I am proud to say my poem, Slap was published on the Fit to Work: Poets Against Atos website today.
Here is some information to read;
Welcome to Fit To Work: Poets Against Atos, edited by Mark Burnhope, Sophie Mayer and Daniel Sluman — an evolving database, a ‘rolling Atoslogy’ of professionals, punks, scribes and scroungers protesting Atos Healthcare UK in cooperation with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), and their Work Capability Assessment (WCA).
The poets in this ‘rolling Atoslogy’ are fit for purpose. Whether we self-identify as able-bodied, disabled, sick, or none of the above, we are all affected by what we have seen, heard and experienced of Government ‘welfare reform’. Some of us are professional writers active in our fields; others of us write as a hobby, and simply wanted to add our voices to the pool of protest.
In our own various ways, and our own various voices; with protest poems, personal narratives, and a range of disability poetics approaches (and representing a range of political affiliations), we wish to speak into the chaos and call for a serious rethink of the WCA, a proper investigation into the faults and failures of Atos in cooperation with the DWP, further changes to the qualifications for PIP (Personal Independent Payment) and, ultimately, an end to the vastly expensive Atos contract.
Our protest does not stop at Atos and the DWP, but extends to a number of related government schemes being imposed from the top down, such as enforced Workfare for the sick and disabled, the impending privatisation of the NHS, and the continuing counter-intuitive closure of Remploy factories (leading employers of people with a range of physical and learning disabilities). Atos merely represents a target and a focal-point for protest, a window into the Coalition Government’s war on the disabled.