Wednesday, August 25, 2010

10 Lesbian and Bisexual poets that you shoud read

Anyone who knows me is aware that I'm an A in the LGBTQIA community and that I dig on some poetry so when I saw this post on Jezebel republished from the awesome Lesbian siteAutostraddle who admonish us to read a fucking book already, they had me at Adrienne Rich.( As a sociologist in queer theory, Rich pioneered the concept of compulsory heterosexuality which makes her a total rock star.)
Some commenters complained on Jezebel that there should be some representation for the gays too. I think it is perfectly appropriate that a lesbian site focused solely on women, and hopefully this way, someone else can publish an article about 10 gay and bisexual poets you should be reading.

Also featured are the redoubtable Eileen Myles, spoken word poets Kirya Traber, Alix Olson and Andrea Gibson. Gibson's poem "Ashes" is one of the most personal and important pieces of poetry I have ever witnessed, so if you do nothing else, watch this video.

They also feature personal favorite Audre Lorde who is a damn fine sociologist. She "pioneered the concept that racism, sexism and homophobia were linked in that they stemmed from people’s inability to recognize or tolerate difference." (from the write up on Autostraddle)

From Lorde's “Who Said It Was Simple”:

But I who am bound by my mirror
as well as my bed
see causes in color
as well as sex

and sit here wondering
which me will survive
all these liberations.

So do yourself a favor and check out the original article on Autostraddle, you just might end up reading a fucking book.

A very nice commenter pointed me to a video of Tristan Silverman, a Chicago poet who makes a nice addition here. Check out her performance of the poem "Because I was Asked"