My name is Lisette Auton and I live in Darlington, which is in the North East of England. I’m a river lass from a sprawling family of sea folk.
I’m a white woman with freckles and brown hair of constantly changing length. I sometimes use a purple perspex stick. Or one of my other purple sticks. One can never have too many…
My favourite biscuits are custard creams and I like to dip them into black decaf Co-op own brand tea. I have a literary rescue dog from the Dog’s Trust called Harper Lee. I love reading, sitting in sunbeams, growing new freckles, trying to change the world before nap-time, organising book shelves, the seaside, rivers and kindness.
I’m a disabled writer, activist, poet, novelist, spoken-word artist, actor, film & theatre-maker and creative practitioner; some say word-artist, I say I do stuff with words.
My debut middle grade novel THE SECRET OF HAVEN POINT is forthcoming from Puffin in February 2022 (you can PRE-ORDER IT HERE please and thank you), with a second book to follow in 2023 and I’m represented by Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency. I was the 2019 Early Careers Fellow for Literature at Cove Park supported by the Fenton Arts Trust, and I’m on the TSS Publishing list of Best British & Irish Flash Fiction.
I’m an award-winning poet, widely published and known for my energised performances on the spoken word scene. I’ve performed at Northern Stage, ARC, The Southbank Centre and the Sage, in pubs, in a crypt, at festivals, indoors, outdoors, on a bridge and in a launderette.
As well as working solo with words in all their forms, I work with many creative collaborators to create unique and innovative cross artform works which have featured at MIMA, Kirkleatham Museum, Durham Book Festival and online. I’m a founding member and director of the Disconsortia collective of North East disabled artists.
I’m a creative practitioner. This is the most important part of my practice. To me this means working alongside people in whatever way they need to enable them to access the joy and power of words, to develop this and watch them soar. This takes on lots of different guises such as mentoring, leading workshops, developing programmes, creating work and dreams and ideas together, but at its heart for me is accessibility, listening, play, laughter, kindness, care, curiosity, wonder and time.
I use my platform as a writer, performer and practitioner to make the invisible visible, to Write the Missing.
I trained at Bretton Hall in Devised Performance and followed that up, many years later, with a MSc in Community Development and Youth Work at Teesside University. I’m currently undertaking a 2 year course in Creative Leadership delivered by the School for Social Entrepreneurs and funded by Arts Council England.
I identify as disabled. That’s a positive, powerful political word. There’s nowt wrong with me, but there is something wrong with a society which seeks to blame, shame, ignore, terrorise and disappear disabled people. I believe that although language and impairment needs can sometimes divide us, we are so much more powerful together.
In their eulogy to Ki’tay D. Davidson, a black disabled transman, Taila A. Lewis wrote about Ki’tay’s views about intersectionalism. These powerful words sum up what I believe far more eloquently than I ever could:
He has understood since, well, birth, it seems, that we cannot remain silent about injustice against any group of people, be they Black, Disabled, indigenous, gender non-conforming, trans, homeless, sex workers, incarcerated, and the list continues. He understood that each individual group’s liberation was inextricably linked to the other – that justice and liberation could only be had if we all stand together and fight for the rights and liberties of the next individual or community.
This eulogy, as well as other powerful essays are an absolute must-read and are contained in ‘Disability Visibility – first-person stories from the twenty-first century’. You can read more about the Disability Visibility project and buy the book here.