5 Books for the Black, Queer Poet in Your Life ~ Lauren G. Parker


We all know that the writing and entertainment industries rarely uplift and empower Black queer voices. To help challenge that fact, we have compiled a list if writers you need on your shelf this holiday season.


  1. Voyage of the Sable Venus: And Other Poems by Robin Coste Lewis (Knopf, 2015)

Winner of the 2015 National Book Award for poetry, Lewis’ first collection considers the construction of the black female self, with the title poem being comprised solely of titles of artwork that reference the black female body in Western art.


2. black movie by Danez Smith (Button Poetry, 2015)

In the spirit of his poem “Dinosaurs in the Hood,” Smith explores both the moribundity and potential for joy in black life in black movie.


3. Boy With Thorn by Rickey Laurentiis (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015)

Laurentiis explores the south, Hurricane Katrina and race in his 2014 Cave Canem Prize winning selection, selected by Terrance Hayes. Read two poems from the collection here.


4. transit by Cameron Awkward-Rich (Button Poetry, 2015)

Runner up for the 2014 Button Poetry Prize, Awkward-Rich’s collection beautifully assaults.


5. patient. by Bettina Judd (Black Lawrence Press, 2014)

Follow the speaker in Judd’s debut collection as an ordeal with medicine forces her to wrestle with the ghosts of Joice Heth, Lucy Zimmerman, Betsey Harris and Anarcha Wescott.



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