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Leigh Hurwitz, School Outreach Librarian
June 11, 2020

Here is a brief list of books from the last year-ish that transcend Pride Month, and presents a more nuanced, representative and resonant experience of queerness than what is often front and center this time of year.

Homie by Danez Smith (Graywolf)
These are poems for and about queer black community, friendship, and queer black poet elders.

Crossfire: A Litany for Survival by Staceyann Chin (Haymarket)
The first full-length collection of Chin’s poems spanning 21 years of work, with a subtitle that references Audre Lorde.

NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes From the Field by Billy-Ray Belcourt (House of Anansi)
Belcourt (Driftpile Cree Nation) creates a collage of poetic forms that still uphold a cohesive whole, dedicated to “those who have survived history and those who haven’t.”

Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry edited by Amber Dawn and Dustin Ducharme (Arsenal Pulp)
The brilliant subtitle tells you what you need to know about this collection, which is edited by and includes work from current and former sex workers.

TSUNAMI vs. The Fukushima 50: Poems by Lee Ann Roripaugh (Milkweed)
This volume is dedicated to  the Fukushima 50, the workers who stayed inside the eponymous power plant and attempted to stop the radiation leak during the 2011 disaster caused by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Full of characters (even the tsunami herself), this is one long poem that invokes Godzilla and the disaster movie genre.

Tonguebreaker by Leah Lakshmi Piepna-Samarasinha (Arsenal Pulp)
This 2019 collection is just one piece in a body of work devoted to/about disability/transformative justice. The pages drip with queer of color disabled femme love.

Halal If You Hear Me edited by Fatimah Asghar and Safia Elhillo (Haymarket)
The third volume in the Breakbeat Poets anthology series, features work by Muslim poets who are women, queer, genderqueer, nonbinary, and trans. 

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