Being a first-gen, Indigenous, queer, Samoan girl in diaspora almost cost me my Samoan culture. But one day, I’m going to be the queer Samoan elder who looks my grandchildren in their faces, and says: I was afraid the entire time that I was fighting for the world you deserve, but I did it anyway.
Postcolonial Love Poem is everything the title purports it to be. It positions itself between the worlds of love and violence, and answers the question of where love can exist in a nation with a long list of atrocities, especially against Native people.
“Writing, for me, is a way of reimagining that which I’ve experienced and creating something new. It’s a way of future-building. It’s a way of taking back agency. Each time I do this in my writing, I think it makes me a little more free.”
11 poems of varying lengths that you can read to your lesbian lover with that expensive wood wick candle flickering on the bedside table.
One place that I have found comfort before and continue to find it now is in poetry, the words of others who have experienced and seen unspeakable things and come out on the other side. I hope you can find some comfort in them, too.
“Many creatives still have reservations and fears around medication as they believe that it will dampen the creative flow, turn off the magic, or make them less able to connect with the emotion they are trying to convey. This misconception is dismantled in Erlichman’s poetry, she’s sharp and precise while illustrating the often untethered emotion that comes with mania or psychosis.”
I believe that these eight wonderful poets are the face of reviving the genre. I always want to push poems on people, so I’m also presenting you with some of their recent or upcoming works. Head to your favorite, local, indie bookstore and pick up a few of their collections before Black History Month is over!
I was in high school when I first saw Staceyann Chin perform, barefoot and incensed. She was fearless in her rage, her sexuality, her eloquence. Now, I feel the same reading her as I felt watching all those years ago — as if I’m being granted permission.
Amber Dawn and Justin Ducharme just dropped the first poetry anthology written by self-identified sex workers. Fifty-six self-identified sex workers from across North America, Europe, and Asia are featured. All of them are a different facet to the story that policymakers and social workers and Hollywood never told quite right.
We stay open, even when our minds are swayed by bitterness and despair, because our queer lives depend on knowing that we don’t have to live like this. We turn in the direction of the sun and keep walking.
H.D. sometimes had a fraught relationship with her own bisexuality, feeling pulled towards either lesbianism or heterosexuality rather than feeling her queerness as an integrated whole. Reconciling her bisexuality was a creative project for her.
Maybe if trans women can redefine what it means to be close to nature we can also redefine what it means to be close to each other.
A gut feeling is intuition, sure, but it’s also something that announces HERE is the body, NOW is the body, RIGHT NOW.
It’s June, it’s June, we’re living, it’s June. Do you feel our powers rising with the heat, our stares lengthening with the daylight, our desires coming on like freak lightening?
The line breaks are hard to take. They make the poem feel like a fight: not knowing when to stop, talking over one another, losing your thread, gasping for air through tears.
“Corpse Flower” gathers those petals, each one placed on the altar as every word is placed in the poem. The sweetness of a petal curling up to touch itself.
Bishop wrote seventeen drafts of this poem, so that’s one hundred and thirty six iterations of master and disaster. The losses pile up in a life, and each time you survive them, you have proven to yourself you can withstand more.
So much of what we might think of as queer lyric poetry comes is set by Sappho’s example: her attempts to speak her desire so emphatically that it wills love into existence.
Mary Oliver, Pulitzer Prize-Winning poet and ardent devotee of the natural world throughout her life, has passed away from lymphoma at the age of 83.
Mary Lambert talked to Autostraddle about vulnerability, the impossibility of separating the art from the artist, and her incredible new book of poems.