Friday, April 11, 2008

Washington Blade writes about Helen Keller poetry book

Kathi Wolfe

The Washington Blade wrote about the newly published poetry chapbook of writer Kathi Wolfe April 11. Wolfe, a Virginia poet and freelance writer, recently published Helen Takes the Stage: The Helen Keller Poems (which I blogged about April 1).

The article says, Wolfe, a lesbian who has been legally blind since birth, has had a life-long interest in the famous deaf-blind woman, but Wolfe said she "wrote the poems in the book after her initial impressions of Keller began to change.

Wolfe’s opinion of Keller transformed in graduate school, when she learned that Keller was a socialist, an early feminist, an opponent of racism and a vaudeville performer," The Blade article says. "It’s this multi-faceted Keller who appears in Wolfe’s poems."

“I wanted to break down the whitewashed stereotypical interpretation of Helen Keller and reveal her hidden history,” Wolfe says in the article. “She was unique in many ways, but because she’s a famous person with a disability, that’s how people view her and it informs how they view all of those who have disabilities. I wrote these poems as a creative artist, not as a political activist, although I hope that if people read it, [it] might help break down different prejudices.”