Monday, September 30, 2013

Hug an LGBTQ poet today (and tomorrow and the next day)!

Tomorrow kicks off LGBTQ history month! In honor, I want to try to cover some of my favorite LGBTQ poets. While I was doing research for this blog post, I was honestly trying to think of an earnestly heteronormative poet and I honestly couldn't. I guess I can only really think of Sylvia Plath and Seamus Heaney. Okay, now that I'm really thinking about it, I can put my finger on several. Regardless, I guess my point is that poetry has been a timeless safe space for us queers.

Poets of ambiguous or clearly stated LGBTQ sexualities who I totally dig:

  1. Edna St. Vincent Millay (the poet this blog was titled after)
  2. Oscar Wilde (never read a lot of his poetry, but it's brilliant and I love his stories)
  3. Lord Byron
  4. Elizabeth Bishop (One Art will always be my favorite of her poems)
  5. Emily Dickinson (this one was a shock to me, but is apparently a thing. Susan)
  6. Sappho (Duh)
  7. Georgia Douglas Johnson
  8. Maureen McLane (Syntax is honestly one of the best poems I've read in ten years)
  9. Audre Lorde
  10. Adrienne Rich
  11. Allen Ginsberg
  12. William Shakespeare (obviously)
  13. Marilyn Hacker
  14. Langston Hughes
Please note that I have left out several famous spoken word folks- I think I've already babbled about how I feel about spoken word, slam jam, poetry jams, etc., etc., but I'll leave it simply at this: I characterize spoken word as more as a vein of performance art then a form of poetry. While I admit there is an intersection, it's the difference between a tomato and a peach. 

With respect, this is a fairly sparse, pedantic list. If you're more into post modern poetry, the poets you want to check out from this list are Maureen McLane, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, etc; with the exception of Maureen McLane, these are all fairly canonical poets. There are a plethora of fabulous, current LGBTQ poets and I definitely intend to delve into their work this month. I just wanted to start from my base of knowledge, the original fires of my love.

But don't take my word for it- here are some good articles about LGBTQ poets:

What would your list look like? Who speaks to you?