Neoteny: Poems


Product Details

Finishing Line Press
Publish Date
5.51 X 0.11 X 8.5 inches | 0.15 pounds
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About the Author

Emily K. Michael is a blind poet, musician, and writing instructor from Jacksonville, FL. Since 2016, she has worked as the associate poetry editor for Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Wordgathering, The Hopper, Artemis Journal, The South Carolina Review, The Deaf Poets Society, Nine Mile Magazine, Bridge Eight, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog, Barriers and Belonging, and AWP Writer's Notebook. Her first chapbook manuscript Natural Compliance won Honorable Mention in The Hopper's 2016 Prize for Young Poets. Emily's work centers on ecology, disability, and music. She develops grammar workshops for multilingual learners and delivers poetry workshops for writers at all levels. She regularly reads at Jax By Jax, a yearly literary festival celebrating Jacksonville writers. Emily is passionate about grammar, singing, birding, and guide dogs. Find more of her work at http: //


"Neoteny is a remarkable chapbook of ars poeticas, Blind pride and love poems. One poem has me thinking of Edna St. Vincent Millay; another of John Milton. This is an impressive debut."

--Jillian Weise, The Book of Goodbyes

"Emily K. Michael's poems are, to borrow her own phrase, 'Spoken with brave sweetness.' Refreshingly lyrical and non-didactic, her work represents a new voice in disability writing, one that is addressed to friends and loved ones rather than to an anonymous and hostile public. This collection creates an intimate space in which insiders and outsiders alike can feel at home."

--John Lee Clark, Where I Stand

"Neoteny weaves together a Dickensonian garden of sensual details. But this collection is more than a biosphere of pleasure. The blind body is centered in many poems, as is Michael's frustration when blindness is not "convenient' or 'popular.' Where other political poets get loud, Michael gets soft, and where other political poems explode, these poems smolder. A vital magic occurs when Michael folds the bloom of young romance into the intimacy of care and care-taking that people with disabilities do for each other. This collection has a quiet intense power. The poems will sneak up on you. They don't shout."

--Jill Khoury, Suites for the Modern Dancer