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Like any writer, I’m a big believer in the power of story. Our culture right now is experiencing a bit of churn as those of us who have been historically overlooked, vilified, and ignored are getting out there and telling our own stories, without much invitation or permission.
I had a lot of fun at The Art Academy of Cincinnati last semester teaching Don’t Call Us Dead, a powerful book of poetry by Black, queer poet Danez Smith; Get Out, the subversive screenplay by Jordan Peele; and the Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Sympathizer, which was written by Viet Thanh Ngyen, an author who’d endured being separated from his parents as a child immigrant. (I know, I know: all men! The semester before I’d featured all women, so that’s the way the see-saw tipped.) As always, I’d urged my students to tell their own stories, and to share the stories that spoke the strongest to them.
In future classes, I would love to feature brilliant disabled poets, screenwriters, and novelists. I know they must be out there. (And maybe slowly getting published?) If you have any suggestions, add to comments.
Let’s lift each other up.
UPDATE: I just found my next poet, WordPress author Susan Richardson. https://burninghousepress.com/2018/06/23/3-poems-by-susan-richardson/comment-page-1/#comment-963