LGBT Poetry

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:

Reason to Drool Over Poetry

I’ve read a number of posts over the years from fellow bloggers about their love/lust of authors from the Book Lady’s Panty Throwing to bloggers like Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin?’s spotlights on the books she’s drooling over.  I know that we all drool over actors and various book series and more, but when it comes to poetry, many people shy away or turn their backs.

I’ve got a little incentive for you to consider reading poetry or looking at the poets who make the poems.  Have you heard of the Naked Muse 2012 Calendar? If you follow my Facebook/Twitter updates, you may have when I shared the Huffington Post article on this little gem.

(I want to formally thank Anna since she sent it to me at a time I was struggling on what to write about for my first poetry post)

I really love that these poets decided to bare all for a good cause — see poets aren’t always purposefully confusing and there to just drive you crazy with seemingly incongruous allusions and metaphors.  In fact, their meanings can be as plain as the skin that they bare to the camera.  I’d love to see some American poets get in on this little project.

I like the idea that 100% of the profits will be used to help those with Type 1 Diabetes through research at JDRF.

What contemporary or classic poets would you like to see in a naked calendar?  What is your poetry post about today?

I hope you’ll consider joining the 2012 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge.

For those in the challenge who already have reviewed poetry volumes in January, please put your full links in the Mr. Linky below:

2012 Challenges

I’m still working on finishing up my 2011 challenges, which I absolutely went overboard on.  But in the meantime, while I’m preparing for the holiday festivities and finishing up challenges and making the Best of list, I wanted to get out there with two challenges I will definitely be participating in.

Ok, yes, they are challenges I have a hand in creating, but that’s just half the fun.

First, I’ll be signing up for the Wade level (4-10 books) in the WWI Reading Challenge at War Through the Generations.  I know one of the books will be A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway since it is the book that we selected for the mid-year read-a-long.

I hope you’ll consider joining us in the new year for some reading about The Great War.

Second, I’ll be joining my own Fearless Poetry Exploration challenge by reading and reviewing books as usual.  But I also hope to make the National Poetry Month blog tour even better and bigger than it has been in the past.  Also, I hope to get some more discussion going during the Virtual Poetry Circles on Saturdays.

I hope you’ll consider joining too, since there are so many more options for those concerned about reviewing poetry books.  There are new ways to participate.

Also, as an aside, I hope you’ll get your nominations in for the Indie Lit Awards in the poetry category and the others.  You have until Dec. 31, 2011, to nominate up to 5 books published this year.

Finally, I’ll be joining the Finishing the Series Challenge over at Socrates’ Book Reviews.

I’m going to be ambitious and finish 2 series of books and I’m shooting for James Patterson’s Alex Cross series and the Sookie Stackhouse series.  For the Sookie series, these are the ones I have left to read:

  1. Dead as a Doornail (Book #5)
  2. Definitely Dead (Book #6)
  3. All Together Dead (Book #7)
  4. From Dead to Worse (Book #8)
  5. Dead and Gone (Book #9)
  6. Dead in the Family (Book #10)
  7. Dead Reckoning (Book #11)
  8. Deadlocked (Book #12) – expected publication: May 1, 2012

However, I may change my mind about what series to finish since I have started quite a few and not finished them.


***Update 1/5/12***

Since I’ll be reading more from my own books this year, I want to sign up again for the Ireland Reading Challenge.  This level has changed since last year, but I’m still sticking with the Shamrock Level, which is now 4 books.

I don’t have a planned set of reads, but I’d like to read Dubliners this year, so that’s definitely on the list of books.



I love this challenge.  I can use books from other challenges, and I’m always reading new-to-me authors.  I just adore this one, and I always seem to surpass my goal on this one.  This year, I’m still signing up for 25 authors, but I’ll be sure to meet and exceed that goal.


Which reading challenges are you joining?

2012 Fearless Poetry Exploration Challenge

2012 Fearless Poetry

Since there was some interest this year in reading poetry, at least one poetry book, for a reading challenge. I’ve decided to renew the challenge for 2012.


1. Create a post on your blog stating your intention to read poetry in 2012 and sign up in Mr. Linky. If you don’t have a blog, simply leave a comment about reading poetry in 2012.

2. Choose one of the following options to complete the challenge:

a. Read and review up to 2 books of poetry throughout 2012 and leave the full link to each review in Mr. Linky.

b. Participate in at least 3 Virtual Poetry Circles throughout the year.

c. Sign up to feature poetry on your blog for April’s National Poetry Month as part of Savvy Verse & Wit’s Blog Tour.

d. Or some combination of the above.

3. Complete your goals between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2012.

Thanks for making poetry part of your reading, and I look forward to your reviews.