Artist's Statement and Poems

Kenny Fries


The questions of who has the right and authority to write about disability—and what this writing could look like—echo in the works which poet and disability scholar Kenny Fries contributes to this thematic issue. His artist’s statement poignantly reminds us of the cultural cliché “where I am the only visibly disabled writer and if I don’t bring up the subject nobody else will.” His poems challenge us to move beyond the surface level and enter the very “microcosms” Fries discerned in Japanese Gardens. Purposefully, we included a wide array of poems, some specifically and explicitly about disability, others soliciting us to “excavate” and interrogate images and metaphors at work in both the representation and experience of disability.

(Tanja Reiffenrath and Gesine Wegner “Dis-eased: Critical Approaches to Disability and Illness in American Studies”)

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