Aromatica Poetica's Blind Writers Project
Aromatica Poetica is an online magazine that explores the arts & sciences of smell & taste. Stories and poems, reviews, excerpts such as Proust's madeleine, interviews with rose growers, distillers, and blind organic chemists, and essays on the botanicals in gin and chemistry of the scent of blood, are just some of the things you'll find on Aromatica Poetica.
Although it is not a website for or about blindness, Aromatica Poetica does seek to shape the world in a direction that is a little more blind-friendly, by encouraging intelligent engagement with the senses of smell and taste, which , by so often escaping our notice, are rendered all the more powerful. As Proust famously reminds us, "After the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time."
There are not enough blind and visually impaired writers getting published in the world, and when they are, they are often urged to write about blindness. I experience this first hand. Aromatica Poetica's Blind Writers Project seeks to celebrate blind voices without explicitly considering blindness. This campaign will solicit submissions from blind writers and pay them for their efforts in fiction nonfiction and poetry, as well as feature one author each month for four months on the website and on social media. I hope to expand ideas about smell and taste, as well as encourage and highlight the work of blind people, who are so often depicted in the media, and yet are so rarely the authors of those depictions. Aromatica Poetica wishes to celebrate perceptual experiences that are often overlooked or discounted. "Without the shy, fugitive, often unobserved sensations and the certainties which taste, smell, and touch give me," Helen Keller wrote in The World I Live In, "I should be obliged to take my conception of the universe wholly from others."
What our grantee is saying: "Aromatica Poetica, a magazine dedicated to the arts & sciences of smell & taste is thrilled to use this grant to pay four blind or visually impaired writers and feature their work on our website. Thank you Awesome Disability!"
Funded by Disability (November 2018)