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UNF professor gives voice to disability and family in upcoming book reading

Dr. Chris Gabbard posing for a photo next to a child in a wheelchairDr. Chris Gabbard, UNF English professor, and Emily K. Michael, San Jose Prep English teacher and blind poet, will present “The Power of Imagination in Stories of Disability and Family” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, at the UNF Art Gallery in Founders Hall, Building 2, Room 1001 and live streamed virtually on Zoom.

The authors will read from their recently published books; Michael reading from her book, "Neoteny: Poems," and Gabbard from his memoir, “A Life Beyond Reason.” Make a required reservation.

Dr. Gabbard’s work centers on British 18th century literature, disability studies in the humanities, and care studies. His first child, August, is the subject of his book, “A Life Beyond Reason: A Disabled Boy and His Father’s Enlightenment.” Gabbard sits on the Board of Directors of The DLC Nurse and Learn, an organization that provides childcare for children ages birth to 23 years old of all abilities, including those with severe cognitive and physical impairments and/or medical needs. It is the only after-school and summer facility for such children in Jacksonville. Learn more about Gabbard at

Michael’s work centers on ecology, disability and music. She is chair of English at San Jose Prep in Jacksonville and delivers poetry workshops for writers at all levels. She regularly reads at Jax By Jax, a yearly literary festival celebrating Jacksonville writers. Find more of her work at