Barking Sycamores is a new literary journal that just went live yesterday and will begin publishing on April 1, 2014. We’re accepting submissions now and will be publishing on a continual basis.
What we are: Barking Sycamores is a poetry journal whose primary mission is to publish poems by emerging and established writers on the autism spectrum or with related conditions. We also seek to add positively to the public discussion about autism in the form of essays on autism and poetics, with special emphasis on autism’s interplay with the creative process.
For poetry: We seek poems that are breathtakingly beautiful, startling, sparkling, or imbued with color. We like poems that surprise us in some way; poems that perform an act of alchemy — i.e. transforming the ordinary into gold; poems that convey a vision of reality which is different than the expected or commonplace; poems that might cleanse the “doors of perception”, as William Blake put it. We particularly adore poems with a strong voice, a strong narrative, or bold, concrete imagery. We do have a preference for free verse poetry; however, we will accept poetry written in traditional forms.
For autism and poetics essays: We seek work that uses strong facts and/or well-documented observations to support a solid thesis statement. We are particularly interested in essays about:
- how autistic or other neurolgically divergent traits aid in the creation of poetry;
- autistic or neurological divergent traits that might cause a poet to break common rules and conventions in poetry (and do this well);
- how an autistic or neurological divergent individual might use the creative arts (especially poetry) to express him/her/zirself when ordinary communication means do not suffice;
- how an author’s work might reveal his/her/zir neurological divergence.
Main site: http://barkingsycamores.wordpress.com/
Submission Guidelines: http://barkingsycamores.wordpress.com/submission-guidelines/
Greetings, WWA readers!
Today is the #LoveNotFear flashblog event in which autistics, family, friends, and allies are invited to share their thoughts on what the statement “love not fear” means to each of us. The event is a creation of the Boycott Autism Speaks movement. I’ve chosen to participate to help indeed spread love, and not fear, and thus help promote a greater and better understanding of autism.
I’m sharing a poem for this event, “The Sky Belongs to All of Us”, which is up at my Raven’s Wing Poetry blog and the #LoveNotFear blog will also be publishing many fine write-ups by autistics and their allies today on this theme.
Speaking of which…for a very long time, I have felt that my best way of self-advocating as well as promoting understanding, not to mention the very act of activism in and of itself, is through my art. I am a poet — I speak best in verse. Some of you may have noticed that I have not posted very much here at Woman With Asperger’s for a while. My art is taking over my life, and in a way that’s a good thing.
I will be making a public announcement in more details about my plans for Woman With Asperger’s in the next few weeks. Until then, enjoy the articles and things that are here, and please keep commenting! I will try my best to respond soon.
If you missed this past Saturday’s episode of the Poetic Travels on the Autism Hwy radio show where I was a guest, have no fear! The show, hosted by Kelly Green and Erik Estabrook, is available as an archived broadcast for your listening pleasure. We spoke about autism, poetry, creativity, activism, and a host of other topics (yes, even the J. Cole incident). You can visit their show on Blog Talk Radio and listen at:
I had a great time talking with the hosts and sharing my poetry, which included three selections from Novena (remixed): “Icarus”, “Meridians”, and “You Don’t See It”. I also read “Tribe”, which appeared in We’ve Been Here All Along: Autistic Over 35 Speak Out in Poetry and Prose. And don’t forget: Novena (remixed) is available August 14! More information about the new book is at my other blog, Raven’s Wing Poetry.
On July 27, I will be a guest on the Poetic Travels on the Autism Hwy radio show, hosted on Blog Talk Radio by Kelly Green and Erik Estabrook. I will be discussing my poetry, how autism relates to my work, and performing some of my poems (including three from my upcoming chapbook, Novena (remixed)).
The show is scheduled for 4:00 PM Eastern/1:00 PM Pacific Time. The link below will take you directly to the broadcast:
I am honored to be a guest on their brand new show, of which this is the second broadcast. Tune in on July 27! You won’t want to miss it.
Last month, Leah Kelley of 30 Days of Autism reposted my poem “Code” on her blog as well as our online exchange. It is a very rewarding experience when we can reach out to each other. This is probably one of my favorite things about blogging is the ability for echolocation — or as Susan Brackney, author of the “Lost Soul Companion” puts it, phatic communication, giving an example of how birds tweet to each other. We autistics who blog begin by saying “I am here, where are you?” and that was certainly one of the reasons for which I started Woman With Aspegers.
What else do we have to say? Listen to our language.
Thank you Leah for reposting the poem, which appears here.
Dear H: for those of us to whom words
sometimes do not easily run, saunter, or even
amble: we speak in code. We think in code. We
construct our languages painstakingly
like little Tolkiens, separated by time, distance, and space:
but the Hobbits and the Elves ain’t got
nothing on us. We have the dexterity
of pictures, objects, or even
moving film to send messages to world,
Two of my poems, “You Don’t See It” and “Tribe”, were published in We’ve Been Here All Along: Autistics Over 35 Speak Out in Poetry and Prose. The anthology, edited and published earlier this fall by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg (also the creator and webmaster of Autism and Empathy), features writings by twenty-two autistics speaking about, as Rachel put it in the description on her website, “issues as growing up without a diagnosis and coming to understand themselves in adulthood through the lens of autism”.
“You Don’t See It” is probably my best statement about what having Asperger Syndrome is like. “Tribe” (unpublished until this anthology) is a statement of pride, a recognition of how autistics throughout history have shaped and colored our world. And I am the frizzy-haired little girl on the upper right corner of the cover.
I am 36 years old and on the younger end of the age group in which the contributors are, but I share some things in common with some of the other contributors: late in life diagnosis. When I was growing up, the conventional wisdom was mostly that girls weren’t autistic and autism wasn’t that well-known…so the “gifted and weird” or “difficult” labels were slapped on me. Couple that with Asperger Syndrome not being an official diagnosis until 1994, the year I graduated high school. I went undiagnosed until age 34.
I have not had a chance to read except a small portion of the book, but from what I have read you will find intelligent, beautiful, eloquent, glaringly truthful, and sometimes painful writing, all from autistic writers. I strongly recommend reading the anthology and what we have to say about autism…from the perspective of the autistics themselves.
Hello WWA Readers:
Two of my poems, “Pretending to Be Normal (Eye Contact)” and “High School Jungle” were published in the anthology All Said & Done, a collection of light verse with some thought provoking pieces. The collection is published by The Amorphous Poetry Project.
A good percentage of the collection deals with relationships, communication, and empathy and feature some poets who are on the autism spectrum, including Donna Williams, Dave Spicer, and Wendy Lawson. Rick Lupert of Poetry Super Highway also has two poems in the collection.
All Said & Done is available in both print and electronic format. Proceeds from purchases of the book go to support the National Autistic Society of the United Kingdom.