TPE Book Celebration and Conversation with Steve Kuusisto and Elizabeth Bearden at NYU (In-Person & Online)

Co-sponsored by the Modern and Contemporary Colloquium and the Center for Disability Studies at NYU There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural History of Blindness (Pantheon, 2021) is now out in paperback! To mark the occasion, author M. Leona Godin (NYU) will be joined by Stephen Kuusisto (Syracuse University) and Elisabeth Bearden (University of Wisconsin, Madison) to read from their… Read more

Blindness and Insight from ‘King Lear’ to ‘Jane Eyre’ – First Day of Class!

For the first time, I’m designing my own course for NYU: “Blindness and Insight from King Lear to Jane Eyre”! Those who’ve read There Plant Eyes may guess some of the subject matter, but I’ll go a little more deep theory in the classroom. This link is to the current course offerings, in the English dept, but you have to… Read more

Footnote on ‘So Lucky’ by Nicola Griffith

I first read So Lucky (2018) by Nicola Griffith not long after it was published. I remembered loving it and laughing out loud several times. Somehow the darkness and creepiness had slipped my mind. Upon rereading it for this Footnote in honor of Disability Pride Month, I experienced all the feels, as the kids say! Griffith is a fantastic writer… Read more

#HappyBirthdayHelenKeller and Hello #DisabilityPrideMonth!

About 15 years ago I first learned that Helen Keller performed in vaudeville. As I discuss in There Plant Eyes, I was moonlighting as a performance artist with the Art Stars of the Lower East Side when I stumbled upon the delicious fact that Helen and Annie did the vaudeville circuit for 4 years (1920-24), I instantly knew it would… Read more

Footnote on ‘Invisible Child’ by Andrea Elliott

Andrea Elliott was recently announced as the Pulitzer winner in nonfiction for Invisible Child: poverty, survival, and hope in an American city (Random House, 2021). I was honored to have a conversation with her during the Virtual Monster Book Tour for There Plant Eyes. During that conversation and others over the past couple years, we’ve talked about visibility and invisibility.… Read more

The Brain-Smashing, Pity-Bashing Art of Blind Punks

“You must sing like an angel,” a woman said to me as I prepared to go onstage with my “Avant Accordion Brain Smash” act in a Brooklyn warehouse performance space. She either did not notice my hand-sewn black bustier, or decided that my white cane rendered all the badassery surrounding it null. When I began bellowing about some murderous renaissance… Read more