Chris Kuell, the editor of Breath & Shadow literary journal, was interviewed in this month's issue of Wordgathering. Read the interview here!
Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry, as its name suggests, was launched as a poetry journal with a focus on disability. However, as it's established itself -- now in its sixth year -- the journal has branched out to include disability-related reviews, essays, visual art, and fiction, too.
This interview is a terrific behind-the-scenes look of what goes on at Breath & Shadow and is a must read for writers who are interested in submitting their work to the publication. Chris discusses favorite writers and pieces from past editions of Breath & Shadow, upcoming work in the journal, his own writing background and projects, and the history, mission, and goings-on at Breath & Shadow.
Chris keeps things interesting with his wit and political perspective, too, as this excerpt shows:
Wordgathering: What role do you feel a magazine like Breath and Shadow and Wordgathering play in disability culture? How do you feel they can influence what people think about people with disabilities?
Chris Kuell: The goal of the disability movement, and I do think of it as a movement, is to bring about a change in the way that society sees us. From a stereotype of "less than" to a new paradigm of unique person of value–which is how I try to think of everyone (Rush Limbaugh, I'm not so sure about). There is no single way to bring about such a societal shift in thinking, so it requires a multi-pronged approach. One of those prongs is through disability literature. Our goal, our hope, is to encourage people from all walks of life to dip their toe in the water and give us a try. I'm a writer, so obviously I'm biased, but I believe literature is a very powerful tool for change. If we can get them to dip that toe, we might get them to feel something new, to dissolve that stereotype and glimpse truth.Breath & Shadow is a project of Ability Maine and is entirely written and produced by people with disabilities. If you're interested in fiction, poetry, essays, reviews, and other literature by disabled writers, Breath & Shadow is for you. For a free, quarterly email subscription, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "subscribe" in the subject line. Or, for more information, visit Breath & Shadow's subscription page.
Thanks, Wordgathering, for this engaging interview! (And make sure to check out the rest of the September 2012 issue of Wordgathering for poetry, fiction, reviews, and essays from a wide variety of new and emerging writers.)