In “What To Read This Week,” CHALK contributor Faith Maddox suggests novels, poetry, articles and other forms of writing, often centering around a timely topic or theme. This week, Maddox highlights LGBTQ+ authors who are currently transforming the world of poetry.
LGBTQ+ voices offer rich insights into literary traditions, specifically poetry. Blending personal experiences with language that dissects social movements, check out this list of LGBTQ+ authors who are changing the face of poetics.
From references to popular media to themes of sapphic love, Levitt’s work quickly establishes itself as an emotional touchstone for queer women.
Currently residing in New York City as a high school teacher, she received her MFA in poetry from NYU and published her first book in 2016. One of her most popular pieces, “Sometimes, Gender”, encapsulates the balance of eloquence and colloquial language that makes Levitt an accessible poet to any reader.
Dawn Lundy Martin
Martin is a landmark voice in queer poetry.According to her website, she broaches topics of intersectional identities to highlight the importance of including racial justice and LGBTQ+ rights in discussions of feminism.
She works as a multimedia artist, merging the boundaries between prose, poetry and visual art. In 2016, Martin co-founded the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics with Terrance Hayes.
For an introductory glance at her prolific work, check out “Our Wandering,” a poem that exemplifies her unique and lyrical voice.
A highly lauded poet, Abraham’s work is versatile in genre and form.
Currently a PhD candidate in engineering at Harvard, he also teaches writing at Emerson College and edits for several literary magazines. Abraham writes about his identity as a Palestinian-American, often examining the overlap between his identity as a queer man and his experiences with racism and colonialism.
Two of his poems are available here, giving readers a taste of his experimentation with structure and emotional language.
Fans of erasure poetry and classic literature will find solace in Berggrun’s “R E D.” Berggrun erases portions of “Dracula,” transforming it into a tale of reclamation and survival. She received her MFA in poetry from NYU and has been featured in several publications. Her work highlights her experiences as a trans woman, as well as topics of sexual violence and systems of power.