Literary Festival Celebrates Neurodiverse Writers

On Thursday, the non-profit publishing house Cow-Tipping Press hosted its first-ever “Cowchella,” a literary and music festival celebrating the work of more than 20 neurodiverse writers. The event was organized to heighten awareness of neurodivergent people by amplifying their stories and experiences. 

Safiya Mohamed reports: 

On Thursday, the non-profit Cow-Tipping Press hosted its first-ever “Cowchella,” a literary and music festival celebrating the work of more than 20 neurodiverse writers. 

Ardell Hudson is an author with Cow Tipping Press. Hudson believes that events like this heighten awareness of neurodivergent people and give them the opportunity to be recognized for their work. 

“It allows the chance for individuals to express themselves in ways that otherwise wouldn’t be recognized because the focus is mainly on the physical aspect of disability,” explained Hudson. 

Rachel Lieberman, Cow Tipping Press’ program director, believes it’s important to amplify the voices of people with neurological differences.

“So often we are reading things about people with disabilities often in a lens of medicine – kind of a pitying context, -and it’s just really important that we hear from folks directly.” 

According to Liberman, events like “Cowchella” give artists of different marginalized backgrounds a chance to merge together. 

“It’s really cool for me to see friends who are artists who are really interested in BIPOC art and queer art engage with artists with developmental disabilities and vice versa,” said Liberman. 

Several ethnic groups were represented at Thursday’s event. However, the neurodivergent community is not immune to racial inequity, according to mutual aid organizer Sol Battle. 

“All of the social establishments are mostly white, and having to answer white people, having to build off of white people’s clout to be able to get a project to go through, like, those are days of the past and they need to stay in the past,” said Battle. 

Program Manager Lieberman hopes that more literary spaces will welcome people with developmental disabilities. 

Photo Credit: Rachel Lieberman Cow Tipping Press

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