In this arresting and vital book, we are reminded why Hershey was such a resounding figure in the disability community and why her poems continue to be read at protest marches as well as in classrooms. Her words touch truths, beautiful and uncomfortable, unflinching in their challenge to us to always live as true as possible to our broken and beautiful bodies, in a beautiful and broken world, the world that her poems so vividly create. This is a necessary and profound book, the one we have been waiting for since the loss of Hershey almost a decade ago.
Laura Hershey’s poems are always innervating - lovely and lyrical, audacious and delightful. They never bore. Reading them, I’m reminded of how poetry is transformative - how it is radical, in fact, reordering the jumbled misapprehensions of the world. Making things new again. They don’t ask permission. They speed. They sing.
Laura Hershey was one of the first crip poets out there, unabashedly swinging her queer crip self fully engaged in her words, fully alive to possibility while never neglecting the immediacy of her disabled life. These poems clear space for all of us to enact ourselves more fully, to live out loud however we might speak, to think and live outside the box, and the next box, and the next. Laura’s poems are are not just lithe and luminous, they are also useful, which is a great good thing. Again and again she followed her own advice and wrote the poems she needed to hear—and gave us poems that we need too. These poems, and the thoughtful and provocative essays about them, are a real gift.