This week's Strange Horizons issue appeared as 2018 changed to 2019. It contained four poems and nothing else. What linked these four poems, which were all drawn from general submissions, and are not unlike other poems we have published over the last several years?

The answer: They are part of the tradition of crip poetry, a poetic style or poetic identity which centers the viewpoint of a disabled writer and challenges the idea that an ablebodied state is normal or default. It reclaims the word "crip" and the right to be subject instead of object. It's part of the larger disability arts movement within disability activism, making the invisible visible.

Invisibly, Strange Horizons publishes a fair amount of crip poetry. It's usually a coincidence. It's good poetry. We're glad it exists.

Each of the poems in this issue:

  1. was written by a poet who openly identifies as disabled (included with their permission)
  2. in some way describes human embodiment
  3. does not assume a body is something that can be taken for granted or works the same way for everyone
  4. has a strong speculative element (this is after all Strange Horizons).

Beyond those similarities, the poems encompass a broad spectrum of experience and subgenre. "Spare Parts," by Elizabeth Kestrel Rogers, is science fiction about a prosthesis. "Breaking," by Marlane Quade Cook, is high fantasy about unending battle. "La Belle est la Bête," by Milouchkna, is a fairy tale retelling focused on mutual caretaking. "in the Cult of Nearly-Lost Dreams," by Tamara Jerée, is surreal horror (or dark fantasy) about continually altered capabilities and physical identities.

If you solved the unstated riddle of this issue before it was asked, congratulations! If you didn't notice anything unusual about it, that's wonderful as well. Keep an eye out (or don't) for the rest of the year. There will be more, I'm sure.



Romie Stott is poetry co-editor of Strange Horizons.
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Current Issue
20 Jan 2020

By: Justin C. Key
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Justin C. Key's “One Hand in the Coffin.”
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Jessica P. Wick's “Sap and Superstition.”
I love the idea of representing folk stories and showcasing the culture of my country in a different way.
But I thought of apple skin clinging to a curve, yet unshaped by apple-sorcery.
Corey slipped his hand into the puppet’s back, like he had done many times with the doctor who made him talk about Michael and bathtubs and redness. His breath and stomach squeezed whenever he reached into dark, invisible places.
Wednesday: Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, translated by Julia Meitov Hersey 
Friday: Small Waiting Objects by T. D. Walker 
Issue 13 Jan 2020
By: Julianna Baggott
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Terese Mason Pierre
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Terese Mason Pierre
Issue 6 Jan 2020
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Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Nikoline Kaiser
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Issue 23 Dec 2019
By: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Dec 2019
By: Osahon Ize-Iyamu
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Liu Chengyu
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 9 Dec 2019
By: SL Harris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessy Randall
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Dec 2019
By: Sheldon Costa
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mari Ness
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 25 Nov 2019
By: Nisa Malli
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Nisa Malli
Issue 18 Nov 2019
By: Marika Bailey
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Alicia Cole
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Nov 2019
By: Rivqa Rafael
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mary McMyne
By: Ugonna-Ora Owoh
Podcast read by: Mary McMyne
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 28 Oct 2019
By: Kelly Stewart
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kelly Stewart
Monday: Aniara 
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