The Future Lives in Our Bodies: A Poetry Reading and Open Mic

Join us for a virtual reading and open mic co-hosted by the Los Angeles Spoonie Collective! The reading features three emerging authors of Los Angeles who identify as disabled, chronically ill, or neurodiverse poets; Kyle Johnson author of Drawing a Blank a debut collection of poems and illustrations published by Tierra del Sol; Joshua Corwin, author of Becoming Vulnerable (Baxter Daniels Ink Press/International Word Bank; April 2020) which chronicles his life experiences with autism, addiction, and spirituality; and 2021-2022 L.A. Youth Poet Laureate, Jessica Kim, author of the forthcoming debut collection L(EYE)GHT to be published with Animal Heart Press in April. Alongside the featured readers, there are 10 slots available for the Open Mic for community members in attendance. CART and ASL Interpretation will be provided during the event.

For the open mic we are seeking members of our Disabled, Chronically Ill, and Neurodivergent communities to join us for a special afternoon that centers and amplifies their creative endeavors. If you have a piece of creative work you would like to share with other Los Angeles-based disabled folks and their allies during this Open Mic event please sign-up through our Google form!

To access the sign-up Google form, copy and paste this link in your web browser.

This program is one of many events taking place during March 2022 in conjunction with the Poetry Coalition, under the collective heading “The Future Lives in our Bodies: Poetry & Disability Justice,” with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for support of Poetry Coalition programming.

A Zoom link will be sent 24 hours prior to and on the day of the event


About the authors

Kyle Johnson is a self-taught artist from Bakersfield, California who currently resides in Santa Clarita. He has been working in the Careers in the Arts program at the Sunland studios of the Tierra Del Sol Foundation since 2019 where he has created painting, ceramics, textiles, and poetry. Johnson recited a series of poems, over the course of a year, on phone calls with his mentor from the studios. A selection of these poems was published in his 2021 book, Drawing a Blank. The poems, which are accompanied by images from his sketchbook, provide a meaningful commentary on the intersection of race, disability, environmentalism, and love. They are composed with straight-forward lines that weave wisdom and insight with humor and tenderness, and invite readers to share in his life-affirming vision of the world.

Joshua Corwin, a Los Angeles native, is a neurodiverse, award-winning poet. His poetry collection Becoming Vulnerable (2020) details his experience with autism, addiction, sobriety and spirituality. He is the winner of the 2021 Spillwords Press Award for Poetic Publication of the Year, a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and Best of the Net nominee. He has lectured at UCLA. Corwin hosts the poetry podcast “Assiduous Dust,” writes for Oddball Magazine and teaches poetry at The Miracle Project, an autism nonprofit. Website at

Jessica Kim is the 2021-22 Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, a YoungArts Finalist in Poetry, and a Commended Foyle Young Poet. Her poems can be found in journals such as Wildness, Frontier Poetry, and Waxwing. Her chapbook, L(EYE)GHT, is forthcoming with Animal Heart Press this April, which is about the spaces in which light—and by extension, vision—are present and absent. Through her book, she documents her experience as a visually-impaired person and immigrant with the hopes of shedding light on unseen stories. Jessica also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of The Lumiere Review and Polyphony Lit, and shares the story of many marginalized BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and young creatives. Find more of her work at