Clemson University

Make No Apologies for Yourself: New Poems by Disabled Poets

Earlier this year, poets Jillian Weise and Khadijah Queen curated two selections of poems for the New York Times’s Disability series, a selection of essays, art and opinion by and about people living with disabilities. Seven of the poems from the series will be exhibited at Cooper Library in October as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), in collaboration with Cooper Library and the Clemson Accessibility Commission. Read the selections in their entirety at the New York Times: Make No Apologies for Yourself and We Will Not Be Exorcised.


From Jillian Weise and Khadijah Queen:


Our goals here are many. In curating this group of poems, we want to show aesthetic range, thematic variety, and formal power. We don’t want to repeat the ableist claims that appear so often in the media, even sometimes in this paper, that disability is a condition to be cured; Deafness is a condition to be cochlear-ed. These claims are ignorant of disability pride, Deaf pride, and our culture. In offering this work, we reject the stereotypes and misconceptions disabled people deal with every day from nondisabled people, and even from other disabled people. We refuse to box the poems in by requiring a fidelity to subject. It is enough that the poets say: I am disabled and/or Deaf. The poems can do anything.




Sandra Beasley is the author of three poetry collections and a food allergy memoir. She lives in Washington, D.C.


John Lee Clark is the author of the essay collection “Where I Stand” and a proponent of the Protactile movement who frequently works with DeafBlind communities.


Meg Day is the author of the book of poems “Last Psalm at Sea Level.” They teach at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania.


Rigoberto González is the author of 17 books of poetry and prose. He is currently director of the Masters of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at Rutgers-Newark.


Cade Leebron lives in Columbus, Ohio. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, American Literary Review, The Establishment, and elsewhere.


Khadijah Queen (@authorKQ) is the author of five books of poetry and hybrid prose, most recently “I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men and What I Had On.” She is currently working on a memoir.


Glenis Redmond is the author of two books of poetry, “What My Hand Say” and “Under the Sun.” She is the poet-in-residence at The Peace Center in Greenville, S.C., and at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, N.J.


Dennis James Sweeney is a poet and a doctoral candidate at the University of Denver.


Jillian Weise is the author of four books, including the forthcoming collection of poems, “Cyborg Detective.” She performs as the nondisabled writer Tipsy Tullivan across social media.


L. Lamar Wilson is the author of the poetry collection “Sacrilegion.” His poem “Resurrection Sunday” inspired the documentary film, “The Changing Same” in the upcoming season of PBS’s POV film series.

Monday, October 21, 2019 to 12:00am

Cooper Library, Lobby
116 Sigma Dr., Clemson, SC 29634, USA

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Special Events

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All Audiences



Contact Name:

Kelsey Sheaffer

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