Angus M. D. writes about the experience of disability in both the real and virtual worlds. In the words of Dave Vanian: 'Feel the pain...'
Poetry: Angus McKenzie-Davie
Reviews: Dao Writers on Literature
Dao is building a collection of essays about representation of disability within literature. To date Dr Emmeline Burdett has reviewed Courting Greta by Ramsey Hootman, The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen by Lindsay Ashford, The Norwich Wheelchair Murders by Bill Albert and You Have Not A leg To Stand On by DD Mayers.
Review: You Have Not a Leg to Stand On by D.D. Mayers
D.D. Mayers autobiography is described as the story of one man’s journey from happiness to despair and back again. Dr Emmeline Burdett gives an analysis of the book drawing on disability studies theory to understand how disabled people can often imbibe a negative self-image from disability stereotypes.
Review: ‘The Norwich Wheelchair Murders’ by Bill Albert
Review: The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen by Lindsay Ashford
Published in October 2011, 'The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen' is a historical mystery, researched and written while the author Lindsay Ashford was living in the former home of Jane Austen's brother. Dr Emmeline Burdett critiques the suppositions proposed in the novel from the perspective of the lives of women in Georgian England.
Review: Theatres of Learning Disability: Good, bad or plain ugly
Published by Palgrave Macmillan, Matt Hargrave’s is the first book to focus exclusively on theatre and learning disability from an artistic perspective. Over five years Hargraves researched the work of several companies and artists giving detailed analysis of work by Back To Back, Mind the Gap, Dark Horse, the Shysters and Full Body and the Voice. Review by Gus Garside
Review: All is calm, all is chaos, in Mark Wood's world
Mark Wood, who died tragically in 2013 at the age of 44, was a prolific creative who worked in photography, painting, cartoon, poetry, short story and music composition. Deborah Caulfield reviews ‘Spirit of Nature’ an exhibition of his work on show at Oxford Town Hall until 22 July.
Poetry: Kuli Kohli: Rag Doll
Interview: Penny Pepper talks about her experience of working with The Literary Consultancy
The Literary Consultancy, (TLC) founded in 1996 by its Director Rebecca Swift and Hannah Griffiths, offers a service in assessing writers’ manuscripts to give advice on how to approach publishers and agents. Colin Hambrook interviews Penny Pepper about her experience with TLC in time for their ‘Quality Writing for All’ campaign launching on 16th June at The Free Word Centre in London.
Poetry: Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews’ poetry recounts a lived experience of autism – a perspective, which is too often ignored in favour of second-person narratives of what an autistic person seems to be thinking or feeling. He feels short, evocative snippets of this experience are the most powerful – and that the poetic form is the perfect medium to convey these.
News: Creative Future: Nurturing Writing Talent At The Margins
Review: Tanvi Bush ‘Witch Girl’
Review: Q S Lam: Schizophrenics Can Be Good Mothers Too
Published by Muswell Hill Press, 'Schizophrenics Can Be Good Mothers Too' takes the reader on the artist Q S Lam's journey through the labyrinthine passages of psychosis describing her strategies and struggles to recover from the impact of the illness on everyday life, drawing on her personal experience, using art, not medication, to keep well. Review by Colin Hambrook
Review: Courting Greta by Ramsey Hootman
Published in June 2013 ‘Courting Greta’ is Ramsey Hootman’s debut novel: ‘a most unlikely romance, involving a 34-year-old crippled computer geek and a middle-aged gym teacher/ basketball coach with a penchant for addressing him as Mr. Cooke.’ Dr Emmeline Burdett critiques the novel from the perspective of a social model of disability.
News: iF Platform Artists Announced
News: Febulous February
Poetry: Debjani Chatterjee: A Miscellany
Award-winning poet-translator, Debjani Chatterjee MBE, shares a few poems from her collections, including her latest book 'Do You Hear the Storm Sing?' (Core Publications, winter 2014). She has been called 'a rainbow spirit' (Paul Beasley) and 'a voice of rare originality' (David Morley).
Profile: Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899 – 1976)
Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899 – 1976) was a Bengali polymath, poet, writer, musician and revolutionary. Popularly known as Nazrul, his poetry and music espoused Indo-Islamic renaissance and intense spiritual rebellion against fascism and oppression. Debjani Chatterjee gives an account of the influence of his poetry on her life and career as a poet whose work creates a bridge between two continents.
Review: Maggie Sawkins: Zones of Avoidance
Review: Rite of Passage: a gravedigger's memoir by Peter Street
Allan Sutherland’s blog charts the progress of working on his first collection of poetry, Leaning On A Lamppost. The collection will give an overview of his work, including 20 years of performance, his more recent pioneering work in transcription poetry, found poems and a set of new work responding to his mentoring by John O’Donoghue.
Poetry: Claire McLaughlin: Remembering Blue
Essay: The anti-war poem ‘Disabled’ by Wilfred Owen
Emmeline Burdett gives an analysis of one of the most famous anti-war poems of all time from the hand of the First World War Poet, Wilfred Owen. In a bid to evoke what Owen called ‘the pity of War’ the poem ‘Disabled’ gives impairment an emblematic status which, argues Burdett, impacts on attitudes today.
Opinion: Dao Writers on Poetry
Dao is building a collection of essays about poetry and profiles of poets, offering a disability perspective. So far we've published an article by Owen Lowery on a selection of war poets; a profile of George MacKay-Brown by Richard Longstaff, personal explorations of the first three collections of Seamus Heaney by Anthony Hurford, an analysis of Wilfred Owen's anti-war poem 'Disabled' by Emmeline Burdett and a profile of Nazrul, 'The Rebel...
Review: Unlimited 2014: Perceptions of Difference: DAO & Survivors' Poetry
On Level 5 on the Royal Festival Hall lies the Saison Poetry Library: an eclectic crowd gathered to hear poetry from four stalwarts of the Survivors' Movement. Wendy Young was there for the inspiring words of Hilary Porter, John O’Donoghue, Debjani Chatterjee MBE, Frank Bangay the Bard of Hackney! MC’d by Colin Hambrook.
Interview: Unlimited 2014: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged
Owen Lowery is the author of a volume of poetry, Otherwise Unchanged (Carcanet 2012), and is the recipient of an Unlimited award. John O’Donoghue interviewed the poet by email about the inspiration, form and development of his work providing an insight into his creative identity. What follows is an edited version of this correspondence.
Recommended list of books and journals
This section of Dao's research pages features a series of academic journals, books, novels and literature, which discusses disability. If you know of a book or journal you think Dao's readers would be interested in knowing about please send details to Dao's editor Colin Hambrook via email@example.com
Essay: the war poetry of Keith Douglas, Alan Ross, and Wilfred Owen
Owen Lowery, author of Otherwise Unchanged, published by Carcanet, and recipient of a recent Unlimited award offers a critique of the war poetry of Keith Douglas, Alan Ross, Wilfred Owen and Edward Thomas. In contrasting the styles of these poets recording their experience of war, Lowery examines his own approach to recording the impact of impairment ‘in extremis’
Poetry: Penny Pepper: Lost in Spaces
Poetry: Julie McNamara: Chaos Calls
Julie McNamara has been a tour de force within the field of Disability Arts for more than twenty years. Her current theatre work: Let Me Stay is a recipient of an Unlimited 2014 award, and is currently touring. Julie has also had her poetry published in several anthologies. Below Dao previews a selection from her first collection Chaos Calls, published by Vital Xposure.
Poetry: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged
Writing and studying poetry was initially part of Owen Lowery's recovery following a spinal injury incurred while competing in a charity judo tournament as a young professional sportsman. Having recently won an Unlimited Award, Lowery's first major poetry collection, 'Otherwise Unchanged', was published by Carcanet in 2012. The work speaks in a range of voices, drawing from poetic traditions far and wide.
Review: ‘Good Kings Bad Kings’ a novel by Susan Nussbaum
Winner of the Pen/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, 'Good Kings Bad Kings’ (Oneworld Publications, 2014) by the American playwright and disability campaigner Susan Nussbaum, is a novel about life inside the walls of the Illinois Learning and Life Skills Center (ILLC), - an institution for juveniles with disabilities. Review by Emmeline Burdett
Poetry: Carol Robson: Just Saying How It Is
Carol Robson loves the performance genre. She self-published her first collection Words of Darkness and Light in 2012, which will shortly be published as a second edition by Thynks Publications. She writes poetry on various themes but is passionate on issues of gender, sexuality, ageing and disability.
Poetry: Wendy Young
Wendy Young began a poetry blog as well contributing reviews for Dao in 2013, following involvement with Survivors’ Poetry. She says: "Writing about life experiences through truth and humour is a survival mechanism. Poetry is therapy and any chance to express hidden darkness is a reason to live."
Poetry: John William Brown
John William Brown is a poet, painter and performer based in Norwich. He has published in various anthologies and has produced a chapbook of his drawings and poems, Private View (1997). He was joint editor of the now defunct magazine for marginalised persons, State of Mind (2004-6). John submitted a selection of illustrated poems from his published works.
Profile: Seamus Heaney: Door into the Dark
Seamus Heaney (b. 1939, d. 2013) was a poet, playwright, translator and lecturer, and the recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was the author of over 20 volumes of poetry and criticism, and edited several widely used anthologies. Anthony Hurford reflects on the poets second collection Door into the Dark, which evokes the poets early rural life in Northern Ireland
Poetry: Anthony Hurford: The Staff of Asclepius
Poetry: Richard Longstaff: 'A Curlew Calls'
Review: Knitting Time by Colin Hambrook
Opinion: John O’Donoghue on mentoring poet, Clare Best
We hear a lot these days about ‘mentoring’. But what does a mentor actually do? How do you become one? How do people find the right mentor for them? And – the $64,000 question – are mentors worth it? Here John O’Donoghue recalls mentoring Clare Best in producing her poetry collection 'Excisions'.
Review: ‘An Earthworm called Girlfriend and Other Stories’ by the Grace Eyre creative writing group
Sean Burn: Is that a bruise or a tattoo?
Review: The Spark: Creative Future Literary Award Winners
John O'Donoghue discusses the making of Knitting Time by Colin Hambrook
Book: Ball & other funny stories about cancer
Gini: Con.Text: the major and minor scroll
Gini was awarded a Diverse Perspectives commission to make creative responses to conversations with artists and audiences at Salisbury Arts Centre. The scrolls she produced give a creative insight into peoples' reactions to work exhibited and their reasons for coming to the Arts Centre.
Creative writing: A selection of short stories by Lynne E Blackwood
Lynne Blackwood started writing in April 2012 after illness terminated her professional activity. She is of Anglo-Indian descent and her emotional heritage plays a strong part in her writing sensitivities, reflecting a mosaic of experiences and cultures. DAO is proud to present a series of her short stories.
Song: Alas Atos from Making Waves Community Choir
Making Waves is a left/ green community choir, based in Cullercoats, which has a policy of freely sharing their produce. Oliver Swingler from the choir sent the following song to DAO. He says that if anyone else wants to record it and publish (with acknowledgement of Oliver and the choir), they are most welcome.
All The Lonely People: an anthology by Plum Tree Books
News: Top poet and playwright Lemn Sissay to judge new literary award with Creative Future
Survivors' Poetry blog
Creative writing project with the Grace Eyre Foundation
Since August 2012 DAO has been publishing writing by members of the Grace Eyre Foundation creative writing group. On these pages you will find a selection of short stories and poetry by Lauretta Moyo, Hala Exander, James Grantham, Juliet Senker, Betty Vincent, Alex Yetton, Karen Young, Jonny Schachter, Keir Dean, Susan Street and Ann Hart as well as some collectively written pieces.
If Dr Mel Schachter was Prime Minister of England by Jonny Schachter
Great Camelot: From Chaos to Destruction by Keir Dean
'Listening to the Dark' a selection of poetry by Peter Street
OUT WRITE poetry anthology by Norwich Pride writing group
Review: Together 2012: Open Poetry Workshop with CoolTan Arts
'Superhumans and marriage beyond: a space idiocy 2012` by the Grace Eyre creative writing group
On this page DAO presents a surreal epic story written collectively by Jonny Schachter, Keir Dean, Susan Street, Betty Vincent, James Grantham, Juliet Senker and Elaine Parkes. As the story begins Natasha, Elizabeth Williams is on the verge of getting married to Doctor John Vincent!
Review: Playwriting Mentoring Project for new and emerging playwrights with Kaite O’Reilly
Review: The Robin Hood Book: 131 Poets in Support of a Robin Hood Tax
Underwater Con.Text by Gini
Selected poetry by Jonny Schachter
Peter Street's blog covers a variety of publications by the author - the latest being a memoir of his days as a gravedigger in the 1960s. The blog also follows the launch of his fifth poetry volume 'Listening to the Dark', which was published by Penniless Press in August 2012.
Discussion: How do we make the differentiation between what's 'inclusive' and what's 'subversive'?
A selection of poetry by Saradha Soobrayen
Review: Handspring Puppet Company present Crow
Review: The International Symposium and Hippocrates Awards for Poetry and Medicine
Review: Tales From The Other Side by Christopher Ejsmond
Review: The Optimism Bias - a talk at the Southbank Centre by author Tali Sharot
Tali Sharot is a rising star at U.C.L.'s department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences. Her book 'The Optimism Bias' came out to great interest and rave reviews. Subtitled "a tour of the irrationally positive brain," Sharot's talk at The Southbank Centre on 15 February, was a tour of a tour. Nicole Fordham Hodges went along for the ride.
Interview: Lung Ha’s Theatre Company present ‘Antigone’
This coming March 2012, Scotland’s leading group for performers with learning difficulties, Lung Ha’s Theatre Company, presents a new version of Sophocles‘ ‘Antigone’, the classic story of a young woman standing up against society for what she believes is right. Paul F Cockburn spoke with artistic director Maria Oller and the composer Kenneth Dempster to learn about the show’s origins.
View the Con.Text by artist and writer Gini
View the Con.Text is a unique audience engagement project devised by artist and writer Gini. Visitors were invited to take a comfy seat and chat about their own journeys and their thoughts on the 'The View from Here' exhibition, which took place at Salisbury Arts Centre from 9th November to 23 December 2011.
Unsilenced Voices: Romani Voices
Interview: Terry Tracy talks about her novel 'A Great Place for a Seizure'
An argument for the Creative Case in Literature
News: Benjamin Zephaniah takes up chair of Creative Writing at Brunel University
Neglected Voices - a cycle of transcription poems by Allan Sutherland
Book review: The Shaking Woman by Siri Hustvedt
Poems on life in the asylum by David Trippas
New writing: Peter Street's Memoirs
Peter Street was born in Wigan in 1948, the illegitimate son of an Anglo/Irish cotton mill worker and an Irish/Spanish glassworker. He was raised in Bolton by his mother and a stepfather: Thomas Edgar Street. Peter has six major collections to his name, and was a war poet in 1993 during the Bosnian/Croat conflict. He was recipient of a Royal Literary Fund grant in 2008. Here he recalls memories from the first chapter of his life: "Disability has been a big part of my...
Peter Street remembers Jimmy
Interview: Jo Verrent talks to Rachel Feldberg, Artistic Director of the Ilkley Literature Festival
Review: Living Where the Nights Jive anthology by Disability Arts Cymru
Critical Writing Masterclass
Assessing Lord Nelson: Shag Sketch 006 by Ann Young
The Saga of the Job Seeker by John Exell
John Exell explores Job Seeker's Psychosis in an extended poem written during the recession in the 1990s