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April Breath & Shadow, Vol.3, No.4, Mortality

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  • james m nordlund
    Volume 3, Number 2, the new issue of Breath & Shadow, ROSC s Journal of Literature and Disability Culture, is now online. This month s theme is Mortality.
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2006
      Volume 3, Number 2, the new issue of Breath & Shadow, ROSC's Journal
      of Literature and Disability Culture, is now online. This month's
      theme is "Mortality."

      Did you know that Breath & Shadow chooses its themes based on the
      submissions we accept? In other words, while most journals choose
      themes for future issues and then seek out pieces on those themes,
      we accept work on a continual basis, without regard to topic, as
      long as we feel the writing reflects our mission and standards. When
      it comes time to create our publishing schedule, we look through
      what we have and see what patterns emerge. There are some topics
      that come up again and again. Recently, for instance, we had two
      editions of the journal that focused on communication because that
      is such a concern among people with disabilities.

      Another theme that comes up very often is death. Of course, death is
      an inescapable reality for everyone, but it is particularly
      omnipresent in the disability community: some disabilities are
      progressive and/or terminal; some make us more susceptible to death,
      due to the disability itself or due to the poor conditions in which
      many people with disabilities live; and some make us susceptible to
      suicide, sometimes due to the pain or nature of the condition
      itself, but more often due to how we are treated. Nonetheless, as
      grim as the theme "mortality" might seem, this month's issue
      contains a fair amount of humor, love, wit, and straight-from-the-
      hip truth-talkin' that offers pure literary enjoyment.

      We're thrilled to start off the issue with featured poet, Eric
      Gadzinski. His superb triptych of "Amputee," "Sciatica (Genesis
      32:24-5)," and "CAT Scan (CT Ab+Pelv)" is by turns tender, caustic,
      and philosophical. Next, Kayte Cook Watts's teenage narrator tells
      of a summer shadowed by her father's skin cancer -- a family
      strikingly "normal" in its oddities -- in "The Color of My Family."
      A book review follows; Erin Lewy discusses Heidi Ganz's young adult
      novel, Sparrows on Wheels -- about a girl in a hospital school.
      Returning poet Natalia Zaretsky asks the ineffable questions with
      her usual craft in her three-part poem, "Requiem for My Father."
      Then, be prepared for some surprises when you read Chris Kuell's
      quirky short story, "Unexpected Guest." Plus, the StaffShots are
      back! Breath & Shadow poetry editor Linda Cronin tells Paul Kahn
      about her life as a very active reader and writer. Find out what she
      means when she says, "Nothing is beyond considering when I'm
      desperate"! To read Breath & Shadow, go to
      http://www.abilitymaine.org/breath, or use the link at the bottom of
      this post.

      Breath & Shadow News of Note (including New Features!)

      • Attention low-vision readers: Would you like to receive this
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      • Backtalk! Talk back! Click on the link at the bottom of each
      page to comment on the particular piece(s) of writing you've just
      read or the issue as a whole. We really like to know what you're
      thinking, so please take advantage of this opportunity to talk back.

      • Thank you to our donors! The following people and organizations
      made contributions to Breath & Shadow this month: Ann and Preston
      Browning; Stella and Jim Wood, in honor of "stoking the fires of
      creativity in our young writers"; Isabelle Maynard; Jean Gran; Doris
      Wachsler, in honor of the January issue; and our new sponsor,
      Marlena Corcoran of Athena Mentor, www.athena-mentor.com. We really
      appreciate your help!

      If you wish to make a tax-deductible contribution -- as an
      individual or as a sponsor -- but haven't yet gotten around to it,
      please don't hesitate. We can always use your support. Please use
      the printable form at the bottom of this post. No donation is too

      • Hit Me with Your Best Shot! (Please?) As you know, each month we
      do a "StaffShot" -- a short profile/interview of one of our staff
      members. For the June issue, we're doing a StaffShot of me, Sharon.
      (Honestly, this is because everyone is too busy to do an interview
      for that issue. After June, we'll return to our usual format.) So,
      we're asking your help. We thought it might be fun if you, the
      readers, "interviewed" me. Send me your questions about anything --
      what it's like behind the scenes of Breath & Shadow, how I got into
      writing or what I like (or dislike) about it, disability culture, my
      favorite hobbies, or anything else you want to know. Don't hold
      back! I'll answer the questions for the June StaffShot. So far,
      nobody has sent in any questions, and I'm worrying that I'm too
      boring to elicit interest <sniff, sniff>. Email questions to
      breathandshadow@... and put "Sharon's StaffShot" in the subject
      line. Thanks!

      • Upcoming Themes: Disability Culture & Consciousness, Animals, To
      Be Determined. (Note: We already have all our material for the
      themes we have decided upon. We will accept submissions on any
      topic, but please remember our backlog for replies to submissions,
      as well as our long lead time once we accept work.)

      • Calls for Submission: It is part of Breath & Shadow's mission to
      provide a lens through which to examine disability from as many
      viewpoints as possible. To this end, we try to involve readers,
      staff members, and especially writers, with a wide range of
      disabilities. So far, we have published the work of many writers
      with mental health disabilities (such as bipolar, depression,
      schizophrenia, and PTSD), certain congenital physical disabilities
      (such as cerebral palsy), and various disabilities and chronic
      illnesses developed in adulthood (such as arthritis, chemical
      injury, and cancer). We are delighted to continue to receive
      submissions from people in any of the groups above â€" or from
      people with any type of disability. However, we have noticed some
      gaps in representation that we would like to fill. So, we
      particularly encourage submissions from people with
      cognitive/intellectual disabilities, including those with brain
      injury, developmental delays, and learning disabilities; Deaf/deaf
      or hard-of-hearing people; people with HIV/AIDS, and people with
      spinal cord injuries. We also encourage submissions from youth. To
      find out how to write for Breath & Shadow, go to

      • Please forward the contents of this email to friends, family,
      and colleagues and to let them know that they can sign up for a
      free, monthly subscription, by emailing breathandshadow@... and
      putting "subscribe" in the subject line.

      • "Please stand by. Your email is important to us. Your email will
      be answered in the order in which it was received." No, no! Don't
      shoot your computer! It's a joke. Sort of. If you've sent
      submissions, queries, revisions, or other correspondence and haven't
      heard back, it's probably because we haven't had a chance to open
      the email yet. We receive hundreds of emails and our all staff are
      disabled. It's not unusual, especially if several of us are having
      health problems at the same time, for it to take one or two months
      before you receive a reply. Please be patient with us and wait at
      least two months before you email a follow-up. If your email is time-
      sensitive, please write "Urgent" in the subject line, along with the
      topic of your post. Thank you! And seriously, your email really is
      important to us.

      • Archives: Breath & Shadow archives the past three issues. So, if
      you want to catch up on back issues, don't let too much time go by!
      Read 'em while they're hot. ;-) Go to
      www.abilitymaine.org/breath/archive.html or click on "Past Issues of
      Breath & Shadow" at our homepage.

      • Sharon's Inaugural Essay Now Online Permanently. The first issue
      of Breath & Shadow, in January 2004, featured an editorial
      called "Beginning Breath & Shadow: Creating a Literary Community, An
      Introduction by Sharon Wachsler, Editor." To learn how and why this
      unique journal came to be, and to get some insight into what we're
      still working our way towards, go to
      http://www.abilitymaine.org/breath/intro.html or, from the home
      page, click on "What Is Breath & Shadow" and then click on the link
      at the bottom of the page.

      • Listen to Breath & Shadow Writers Perform Their Work! Driving to
      work, chopping vegetables, relaxing before bed, you can hear some of
      Breath & Shadow's most popular authors read their stories, poems,
      and essays. We are pleased to be able to offer a recording of the
      readings that took place this summer in Somerville and Northampton,
      Mass. This 2-CD or 2-cassette set contains over two hours of humor
      columns, stories, and poetry by eight of Breath & Shadow's writers.
      Disc one features Arden reading hir delicate and evocative poems,
      Paul Kahn playfully presenting his poetry and prose, and Sharon
      Wachsler displaying her trademark wit as she reads three humor
      columns and one short story. On disc two you are treated to Debora
      Seidman's melodic "silly and sublime" radio script, Cat Brenn-Bear's
      moving dramatic monologues, Peggy Munson's award-winning and
      heartbreaking poetry, Dorothy Baker's intimate verbal snapshots, and
      Chaya Grossberg's powerful and inspired poetry. We are offering the
      recordings as a gift to anyone who makes a donation of $10 or more
      to Breath & Shadow. (For a contribution of $25 or more, we'll send
      you three CD or tape sets.) To receive the CDs or tapes, please
      scroll to the bottom of this email, or email breathandshadow@...
      and put "CD request" in the subject line.

      Click Here: Check out "Breath & Shadow Homepage"

      Sharon Wachsler
      Editor, Breath & Shadow


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      Editor, Breath & Shadow
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