We look forward to seeing you this September at &Now: Points of Convergence!
Registration is now open. Please visit Ticketspice to reserve your pass and order boxed lunches.
Complete conference details, including travel, accessibility, and technology information, can be found at the conference website: andnowfestival.com.
General Inquiries: andnowfestival2019@gmail.com.
Registration questions: iasinfo@uw.edu.

Back To Schedule
Friday, September 20 • 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Neurodivergent Poetics: The Writing Lives of Exceptional Minds

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
The human mind comes in endless variations, but those that fall outside the neurotypical norm are often dismissed as incapable, unreachable, or unworthy. Could “deficits” also double as lyrical gifts? Could an atypical orientation to the world generate surprising possibilities for poetry? As Chris Martin writes, “Poetry is sensory-rich, patterned language. Autism is characterized by sensory-rich, patterned thought. All the so-called deficits of autistic thought turn out to be strengths in the realm of poetry.” But the world at large is not a realm of poetry. Or is it? Lauren Russell asks, “What if the mind that gives me an intuitive sense for repetition and musicality in poetry is also the mind that holds me hostage to sometimes nearly debilitating OCD?” If some neurodivergent poets experience a tension between celebration and survival, between limitation and possibility, how does that tension manifest on and off the page? And how does neurodiversity intersect with other identities and experiences, in/through poetry and outside it? Naima Tokunow writes, “While our neurodivergence does not define us, it is a part of us. It is too often silenced, erased, made invisible.” What can those silences and erasures yield? Or can poetry transform them? “How might poetry lure a person into language,” DJ Savarese asks, “offering them a chance to be in two places at one time: the linguistic and the sensory, the human and the non-human?” In this roundtable, we will explore these and other questions at the intersection of neurodiversity and poetics.

avatar for Chris Martin

Chris Martin

Executive Director, Unrestricted Interest
Chris Martin’s fourth book of poetry, Things to Do in Hell, will be published by Coffee House Press in 2020. He is the recipient of grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. He is the co-founder and executive director... Read More →
avatar for Saretta Morgan

Saretta Morgan

Saretta Morgan (She/Her): Saretta Morgan is a poet and artist. Her recent work engages ecology and Black migration to the U.S Southwest. She lives between Mohave Valley and Phoenix, AZ, where she supports the humanitarian aid work of No More Deaths Phx.
avatar for Lauren Russell

Lauren Russell

Research Assistant Professor/Assistant Director, Center for African American Poetry and Poetics, University of Pittsburgh
Lauren Russell is the author of What’s Hanging on the Hush (Ahsahta, 2017) an Descent (Tarpaulin Sky, 2020). A 2017 NEA Creative Writing Fellow in Poetry, she has received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, The Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, VIDA/The Home School... Read More →
avatar for DJ Savarese

DJ Savarese

Community Youth Fellow, OSF/ Human Rights Initiative
DJ Savarese has written a chapbook entitled A Doorknob for the Eye. Other poems and prose have appeared in literary journals, such as The Iowa Review, Bellingham Review, Seneca Review, Prospect, Stone Canoe, wordgathering.com, Autism in Adulthood and Nine Mile Magazine. “Passive... Read More →
avatar for Naima Yael Tokunow

Naima Yael Tokunow

Naima Yael Tokunow is an educator, writer, editor, & artist currently living in New Mexico. She is the author of two chapbooks, Planetary Bodies, published in 2019 by Black Warrior Review, and MAKE WITNESS, published in 2016 by Zoo Cake Press. A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, she... Read More →

Adam Wolfond

Adam Wolfond is a 17-year-old non-speaking autistic grade 11 student. Adam attends The A Collective, which is a teaching-learning community supporting neurodiversity and also, The YMCA Academy in Toronto, Canada. His work includes public speaking by typing, creative writing, poetry... Read More →

Friday September 20, 2019 1:15pm - 2:30pm PDT