Billy Clark is an author, writer, and advocate. He recently published a book of poetry, writing about living with Cerebral Palsy. It’s called “The Ever So Accurate Tales of a Not So Average Man: The Testament of a Modern Disabled Man.” Liner Legal’s Katie Nobles sat down with Billy for a discussion about his advocacy work and his book. Watch the video and read below to learn more.
KN: Tell us about the book.
BC: The book is a small collection of poetry and it’s basically a first-person perspective on what it’s like having a disability. But it’s not just about being disabled. I made the disability a backdrop to aspects of my life. So I discuss my love life a little bit, I discuss what it was like going to school, and I discuss the mental health aspect, which I think drastically gets underplayed.
KN: Have you always been a writer or is this a new endeavor for you?
BC: I’ve always been a writer. Writing’s my first passion. I’m also into politics. I’ve been politically active for a number of years. I love the legal world, so I almost went to school to be a lawyer. But I decided against it. So, I do a little bit of everything. But advocacy and writing are my two main passions.
KN: Tell me a little bit more about your advocacy work.
BC: My main focus has been through politics. I’ve worked on Governor DeWine’s campaign, I’ve ran several campaigns myself, I worked on the HRC committee for Mahoning County at one point, I was on the executive committee for a political party. And I, of course, use that as an outlet to make these issues present.
KN: You’re really fighting for awareness and trying to raise awareness from within.
BC: Yes. We have a system that has its flaws, it has many flaws. And a lot of people get caught up in the holes in it, they fall in between the cracks. And I think if we’re vocal about it, if we’re loud, if we’re proud and we follow the framework of a lot of other civil rights movements, we can achieve a lot of things within the system. But naturally, some things out of the system need to occur to make those changes happen as well.
KN: You sound like such a busy man. How did you find time to write a whole book of poetry?
BC: Coronavirus. I’m a recent first generation graduate of Youngstown State. I thought, since I don’t have a job, why don’t I make my job? You know, why don’t I employ a staff of five people, transfer that and my poetry into a book, and that’s how it started.
KN: So what’s next for you? Do you plan on writing more?
BC: I am writing the second book. Second in the series of three. I want this to be a series of three poetry books that follow me through my life.
KN:When you hear the words disability warrior, what does that mean to you?
BC: Well for me, it’s a very thought provoking word. Ironically, I come from a family of people that served in the military, and growing up I ironically wanted to do that. I obviously cannot, despite trying to sign up seven times. It really highlights that even though your dreams may not take the shape you thought they would, sometimes the world has a funny way of working out. You may not be able to be, in my case a soldier, a physical soldier, but you can be a soldier in fighting for other people’s rights. So that’s what I take away from that. It’s not only a huge honor and a bit of a dream come true, because I am a huge fan of a lot of what your firm does and what you guys do. It goes to show you that you can manifest whatever you want in life.
You can order a signed copy of Billy Clark’s book “The Ever So Accurate Tales of a Not So Average Man: The Testament of a Modern Disabled Man” by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also order by searching the title on Amazon.com.