(SOLD OUT) the way out is the way in

the way out is the way in

an anthology of disabled poets

Edited by Stuart Ian McKay

September 2021


Sophia N Ashley, Roxanna Bennett, Ashley-Elizabeth Best, Virginia Boudreau, Anna Cavouras, Leanne Charette, Sile Englert, Victor Enns, Meharoona Ghani, Amy LeBlanc, Valerie Losell, Katie MacLean, Margarita Papenbrock, Kelly S Thompson, nancy viva davis halifax

From the introduction

these poems reveal how we encounter our disability.  our disability compels us to confront the strange minutiae of life – those many small tasks that can overwhelm us – and the larger issues:  relationships, discrimination, pain, joy, confusion.  our disability colours everything.  i encountered my own disability while reading through the many submissions.  in my need to give each poet justice, i read only a select number at a time.  i didn’t want to exhaust myself, make hasty, poor choices out of an anxiety-ridden desire to get it done.  too much mental weight makes a poet a dull boy.  writing is always slow for me.  my learning disability makes it difficult for me to find and express my thoughts and language.  my visual disability means i must write by hand on paper.  this is not a complaint, it is mere fact, and acknowledging this fact helps me see how we all share one essential trait:  perseverance.  our ability to persevere, to succeed beyond what other non-disabled persons expect, perhaps even desire to witness, gives us dignity and power, and, most of all a potent joyfulness.

if our disability is anything, it is a fire.  we give our fire – our work, our own personal story back out to the world, not hoping for a grand conflagration, but a beacon for an ever-opening world.

let us stay there, writing that world into existence for everyone.  let us make a new kind of history there, together.  we have a good work to do.  come on, let’s go…

About the Editor

Stuart Ian McKay is a Calgary poet. His poetry and nonfiction have been published in many Canadian journals and anthologies. His second book of poetry  a cognate of prayer is a series of four long poems celebrating the lives of persons with disabilities. even the idea of maya is maya, a poetry chapbook, was published by Frog Hollow Press in 2019 as part of its Dis/Ability Series. Stuart serves on the poetry editorial collective of filling station magazine. He is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets.