Mothers, which references her own miscarriage, when I was researching becoming a single mother.  I forgot about that poem for a long time, until I needed it, and then reread the book.

In your poem, “Pregnancy After Loss,” you write: Women talk about their pregnancies/not their miscarriages.  So true.

Also true, what you write in “Lexicon,” Sometimes babies/ embryos fetuses babies–/die.

You are willing to state the darker truths of motherhood, the dread, the fears, the messiness. But then you have this wonderful and redeeming line: I also know that infertility/ taught me love/ of the most pure and complicated sort. 

 So you see a silver lining to your experience?

For its frequency—depending on where you get your numbers statistically about 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage—we don’t really talk about it.  And we certainly don’t want to acknowledge recurrent pregnancy loss, second trimester losses, stillbirths, late term abortions for medical reasons.  I know women who have experienced all this and more.  Women dealing with these issues shouldn’t have to look so hard to find narratives and information.  It’s generally only after you tell someone “oh I had a miscarriage” that they come forward with stories of their own.  I remember scavenging the Barnes and Noble in Plano, Texas following my first, looking for any books about it.  Linda Layne’s work was important to me in terms of providing an intellectual framework, and Brenda Miller’s Season of the Body, her essay collection that confronts having ectopic pregnancies, is still one of the most meaningful discussions of loss for me.

I don’t know that I’d frame it as a “silver lining,” but I’m also a person who sees experiences in multiple ways.  I met some amazing women as a result of infertility, my doctors obviously, and some kindred spirits I met online through the ALI (Adoption, Loss, Infertility) blogosphere I found when I was trying to conceive my son.  The photographer who took my author photo, who is now a good friend and collaborator, I met at an event hosted by her organization “The Art of Infertility.”  And, in very practical terms, I wouldn’t have my children if I weren’t open to donor gametes and alternative means of conception.  Love, yes, of the most pure and complicated sort.

There are many powerful and scary poems about the mechanics of getting pregnant. I say, scary, because I detest hospitals.  And perhaps in contrast, you have beautiful, if also medical, images of the female body in poems like “Shell.”

My relation to the medicalization of the female body, of reproduction and fertility, is, as you note, complicated to say the least.  Because I was a single woman using donor sperm, my approach to family building was necessarily medicalized; I was a fertility patient before I was even diagnosed as infertile, if that makes sense.  (By contrast I know women who are clinically infertile but not have the experience of being a patient at a fertility clinic, because they adopt or decide to live childfree or don’t pursue treatment.) The opening poem “Infertility Sestina,” as well as “I Am Sorry for Your Loss,” are attempts to think through those situational differences:  as the poem states, I wanted to be a single mother but there was a black hole in my uterus, not a baby.  The poem “The Fertility Patient” also does important work for me in terms of reclaiming experience, responding to medical treatment and insurance diagnostic codes.  While those terms serve a purpose they are also alienating; what does it mean that treatment for pregnancy loss is coded as “obstetrical care,” for example, on a hospital bill?  One of the most important interventions in this book for me is reclaiming some of those experiences; to be crass, when I left the clinic my medical chart was in three file folders held together with rubberbands and tape…that’s a lot of words, not mine, about what I experienced.

On the other side, I’m glad you like “Shell,” which is an attempt to render in artistic terms the otherwise sterile, clinical experience of undergoing transvaginal ultrasounds to check for follicular growth.  Follicles, embryos, endometrial stripes—all very lovely once you know what you’re looking for.  And both my reproductive endocrinologists used metaphors to describe what they saw.  An embryo and a yolk sac as a diamond ring, for example.  The acronym for assisted reproductive technologies is ART, and it is unquestionably artistic, beautiful, as well as scientific and “cold.”  To be crass, I wouldn’t have my kids without it, and there is literally not a day that goes by that I don’t think about that journey.  But it was also brutal both physically and emotionally.  I hope the poems taken together convey some of that complexity:

After your struggle to get pregnant, you pull me up short with your poem, “The Childless Woman Has a Baby,” in which you say that when you finally have a baby, you are unremarkable.   I am so taken with both your poetry and your insights into motherhood. But I can’t imagine you feel unremarkable, maybe because the book is remarkable.

One of the things I struggled with—still do, to a certain extent—is reconciling the fact of being infertile and a survivor of recurrent pregnancy loss with the experience of also having my family be complete.  Both of these realities are true, and that’s something I hope is honored in that title.  But infertility is quiet and invisible, not marked on the body in overt external ways, particularly following the birth of a child, and even during pregnancy.  When I went to my two-week checkup at the obstetrician I sat there and sobbed; even within that context—even with six different diagnoses that added up to “high risk” written at the top of my chart—the nurse couldn’t see why I was so emotional.

Some women are more easily able to ‘move on’ following infertility treatment; by contrast, I think, for those of us who have issues with pregnancy loss, the experience follows us into pregnancy and beyond.  With both my kids I was desperately afraid of SIDS; while I don’t think that fear is unique to women who have undergone infertility treatment, I think it takes on a different valence for someone who has already lost a child.  Pregnancy via assisted reproductive technology is absolutely remarkable, in all senses of the word.  But unseen, unremarked.

The coldness of the medical experience really comes through in these poems, especially in the poem, “Collage/Voice Mail,” in which doctors are leaving messages about your test results and medical condition. It’s so chilling. Please tell me this is somewhat exaggerated?

I suppose I should say I’m a person who doesn’t like the phone, and one of the few remaining Americans–it feels sometimes–who prefers a landline to a cellphone.  So there was a period of several years when my cell only rang if it was my daughter’s school or a nurse from the fertility clinic.  They had several phone lines; after a while I programmed my caller ID so one camp up as “Bad News,” the other “More Bad News.”  I needed this sort of dark humor!  The piece has a cumulative effect, I think, this series of voice mail messages one after another.  They are a way of charting the narrative and moving through a long period of time.  I can’t tell you how many calls there actually were; they happened everywhere, when I was in class, at the grocery store, making dinner, driving home from an appointment, after tucking my daughter into bed.

Unlike other medical issues where most consults happen face-to-face during scheduled appointments, information needs to be communicated very quickly to fertility patients during an IVF cycle; for example, if you go in for a blood work appointment in the morning, you can expect a follow-up call later in the day to give you the results and tell you what to do (medication doses, for example, or scheduling another appointment the next morning for monitoring).  Much of this is communicated through nurses and medical technicians acting as go-betweens, and it’s easy for miscommunication as a result.  I do not envy their jobs in this respect.  What I hope comes through, though, in the end of the poem and in the book as a whole, frankly, is that it’s a complicated emotional experience for all parties, and I am very grateful for those individuals who communicated with grace and compassion, especially my primary caregivers.  I saved a voicemail from my doctor for the entirety of my pregnancy with my son—it was that significant to me, and I was quite superstitious about it.

As you were writing the book, did you imagine an ideal reader? Perhaps women who were suffering as you were?

During the early process of drafting, no, I didn’t really think about audience at all; I was really writing for myself, to process experience, make sense of it.  But once I made the decision to send it out as a book, and certainly once it was accepted by CKP, I thought very seriously about who I wanted the book to reach, what work I wanted it to do.  I’ve been partnering with an organization “The Art of Infertility” doing workshops on writing the body and such, and that’s been fruitful and fulfilling, and serves as an important outlet for education, community, and even activism.  I do think my ideal reader is women who have gone through treatment, or experienced RPL, or otherwise had difficulty building their families.  Doing readings for other patients has been a wonderfully emotional experience for me.  But on the other side if I had read my book when I was just beginning treatment I don’t know that I would have been prepared for it.

You are a professor as well as a mother?  How do you balance writing, teaching, and motherhood?

Yes; I’m a poet, memoirist, and literary critic.  I’m also a professor, program director, and single mother.  I like to watch TV, go to yoga, and have coffee with friends.  I try to have one-on-one time with each of my kids.  And given that I have a history of insomnia and a 4-year-old who is just now beginning to sleep through the night, I do not at this stage of my life ever sacrifice sleep!  That is, I’m pretty ruthless about scheduling and maintaining boundaries.  I don’t multitask, except if we’re talking about putting something in the crock pot for dinner and then sitting down to write.  I try to schedule time for new writing four days per week and do “business” work of editing and sending out submissions and such on Fridays when I don’t teach.  With very few exceptions, I drop my kids off in the morning, sit down with a cup of coffee and work on writing.  It might not be long, sometimes just an hour, but an hour is enough time to draft a new poem or write a page or two of prose, or edit.  I think in many ways I’m more productive because I have children.  I don’t have the luxury of long expanses of time and I don’t kid myself that that’s what I need to work.  What I do miss, though, is that sort of dreamy afternoon in a café I’d have in graduate school writing, aimlessly writing in a notebook.  Maybe I’ll have that this summer.

Do you have a new collection of poems underway?

I do have a new project, what I’ve been describing as a book of domestic prose poems tentatively titled “Mother Is a Verb.”  It’s a project that tries to make sense of becoming “domesticated” as a feminist.  They’re based in observations of my neighborhood but I would not really describe them as nonfiction.  They mark the passage of time over days, weeks, months of early motherhood.  What happens, for example, at 3:00 in the morning with a sick child?  I’m planning on drafting 168 of them (one for each hour in the day), although I doubt the final book will be that long.  Maybe.  It’s fun to be at the early stages of a project again, and one that’s not so angsty.  And yet motherhood is not all sunshine and roses; it’s hard work.  A verb as well as an identity.  The Baby Book gestures toward some of those experiences—breastfeeding a child with food allergies, late nights in the rocking chair—but doesn’t fully explore them.

I’d like to close the interview with a poem of your choice from the book.

What a difficult choice!  This is one of my favorites, as it brings together a number of key images from the book.

 An Open Letter to Frida Kahlo

When my legs were dumb from the D&C
when my feet were heavy, stirrupped balls of cotton
& I couldn’t tell where they stopped & the blankets began,
I thought of you.
They kept putting more blankets on me—
they were white & everyone else wore green, my doctor
in her scrubs standing between my legs.  I’d been there
before, in your painting dear Frida,
& there were wires attached to my chest & there were tubes
run between my legs, & Dr. E sucked it out, him out,
my boy, I mean, & I thought if this scene were a painting
by Frida Kahlo it would be beautiful, & I laughed.
The sound filled the room like a newborn’s cry.
Frida, what I wanted to say is that I understand
why you come back to this room, a hospital in Detroit,
why the paintings pin you there to the bed like a bug on a nail,
because you’re still there.
You left pieces of yourself behind—
a blot on a sheet, some tissue in a jar—& you want them back.


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The Independent reviews “Unidentified Sighing Objects”

USO_approved_cover (2)“Baron Wormser was once Maine’s Poet Laureate and there’s a definite feel and reference for that place. He writes of unheroic people, slurping tea, leafing through Year Books. Pop culture is also part of his style—colloquial, humorous—creating synergy that means he’s really writing about his readers.”


Read the all the November reviews

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Robin Silbergleid talks “The Baby Book” with Michigan State University

Silbergleid_8169 About a year ago I had the occasion to read some of this work as part of an event at the fertility clinic where I received treatment, and it was an incredibly profound, even life-altering, experience.  Although I hadn’t thought of it at the time of writing, publishing and promoting this work is unquestionably a form of activism and, yes, education.  I’m now partnering with “The ART of Infertility,” which is a Michigan-based, national art, portraiture, and oral history project.  It’s been a great opportunity for collaboration, including a writing workshop on campus on writing and the body.  If there’s any unifying theme to my work, it’s that—as Virginia Woolf said in “Professions for Women”—we need to tell the truth about our experiences of the body.

Read the full article at MSU Creative Writing

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Going Places: Entry #3 by Randy Smit

CKP ADA Advisory Board member Randy Smit wrote the following poem in response to the recent terrible events in Paris.


For Now

 Soldier on

hold the phone

say your prayers

put on your shoes

keep the faith

do your best

grab a tissue

cling to Jesus

hang your coat

find a way

remember that

check your e-mail

eat your breakfast

try the crossword

do some dishes

write it down

follow your nose

give it time

stand up and walk

stop at the store

let it be

fold some laundry

make some tea

burn some leaves

catch a glimpse

ask a friend

call your mother

save the rest

remember the trash

hug the janitor

mind your tongue

fasten your seatbelt

get to church

throw it out

go to town

hold everything

have a doughnut

do not relent

pay some bills

take it slow

return to your breathing. I love you.

— — —

[5 minutes in restful silence… can go a good, long way.  Try it.  Just be still for a little while.

It’s Okay… it’s okay…]

— — —

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.


For additional pieces about Paris:

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Baron Wormser’s “The Irony and the Ecstasy: On the Nature of Poetry”

Check out Baron Wormser’s lecture, part of Sundog Poetry Center’s Poets & Their Craft series.

Vermont PBS is currently making a series of the lectures and sit down interviews with the featured poets.  It will air later this winter.

Poets & Their Craft: Ep10 – Baron Wormser at Misty Valley Books in Chester from Mt. Mansfield Community TV on Vimeo.

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“Ars Poetica” by Robin Silbergleid

As the world awakens you sit straightbacked at your desk. Coffee
brews, and breakfast. The smell wafts up the stairs.
Coffee, the computer, maybe a pen. If you were Billy Collins
details like these would unfurl into something magical
each blue Bic pen entering the realm of the symbolic:
French croissants and the curve of the moon. For now
greatness is as far off as the moon in the sky. The question
how to write a poem. Consult Donald Hall, Mary Oliver
interrogate all the authorities and still, here you are,
just a young poet struggling, a handful of syllables.
K sticks in your throat. Kestrel, kingfisher.
Line by pathetic line, the poem limps along, a hard labor. This
metaphor comes from the only place that matters, the baby
nestled in its mother’s pelvis, the midwife urging the body to
open. You can hear her moaning oh-oh-oh-oooh,
perineum stretching, the push splitting her in two. No
quest here, no Cantos, no Paterson, not even a Prelude, or
Richard Hugo’s Triggering Town. Reproduction, not
sex or romance. It’s embryos in petri dishes,
trigger shots of gonadotropin, test after test after test.
Ultimately maybe that’s all we can ever ask for, some
vials of blood, dark tubes rolled in the nurse’s hands.
When you’re stuck—like now—you go back to conception
x meets x and nine months later, a girl is born.
Your hands are greedy, you want to hold her, the camera
zooms in on the young mother’s face and stops
zooms out to the hospital room, the snow on the windows,
yellow balloons, vases flush with daffodils. You haven’t had s-ex
in so long you’ve forgotten how the body moves, the creamy
white of your skin against your lover’s. Wordsworth writes of the
vale, the river, the mountain, nature as the source of the sublime—
under the poet’s spell the world becomes metaphor
tenor humming against vehicle like a bird ready to take flight.
Still, you sit here, pecking out words, letting the syllables
roll in your mouth like stones. It’s that flat gray of winter
quiet when nothing ever happens, when you wait
patiently, for a delivery truck, for the stick to turn blue, ping of
ovulation when anything is possible, a spark in the ovary,
nestling embryo, nights when you dream of possibility,
menses marked on the calendar in pink, your wait
longer than you ever dreamed. You fiddle, try your hand at
kyrielle, villanelle, sonnet, sestina, you’ll try anything.
Just start. Jump right in. Don’t think too hard.
Infertility begets infertility. Remember this in the
Harmony Room, where the doctor
guides your legs into the stirrups, says you’ll
feel my touch, and she is so tender
every nerve in your body begins to hum and
despite everything, despite months of failure and rejection, this
could work. In two weeks the stick could turn
blue, in nine months, a baby, a book
a single-celled wish. Amen.

From The Baby Book by Robin Silbergleid

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Baron Wormser’s Workshop in NYC

Being with Poets: Jane Kenyon


When: February 6-7, 2016, 10 to 4 each day
Where: 417 Riverside Drive, Apartment 7A, New York, NY
Cost: $325 (including lunch)

Limited to six participants

Over the course of two days we will look closely at poems by Jane Kenyon, a poet of great resonance whose quiet, naturalist details shimmer with metaphorical power. Her work is an encounter with something timeless: the precise evocation of a scene, mood or moment. Kenyon’s mastery of free verse technique meshed beautifully with the art of seemingly casual narrative. This will be a chance to consider the work of a poet who spoke truly and deeply.

Teachers: Baron Wormser has led numerous “Being with Poets” workshops devoted to sustained discussion of an important poet. He is the author/co-author of fourteen books and teaches in the Fairfield University MFA Program. Nadell Fishman has taught at Vermont College and is the author of two poetry collections, Drive and At Work in the Bridal Industry.

Acceptance into the workshop is on a first-come, first-served basis. No deposit is required. Amount is payable upon coming to the workshop.

Contact Baron Wormser at to register.

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Book Press Release: The Baby Book


The Baby Book
Poems by Robin Silbergleid

With raw candor and lyric poignancy, Robin Silbergleid transforms the psychological and physical pain of a journey through infertility into transcendent poetry in THE BABY BOOK (CavanKerry Press; November 2015; $16.00, paperback). Silbergleid decided to become a single mother, but that brave choice was thwarted by biological realities. She turned to assisted reproductive technology, but despite the advances of science, she would endure high-risk pregnancies and repeated miscarriages in her quest for a child.

“This is how it goes: say you want a baby/say you are twenty-seven & alone,/as in uncoupled, there is no father/in this equation,” Silbergleid begins “Infertility Sestina,” which ends, “This is how it goes. You wanted to be a single mother/but there is a black hole in your uterus, not a baby.” One by one, the poems in The Baby Book tell the powerful, cumulative story through a chorus of voices: the prospective mother, the doctors and nurses she encounters—never shying from the clinical, yet always grounded in the emotional ups and downs the patient endures.

There is repeated loss, but the poet/patient tries to hold onto perspective through the pain:

There is no poetry
in loss, I refuse

to indulge, to shimmer
half-light of Texas winter

where glass sparkled the floor
like precious gems. No—

the language of loss
is silence, heavy

as the forty-second week of pregnancy

                                                   (from “Metaphor”)

In a series of poems that appear throughout the collection, the poet turns to the life and art of Frida Kahlo, who transformed her own physical and psychic pain into transcendent art. Although Silbergleid fictionalizes certain incidents, Kahlo’s paintings provide great impetus for the visual and visceral poems.

The sound filled the room like a newborn’s cry.
Frida, what I wanted to say is that I understand
why you come back to this room, a hospital in Detroit,
why the paintings pin you there to the bed like a bug on a nail,
because you’re still there.
You left pieces of yourself behind—
a blot on a sheet, some tissue in a jar—& you want them back.

                                                                        (from “An Open Letter to Frida Kahlo”)

The arduous journey to conception, and the triumphant passage to motherhood after many struggles, will speak to anyone who has traveled this road, and to many others who have wrestled with their own frustrations. It speaks, too, to the doctors, nurses, and caregivers who work with those grappling with infertility, facing the daunting, often heartbreaking path to a miracle.


About Robin Silbergleid

Robin Silbergleid is the author of the memoir Texas Girl and the chapbooks Frida Kahlo, My Sister and Pas de Deux: Prose and Other Poems. Born and raised in Illinois, she holds both an MFA and PhD from Indiana University.  She is currently an associate professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Michigan State University.  She lives in East Lansing, Michigan, with her two children.


THE BABY BOOK by Robin Silbergleid
Publication Date: November 2015
Price: $16.00; ISBN: 978-1-933880-58-7
Distributed by: University Press of New England (UPNE), 800.421.1561 or 603.448.1533, Ext. 255
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CavanKerry Press partners with the Poetry Society of Michigan

At the Poetry Society of Michigan (PSM) Fall Meeting, Jack Ridl, the Honorary Chancellor of PSM, invited the members of PSM to bring poetry to a person who is a shut-in or disabled. Mr. Ridl is on the CavanKerry Press ADA Advisory Board. He has blogged at their website about how poetry can be a tool for healing.

Mr. Ridl described CKP’s outreach to the disabled including the Laurel Books Series, books on issues “associated with serious physical and/or psychological illness.” CavanKerry Press provides free of charge the Waiting Room Reader to hospitals and waiting rooms to patients and caregivers.

CKP is making artists the focus of ADA Awareness Month and the 25th anniversary of the passage of the ADA. PSM has been asked to volunteer, to share our art in order to improve the lives of the disabled or shut-ins in our communities. Email Mr. Ridl ( with your volunteer experiences. Include your name and address and the name and address information of your partner in your volunteer endeavor. He will share our stories with CavanKerry Press.

Links to CavanKerry Press and information about the outreach project will be added to the PSM website, in the PSM newsletter and on Facebook. From Teresa Carson, Associate Publisher, CKP:

“We at CKP are delighted to partner with PSM on this important project! We will most definitely post any shared experiences. I hope other poetry societies are inspired to do the same. As discussed with Jack, CKP will donate books to be given to persons with disabilities or shut-ins.”

Be inspired by Jack’s experiences detailed in his most recent article.

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Literary magazines that focus on disabled culture and literature

ada25_2This post is part of our series in honor of ADA Awareness Month.  While on a national level the focus is disability employment awareness, CKP is focusing on artists.


Journal of All Things Disability 

Website+cover-page-0The idea for a literary-type magazine for the disability community sprung from a magazine discussion group. One night a month, I meet with a gang of women to have coffee and tea and talk about the latest issue of The Sun Magazine. We’re devoted Sun readers who in some way feel enriched by this journal and connect through our discussions of the essays, poetry, and short stories each issue contains.


1-246ac17a27Kaleidoscope magazine creatively focuses on the experiences of disability through literature and the fine arts. Unique to the field of disability studies, this award-winning publication expresses the experience of disability from the perspective of individuals, families, friends, healthcare professionals, educators and others.

Breath & Shadow

logobsBreath & Shadow is a quarterly journal of disability culture and literature. A project of Ability Maine, Breath & Shadow is the only online literary journal with a focus on disability. It is also unique in being the sole cross-disability literature and culture magazine written and edited entirely by people with disabilities. While some literary journals may devote one issue in a year — or ten years — to the disability experience, in Breath & Shadow you will find poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, drama, and other writing that examines the human experience of living with disability — in every single issue.


Wordgathering continues to seek work that develops the field of disability literature. We invite the submission of poetry, short fiction, drama, art and essays that discuss poetry from a disability perspective or that contribute to the theoretical development of the field of disability literature

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