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In this episode, Jessica White chats with Amanda Tink, Lauren Poole and Heather-Taylor Johnson about the ways that impairments, and historical responses to impairments, shape our bodies and writing.

About Amanda Tink:
Amanda Tink is a blind and neurodivergent creative, personal and academic essayist. She researches the influence of impairment on writing, most recently in a PhD on the poet Les Murray, who was autistic. Her essays have been published in a range of venues including Sydney Review of Books, Overland, ArtsHub, Seizure, Wordgathering, Australian Literary Studies, and Southerly. She lives in front of her laptop and braille display with good coffee nearby and tweets at @amandatink.

About Lauren Poole:
Lauren Poole is a disabled writer and postgraduate student at the University of Sydney. Her writing has appeared in Growing Up Disabled in Australia (Black Inc. Books, 2021), Earth Cries (Sydney University Press, 2021), GLAM@Sydney, FashionRevolution, and Honi Soit. She lives with an acquired brain injury.

About Heather Taylor Johnson:
Heather Taylor-Johnson is a multi-form writer living and working on Kaurna land near Port Adelaide. Her most recent poetry books are the verse novel Rhymes with Hyenas and the collection Alternative Hollywood Ending. An anthology she edited, Shaping the Fractured Self: Poetry of Chronic Illness and Pain, was the winner of the MascaraAvant Garde Award and is read in disability circles around the world. Her second novel, Jean Harley was Here, was shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Fiction and optioned for a 7-part TV series. She recently won Island’s Nonfiction Prize and was shortlisted for ABR’s Calibre Prize.

About Jessica White:
Jessica White is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Science Write Now. She is the award-winning author of two novels, A Curious Intimacy and Entitlement, and a hybrid memoir about deafness, Hearing Maud. Her short stories and essays have appeared widely in Australian and international literary journals and have been shortlisted and longlisted for major prizes. Jessica is the recipient of funding from Arts Queensland and the Australia Council for the Arts and has undertaken residencies in Hobart, Rome and Munich. She is currently writing an ecobiography of Western Australia’s first non-Indigenous female scientist, 19th century botanist Georgiana Molloy. Jessica can be found at or on socials at @ladyredjess.

The Science Write Now (SWN) Podcast is for people who love science and the arts. If you’re interested in learning more about great books, plays, and films; writing, research or editing; the lives of scientists; and creative insights into contemporary science; then you’ve come to the right place!

The SWN Podcast is hosted by Amanda Niehaus and Jessica White and produced by Taylor Mitchell with funding from the Australia Council for the Arts.

Listen on-the-go on Google, Apple and Spotify now!

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Our opening song is 'Balmain' by Pure Milk:

Read the transcript