Brain Awareness Week Public Lecture: Ralph James Savarese, MFA, Ph.D.

Grinnell College and Humanities Writ Large Fellow at Duke

Poetic Potential in Autism: Neurodiversity's Unexpected Boon

This event is a free, public lecture during Brain Awareness Week@Duke. Learn more about Brain Awareness Week@Duke.

Ralph James Savarese is the author of Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption (Other Press 2007), which Newsweek called a “real life love story and a passionate manifesto for the rights of people with neurological disabilities.” It won the Independent Publishers Gold Medal in the category of health/medicine/nutrition, and a chapter was selected as a “notable essay” in the Best American Essays series of 2004. The book was featured on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” (twice), ABC’s Nightly News with Charles Gibson,” and NPR’s “Diane Rehm Show.” It was reviewed, or mentioned, quite favorably in Newsweek, GQ, Body & Soul, Disability Studies Quarterly, and numerous other journals and web sites.

He is the co-editor of Papa PhD: Men in the Academy Write about Fatherhood (Rutgers University Press 2011). He is also the co-editor of a special issue of Disability Studies Quarterly entitled “Autism and the Concept of Neurodiversity,” which includes the work of some forty contributors (half of whom are on the spectrum), and a special issue of Seneca Review entitled “The Lyrical Body.” His long article “Nervous Wrecks and Ginger-nuts: Bartleby at a Standstill” won the Herman Melville Society’s Hennig Cohen Prize for an “outstanding contribution to Melville Scholarship.” His recent essay “The Lobes of Autobiography: Poetry & Autism” was one of two finalists for the Donald Murray Prize for the best published essay on writing from the National Council for the Teachers of English, and it was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

His criticism has appeared, or will soon appear, in American Disasters (NYU Press), Disability Studies Quarterly, Hearts of Darkness: Melville and Conrad in the Space of World Culture, the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability, Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, Politics and Culture, and Prose Studies. His poems, creative nonfiction, and translations have appeared in American Poetry Review, ACM (Another Chicago Magazine), Autism Perspectives, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cream City Review, Edge City Review, Flyway, For New Orleans and Other Poems, Graham House Review, Gravity Draws You In, Modern Poetry In Translation, New England Review, the New York Times, Papa PhD: Men in the Academy Write About Fatherhood (Rutgers University Press), Poet Lore, Poetry International, Poetry Motel, The Poker, Potpourri, Rattle, Segue, Seneca Review, Sewanee Review, Southern Humanities Review, Southern Poetry Review, Southwest Review, and Stone Canoe. His reviews have appeared in American Book Review, and his opinion pieces have appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Austin American Statesman, the Baltimore Sun, the Cincinnati Post, the Dallas Morning News, the Des Moines Register, the Gainesville Sun, the Houston Chronicle, the Huffington Post, the LA Times, the Louisville Courier Journal, and the Tallahassee Democrat.

He is currently working on a number of projects: a scholarly monograph entitled Melville’s Minds on Melville and cognitive difference; a book on neuro-poetics entitled A Dispute with Nouns: Autism, Poetry, and the Sensing Body; a novel entitled Republican Fathers; and a book of poems entitled The World Is a Fine Place. He teaches American literature, creative writing, and disability studies at Grinnell College in Iowa.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

07:00PM - 08:00PM


Fullsteam Brewery
This event is not on campus.