Meet Author Andrew Gurza: Shining a Bright Light on Sex and Disability

By Caitlin Hernandez

Oleb Books author Andrew Gurza is sitting in his wheelchair, wearing a grey dress shirt, smiling at the camera.

Oleb Books author Andrew Gurza, a self-identified “queer cripple,” not only writes, speaks, and tweets about his experiences, but also hosts a podcast about disability and has become well-known for his ability to spread awareness about the intersection between the queer and disabled communities.

Having earned his masters degree in legal studies from Carleton University in 2013, Gurza, who has cerebral palsy, switched from writing stories and imitative newspaper articles as a child to writing about his experiences as a man who is both queer and disabled. Continue reading “Meet Author Andrew Gurza: Shining a Bright Light on Sex and Disability”

Meet Attorney and Award-Winning Writer Heidi Johnson-Wright

by David-Elijah Nahmod

Photo of author Heidi Johnson-Wright, wearing a red, short-sleeved top, a colorful scarf and hoop earrings. She's sitting in a wheelchair, smiling.

Heidi Johnson-Wright, author of the leading story in the collection Firsts: Coming Of Age Stories By People With Disabilities, has lived with the complicated effects of rheumatoid arthritis since around the age of 9. The condition made it necessary for her to use a wheelchair and curtailed her ability to perform simple, everyday tasks. When she began college in the 1980s, she needed a caregiver to help her dress and get to class on time. Johnson-Wright quietly accepted her situation, excelling in her studies. She even had a boyfriend. Continue reading “Meet Attorney and Award-Winning Writer Heidi Johnson-Wright”

Meet Author Nigel David Kelly: The Belfast Champion

by Christina Pires

A black and white profile photo of Oleb Books author Nigel David Kelly, a man in his mid-50s with a full, well-trimmed beard.

Before his mid-40s, Oleb Books author Nigel David Kelly — a contributor to Firsts: Coming of Age Stories by People with Disabilities lived by the old Greek saying, “A healthy mind, a healthy body.” Born in Belfast, Ireland, Nigel was a National Champion powerlifter and took pride in maintaining his physical health. He also enjoyed engaging and maintaining a healthy mind, which is why, in 1987, he began his college undergrad studies in computer programming. When asked if that field of study was his first choice, Nigel replied, “I sat a college aptitude test, which showed a high level of analytical ability. This suggested computers, which I’d never touched. I lapped it up, studying for the next 14 years.” Continue reading “Meet Author Nigel David Kelly: The Belfast Champion”