Today’s monthly poetry event is sponsored by Kelly at The Written World, so go over there and link up your poetry post for February!
After reading and reviewing Resilience edited by Eric Nguyen last week, I started thinking about all the poetry I’ve read and how universal it is. I really pay little to no attention to what poets are LGBT and which poets are not. Most of us know that Walt Whitman was gay, as was Oscar Wilde. But what other classic and contemporary poets are/were LGBT? And could you tell by reading their poetry or were the verse more cryptic about it or more universal in scope?
While I am curious about how many published LGBT poets there are in contemporary society compared to those from the past, I’m more interested in whether we should bother categorizing our artists in this way. Do we really need to know the sexual orientation of our poets in order to enjoy their art form? Does it affect how we see their work and whether or not we enjoy it? And does their poetry have to focus on the struggles of their oppressed minority or can it be broader in focus?
Just some food for thought. I’d like to hear what everyone has to say.
For now, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite poems from Resilience edited by Eric Nguyen:
The Straight Boys Kiss by Rene Cardona so they sit and stare into the air the secrets texted make them nervous more each second so they lean in-- the smiles stop, and stares shoot like evening stars to the lips of the one across.
For those in NYC:
On March 17 at 3-5PM, an Open Mic night will be held for contributors to the collection at WordUP Books.
For more information about the Resilience project, visit the blog.
I hope you’ll consider joining the 2012 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge.
For those in the challenge who already have reviewed poetry volumes in February, please put your full links in the Mr. Linky below: