Embodiment, Autoethnography, Performance Poetry: 
Living with Severe Traumatic Brain Injury


  • Douglas E. Kidd




This presentation offers neurodivergence embodied, autoethnography, and performance poetry. The confluence of acquiring severe traumatic brain injury combined with exposure to concepts and paradigms while pursuing a graduate degree in Disability Studies, catalyzed emergence and triggered development of my disabled identity. The brain damage acquired causes issues of decoding/deciphering/processing, which in turn triggers and/or produces episodes of temporal dissonance. When these shifts in timing occur, they have tremendous impact on rational thought processes and emotional stability. The salient aspects of my new life – emotional sensitivity and volatility – may on the surface seem detrimental and undesirable; however, I celebrate these qualities as they greatly enhance my identification with and empathy for others, which in turn drive my artistic, social, cultural, political expression, quest for community and belonging. While temporal dissonance is unlikely to occur during this planned short presentation, I will relate and provide the audience with windows on largely hidden and little understood forms of impairment.


Note: To hear recitation of some of these poems, check out fellow VIBE presenter Cheryl Green’s podcast: http://whoamitostopit.com/pigeonhole-podcast-17-autoethnographic-poetry/


The original presentation at VIBE was accompanied by music from Miles Davis and Marcus Miller’s 1987 album Music from Siesta. Readers are encouraged to listen to this album via their music platform of choice while reading the following poetry. Youtube link to the album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuvtNL_jyeQ

Author Biography

Douglas E. Kidd

Douglas, M.L.S., is in the 17th year of recovery from severe traumatic brain injury is a neurodivergent researcher living in Toledo, Ohio. Douglas performs social work for the largest mental health agency in Northwest Ohio, founded a safe driving advocacy non-profit affiliated with the National Safety Council - http://undistracteddrivingadvocacy.net/, serves a federally mandated statewide protection and advocacy organization promoting the lives of persons with disabilities and community improvement, leads a brain injury support group, provided past service to the board of trustees for a center for independent living, and a civic disability commission.  

Douglas presented to collegiate, national, and international conferences at the University of Debrecen, Hungary; Montclair State University, New Jersey; Liverpool Hope University, England; Concordia University, Montréal, Canada; L-Università ta' Malta, Sliema, Malta; University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago; Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, Amsterdam; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; San Francisco; University of Bergen, Norway; Society for Disability Studies conferences in Minneapolis and Atlanta; and the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Honolulu.

Douglas is currently working on memoir. Douglas has articles, essays, and poetry published by the Universitatea Petrol-Gaze din Ploiești, Romania; Temple University Press, Philadelphia; University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu; Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore; Et Alia Press, Little Rock; Local Gems Poetry Press, New York.



How to Cite

Kidd, D. E. (2021). Embodiment, Autoethnography, Performance Poetry: 
Living with Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 10(2), 204–225. https://doi.org/10.15353/cjds.v10i2.797