Edited by Dani Alexis Ryskamp and Sam Harvey
The Spoon Knife Anthology is NeuroQueer Books’ annual open-call collection to find new talent and to bring together our favorite regular contributors in a celebration of literature that pushes boundaries and defines the interiors of neurodivergent, Queer, and Mad experiences.
In Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber, editors Dani Alexis Ryskamp and Sam Harvey give you a series of examinations of what it means to live in an environment where one feels that existence itself is a series of tests that must be successfully navigated.
“The writers (and editors and publishers) of the book you now hold in your hands have this in common: we all diverge in some way(s) from the normative, the expected, the acceptable. We’ve all been pathologized, scrutinized, corrected–often, in horrible ways. As [we] write this, the United States finds itself in a new test chamber, one whose outputs will inevitably affect the rest of the world. Those of us throughout the world who find ourselves already marginalized, like the authors represented here, will suffer first, but we will not suffer alone. We all need the tools of defiance and resistance. In Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber, we explore what happens when the tools of defiance and resistance are applied to a particular purpose or demand. We test the test chamber in which we find ourselves, and in so doing, we find the power to subvert it.”
by Sparrow Rose Jones
In The ABCs of Autism Acceptance, Sparrow takes us through a guided tour of the topics most central to changing the way that autism is perceived, to remove systemic barriers to access that have traditionally been barriers to Autistic participation in some sectors of society. They also take us through the basics of Autistic culture, discussing many of its major features and recent developments with a sense of history and making the current state of the conversation around this form of neurodivergence clear to those who are new to it, whether they are Autistic themselves or a friend/family member looking for resources to help themselves support the Autistic people in their lives more fully.
While it is impossible to capture the full scope and diversity of Autistic communities—and there are many of them out there—this book does serve as an important conversation starter, a primer, and a humble guide to the world. In these 26 short essays, you will find most of the topics most often blogged about by Actually Autistic authors, including footnotes, resources, and references to other writers whose works continue the conversations that start here.
Michael Scott Monje, Jr.
Michael’s first collection of poetry brings together pieces that were originally published as if they were separate poems, revealing for the first time the exact order of reading and narrative structure of the larger work she has been working on. If you have seen her work in The Spoon Knife Anthology, Barking Sycamores, on the Shaping Clay blog, or live in person, then this collection will bring those poems into sharper focus by setting them side by side with one another to create a larger narrative and reflective structure. If you have been following her fiction, then this provides the backstory to the creation of both the Clay Dillon and Lynn Vargas universes. However you come by it, though, hear what the first readers of the volume have been saying:
“The revolution need not be televised because it is here, in Michael Scott Monje, Jr.’s mic-dropping challenge to the entrenched boundaries of rhetoric, research, and writing. Bring your best game to this book. Brush up on your Battlestar Galactica, rap lyrics, music history, art history, literary theory, psychology, coding and cryptology (your everything, really) and read this rich prosody loudly (use of mouth parts optional). Taste the rhymes. Revel in the references. Dare to recognize that Monje is probably writing to you.” – Felicia Miyakawa, Musicologist, Author of Five Percenter Rap
Marcel “Fable the Poet” Price
Fable The Poet is a nationally touring artist highly noted for his work with the youth; spreading Mental Health Awareness using his own stories to consume the audience, and spread a much needed message: “At times, we all feel fragile. We are all paper boats entertaining the waves of life.” He is an official partner of Mental Health America, and has sat on panels across the country discussing the importance of discussing Mental Health awareness with our youth.
“Marcel ‘Fable’ Price captures the complexities of mixed-race issues with grace, humor, and sincerity. It is his ferocious truth and fearless writing that invites the reader on a journey to experience and learn in ways you’d least expect. This book was worth every morsel and is more delicious than even peanut M&Ms; and they are my favorite. Enjoy!” – Lacey Roop, a nationally acclaimed and touring spoken word artist who resides in Austin, TX.
Edited by N.I. Nicholson & Michael Scott Monje, Jr.
The Spoon Knife Anthology collects the work of over 25 authors, including Autonomous Press partners, disability studies scholars, established prose and poetry artists, and emerging storytellers from a variety of backgrounds. Together, these writers deliver a series of meditations on compliance and consent that are simultaneously intimate and alienating.
FEATURING WORK BY: Andrea Abi-Karam, Bridget Allen, Athena the Architect, Sarah Caulfield, Alex Conall, Selene dePackh, Marshall Edwards, Nina Fosati, Jessica Goody, Elizabeth J. Grace, Harriet Grace, Samuel T. Harvey, Stephanie Heit, Alyssa Hillary, Emily Jane, Thomas Kearnes, Leah Kelley, Alison Kopit, E Lewy, Cara Liebowitz, Luis Lopez-Maldonado, Michael Scott Monje, Jr., N.I. Nicholson, Fable the Poet, Andrew M. Reichart, Thalia Rose, Marc Rosen, Barbara Ruth, Dani Alexis Ryskamp, Lucas Scheelk, Kassiane A. Sibley, Amanda Sleen, Nick Walker, Sabrina Zarco
Michael Scott Monje, Jr.
“The strange and terrible saga of Clay Dillon begins with the books Nothing Is Right and Imaginary Friends, and also includes Defiant (which takes place when Clay is 30 years old). The whole saga should be required reading for anyone who works in any capacity with the sort of young people who are often described as gifted, disturbed, troubled, oppositional, defiant, or exceptional…
In a way, Clay himself is an ‘imaginary friend’ to the adults in his life, insofar as when they look at him they don’t see him but instead see an imaginary child, a product of their own misconceptions and projections who has no resemblance (except in the external physical sense) to the real Clay Dillon. Every adult in his life is consistently one hundred percent wrong, all of the time, about Clay’s motivations, needs, feelings, thoughts, and perceptions… They can imagine neither the extent and nature of his difficulties, nor the complexity and sophistication of his thinking.
In this respect, Imaginary Friends constitutes a warning to any adults – especially those in ‘helping’ professions – who are so arrogant as to presume that they can truly understand the realities of their young charges.” – Nick Walker, from the Afterward to the book
Edited by V. Solomon Maday & N.I. Nicholson
Barking Sycamores published its first issue in the spring of 2014 and from the beginning, it dedicated itself to providing a medium for neurodivergent voices in literaure and art. In partnership with Autonomous Press’s NeuroQueer Books, the journal proudly presents its Year One anthology. Collected in this volume are its first four issues, first published online in 2014 and 2015.
FEATURING WORK BY: Sarah Akin, Mikey Allcock, Samm Almester, Amy Barlow Liberatore, Matthew Brown, Cathy Carlisi, Ellie Castellanos, Tasha Chemel, Deanna Christian, Robin Como, Allen Davis, Melissa DeHart, Heather Dorn, fayola, Leila Fortier, Kimberly Gerry Tucker, Jessica Goody, Elizabeth J. (Ibby) Grace, Michael Lee Johnson, Duane L. Herrmann, Madison Kallisti, Jillian Koopman, Thomas Krampf, Craig Kurtz, Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone, Chris McLean, Laura Merleau, David Mitchell, Michael Scott Monje Jr., N.I. Nicholson, A.J. Odasso, Emily Paige Ballou, Thomas Park, C.F. Roberty, Miss Roberts, Maranda Russell, Barbara Ruth, Giorgia Sage, Phillip Sroka, Lucas Scheelk, A.D. Stone, Bethany Tap, Jonathan Travelstead, Candy Waters, Angela Weddle, Christopher Wood-Robbins
Edited by Michelle Sutton
“Full of practical advice and transcendent ‘Aha!’ moments, The Real Experts offers young autistic people and their families the kind of wise mentorship from tribal elders that was unavailable in previous generations. It’s a landmark book.” – Steve Silberman, NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity
Listening to the insights and experiences shared by autistic bloggers has helped Michelle Sutton to help her two autistic children to thrive. In The Real Experts , Michelle has collected writings from a dozen autistic authors, containing “insider” wisdom on autism that has been invaluable to her family. The result is an extraordinary resource for families with autistic children, and also for educators, therapists, and other professionals.
The Real Experts features essays by Nick Walker, Ally Grace, Emily Paige Ballou, Alyssa Hillary, Cynthia Kim, Kassiane Sibley, Sparrow Rose Jones, Michael Scott Monje Jr., Elizabeth J. Grace, Briannon Lee, Morénike Giwa Onaiwu, and Amy Sequenzia, with a introductions by Michelle Sutton.
Edited by Amy Sequenzia & Elizabeth J. Grace
“I’d like coffee, please.”
“No. I don’t believe you. How do I know it is really you who wants coffee and not your friend there subliminally transmitting that to you by touching your shoulder?”
Imagine a world where you had to prove you knew your own mind even to get a cup of coffee, where it was generally assumed that you could have no thoughts of your own, so if you did express your thoughts, it must be some trick. What would you do? Would you give up, or demand to be heard?
Sadly, this world is not imaginary for many of the writers in this book, who have chosen the path of demanding to be heard. Their best (and sometimes only) mode of communication is sometimes called “discredited” because it was “tested” in ways that make no sense.
Typed Words, Loud Voices is written by a coalition of writers who type to talk and believe it is neither logical nor fair that some people should be expected to prove themselves every time they have something to say. Read our arguments and hear us. Help us change the world.
Michael Scott Monje, Jr.
Clay Dillon is neuroqueer, and he needs to make peace with it. After thirty years, he finally knows the truth: that he is and always has been autistic, and that most of his problems getting along came from a lack of awareness of himself a lack that came not from being autistic, but from having no knowledge of the gap between what he knew of his own needs and what others expected them to be. This is changing, though, and the change brings a freedom that is at once great and terrible. It grants him answers, but it also alters his ways of perceiving himself. Feelings that were dismissed at puberty are rushing to the forefront of his perceptions, and Clay is beginning to question what his desires are, and even who he is, as his world shifts around him.
“Michael deftly navigates Clay’s exploration of the shifting boundaries of disclosure and his struggles to balance his personal and professional lives, bringing both insight and unflinching honesty to the narrative.” – Cynthia Kim, author of I Think I Might Be Autistic and Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappopriate