In News on March 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm
Some of the autism poems from the book of this blog, First.. Then…, have been included in a UK anthology called All Said and Done.
You may have noticed that the initials of the words in the book’s title spell out the acronym A-S-D, for Autism Spectrum Disorder. All Said and Done was planned as a collection of light verse to raise money for the UK National Autistic Society. It contains both poems about ASD and other humourous poems which are applicable to ASD in some way.
I am very proud to be included – especially as one of my poems, Autistic Acrostic, opens the collection. There are some very eminent poets in the book, including the amazingly talented doyenne of light verse, Wendy Cope.
Of course, it goes without saying that I donated my poems, as did all the other authors. All Said and Done is available for sale on Amazon here and is soon to be featured on the UK National Autistic Society Facebook page.
Bearing in mind that Autism Awareness Month starts tomorrow, why not buy a copy of the book for yourself, or send a copy to a friend or relative ?
(By the way, in case you were wondering, the pic above is of a note left for me by a gorgeous and mischievous 8 yr old gentleman who also happens to have ASD)
In News on March 7, 2013 at 10:19 pm
First… Then… (the book of autism poems that started out on this blog) has been reviewed by the lovely Galina Varese at her blog, Chez Maximka.
I have never met Galina in person, but if I had the chance I would like to give her a hug and thank her for her close reading and generous comments. I wrote the book for people like her and her son, and I am so glad that she has been able to connect with the poems.
In News on August 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm
The following review of First… Then…, the book of this blog, appeared in The Canberra Times, Saturday August 25, 2012. It was written by Peter Pierce, editor of the Cambridge History of Australian Literature.
‘Another planet, other places’
The title and opening poem of Melinda Smith’s First…Then…, a collection of “poems from planet autism” is choppy, unnerved, but essential to what follows. It recounts her deepening realisation of the changes that will be wrought in her life now that she is the parent of an autistic son. The foreword has already revealed that ‘all the poems in this book are about life with autism’; has also dealt with how Smith has presumed to write not only of her only experiences as a mother, but ‘in the voice of a person with autism when I am not myself autistic.’ In ‘Brain Weather’, she writes of how she has to try to understand a brain whose frontal lobe was cauterised, leaving you ‘endless atomised local storms’. The child is given a voice in the striking poem ‘I prefer’, which lists some of those disquieting preferences : “serious illness to surprises/computers to my brother/reading number plates to Christmas morning”. In the brief compass of this book there is much else that is imaginatively and formally challenging. Consider some of her titles: ‘Love song of autistic husband’ (one of the most plaintive of these poems), ‘A prehistory of autism’, the brilliant and almost persuasive ‘All magpies are autistic’, and ‘Not the Botany Bay song’, which is tellingly subtitled ‘A sea shanty for ASD parents and carers’. There is no lyrical impulse at work in these poems. They are terse, concentrated, questing without false hope.”
I am actually pretty happy with that. Why not browse this blog – or buy the book – and make up your own mind
In News on August 13, 2012 at 9:23 pm
I got some good news yesterday. Two of the poems in First… Then… (the book of this blog) are going to be in the second Perspectives Anthology, a collection of poems inspired by autism and other disabilities. The Editors of the anthology (James P. Wagner and Marc Rosen) will be taking the book on the road soon, mostly in the Long Island area of New York. Alas, I live too many continents away to be able to come on the tour, but keep a look out for details if you are in that area. I will post more information here when I know it.
Just in case you are interested, the poems of mine selected for Perspectives II are Brain Weather and I Prefer. Sneak previews on the other end of those links
In News on July 15, 2012 at 10:52 pm
First… Then… the book is currently on tour. I’ve been busy taking it to the streets of Melbourne. Read more here .
In News on April 10, 2012 at 11:55 pm
To buy your copy from Ginninderra Press , scroll aaaaallll the way down to Melinda Smith, find my third book ‘First… Then…’ and click BUY NOW.
About the book
First…Then… is a short collection of 24 poems about autism, written by the mother of a son with ASD. The poems explore many different voices from planet autism – from verbal and non-verbal autistic children, to autistic men and women, to parents, carers and siblings. Some are moving, some are harrowing, and some are laugh-out-loud funny. Together they provide a unique window into a much misunderstood facet of the human experience.
The writing of the poems in First…Then… was supported by an ArtsACT new projects grant during 2011. During that time the poems were drafted, redrafted, posted on this blog, and Tweeted and Facebooked to within an inch of their lives. Some of them were also published in other places (Tony Attwood’s website, Scottish Autism’s blog, Aspie in the Family, Quadrant Magazine, Blackmail Press, Geek Mook and ACT Carers’ Circle, to name a few – thanks to everyone involved for their support).
Now the poems are between two covers and ready to make their way out into the real world. Maybe they’re coming to your house ? I hope so.
PS: You can take a sneak peek inside the book by browsing around this blog. Start here. Enjoy.
PPS If you’re reading this before 12 April 2012 and you feel like coming to a launch or a reading, you’re invited ! Details here.
In News on March 28, 2012 at 11:04 am
Hello there.First… Then…, the book of this blog (a book of poems about autism), is on sale now from Ginninderra Press (scroll aaaaallll the way down to Melinda Smith, find my third book ‘First… Then…’ and click BUY NOW.
One launch down (thanks to all who came), one to go, plus a reading.
Launch Two – for the literary community and anyone else who could’t make it to Launch One – is on Wed 11 April, at 6.30 for 7pm, at Smith’s Alternative Bookshop in Alinga St Civic (in the Melbourne Building opposite the GPO). Eminent poet and novelist Alan Gould will be doing the honours at this one. Light refreshments provided, buy your own drinks at the bar.
Love to see you there !
The night before, I’m doing a poetry reading at the Gods Cafe, on the ANU campus, from 8 pm on Tuesday 10 April. Also reading (but not about autism) will be P S Cottier and Russell Erwin
About the book
First…Then… is a short collection of 24 poems, mostly dramatic monlogues in various voices. The poems focus on the experience of living with autism, but you do not need to know or be an autistic person to enjoy this book. The poems are by turns moving, harrowing and laugh-out-loud funny, and provide a unique window into a much misunderstood facet of the human experience.
The writing of the poems in First…Then… was supported by an ArtsACT new projects grant during 2011. You can take a sneak peek inside the book by browsing around this blog.
In News on January 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm
So the 24 autism poems on this blog are going to be in a book. The title was originally going to be CircleQuirk but I have changed it to First…Then… after the most popular poem in the collection.
The book is coming out in April 2012 (Autism Awareness Month) and will be published by Ginninderra Press. At that point I will be taking most of the poems down and providing a link to where you can buy the book.
Between now and then they will remain here, free of charge for anyone to read (still copyright (c) Melinda Smith though ). While they are all still here, I thought it might be helpful to have a Table of Contents page linking to the poems in the order they appear in the book (which is different to the order they were written and posted on this blog in).
So here ’tis. Enjoy. And I should remember to thank ArtsACT for supporting me one day a week while I wrote the poems.
First… Then… | poems from planet autism
Table of Contents
Poetry appearing on this blog was generously supported by the ACT Government
Beach cricket with four year old
autistic child with acute auditory processing disorder
what the child hears
What I learned at school
Asperger’s diagnosis: a fugue
Not the Botany Bay Song
A prehistory of autism
On holding the baby of a friend
Social Stories for Neurotypical Adults #27: No Dogs Allowed
All magpies are autistic
The impossible blindfold
Love song of autistic husband
An autistic woman explains the terror of affection
Shechinah – or God and Temple Grandin
I have autism
I am autistic
In News on August 5, 2011 at 5:04 am
This will be the home page for a new collection of poems by Melinda Smith, on the theme of autism.
Note from Melinda:
In January 2011 I received a grant from ArtsACT to write a small collection of poems (called a chapbook) on the theme of autism.
I have been busily writing away since then, putting draft and finished ‘autism’ poems up on my general poetry blog at www.melindasmith.wordpress.com. However I am beginning to feel that this collection (working title CircleQuirk) needs a home of its own, so that my readers from the autism world don’t end up confused or weirded out by the more esoteric poetry material on the other blog.
The book itself will be coming out in April 2011 (Autism Awareness Month). Looking forward to sharing the poems with you, whether in hard copy or online.
Bear with me as I work my way through the migration / copying process. And welcome!