Disabled Women Poets: Writing the Silence

Article excerpt


There's a new movement unfolding: disabled women poets are beginning to have a voice in published literature. The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (formerly COPOH) is working on projects in Canada and in developing countries to help disabled women develop the skills and find the publishing outlets they need.

To date, The Council of Canadians with disabilities has received submission from women in 18 countries for a poetry anthology it is producing. Some women with disabilities write about society's attitudes toward them as women - feeling that society views them as non-existent because they are not `whole' or `marriageable.' Other contributors stress their abilities and express themselves as citizens of their societies. Others write about political events that are disabling to many people. Still others write of their relationship with nature, families and spouses.

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities is involved in other writing projects as well. A poetry seminar for disabled women was held last June in Winnipeg. The event was co-sponsored by The council of Canadians with disabilities, Canadian Authors' Association Manitoba and the Independent Living Resource Centre and led by Winnipeg pet Di Brandt. …