Thank you, Poetry Daily, for This Honor…

 I’ve been designated the “Featured Poet” for today at Poetry Daily.  Needless to say I’m delighted.  I’m grateful, too.



Professor Stephen Kuusisto is the author of Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening” and the acclaimed memoir Planet of the Blind, a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”. His second collection of poems from Copper Canyon Press, “Letters to Borges has just been released. Listen to Steve read “Letter to Borges in His Parlor” in this fireside reading via YouTube. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled What a Dog Can Do. Steve speaks widely on diversity, disability, education, and public policy.,

Just Released! Letters to Borges by Stephen Kuusisto (Copper Canyon Press)

Stephen Kuusisto Reads from Letters to Borges, His New Book of Poems

JUST RELEASED!  Best-selling memoirist Stephen Kuusisto uses the themes of travel, place, religion, music, art, and loneliness to explore the relationship between seeing, blindness, and being. In poems addressed to Jorge Luis Borges—another poet who lived with blindness—Kuusisto leverages seeing as negative capability, creating intimacy with deep imagination and uncommon perceptions.

If you enjoyed this reading and would like to listen to several more poems from Letters to Borges, it’s easy enough to arrange.  This FREE recording is yours to enjoy at your leisure, preferably from your favorite cozy chair with a cup of coffee or a nice glass of wine in hand. Simply fill in the “Join me for a cozy ‘fireside’ poetry reading…” form found to the right of this blog post or make your request below.


Seth Abramson Seth Abramson, Poet

Kuusisto’s is a life one wants to know, detailed sparingly by a man one wants to know, inscribed in a generic form one finds oneself not merely compelled but honored to read. Letters to Borges is highly recommended for those who still find honor and beauty in both simplicity and–can it be?–actually having something to say.  Read more of Seth Abramson’s reviewfrom the Huffington Post,  Huff Post Books, November 2012


If we account for Kuusisto’s restricted sight, the brilliance of his verse acquires deeper resonance, for his work imagines a realm between sight and sound composed of the sensory stimuli we all know and recognize, but split, fractured, and juxtaposed to inhabit the mind’s ear of his readers, a feat unique to this truly gifted poet. — Diego Báez, Booklist Advanced Review


Professor Stephen Kuusisto is the author of Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening” and the acclaimed memoir Planet of the Blind, a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”.  His second collection of poems from Copper Canyon Press, “Letters to Borges has just been released.  He is currently working on a book tentatively titled What a Dog Can Do.  Steve speaks widely on diversity, disability, education, and public policy.,

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 Join me for a cozy “fireside” poetry reading…



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Free poetry book: "Only Bread, Only Light"

Congratulations – and thank you – to Cindy Leland!

Cindy purchased a copy of Stephen Kuusisto’s new book, , “Letters to Borges, and saved $ by taking
advantage of the pre-order price. In so doing, she also entered a random drawing and is the winner this week of an autographed copy of “Only Bread, OnlyLight”, Steve’s first book of poetry (Copper Canyon Press).

Will you be next week’s winner?


Professor Stephen Kuusisto is the author of Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening” and the acclaimed memoir Planet of the Blind, a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”. His second collection of poems from Copper Canyon Press, “Letters to Borges,
is scheduled for release in October 2012.  In addition to giving
literary readings, Steve speaks widely on diversity, disability,
education, and public policy.

Letters to Borges: Pre-order and save!

Hey friends and poetry lovers!

UPDATE: “Letters to Borges” is now scheduled for a mid-November release.

We are now counting down to the release next month of Steve’s new book! Amazon is offering a special pre-order price (details below!) and Steve would like to sweeten the deal.  Take advantage of Amazon’s offer,  email a copy of your receipt to and you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win an autographed copy of  “Only Bread, Only Light”, Steve’s first book of poems  (Copper Canyon Press).  (If you already have a copy, it would make a great gift for another poetry lover!)

Unless notified otherwise, the scheduled publication date of “Letters to Borges” is October 15th.  Steve will hold one random drawing a week between now and then, and the final drawing will be held on the actual date his new book is released.  That means you will have a minimum of 5 chances to win if you order now.  Winners names will be posted.

1st random drawing: Sept. 19 – Congrats and thank you to Erin Coughlin Hollowell!
2nd random drawing: Sept. 26 – Congrats and thank you to Cindy Leland!
3rd random drawing: Oct. 3 – Congrats and thank you to Shirley Merrill!
4th random drawing: Oct. 10 – Congrats and thank you Karen Rudloff!
Final drawing: actual release date of “Letters to Borges” (scheduled for Oct. 15)


Letters to Borges [Paperback]
Stephen Kuusisto (Author)
List Price: $16.00
Price: $10.88 Eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
You Save: $5.12 (32%)
Pre-order Price Guarantee. Learn more.

This title has not yet been released.
You may pre-order it now and we will deliver it to you when it arrives.
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Nice T Shirt!

My friend, the physician Edwin Stone is very tall. He is closer to 7 than six feet. Another one of my friends, the poet Kenny Fries is 5 feet and a few centimeters. Last evening I had dinner with these two fine men and several loved ones.

Ed mentioned the invasive conversations he sometimes has with strangers who see him in public and who ask him things like: "Hey, do you play basketball? How did you get to be so tall?"

Both Kenny and I know a good deal about this kind of invasive questioning and of course that’s why Ed brought the matter to the table. It isn’t just the disabled body that attracts befuddled questions "out there".

We wondered about the potential of humankind to overcome its outmoded neo-classical ardor for a select human body type. We want to live free lives; lives of imagination and curiosity; lives without self-contempt or endless hand wringing about our legs or faces.

The most dreadful thing of all of course is the relentless business of metaphorizing the disabled body as a type of aesthetic sensibility. I read an interview recently with a nonfiction writer who says that he writes formless essays that are, in his mind, akin to the idea of "armlessness"—in his imagination a man without arms represents a sort of "gross deviance" which of course in this guy’s view is avant garde when rendered as a symbol for literary activity.

This is a puerile idea and its older than Ahab’s peg leg. There’s a lot of boring ableism in contemporary American literary writing. Or to put this another way: weak writers always turn the broken body into a representation of stylized abjection, a process that is both decadent and uninteresting.

I have started thinking about wearing a T shirt that says: "I’m Always Your Metaphor".

We were pleased to have hosted Kenny Fries at the University of Iowa and you can hear his marvelous radio interview and reading at Prairie Lights Bookstore by visiting their website.



A Short History of Disability Poetry

The History of My Shoes: Field Work with Body and Soul