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Autism and Her Writing: “Non-speaking doesn’t mean non-thinking.”

I think a lot of the reason I am drawn to poetry is how much freedom there is. I can better paint some stories with imagery and detailed words than by just telling it. But also poetry has let me work through parts of my life. It allows me to close the door on certain things. It allows me to process.

As far as prose not being enough. Poetry is not better or worse, just different. Much of my experience has been different from most. Poetry can be chaotic or calm, whatever I need it to be…

I have to say that non-speaking doesn’t mean non-thinking. I have said it before and will continue to. If you know or love someone non-speaking, help them find their voice.

—EMILY GRODIN speaks to YONA ZELDIS MCDONOUGH about the book she co-authored with her mother, I Have Been Buried Under Years of Dust: A Memoir of Autism and Hope, the Lilith Blog, June 2021.