Although the magazine’s emphasis is poetry, and the editors have a special interest in translations of contemporary poetry from around the world, Seneca Review also routinely features the “lyric essays”- a fascinating sub-genre that straddles the essay and the lyric poem and on which “The Lyric Body” focuses. In 1997, under the associate editorship of John D’Agata ’95, Seneca Review began publishing the “lyric essay,” and has since featured featured work by Anne Carson, Bernard Cooper, Fanny Howe, Wayne Koestenbaum, Honor Moore, Mary Oliver, David Shields, Joe Wenderoth, Terry Tempest Williams, and many others.
This issue showcases not only the lyric essay itself but the mode in the context of the “Lyric Body,” which, as David Weiss, HWS Professor of English and editor of Seneca Review, says, focuses on writers with disabilities and writers of difference who reflect on their lives and the lives of those that matter to them.
“The Lyric Body” is being released in tandem with Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Disability and the Arts Festival, held in partnership with the Collaborative of the Finger Lakes throughout the month of April.
To kick off the month of activities, Stephen Kuusisto ’78 and Ralph Savarese, co-editors of “The Lyric Body,” and Susanne Antonetta, whose essay “Dis” appears in the issue, will participate in a symposium, moderated by Weiss, focused on writing and disability. The symposium, “Autism, Blindness, Neurodiversity and the Lyric Body,” will be held on Thursday, April 8 at 4:30 p.m. in the Sanford Room in the Warren Hunting Smith Library. The following afternoon, Kuusisto, Savarese and Antonetta will conduct a writing workshop open to all interested teachers, students and writers from 1 to 3 p.m. in the in the Fisher Center.
“We got the idea of holding a symposium from some writers in the issue,” says Weiss. “Before long, we conceived of an event that would be not just about disability but by artists with disability with the goal of encouraging the most inclusive audience we could reach. The aim of the festival is to showcase the achievements of artists, writers, actors, filmmakers and performers with disabilities, and to make their art available to others with disabilities and to the general community. We want to celebrate the work and lives of these artists, and we want to give them an opportunity, through workshops and classes, to share their craft and skills and vision. We hope to inspire critical conversation about issues of inclusion, normalcy, creativity and art.”
For more information on the Festival, click here.
Seneca Review, founded in 1970 by HWS Professor Emeritus of English James Crenner and Ira Sadoff and formerly edited by the late Deborah Tall, professor of English, is usually published twice yearly, spring and fall, by Hobart and William Smith Colleges Press.
Publisher of numerous laureates and award-winning poets, including Seamus Heaney, Rita Dove, Jorie Graham, Yusef Komunyakaa, Lisel Mueller, Wislawa Szymborska, Charles Simic, W.S. Merwin, and Eavan Boland, Seneca Review also consistently publishes emerging writers and is always open to new, innovative work.
Past special features have included Irish women’s poetry and Irish prison poetry; Israeli women’s poetry; Polish, Catalan, and Albanian poetry; and an issue of essays devoted to Hayden Carruth.
Poems from Seneca Review are regularly honored by inclusion in The Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize anthologies.