A Reading List for Disability Pride Month 2024

We asked the many independent literary presses and magazines that make up our membership to share with us some of the literature they recommend reading in honor of Disability Pride Month, observed annually in July.


Poetry Collections


Cover of Black Under featuring an ascending series of oval-outlined faces on a pale yellow background.Black Under by Ashanti Anderson

Black Lawrence Press | 2021

This poetry chapbook “layers outward perception with internal truth to offer an almost-telescopic examination of the redundancies—and incongruences—of marginalization and hypervisibility.”




Cover of You Do Not Have to Be Good, featuring a medical diagram of a human eye and tearduct.You Do Not Have To Be Good by Madeleine Barnes

Trio House Press | 2020

In this poetry collection, Barnes “intimately immerses us in what it means to be chronically ill and reflects on the body’s connection to the planet.”




Cover of If This Is the Age We End Discovery, featuring a bright galaxy on a black background.If This Is the Age We End Discovery by Rosebud Ben-Oni

Alice James Books | 2021

Ben-Oni’s poems “are precisely crafted, like a surgeon sewing a complicated stitch, moving through the multiverses of family, religion, and discovery itself.”




Plain Sight by David Bergman

Passager Books | 2023

In this poetry collection, Bergman “offers up poems about aging parents, love, chronic illness, and friendship.”





Cover of Nazar Boy by Tarik Dobbs, featuring white text on a blue background.Nazar Boy by Tarik Dobbs

Haymarket Books | 2024

Dobbs’ poetry collection “explores surveillance, queerness, disability, race, and working-class identity in post-9/11 America.”




Cover of This, Sisyphus by Brandon Courtney, featuring what looks like water pouring down beneath a ray of sunlight in a white church-like space.This, Sisyphus by Brandon Courtney

YesYes Books | 2019

According to Justin Phillip Reed, “Courtney’s erotic, erosive soldier’s psalms enunciate the guilt of doing what one can with the awful gift of a human life in the aftermath of another’s destruction.”




The Bearable Slant of Light by Lynnell Edwards

Red Hen Press | 2024

This poetry collection “documents a web of clinical assessments, medications, the terrible beauties of delusion, and the fragile gifts of darkness.”




Cover of Phantompains by Theresa Estacion featuring a human figure's hips and arm in a dark woven texture against a pink landscape.Phantompains by Therese Estacion

Book*hug Press | 2021

This poetry collection, which takes inspiration from Filipino horror and folktales, “is a visceral, imaginative collection exploring disability, grief and life by interweaving stark memories with dreamlike surrealism.”




Cover of Flare, Corona by Jeannine Hall Gailey, featuring the title in yellow against a celestial body outlined in a flaming corona.Flare, Corona by Jeannine Hall Gailey

BOA Editions | 2023

Flare, Corona “paints a self-portrait of the layered ways that we prevail and persevere through illness and natural disaster.”




Cover of The Wild Language of Deer by Susan Glass featuring an oval with a close-up of a deer's face against a pale green background with gray hoofprints along the bottom.The Wild Language of Deer by Susan Glass

Slate Roof Press | 2021

According to Alison Luterman, this chapbook, “with its exquisite woodcuts and a poem in Braille translation, will subtly reorient your relationship to our world.”




Cover of Decade of the Brain featuring an image of photograph-like, grayscale ovals over a background that is blue on the top and orange on the bottom.Decade of the Brain by Janine Joseph

Alice James Books | 2023

This poetry collection is “an odyssey of what it means to recover—physically and mentally—in the aftermath of trauma and traumatic brain injury, charting when ‘before’ crosses into ‘after.’”




Cover of Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky, featuring an ear made of bricks juxtaposed against a background diagonally divided into white and black.Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky

Graywolf Press | 2019

A finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Kaminsky’s “astonishing parable in poems asks us, What is silence?”




Cover of earthwork featuring a photograph of a carousel horse with plants sprouting beneath and above it.earthwork by Jill Khoury

Switchback Books | 2024

According to Cynthia Arrieu-King, Khoury “plunges us into the heartbreak of caregiving, maternal relationships, disability, and abusive dismissal.”




Cover of Stephen Kuusisto's Only Bread, Only Light, featuring a painting of overturned candlesticks.Only Bread, Only Light by Stephen Kuusisto

Copper Canyon Press | 2000

In his first poetry collection, Kuusisto “explores blindness and curiosity, loneliness and the found instruments of continuation.”





Cover of Pathogenesis featuring the text stacked in a transparent white box in the center, surrounded by multicolored abstract shapes depicting parts of the human form.Pathogenesis by Peggy Munson

Switchback Books | 2008

According to Gerry Gomez Pearlberg, “Munson’s intriguing, kaleidoscopic poems transport the reader into a tough- and tender-hearted world of blood, illness, medical authoritarianism, and stubborn life force.”




Cover of Body of Diminishing Motion featuring a sketch of a hand in motion against a red-brown background.Body of Diminishing Motion Poems and a Memoir by Joan Seliger Sidney

CavanKerry Press | 2004

This collection of poetry and memoir “speaks to the author’s experiences living with multiple sclerosis for four decades.”




Cover of We Mad Climb Shaky Ladders featuring an image of the back of a white woman's head with a red braid against her neck.We Mad Climb Shaky Ladders by Phoebe Sparrow Wagner

CavanKerry Press | 2009

This collection features “poems written over the course of twenty-five years as the author struggled to live with a devastating mental illness, paranoid schizophrenia.”




Cover of Cyborg Detective by Jillian Weise featuring white text and a black silhouette of long hair, bangs, and glasses against a purple background.Cyborg Detective by Jillian Weise

BOA Editions | 2019

Weise’s third collection of poetry “holds a magnifying glass to the marginalization and fetishization of disabled people while claiming space and pride for the people who already use technology and cybernetic implants every day.”




Novels, Fiction Anthologies & Short Fiction Collections


Cover of Panpocalypse by Carley Moore featuring an upside-down bicycle in purple against a pale yellow background.Panpocalypse by Carley Moore

Feminist Press | 2022

According to Jamia Wilson, “Moore’s sharp and provocative voice adds much-needed complexity to the public discourse about the impact of COVID-19 on queer and disabled communities.”




Cover of Origami Dogs by Noley Read, featuring a folded paper dog on a pink and blue background.Origami Dogs by Noley Reid

Autumn House Press | 2023

This short fiction collection “is a celebration of the bond of devotion possible between humans and dogs, and it presents an intimate rendering of the lives we share.”




Someplace Generous: An Inclusive Romance Anthology

Generous Press | 2024

Edited by Elaina Ellis and Amber Flame, this anthology “presents voices largely new to the genre of romance, each bringing a fresh take on what it means to tell a love story.”




Nonfiction Books


Cover of Head Above Water featuring a black-and-white face, horizontal and looking upward, surrounded by white and orange dots.Head Above Water: Reflections on Illness by Shahd Alshammari

Feminist Press | 2023

This hybrid memoir “revisits personal journals to slowly piece together a narrative of chronic illness—a moving account of survival, memory, loss, and hope.”




Cover of Cataloguing Pain by Allison Blevins, featuring yellow and blue wildflowers on a black background.Cataloguing Pain by Allison Blevins

YesYes Books | 2023

In this memoir, Blevins “explores motherhood, sexuality, and queerness as it juxtaposes the author’s diagnosis of MS with her partner’s gender transition.”




Cover of In Hospital Environments: Essays on Illness and Philosophy, featuring an abstract image of blue and green watercolors with sketched rectangles that recalls a city.In Hospital Environments: Essays on Illness and Philosophy by Jake Goldsmith

Sagging Meniscus Press | 2024

According to P. J. Blumenthal, this essay collection “should be made required reading for the chronically ill and the chronically healthy in the school of life.”




Cover of A Dangerous Country with orange text on a white field.A Dangerous Country: An American Elegy by Ron Kovic

Akashic Books | 2024

Kovic “completes his Vietnam Trilogy with this poignant, inspiring, and deeply personal elegy to America.”




Cover of Disfigured featuring an illustrated leaft background with an ear, a house, an eye, and a hand hidden among them.Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc

Coach House Books | 2020

In this book, Leduc “looks at fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to Disney, showing us how they influence our expectations and behaviour and linking the quest for disability rights to new kinds of stories that celebrate difference.”




Cover of Pain Studies by Lisa Olstein featuring the text in white and pale yellow against a light green background, with a needle piercing the background behind the text.Pain Studies by Lisa Olstein

Bellevue Literary Press | 2020

In this extended lyric essay, Olstein “mines her lifelong experience with migraine to deliver a marvelously idiosyncratic cultural history of pain—how we experience, express, treat, and mistreat it.”




Your Hearts, Your Scars by Adina Talve-Goodman

Bellevue Literary Press | 2023

In this essay collection, published posthumously, Talve-Goodman “tells the story of her chronic illness and her youthful search for love and meaning, never forgetting that her adult life is tied to the loss of another person—the donor of her transplanted heart.”




Cover of Autistic Adults: Exploring the Forgotten End of the Spectrum, featuring blue and white text on a gray background.Autistic Adults: Exploring the Forgotten End of the Spectrum by Daniel Smeenk

Ronsdale Press | 2023

In this book, Smeenk discusses “how autistic adults present and how they see themselves and offers insights on autistic adults, from an autistic writer.”




Cover of Voice of the Fish featuring an abstract blue image that recalls water.Voice of the Fish by Lars Horn

Graywolf Press | 2022

This interwoven essay collection “explores the trans experience through themes of water, fish, and mythology, set against the backdrop of travels in Russia and a debilitating back injury that left Horn temporarily unable to speak.”




Saving Face by Effy Redman

Vine Leaves Press | 2024

This memoir “honors the grace of a face that stands out in a crowd, defying societal beauty norms.”





Cover of Floppy featuring a contoured line illustration of a person on their black with a cat on their stomach, in black and white and gold against a blue background.Floppy: Tales of a Genetic Freak of Nature at the End of the World by Alyssa Graybeal

Red Hen Press | 2023

According to Rebecca Fish Ewan, “Graybeal spins a richly imaged and often hilarious story from the fibers of her own quest for life while navigating the challenges of having a rare genetic disorder.”




Literary Magazines


Cover of The Hopkins Review featuring a photograph of a Black girl embraced from behind by a mother-figure and peering out from her coat.“Lilacs were my first rhapsody” by Kay Ulanday Barrett

The Hopkins Review | 2024

This poem begins, “all of them gawkers, neighbors pointing, and a kindergarten / teacher clumsily mash-jammed letters that were supposedly / my mother’s name.”




Logo of Multiplicity featuring black text above rainbow color swatches.“Minds Can Fly, Too” by Cassandra Brandt

Multiplicity Magazine | 2024

This essay begins, “The sun was just beginning to rise in the cloudless sky, and from my position seventy feet up on the steel, I was privy to a breathtaking view of it.”




SWWIM logo on a black ink splatter“During the Days After My Official MS Diagnosis” by Allison Blevins

SWWIM | 2022

This poem begins, “You need to discuss feelings, make plans. Yesterday, a man posted in your spouse support group about his wife’s dementia.”




Logo of The Cincinnati Review featuring "The" and "Review" in black on gray and "Cincinnati" in white on a red square.“On Being Envious of Able-Bodied Writers from the Global North” by Mugabi Byenkya

The Cincinnati Review | 2024

This essay begins, “Today I woke up and was immediately wracked by: 1. An agonizing burning sensation all over my body, from head to toe, one of the manifestations of my chronic pain….”




Logo of Under the Sun in gray and red on black“L’appel du vide” by Telaina Eriksen

Under the Sun | 2024

This essay begins, “This morning, I walked outside with my dog Cordelia. I wasn’t fully awake, but I noticed the quality of light had changed.”




Logo of Boston Review featuring blue capitalized text on a white background.The Future of Neurodiversity

Boston Review | 2024

This forum, which features discussions about terminology and the fight for disability rights, includes contributions by Robert Chapman, Ari Ne’eman, and others.




Logo of ANMLY with the text in black inside a twisted mobius shape colored in with multicolored patches, against a pale purple background.Glitterbrain

ANMLY | 2017

According to editor Sarah Clark, “When I put out the call for work for Glitterbrain, what I wanted the most was realness, whatever that may mean. Because neurodiverse, queer, people of color are denied what is real.”




Logo of Exacting Clam featuring black text on a white background.“Words and Clarity” by Jake Goldsmith

Exacting Clam | 2024

This essay begins, “I’m almost fearful of the unwanted connotations so many words possess.”




SWWIM logo on a black ink splatter“Safety” by Emily Lake Hansen

SWWIM | 2024

This poem begins, “As we cross the bridge, I count a dozen pelicans / perched on the railing, each waiting for the perfect / bite.”




Cover of Exacting Clam, Issue 8, featuring a drawing of a pale white blonde girl against a green background.Issue 8

Exacting Clam | 2023

This issue features “extraordinarily varied writing relating to disability and chronic illness,” including excerpts from four books longlisted for the 2023 Barbellion Prize.




Cover of The Hopkins Review Issue 16.3, featuring“Starship Somatics: Disability Walking in Outer Space” by Petra Kuppers

The Hopkins Review | 2024

This essay begins, “Walking is strange to me. I experience it as something akin to being on a ship: unstable, rocking, faintly surprising.”




Logo of Full Stop: Reviews, Interviews, MarginaliaRichard Scott Larson and Matt Lee

Full Stop | 2024

In this conversation, Larson and Lee “touch on voyeurism, persona, and the implications of laying bare our most intimate thoughts and feelings.”




Logo of Off Assignment featuring black text (off is italicized) on a white background.“To the Smoker on 72nd Street” by Jasmine Ledesma

Off Assignment | 2020

This letter begins, “I met you in the heat of the afternoon. The clouds were drowning in a blue-glass sky, and New York stretched on all around.”




Another Chicago Magazine logo, featuring the text "another chicago magazine" and "ACM" in a white speech bubble on a green background.“I think that there is a deep pleasure in looking at variants.” An interview with author and artist Riva Lehrer

Another Chicago Magazine | 2022

At the beginning of this interview, Lehrer says, “I have had to learn medical language for a number of reasons. Certainly for my own care. The experience of being in the hospital in particular demands it.”




Cover of Bellevue Literary Review Issue 38, featuring a collage of honeycomb-textured patches in a variety of colors.“Ordinary Psalm with Near Blindness” by Julia B. Levine

Bellevue Literary Review | 2020

This poem begins, “The world mostly gone, I make it what I want: / from the balcony, the morning is a silver robe of mist….”




Logo of Under the Sun in gray and red on black“Coming of Age” by William Luvaas

Under the Sun | 2024

This essay begins, “We were perched on a narrow platform high atop a scaffolding overlooking the stage sixty feet below, upon which a Fife and Drum Corps from Pennsylvania went through its paces.”




The manywor(l)ds.place logo, featuring the text "manywor(l)ds" in blue on a white background.“stoner termites” by Dane Lyn

manywor(l)ds | 2024

This poem begins, “my bed asks me where my / will to get up is; my will to / get up runs and hides / under layers of illness.”




The Wellspringwords logo, featuring dark gray text on a lighter gray background.“Cloudy With A Chance of Blindness” by Price Maccarthy

Wellspringwords | 2021

This essay begins, “When I tell people how I slowly started losing my vision, I begin most times with the day people started walking in opposite directions and I sat on the big rock outside my grandmother’s shop wondering if I had unlocked a magical dimension only I could see.”




Logo of Off Assignment featuring black text (off is italicized) on a white background.“1:11 p.m. at Hippie Hollow” by Greg Marshall

Off Assignment | 2022

This essay begins, “1:11 p.m. at Hippie Hollow is lake smells and crushed beer cans and butt angels on the rocks.”




Logo of Full Stop: Reviews, Interviews, MarginaliaLora Mathis and Amy Berkowitz

Full Stop | 2021

In this conversation, Mathis and Berkowitz discuss “how our texts, our selves, and our writing practices have changed since our books were first published.”




Another Chicago Magazine logo, featuring the text "another chicago magazine" and "ACM" in a white speech bubble on a green background.“Appropriate Treatment” by Thalia A. Mostow

Another Chicago Magazine | 2018

This essay begins, “I began golfing in my early twenties after developing an overwhelming desire to better know my father and grandmother, who both believe the best place to spend a sunny, or rainy, or overcast Saturday is on the golf course.”




Cover of the Summer 2023 issue of Kenyon Review, featuring vertical text in the upper right corner reading "Women's Health Folio" and "Nature's Nature Guest Edited by David Baker." Featuring cover art by Tawny Chatmon of a Black woman with a child.“Our Lady of the Stairs” by Susannah Nevison

Kenyon Review | 2023

This essay begins, “When I see my daughter for the first time, at my twenty-week scan, she is lying on her back with her ankles crossed. She is a lady of leisure.”




Cover of Sinister Wisdom 39: On Disability, featuring a photograph of a Black woman in a wheelchair behind an inaccessible turnstile in a Safeway.On Disability

Sinister Wisdom | 1990

This issue “contains work from and about womyn whose lives are seriously disrupted by long-term conditions,” including Pat Parker, Barbara Ruth, and Amy Edgington.





The manywor(l)ds.place logo, featuring the text "manywor(l)ds" in blue on a white background.“Dissociation: An Ars(enal) (of) Poetica” by Addie Tsai

manywor(l)ds | 2024

This hybrid work begins, “I’m asked to write an essay about my relation to attention. I insert the word dissociate.”




Cover of Bellevue Literary Review Issue 39 featuring a painting of a hand juxtaposed against a spine.“Dispatch from Bewilderness” by Judith Hannah Weiss

Bellevue Literary Review | 2020

This essay begins, “Probes puncture my scalp, surveying my mind. Temporal lobe, occipital lobe, you name it; there’s a probe for the lobe.”




Logo of ANMLY with the text in black inside a twisted mobius shape colored in with multicolored patches, against a pale purple background.Writing Ourselves / Mad and Writing Ourselves / Mad Part 2

ANMLY | 2021

According to editor Sarah Cavar, the poetry, fiction, photography, and artwork in this two-part folio celebrates “Mad creation, craft, and methodology” and “offers a third, collaborative option, in which we can bring our whole, multiple, unrecovered and anti-recovery selves to the table to tell the stories only we know how to tell.”