Answering Blindness: A Poet Makes Amends – guest blog post by Emily K. Michael

Thanks to Trish Hopkinson for hosting my essay “Answering Blindness” on your fabulous writing blog!

Trish Hopkinson

Today I am preparing submissions for two local venues — an online journal and a quarterly print magazine. Each publication asks for a brief cover letter: Introduce yourself and describe your publication history.

Introducing myself is easy. I’m Emily, a college writing instructor and local musician. I sing. I love grammar, especially the grammar of poetry. And yes — I smile to myself — I have a few publications.

My fingers stall over the keys. I recognize my publication history as an act of disclosure. By dropping certain journal names, I’m about to reveal myself as a blind poet.

When submitting to a journal that welcomes and promotes disabled writers, I feel no hesitation. I readily summarize my accomplishments and click “Submit.” I do my best to ignore the doubts slinking in — what if it’s the disability they want and not me? — because I’m not separate from my…

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