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  • NYS Writers Institute

New book release: Former TU journalist publishes book on disability activist Lucy Gwin

Journalist James Odato has worked at numerous newspapers, including the Times Union, and he admits after all his years in the business he still gets excited when he comes upon a good story.

“I was teaching my journalism class at (University at Albany), and I had brought the class to the archives building at the school. We were looking at primary documents in hopes of finding a good narrative journalism story. I was doing the activity right along with them, and that’s when I came upon the name Lucy Gwin.”

Gwin was an author, advocacy journalist, disability rights activist, feminist and founder of Mouth magazine, one of the most radical and significant disability rights publications.

“When I discovered her in the documents, I knew I needed to know more about her, and maybe even get her story out into the world,” Odato said.

Excerpted from "Former TU journalist publishes book on disability activist Lucy Gwin", by Jack Rightmyer published in the Albany Times Union on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021.

Jim's instinctfor a good story led to the publication of his first book, This Brain Had a Mouth: Lucy Gwin and the Voice of Disability Nation, published in October by the University of Massachusetts Press.

You can hear more about Jim and his new book at two upcoming events.

12:30 PM TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2021

New York Archives Magazine Online Speaker Series: James Odato in conversation with Thomas Ruller, New York State Archivist

Online event free and open to the public.

Direct link and password to the Zoom meeting will be emailed to all registrants ahead of time.

Register at


Karen B. Johnson Community Library

99 Clinton Street

Schenectady, NY 12302

In-person event, and also available online via Zoom link: Meeting ID: 340 506 1738 Passcode: 682539


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