Writhing Writing: Moving Towards a Mad Poetics

Autonomous Press

Writhing Writing: Moving Towards a Mad Poetics

“To dive into Phil Smith’s writing – a dazzling blend of poetry, ethnography, social critique, and gleefully mad wordplay – can feel more like taking a psychedelic drug than like reading the work of a distinguished scholar. And yet, a distinguished scholar he is. For two decades, he has been a bold trailblazer and innovator in the realms of education, disability studies, mad studies, neurodiversity, and poetry, and in exploring how these realms can interconnect and inform one another. Each chapter of this book is a poetic thought experiment that shreds cultural norms and assumptions, points the way toward new creative directions in scholarship, and might make your brain explode.”

- Nick Walker, Author, educator, and neurodiversity scholar

This book won the American Educational Studies Association / Critics' Choice Award in 2020.

Early Reviewers Say:

“Read it for its blistering critique of professionally sanctioned ableism, for its expansive ethnographic style, but especially for its vision of a world that understands and embraces neurodiversity.” - Douglas Biklen, Author of Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone and Communication Unbound

“To read these writhing writings in their collectivity, rather than in their previous isolation, is a magnificent and humbling experience. Immerse yourself in the powerful im/possibilities of language, of metaphor, of poetics, and of truth/story/telling, and join Phil Smith and others in the imagining and the neuroqueering and the making of the multiverse that must, and shall, follow.” - Alicia Broderick, Professor, Montclair State University

“Phil Smith is a master with words. He plays with them, with their literal meanings, their connotations, and how they are used to silence and define disabled people.... This book is a manifesto against ableism.” - Amy Sequenzia, autistic activist, writer, and poet

“He stretches, twists, bends, morphs, nudges, and explodes the stale mantras of disability and schooling. Phil Smith is like no other. Binaries implode under his gaze.... Here, gathered together through the visions of Autonomous Press, is a compilation of Phil’s mad explorations of human marginalization that challenge us all and helped ignite a field now called Disability Studies in/on Education. Ethereal poetry, art, drama, and a fascination for culture, historiography, and the absurd blasts us into a stratosphere of disability possibility. Be forewarned: he tells us immediately, ‘But then, I’m crazy as a motherfucker…’” - Chris Kliewer, Author of Seeing All Kids as Readers and Schooling Children with Down Syndrome: Toward an Understanding of Possibility

NOTE: This book is not available for Kindle or other e-readers because the intricate formatting of the text, which is integral to the author's message, could not be preserved in e-reader formats. The PDF version of the book, which preserves the formatting and can be read on tablets and computers, is available directly from our Shopify sales channel. 

ISBN: 978-1-945955-10-5
Publication Date: 6/14/2018
Book Type: B&W 5.5 x 8.5 in or 254 x 203 mm Perfect Bound on White w/Matte Lam Cover
Page Count: 186


$ 25.00