Queer Book Nook Issue 3
As much as poetry isn’t for everyone, I’m confident that this anthology will change everyone’s mind. This is the first queer anthology I’ve ever read and it definitely won’t be the last!
I think the best thing about this anthology is the sheer range of poetry within it. You have old favourites, like W. H. Auden, as well as modern authors, such as Carol Ann Duffy. Each poem has been carefully selected and organised into seven different sections within the book – Queer Childhoods, Queer Adolescence; Queer Domesticities; Queer Relationships; Queer Landscapes; Queering The City; Queering Histories; Queer Future.
Seven sections did seem a bit over the top at first and I was anxious about how it would work, but it really does!
Slowly, carefully, we’re taken through the different areas of queer experience and not every poem is pie-in-the-sky material. Yes, there are plenty of proud poems, bursting with happiness and freedom, but there are also those who show the trauma of accepting yourself as queer, of others accepting it, and the many issues that can come from being anything other than heterosexual in history and today’s society.
I did worry that reading about the negative aspects of being queer might be triggering, for me as a member of the LGBTQAI+ community and also for those who have struggled in their lives with their sexuality. However, each and every poem was perfect and resonated within me. It was the first time I have ever held a book in my hands and felt like I was reading part of myself.
My absolute favourite of the whole collection has to be a toss-up between Charlotte Mew’s Rooms (1925) or What Gretel Knows by Emily Hasler. It’s worth noting that each poem is fantastic in its own way and more than earned a place in this fantastic anthology. I devoured the whole thing in one sitting and I honestly can’t wait to read it all over again.