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Poetry You Can Touch

Poetry You Can Touch

House of Anansi Press is vividly aware of two needs: for poetry, and for accessibly published content. In an effort to meet both, we are proud to announce that we have partnered with the National Network for Equitable Library Services (NNELS) to release the 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology simultaneously in print and digital braille editions.

Braille is a printing and writing system of raised dots that is used by many blind individuals. To produce these editions, House of Anansi Press provided an advance copy of the poetry anthology to NNELS, which contracted Point-par-Point Inc. to transcribe the copy into embossed and electronic braille (Braille Ready Format).

“I applaud NNELS for converting the 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology into braille. Poetry is the essence of language and should be available to all.” — Scott Griffin, Chairman of The Griffin Trust

Less than 10 percent of published materials are available in formats that are accessible to people with print disabilities, and the availability of poetry in accessible formats is even lower.

“Being able to read poetry in braille is the only way for a blind person to truly tap into the poet’s thoughts without any added biases. Unless the poet is reading his or her own work, the audio copy will not be true to the original. I am pleased that, this year, the Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology is being made available in alternate formats, including braille, at the same time as it is released in print.” — Marcia Yale, braille reader

Converting reading materials into accessible formats after production can be time consuming and costly, particularly with conversions to braille. NNELS envisions an accessible publishing future where reading materials are created at the outset in a way that readers with print disabilities can read them, and it is working with partners and publishers to advance towards this goal.

The 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology will be available to borrow in EPUB, BRF, and embossed braille through NNELS. Print copies can be purchased directly from House of Anansi Press’s website here and embossed braille copies are available in-store.

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