Event flyer with white lettering on red ticker tape: InspiredWordNYC’s Tuesday Night Showcase and Open Mic, 7-10 PM EST, April 13. Mike Geffner presents The Inspired Word. (fountain pen with blood ink graphic). Underlying image is microphone with a spotlight on a misty background: Singer songwriter Nick Sumner, 7pm (headshot. Writer M. Leona Godin (I’m sitting cross-legged in black with silver sunglasses and my silver laptop on my lap in front of a portion of Ingres’s painting “The Apotheosis of Homer.”

Featured Artist at Inspired Word

I’m excited to be one of two featured performers at the Inspired Word Tuesday Night World Showcase and Open Mic! Come check out my half-hour performance of selections from There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural History of Blindness (Pantheon Books, June 2021), and consider a performance of your own!

Tickets at Eventbrite.

More about There Plant Eyes

A probing, witty, and deeply insightful history of blindness—in Western culture and literature, and in the author’s own experience—that ranges from Homer and Milton to Louis Braille, Helen Keller, and Stevie Wonder

  1. Leona Godin begins her fascinating, wide-ranging study with an exploration of how the idea of sight is inextricably linked with knowledge and understanding; how “blindness” has, for millennia, been used as a metaphor for ignorance; and how, in metaphorical terms, blindness can also be made to suggest a door to artistic or spiritual transcendence. And she makes clear how all of this has obscured the reality of blindness, as a consequence of which many blind people have to deal not just with their disability but also with expectations that they possess “superpowers.”

Godin illuminates the often surprising history of both the physiological condition and the ideas that have attached to it. She incorporates an analysis of blindness in art and literature (from King Lear to Star Wars) and culture (assumptions of the blind as pure and magically wise) with a study of the science of blindness and key developments in accessibility (the white cane, embossed printing, digital technology) and a recounting of her own experience of gradually losing sight over the course of three decades. Altogether, Godin gives us a revelation of the centrality of blindness and vision to humanity’s understanding of itself and the world.

More about the Inspired Word

Founded and produced by longtime New York City journalist and former Village Voice columnist Mike Geffner, The Inspired Word is one of the hottest open mic/performance events in the country, happening every week in NYC and having featured some of the finest original performers in the country. Past features include Golden Globe award-winning actress Jill Eikenberry, Emmy/Golden Globe nominated Amber Tamblyn, film/TV actor/comedian Taylor Negron, actor/comedian/TV personality John Fugelsang, Grammy nominated singer Carolyn Malachi, American Idol finalist Anwar Robinson, and HBO Def Poetry stars Shihan, Suheir Hammad, Lemon Andersen, Regie CabicoGemineye, and Beau Sia. For more info, please visit: http://inspiredwordnyc.com/

There Plant Eyes Book Tour 2021!

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