Lez Liberty Lit: Cultivate Weirdness

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Hey there and welcome to this week’s Lez Liberty Lit!

Cultivate weirdness.

What does book publishing stand for?, asks Alex Shephard at the New Republic:

“What you have now is a confused situation in which all kinds of books are deemed not worthy of publication or circulation—often for very good reasons—but without much consistency or clarity. At the same time, publishers are desperately clinging to anything they can to justify continuing to do whatever they think is in their best interest financially. They are on increasingly shaky ground, however, as Karp’s “canceling” email suggests. The old lines about free speech don’t quite make sense anymore. New ones haven’t been concocted. So they are left with empty rhetoric that only shows that these publishers have long since abandoned their roots as plucky free-speech warriors championing Ulysses.”

Nature* is healing. (*Libraries)

Stay curious.

Here’s Alexander Chee on how to write faster and find your voice.

Friend of the pod A.E. Osworth is in conversation with M.J. Kaufman on May 26!

Here’s “the fantasy and the folly of the home of a dead famous writer.”

Larissa Pham’s Pop Song is a memoir in essays and out now. At Refinery 29, she talked about intimacies, visual language, painting and writing, the idea of past selves and more:

“I don’t know if it’s anxiety or just an observation about modern life, but I feel like there’s so much stuff. We have these huge online archives of who we were, and I think it’s been really interesting to see how people engage with the matter of their past selves, even if it’s something really simple, like, a picture of you from 2010 or something like that. It’s a dizzying amount of data.

I feel like that awareness of who you were in the past, it’s kind of inspiring to see how we grow through it. There’s this paradox of people — especially public figures, and particularly women — being expected to always be a past version of themselves as archives somewhere, but the world keeps moving and so do we.”

Read these upcoming SFF books by trans and nonbinary authors. Read these queer books in May. Send these queer poetry books through a time machine to your past self.


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Carolyn Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Carolyn has written 1100 articles for us.

2 Comments

  1. What about when the librarians aren’t quite ready to welcome back people yet? (It’s me. I’m nervous.)

    • My system has a bunch of safety protocols in place, like capacity limits and temperature check stations at the entrance. It helps to have that structure in place! And I was surprised at how quickly the interpersonal stuff came back for me. It was like muscle memory. Wishing you luck! 💜

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