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Barking Sycamores: Writer/Poet/Autism Self-Advocate Nicole Nicholson’s New Online Poetry Journal

NicoleNicole has been writing her own poetry since age 12 and for the last several years has been recording her poems and blogging, giving readers and listeners keen insight into her mind. Diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome as an adult after years of struggling to fit in to the world around her, she considers poetry her native language. Now, with the launch of Barking Sycamores, she and her fiancé, Virgil S. Maday — a fellow artist and the journal’s assistant editor — are giving other poets and artists a space of their own.  

The mission of Barking Sycamores is to publish poems by emerging and established writers who are neurodivergent — including, but not limited to, autism.

“… we humansBarkSycIssue1

were meant to be trees,
growing next to each other
and all wicking the same
sunshine, air, rain, and love
into our cells.”

– Nicole Nicholson, excerpt from “The Sky Belongs to All of Us”

An Excerpt from the Barking Sycamores Website

What’s in a Name?
The American Sycamore tree sheds its bark in larger chunks than other trees, which often leaves this tree with a pale, skinless appearance. Similarly, we autistic people can often feel like the world — in both sensory and emotional data — invades our being, as if we have no skin to protect us.

Secondly,a High Definition Fiber Tracking (HDFT) brain scan of Dr. Temple Grandin as shown on the television show 60 Minutes appears very tree-like, with her neurological connections reaching higher and farther like branches – so it’s easy to picture a tree of nerves, growing in one’s brain.

Last of all, the word “barking” is itself a play on words as we think of not only the tree but a reference to possible perceptions of communication by neurominorities – especially autistics — as well as the act communication itself.

Nicole comments, “We seek to add positively to the public discussion about neurodivergence as a whole in the form of essays on poetics and the interrelationship between alternative kinds of neurology and the creative process.” 

To learn more about Barking Sycamores or to contribute, please visit http://barkingsycamores.wordpress.com.