Professor Savarese is on leave for the academic year 2012-2013
Ralph James Savarese is the author of Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption (Other Press 2007), which Newsweek called a "real life love story and a passionate manifesto for the rights of people with neurological disabilities." It won the Independent Publishers Gold Medal in the category of health/medicine/nutrition, and a chapter was selected as a "notable essay" in the Best American Essays series of 2004. The book was featured on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" (twice), ABC's Nightly News with Charles Gibson," and NPR's "Diane Rehm Show." He is the co-editor of Papa PhD: Men in the Academy Write about Fatherhood (Rutgers University Press 2010). He is also the co-editor of a special issue of Disability Studies Quarterly entitled "Autism and the Concept of Neurodiversity" (2010) and a special issue of Seneca Review entitled "The Lyrical Body: Creative Writers on Human Difference" (2010).
For his work in neuropoetics, he has been awarded both a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship and a Humanities Writ Large Fellowship. The latter is allowing him to spend the academic year 2012/2013 at Duke University's Institute for Brain Science as part of its Neurohumanities Research Group. His 2003 essay "Nervous Wrecks and Ginger-nuts: Bartleby at a Standstill" won the Herman Melville Society's Hennig Cohen Prize for an "outstanding contribution to Melville Scholarship." His 2008 essay "The Lobes of Autobiography: Poetry & Autism" was one of two finalists for the Donald Murray Prize for the best published essay on writing from the National Council for the Teachers of English, and it was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
His criticism has been published in Disability Studies Quarterly; Secret Sharers: Melville, Conrad, and Narratives of the Real; the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies; Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies; Politics and Culture; Inflexions; and Prose Studies. His poems, creative nonfiction, and translations have appeared, or will soon appear, in American Disasters, American Poetry Review, ACM (Another Chicago Magazine), Autism Perspectives, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cream City Review, Edge City Review, Flyway, For New Orleans and Other Poems, Fourth Genre, Graham House Review, Gravity Draws You In, Modern Poetry In Translation, New England Review, the New York Times, Papa PhD: Men in the Academy Write About Fatherhood, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, Poetry International, Poetry Motel, The Poker, Potpourri, Rattle, Segue, Seneca Review, Sewanee Review, Southern Humanities Review, Southern Poetry Review, Southwest Review, and Stone Canoe. His reviews have appeared in American Book Review, and his opinion pieces have appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Austin American Statesman, the Baltimore Sun, the Cincinnati Post, the Dallas Morning News, the Des Moines Register, the Gainesville Sun, the Houston Chronicle, the Huffington Post, the LA Times, the Louisville Courier Journal, and the Tallahassee Democrat.
An ardent proponent of neurodiversity, he can be seen in the recent, award-winning documentary, Loving Lampposts: Living Autistic. He's currently working on a number of projects: a scholarly monograph entitled Melville's Minds: Cognition at Sea; a book on neuro-poetics entitled A Dispute with Nouns: Autism, Poetry, and the Sensing Body; a novel entitled Republican Fathers; and a book of poems entitled The World Is a Fine Place. He teaches American literature, creative writing, and disability studies at Grinnell. He also directs the college's reading series, Writers@Grinnell, and serves on the tutorial and disability committees.
“Literate Lungs: One Autist’s Journey as a Reader.” With Emily Thornton Savarese.
Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, vol. 37, no. 2 (2012).
“Gobs & Gobs of Metaphor: Dynamic Relation and a Classical Autist’s Typed
Massage.” Inflexions, no. 5 (2012).
“Myself on High.” Ploughshares vol. 38, no. 2-3 (2012).
“River of Words, Raft of Our Conjoined Neurologies.” Fourth Genre, vol. 14, no. 1 (2012).
“The Justice and My Father.” Seneca Review, vol. 41, no. 2 (2011).
Neurocosmopolitan Melville.” Leviathan: The Journal of Melville Studies.
“From Neurodiversity to Neurocosmopolitanism: Beyond Mere Acceptance and
Inclusion.” Ed. Alexandra Perry. Cambridge Scholars Press.
“Towards a Postcolonial Neurology: Autism, Tito Mukhopadhyay, and a New
Geo-poetics of the Body.” Disability Studies: Critical Issues, Future Developments. Ed. Matthew Wappet and Katrina Arndt. Palgrave. Reprint.
“What Some Autistics Can Teach Us about Poetry: A Neurocosmopolitan Approach.”
Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Approaches to Literature. Ed. Lisa Zunshine. Oxford University Press.
“Cognition” Entry. Keywords in Disability Studies. Ed. Rachel Adams. New York University Press.
“The Exile of Not Exactly.” The Palm Beach Effect: Reflections on Michael Hofmann.
Ed. Andre Naffis-Sahely. CB Editions.
“I Might Be Famous.” Family Trouble: Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of
Revealing Family. Ed. Joy Castro. University of Nebraska Press.