The Deaf Poets Society is an online literary journal that publishes poetry, prose, cross-genre work, reviews of Deaf or disability-focused books, interviews/miscellany, and art by D/deaf and/or disabled writers and artists. Founded in 2016, our mission is to provide a venue for D/deaf and disability literature and art, as well as to connect readers with established and emerging talent in the field.
We're looking for narratives about the D/deaf and/or disabled experience that complicate or altogether undo the dominant and typically marginalizing rhetoric about deafness or disability. We especially want to highlight work that investigates the complexity of the experience across identities. Whether you're drawing from experiences related to gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, race, or any other marginalized identity, we want your voice in our journal. For more on our vision, check out our manifesto published in Drunken Boat.
Note: Writers and artists who have chronic pain or are neurodivergent are members of our community and should feel free to submit.
Sarah Katz, Poetry Editor
[Image Description: A white woman with brown hair & a dress patterned with orange & pink flowers stands in a wooded area. Photo Credit: Leanne Bowers.]
Sarah Katz writes poetry, essays, and book reviews. Her work appears in Deaf Lit Extravaganza, MiPOesias, RHINO Poetry, and The Rumpus. She earned an M.F.A. in poetry from American University, where she received the Myra Sklarew Award for her thesis. She has also been awarded the 2015 District Lit Prize and a residency at Vermont Studio Center. Her poetry manuscript, Country of Glass, was named a finalist by Robert Pinsky for Tupelo Press's 2016 Dorset Prize. Sarah lives with her husband, Jonathan, in Fairfax, Virginia, where she works as the Publications Assistant at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs.
Ava C. Cipri, Poetry Editor
[Image Description: A white woman with black, close-cropped hair & a purple tank & jeans stands in front of a triptych.]
Ava C. Cipri teaches writing at Duquesne University. She holds an MFA from Syracuse University, where she edited Salt Hill. Ava’s poetry and nonfiction appears or is forthcoming in 2River View, Cimarron Review, decomP, Drunken Boat, Rust + Moth, WHR, Whiskey Island Review, and PROSODY: NPR-affliate WESA’s weekly show featuring the work of national writers. Her award-winning tanka sequence “From the Barre” is featured in AHA Books’ Twenty Years, Tanka Splendor. She is anthologized in Red Moon Press’ Contemporary Haibun Anthology and SUNY’s Unruly Catholic Women Writers II. Next reincarnation she wants to be drawn with wings. Ava resides at www.avaccipri.com.
Cyrée Jarelle Johnson, Poetry Editor
[Image Description: A black person in glasses, dark pants, & a jean vest stands on a spiral staircase by a bridge & lake. Photo Credit: Nicole Myles, 2015.]
Cyrée Jarelle Johnson is a black non-binary essayist and poet living and working in Philadelphia, PA. Cyree's work explores femininity as resistance and rebellion, emerging femme thought, and community as a site of trauma. Their writing has appeared in digital and print outlets in the United States, Canada, and Europe including Feministing, Black Girl Dangerous, and most recently in the Spring 2016 issue of Bedfellows. Get in touch on their website cyreejarellejohnson.com.
T. K. Dalton, Prose Editor
[Image Description: A white man w/ dark hair sits on on a desk, notebooks beside him & papers tacked to a board behind him.]
T. K. Dalton's essays have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and inclusion in Best of the Net. His fiction and nonfiction are forthcoming in The Common, Duende, and Front Porch Journal, and appear in The Millions, Tahoma Literary Review, Radical Teacher, Deaf Lit Extravaganza, Disability Studies Quarterly, and elsewhere. With poet John Maney, Jr., he edited What if Writing is Dreaming Together? He earned an M.F.A. from the University of Oregon and is currently writing a memoir. Tim lives with his family in New York City, where he works as an ASL-English interpreter.
Travis Chi Wing Lau, Ideas Editor
[Image Description: A black-and-white portrait of an Asian American man standing in a white knit cardigan and plaid shirt. He's wearing glasses with black frames.]
Travis Chi Wing Lau is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania Department of English. His research interests include eighteenth and nineteenth-century British literature, the history of medicine, and disability studies. His academic writing has been published in the Journal of Homosexuality, Romantic Circles, and English Language Notes (forthcoming). His creative writing has appeared in Atomic, Feminine Inquiry, Wordgathering, Assaracus, Rogue Agent, and QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology.
Janet Morrow, Art Editor
[Image Description: A white woman w/ medium-length red hair in jeans & a blue top leans against a table in a cluttered studio.]
Janet Morrow is a conceptual artist and teacher. Much of her work examines themes of deafness, disability and otherness. She holds an MFA in Intermedia Studio Art from The University of Texas at Arlington. Her work has been exhibited at Surface Gallery in Nottingham, England, Access Gallery in Austin, The Smithsonian International Gallery in Washington, D.C., and many other venues. She has taught art and Disability Studies at The University of Texas at Arlington and Tarrant County College Northeast and currently teaches art for the MHMR Pine Street Recovery Center. Janet lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her husband Jerry. She has two grown children and is a very proud new Grandma.
MANDEM, Art Editor
[Image Description: The three members of MANDEM pose in an art gallery, in front of a giant painting. In the center is Moco, a hunchback in a bright blue wheelchair. They wear leather-style pants, a black and red short sundress, multicolored glasses, and custom braces on their legs, wrists, and neck. Their colorful plaited hair falls over one shoulder. To their right is Kiki, a five-year-old with black and white striped pants, Spider-Man shoes, a denim vest, and a punk stocking cap. The child has one hand on Moco's wheelchair, and a very serious expression. To the left, Maize kneels on the floor to be at the same height as the other members of MANDEM. Maize wears a biker jacket and they have black goggles pushed back into their short blue-gray hair. Maize is the only one smiling in the photo.
Behind them, the painting has a brightly colored abstract feel, but is cut through with violent black lines and scrawled words. Only a few phrases are visible from the photo, including "Evolution works" and "Hysteria." Against this background is painted a realistic feminine figure with scoliosis and a visibly dislocated shoulder. The painting is MANDEM's mixed media piece titled "Hypermobility/Hysteria."]
MANDEM is a media-fluid artist conglomerate that identifies as nonbinary, neurodiverse, and disabled. Their work on disability poetics, the visceral body, gender, and childhood is in critical dialogue with art history, religious iconography/mythology, and various -punk aesthetics. They can claim an MFA (studio art) and MA (interdisciplinary humanities) from Florida State University, where they were the recipient of the Florence Teaching Award Fellowship. They recently received an Ohio Arts Council (OAC) Individual Artist Grant for their work on the Hypermobility series. In addition to showing in many museum and gallery shows, MANDEM's art has appeared in numerous journals, including Rogue Agent, Menacing Hedge, and Cahoodaloodaling. MANDEM lives in a centenarian house in urban Cleveland, surrounded by the empty lots where Little Hungary used to be. They are currently artists-in-residence at Negative Space Gallery.