May Tomorrow Be Awake: On Poetry, Autism, and Our Neurodiverse Future (Hardcover)

May Tomorrow Be Awake: On Poetry, Autism, and Our Neurodiverse Future By Chris Martin Cover Image
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Description


An author and educator’s pioneering approach to helping autistic students find their voices through poetry—a powerful and uplifting story that shows us how to better communicate with people on the spectrum and explores how we use language to express our seemingly limitless interior lives.

Adults often find it difficult to communicate with autistic students and try to “fix” them. But what if we found a way to help these kids use their natural gifts to convey their thoughts and feelings? What if the traditional structure of language prevents them from communicating the full depth of their experiences? What if the most effective and most immediate way for people on the spectrum to express themselves is through verse, which mirrors their sensory-rich experiences and patterned thoughts?

May Tomorrow Be Awake explores these questions and opens our eyes to a world of possibility. It is the inspiring story of one educator’s journey to understand and communicate with his students—and the profound lessons he learned. Chris Martin, an award-winning poet and celebrated educator, works with non-verbal children and adults on the spectrum, teaching them to write poetry. The results have been nothing short of staggering for both these students and their teacher. Through his student’s breathtaking poems, Martin discovered what it means to be fully human.

Martin introduces the techniques he uses in the classroom and celebrates an inspiring group of young autistic thinkers—Mark, Christophe, Zach, and Wallace—and their electric verse, which is as artistically dazzling as it is stereotype-shattering. In telling each of their stories, Martin illuminates the diverse range of autism and illustrates how each so-called “deficit” can be transformed into an asset when writing poems. Meeting these remarkable students offers new insight into disability advocacy and reaffirms the depth of our shared humanity. 

Martin is a teacher and a lifelong learner, May Tomorrow Be Awake is written from a desire to teach and to learn—about the mind, about language, about human potential—and the lessons we have to share with one other. 

About the Author


CHRIS MARTIN is this very moment endeavoring to become himself, a somemany and tilted thinking animal who sways, hags, loves, trees, lights, listens, and arrives. He is a poet who teaches and learns in mutual measure, as the connective hub of Unrestricted Interest/TILT and the curator of Multiverse, a series of neurodivergent writing from Milkweed Editions. His most recent book of poems is Things to Do in Hell (Coffee House, 2020) and he lives on the edge of Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis, among the bur oaks and mulberries, with Mary Austin Speaker and their two bewildering creatures. 

Praise For…


May Tomorrow Be Awake is stark and touchable portrait of tenderness that doesn’t treat living and loving as a challenge, even when it might be challenging. From sinking into this book, I learned how to be a better and more thoughtful steward of the world and the people closest to me. There is no greater gift than this one, to depart from a text with a cleaner, more generous view of living.” — Hanif Adurraqib, poet and author of A Little Devil in America and A Fortune for Your Disaster

"By forming meaningful connections with non-speaking autistic poets and coming to understand the distinctive ways they employ the architecture of language to express themselves, Chris Martin has returned poetry to its primordial function -- as a domain of soul-making that can transform society." — Steve Silberman, author, NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

"Every poem is deep with philosophical intuition from productive minds. I am so glad the poets have found an outlet in this book to be heard."   — Tito Mukhopadhyay, poet and author of Teaching Myself to See and How Can I Talk If My Lips Don’t Move

"A wondrous exploration of autistic creativity, and the mutual learning that becomes possible when we let go of ’normal’ and aim for authentic connection.” — Nick Walker, PhD, author of Neuroqueer Heresies

“A sensitive celebration of neuroscientific difference. Martin’s message is not only about unleashing the potential of autistic individuals, but creating a world where ‘different modes of movement, of communication, of being and signing and pointing and singing and ticcing and typing’ affords all people a new vision ‘of what it means to be human.’” — Kirkus

“…Martin braids contemporary neurological research and literary theory in this eloquent reflection on his experience teaching poetry to neurodiverse students…. [his] narration is empathetic and charming, and his students’ writings combine to offer moving, intelligent, insightful pathways for understanding different minds. The result brilliantly proves that nonverbal doesn’t mean voiceless.” — Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063020153
ISBN-10: 0063020157
Publisher: HarperOne
Publication Date: August 9th, 2022
Pages: 336
Language: English

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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