A lively and imaginative debut, Neoteny explores blindness, family, and birdsong. In these poems, Emily K. Michael meditates on literary and personal heroes like Jo March, her beloved grandmother, and her guide dog. This collection is rich with treasures from childhood - the honey-colored piano Michael played, the fig tree in her front yard, and the trays of fresh mint drying on her grandmother's table.
The poems move between a child mind and an adult's perspective as Michael contemplates the rich emotional power of commonplace objects and the way her own blindness complicates everyday situations. Emily K. Michael is a blind poet, musician, and writing instructor from Jacksonville, FL. Since 2016, she has worked as the associate poetry editor for Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Wordgathering, The Hopper, Artemis Journal, The South Carolina Review, The Deaf Poets Society, Nine Mile Magazine, Bridge Eight, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog, Barriers and Belonging, and AWP Writer's Notebook.
Her first chapbook manuscript Natural Compliance won Honorable Mention in The Hopper's 2016 Prize for Young Poets. Emily's work centers on ecology, disability, and music. She develops grammar workshops for multilingual learners and delivers poetry workshops for writers at all levels. She regularly reads at Jax By Jax, a yearly literary festival celebrating Jacksonville writers. Emily is passionate about grammar, singing, birding, and guide dogs. Find more of her work at http://emilykmichael.com.