The Deaf Poets Society

  • By Vanessa Mallory Kotz
  • February 21, 2017

Enjoy a reading and exhibition opening at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD, on Feb. 26th.


For many people, accessibility is a passing thought. When was the last time you came across a person with a disability in popular culture, art, or literature? Beyond that, how often do you read about someone with deafness or illness that isn’t presented as tragic or saintly?

The Deaf Poets Society, an online journal, answers these questions with an inclusive platform for people who are too often invisible. Folks who are deaf and/or experience disability, sickness, or chronic pain share their stories and their art in the publication. Further, it is intersectional, calling for submissions from people of all races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, religions, and sexual identities.

On Sunday, February 26, at 2 p.m., the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD, will host a reading and exhibition opening featuring poets, writers, and visual artists whose work is included in the journal. Founder and poetry editor Sarah Katz will be joined by Gregory Luce, Jen Stein, Camisha Jones, Carrie Addington, and Isis Nelson. Artwork from the journal will be on view in the Reading Room throughout the spring.

Each poet, essayist, and artist has, of course, their own personality, backstory, joys, and struggles. Their work explores the complexity of life as a whole and brings to the forefront voices that demand and certainly deserve visibility.

“I’ve been so pleased by the work that we’ve received,” Katz says. “It’s an enormous privilege to read, view, and share all of the incredible work that people are doing…It’s such a gift to see that happening and see people connect with each other.”

More than a journal, the Deaf Poets Society is a call to action — to both the disabled and abled — to seek social justice for all marginalized peoples. The bimonthly publication launched in August 2016. To read the free journal online, submit your work, or make a donation to support the project, please click here

To attend the reading and opening reception, RSVP to vanessa.mallorykotz@writer.org or just show up. It’s free, and all are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

[Images left to right: "Curvature" by Erin Clark, digital photograph, 2016; "Flying Too Close to the Sun" by Anastasia Keck, mixed media, 2015; "Anna" by Peter James, oil on canvas, 2015.]
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