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  • Writer's pictureJulia Lee Barclay-Morton

Live reading of Respairation or you have to unmute yourself!

First of all a big thank you to all who attended the book launch at Buunni Coffee up here in Iwnood! It was a wonderful event, well attended, lively and heart warming. I also discovered it's quite the thing to be in public in person for the first time in years and for the first time ever 'out' as autistic—at times it felt like I had walked into a high school cafeteria in my underwear. But the reality was, everyone was quite open and inquisitive, which was both a relief and a joy, AND NOW...for those of you who live in Brooklyn and Queens and lower Manhattan...on Sunday November 13 at 2:30pm there will be a reading of Respairation or you have to unmute yourself, the stage text in THE MORTALITY SHOT. Respairation is like everything else in the book a meditation on mortality, which is informed by my own healing from long haul COVID and being diagnosed on the autism spectrum last year at age 57. The actors who will be involved in the reading, Mia Anderson, Julia Brothers, Alyssa Simon, Eva van Dok, and Stephanie Willing are all actors who have worked with my texts in the past, some with me as a director and some with other directors. They all bring something special and important to this reading. Afterwards, Adam McGovern and I will be in conversation about Respairation and how it relates to the whole hybrid collection of THE MORTALITY SHOT for which he wrote the foreword. I met Adam in 2014 after he reviewed My First Autograce Homeography 1973-74 directed beautifully by Ian W. Hill. Before and after the reading, I will be available to sign books, which you can purchase at the event or bring with you. THE MORTALITY SHOT is available at Liquid Cat Books, and now also on all online retailers (Amazon, B&N, or you can order through your local bookstore, including Barnes & Noble. I have missed seeing so many of you for so long, so if you are in Brooklyn or Queens or downtown Manhattan and can make it to this reading, I will be delighted to see you and give you a long-delayed hug! I hope you will join us. It will be the first time for me in a theater space since directing On the edge of/a cure in May 2019, and I have missed it terribly. Because I want the event to be safe for anyone who like me is vulnerable to COVID in a serious way, we will require everyone to be masked in the performance space. The lack of precautions have made it feel unsafe to be out in the world, and I want this event to be accessible. It is also Free! But please RSVP to reserve a seat, since Brick Aux is a smaller space than the theater itself.

One of the most gratifying parts of the process of having THE MORTALITY SHOT published was receiving author blurbs from writers I love. I reached out to Nick Walker because of her book NEUROQUEER HERESIES that knocked my socks off. Not only was she one of the early coiners of the term neurodiversity and shifting the paradigm of autism and other forms of diverse neurotypes from the medical disease model to the social model, she also made links with the concept of queerness, and the ways in which we other each other and are othered, and how instead we can embrace our neuroqueerness, which I will let her describe in our conversation. I particularly love her idea of creating neurocosmopolitanism as an ideal, wherein various ways of seeing and experiencing the world are not pathologized but instead celebrated and supported. As someone coming to terms with my own autism diagnosis and finding it liberating instead of depressing, reading voices like Walker's has been life enhancing.

So when Nick's response to reading THE MORTALITY SHOT was "Julia Barclay-Morton writes with grace and unflinching compassion, about the sublime and elusive bits of experience that many would find inexpressible. Her words will get into your head and find their way to your heart, and your world will be richer for it,” I cried with happiness. And I realized that while I had written much of this book before my diagnosis, it is clearly written from an autistic perspective, which is sorely needed. Yes representation matters, even if it is seeing the world askew and in a certain way that may illuminate a path that is not usually seen or recognized as even real.

This experience led me to consider how I would love to talk to Nick more and how interesting it might be for people to hear two writers talk about how their work intersects, how it differs, and the concerns we share as authors trying to articulate experience that is not normalized or even represented in the culture. And thus the idea of the Virtual Coffee Chat was born. While I willl be scheduling a number of them in the coming months, the first one will be with Nick Walker on November 30 at 5pm (Eastern time). You do need to register for FREE on Zoom to attend HERE, because it will be on Zoom and only so many people can join, so you need to reserve your spot. The advantage with Zoom is it can be like a virtual coffee house, so questions can be asked and conversations had. Join us! It's gonna be amazing. And I highly suggest you read both books beforehand!


If you would like a signed copy of THE MORTALITY SHOT, you can buy one from me directly; if you already have a book, I can send you a signed bookplate, and I ask all of you to please tell your friends and post about it, and if you love it, PLEASE review on Goodreads or Amazon or if you can place a book review, please consider doing that.

If you are a freelance book reviewer, contact me because there are some journals such as Heavy Feather Review and Barrelhouse that are interested in printing reviews about THE MORTALITY SHOT. I can use any help getting the word out.

If you host a podcast, or teach a class or workshop you would like me to speak with or any kind of event where you think this book and my perspective may be of interest or service, please get in touch.

AND ANOTHER THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU WHO WERE AT THE BOOK LAUNCH! Here is my view from the stage right before it began. You are the people who are making this happen, and I could not be more grateful...

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