An Organization of Writers with Disabilities

Special Events

Unique presentations, publications, and celebrations provide visitors and Behind Our Eyes members easy access to moments of historical and literary pride from our organization’s writing journey.

This page is organized with the most recent events first. Each section has a heading for easy navigation. Some of the links on this page are to MP3 file downloads. Most modern web browsers will start playing a file if you follow the link. If you want to save the file for offline listening, right click (on Windows you can hit the Context Menu key or Shift+F10) on a link, then choose the option called Save As, Save Target As, or something similar. Follow the prompts from your browser to choose a location and/or filename to save the file.

Come On, Justice Spoken Word Ensemble Presentation

Listen to this compelling blend of poetry set to a rhythmic, musical arrangement expressing a call for equality and compassion.

Program manager Alice Massa and Annie Chiappetta host our Behind Our Eyes Zoom conference on January 7, 2024. Performers offer intricate details and share recordings from inspiration through production, and toward public awareness for this contemporary call to action. Behind Our Eyes members: poet Joan Myles, soundscape artist Peter Altschul, spoken word voices Annie Chiappetta and Abbie Taylor, and audio editor and producer Jason Castonguay answer questions and share their journey. Minor audio editing for presentation on this website by Jayson Smith and Marilyn Smith.

Download link:

Behind Our Eyes Recording of The Weekly Avocet #467

With kind permission from editor and publisher Charles Portolano, Behind Our Eyes, Inc., recorded the November 14, 2021 issue of The Weekly Avocet, which features exclusively twenty-three poets/members of Behind Our Eyes. We thank editor and publisher Charles Portolano, as well as co-editors Vivian and Valerie Portolano. The 52 poems and other portions of the journal are read by the poets who wrote the pieces or by fellow BOE members.

We sample apples, and watch pumpkins and pecans find new homes. Squirrels, prairie dogs, birds, and flowering bulbs seek sanctuary from colder weather. Corn stands tall, and bright and darkening foliage rustles underfoot.

Download our recording, and savor the season with us. Nineteen voices—male, female, high-pitched, and deep-toned—offer a variety of accents and excitement. Connect with us to mark changes in the weather, and to share personal experiences that highlight Autumn’s special moments.

We hope you will enjoy this special audio edition of the November 14, 2021 issue of The Weekly Avocet—a magazine dedicated to connecting nature with humanity.

To download our recording as either a zip file or individual MP3’s, or for a PDF copy of the magazine, follow this link.

Emily Dickinson Luncheon, National Poetry Month, April 2022

Our special guest, Cyndi Harbeson, is Curator of Special Collections at the Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts. Ms. Harbeson reads from Emily Dickinson’s letters, and discusses the family’s loyalty to the community. She talks of Emily’s interaction with children, shares shopping lists for the baking Emily offers neighbors and friends, and discusses many of the 70,000 items in this collection. Original manuscripts and letters are available for visitors to enjoy.

Hostesses Sandra Streeter and Alice Massa share other information about Emily’s life. Member Joan Myles reads from her poem Dancing with Emily. Join us as we celebrate National Poetry Month in April of 2022.

Please click this link to listen to this presentation.

Behind Our Eyes Book Fair: Good Books, Unique Gifts, and New Opportunities at your Fingertips

Welcome to our first book fair event!

On November 10, 2019, Behind Our Eyes, an organization of writers with disabilities, held its first book fair and two-hundred-seventy-third recorded conference call attended by nine presenters and many Behind Our Eyes member listeners. Bonnie Blose and Marilyn Brandt Smith hosted this two-hour event. A brief introduction to the focus and activities of the organization was followed by a parade of books: novels, memoirs of personal challenge, writings of the holiday season, adventures and essays with agendas, and a sure-to-be-classic disability awareness book written to assist blind and visually impaired consumers in navigating the healthcare system. Fifteen books were presented by their nine authors.

Click here to download this conference recording. We welcome you to share this link with your friends. Visit our home page for a contact or membership form to offer feedback, ask questions, or join our amazing organization.

Below is a listing of members with website information. All books referenced in the recording are available from with one exception. Contact National Braille Press for purchasing information concerning Deborah Kendrick’s book. Authors will indicate during the conference whether their books are available through Bookshare or the National Library Service BARD website.


Tenth Anniversary Audio Celebration

Download our tenth anniversary audio celebration and hear us read our own work. Can you pet the wild things in Australia? What is a dream circle? The Mississippi River flood couldn’t compare with the other adult reality facing a Minnesota teen. How did one man’s dream set the course for ten years of successful growth by a fledgling writers’ group?

Listen to our leaders and mentors help us make things happen.

To download, right click on the link below this paragraph, or use your context menu, and select “Save Target as…” “Save Link as…” or a similarly-named option. You will then have a zipped folder on your computer or electronic device in the place where you’ve downloaded it.

Unzip the folder and place the extracted folders ofMP3 files on your audio player of choice. Contact us if you have trouble unpacking zipped folders.

Download Our Tenth Anniversary Audio Celebration Here!