If you've ever looked at your nightstand and thought,
I should read more poetry, now is the perfect time to get started on broadening your reading horizons. I've picked out 26 new LGBTQIA+ poetry collections out this year, so you can start building your reading list for the rest of 2019.
A number of
LGBTQIA+ poets, including Danez Smith, Ocean Vuong, and Chen Chen, have become lauded and awarded members of the literary community in recent years. Some of these writers have branched out into other formats, with Vuong's first novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, making its debut earlier this year. But even with some of the major players taking 2019 off from publishing, there's still plenty of queer poetry coming out this year, including new books from Franny Choi, Olivia Gatwood, and Tommy Pico.
Each of the 26 books on the list below was composed by a poet from the LGBTQIA+ community, but the poems within may or may not deal heavily in themes related to the poet's queer identity. I've placed each of these works under the umbrella of
"queer poetry," but rest assured — these collections are just as diverse as their authors.
Check out the 26 new LGBTQIA+ poetry collections out this year that you should keep an eye on:
'EXTRATRANSMISSION' by Andrea Abi-Karam
In this eclectic collection, Andrea Abi-Karam examines the roles of patriarchy and militant nationalism in the formation of gender identity in the U.S.
Click here to buy. 'The Year of Blue Water' by Yanyi
From the 2018 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize winner comes this collection, which wrestles with the author's experiences as a Chinese American immigrant.
Click here to buy. 'The Year of the Femme' by Cassie Donish
Juxtaposing natural landscapes with maps of the body, Cassie Donish's
The Year of the Femme wanders through corporeal politics, both personal and public. Click here to buy. 'Exit Pastoral' by Aidan Forster
Blooming out of the heat and humidity of South Carolina, Aidan Forster's
Exit Pastoral explores queer spaces — their creation, existence, and the need for more — in the American South. Click here to buy. 'The Tradition' by Jericho Brown
Inventing an entirely new poetic form, Jericho Brown shines in this new collection, which revolves around black bodies and their relationships to society, the self, and others.
Click here to buy. 'Soft Science' by Franny Choi
Weaving themes of technological advancement and dependence with expressions of identity as a queer, Asian American woman, Franny Choi's
Soft Science is a must-read collection for a new age of human existence. Click here to buy. 'Careen' by Grace Shuyi Liew
Why do we long to belong in places and to people who have rejected us? In
Careen, Grace Shuyi Liew searches for answers to that question and others. Click here to buy. 'Tonguebreaker' by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Centered on Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's queer, brown, disabled, and femme identity,
Tonguebreaker is a raw and hopeful read, during Pride Month, or any month. Click here to buy. 'The Octopus Museum' by Brenda Shaughnessy
Imagining a brave new world run by cephalopods, Brenda Shaughnessy's
The Octopus Museum wrestles with the struggles of parenting in today's overstimulated world. Click here to buy. 'The Black Condition ft. Narcissus' by jayy dodd
Tracking jayy dodd's transition and the rise of Trump's America,
The Black Condition ft. Narcissus is a timely collection of deeply moving poetry. Click here to buy. 'Documents' by Jan-Henry Gray
Documents traces the poet's journey from undocumented immigrant to American citizen, taking key moments from along the way and turning them into points of poetic reference. Click here to buy. 'Build Yourself a Boat' by Camonghne Felix
Centering on black, female identity, Camonghne Felix's
Build Yourself a Boat is an exquisite and thoughtful collection that should be on everyone's TBR. Click here to buy. 'All Its Charms' by Keetje Kuipers
Keetje Kuipers focuses on queer motherhood in her latest book,
All Its Charms, which is informed by her personal evolution from a single mother of one into a hopeful co-parent of more-than-one. Click here to buy. 'The Lost Arabs' by Omar Sakr
The son of Muslim migrants, Arab Australian poet Omar Sakr delves into conflict, on levels both interpersonal and international, in this collection.
Click here to buy. 'Disintegrate/Dissociate' by Arielle Twist
Exploring the author's identity as an indigenous trans woman, Arielle Twist's debut,
Disintegrate/Dissociate, evinces a bright and hopeful future for the poet. Click here to buy. 'One Day I Will Save Myself: Poems in English and Spanish' by Elvira Sastre
Star translator Elivra Sastre places her own, original work on exhibition in
One Day I Will Save Myself, a dual-language collection centering on grief and loss. Click here to buy. 'The Woman Inside of Me' by Jae Escoto
Trans Filipino poet Jae Escoto retells the story of his transition in this poetry collection, which features his true self in conversation with his closeted, female mask.
Click here to buy. 'Boy Venus' by Dominica Matthews
Centering on and dedicated to the author himself, Dominica Matthews's
Boy Venus is a Millennial slice-of-life in poetic form. Click here to buy. 'Opera on TV' by James Brunton
Experimenting with mode and meaning, James Brunton's
Opera on TV is the perfect read for dedicated poetry fans in search of something completely different. Click here to buy. 'Flying on Invisible Wings' by Félix Garmendía
Another journey book, Félix Garmendía's
Flying on Invisible Wings follows its subject from small-town Puerto Rico to Manhattan, pausing along the way to deal with diagnoses of chronic illnesses, before rushing to face them head on. Click here to buy. 'while they sleep (under the bed is another country)' by Raquel Salas Rivera
Another dual-language collection, Raquel Salas Rivera's
while they sleep (under the bed is another country) asks big questions about colonization and American imperialism in English, while answering back in Spanish. Click here to buy. 'Laura Hershey: On the Life and Work of an American Master' by Laura Hershey, edited by Meg Day and Niki Herd (Aug. 1)
A posthumous collection of Laura Hershey's writings, this entry in The Unsung Masters Series will open newcomers' eyes to Hershey's body of work.
Click here to buy. 'Be Recorder' by Carmen Giménez Smith (Aug. 6)
In this forthcoming book of poems, Carmen Giménez Smith criticizes the new normal and challenges us to be anything but comfortable in today's society.
Click here to buy. 'Life of the Party' by Olivia Gatwood (Aug. 20)
In her print debut, spoken-word poet Olivia Gatwood analyzes women's place in a world that often seems to invite them to nothing but violence.
Click here to buy. 'HoodWitch' by Faylita Hicks (Oct. 15)
In her tremendous debut, Fayita Hicks composes fresh poems out of old photographs, dealing with the deeply personal topics of adoption, partner loss, and nonbinary identities.
Click here to buy. 'Feed' by Tommy Pico (Nov. 5)
The fourth and final book in his Teebs Cycle, Tommy Pico takes readers through a walk full of big questions about modern life and relationships in
Feed. Click here to buy.