Pride Poets: Book Recs
Hello Lovelies, and Happy Poetry Friday! This week, join the roundup over at Karen Edminsten's blog!
HAPPY PRIDE! Here's my yearly Pride reminder that I'm queer! I'm pansexual and polygender, and my pronouns are they/she. (If you use "they," it makes me happy!) I wanted to take this Friday to shout out a few other poets writing for children and young adults who are publicly in the LGBTQIA2S+ community. There are LOTS of us!!! I'm only naming a few of my favorites (I have so many favorites!) here, but please feel free shout out more you love in the comments.
Dean Atta wrote THE BLACK FLAMINGO, a verse novel about self-discovery - being Greek-Cypriot-Jamaican, gay, and discovering drag. I would normally suggest this one for the older YA group (because as the book progresses the protagonist winds up college-age, which means college-age topics), but the protagonist ages throughout the book and I know younger kids for whom it was earth-shatteringly awesome. This is a great book.
Lesléa Newman -- 'Tis the season to (again) rec OCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPHERD. I read it about once a year. It's a masterwork of poetic voice, perspective, and personification poems... but more importantly it tells the nuanced, heartbreaking story of Matthew Shepherd's murder for being gay and the community impacted by this heinous act. As far as I'm concerned, it's an essential part of Queer Kidlit canon, and I'll recommend it every chance I get.
Aida Salazar - I recommended THE MOON WITHIN previously on this blog, and that definitely is an incredible book with LGBTQIA2S+ themes . But, I'd also like to call attention to Aida's stunning Middle Grade masterpiece LAND OF THE CRANES, which is all about what children go through when ICE separates families. I volunteer providing direct support to immigrant families affected by family separation. This book gave me chills, because it is so accurate to the experiences of so many families that have come through my volunteer network. This book is on the tip of my tongue and heart always.
Finally... a rec for the grown-ups. If you're looking to discover new Queer poets who write for adults, check out NEPANTLA: AN ANTHOLOGY DEDICATED TO QUEER POETS OF COLOR. It's billed as "the first major literary anthology for queer poets of color in the United States." And when I say it is incredible... you'll find names you know, names you don't, and a gorgeous cacophony of inclusive and powerful voices.
So, there you have it! A few quick recs out of the mountain of queer poetry books close to my heart. What are YOU reading this Pride?