100 Queer Poems
by Mary Jean Chan and Andrew McMillan
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Pub Date 2 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 2 Jul 2022
Random House UK, Vintage, Vintage
Mary Jean Chan and Andrew McMillan's luminous anthology, 100 Queer Poems, is a celebration of thrilling contemporary voices and visionary poets of the past. Featuring Elizabeth Bishop, Langston Hughes, Ocean Vuong, Carol Ann Duffy, Kae Tempest and many more.
Encompassing both the flowering of queer poetry over the past few decades and the poets who came before and broke new ground, 100 Queer Poems presents an electrifying range of writing from the twentieth century to the present day.
Questioning and redefining what we mean by a 'queer' poem, you'll find inside classics by Elizabeth Bishop, Langston Hughes, Wilfred Owen, Charlotte Mew and June Jordan, central contemporary figures such as Mark Doty, Jericho Brown, Carol Ann Duffy, Kei Miller, Kae Tempest, Natalie Diaz and Ocean Vuong, alongside thrilling new voices including Chen Chen, Richard Scott, Harry Josephine Giles, Verity Spott and Jay Bernard.
Curated by two widely acclaimed poets, Mary Jean Chan and Andrew McMillan, 100 Queer Poems moves from childhood and adolescence to forging new homes and relationships with our chosen families, from urban life to the natural world, from explorations of the past to how we find and create our future selves. It deserves a place on the shelf of every reader keen to discover and rediscover how queer poets speak to one another across the generations.
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Average rating from 30 members
it’s safe to say i loved this poetry collection. i devoured it in a matter of hours (no matter how many poetry loyalists say not to do that, i simply could not stop myself). it is so beautifully collated and expressed, and is a real testament to random house/vintage, andrew mcmillan, mary jean chan, and the poets. it made me laugh, it made me cry, but most of all, it left me entirely speechless.
‘100 queer poems’ is split into seven sections, which i admit i was dubious of first (for how can one define poetry?) but they make perfect sense, and have a real balance to them. one thing in particular i loved was the inclusion of translated works, which are so often overlooked in poetry collections, but hold such beauty. this was a fantastic choice.
upon my first read, i chose to follow the collection in order (as i believe there’s always a method to the madness), although there is recognition that you can choose to read however you please. i want to read this collection in every order possible. personally, my favourite section was ‘queer relationships’, and my favourite poems (always a tough decision!) were ‘what gretel knows’, ‘valentine’, ‘the whistler’, ‘untitled/villanelle’, ‘funeral blues’, ‘wrong star’, ‘afterwards’, ‘rooms’, ‘a litany for survival’, ’2004’, and ‘reasons for staying’, but all of them certainly hold their own power.
also - please do not skip the introductions! there is a real sense of comfort provided from them, especially as you move through the collection. not all of the poems are explicitly queer, but you can rest easy knowing that they are, and they were chosen for that reason.
the only slight criticism i have is i would love the inclusion of the pronouns of the poets, as i would hate to misgender them.
thank you to random house uk/vintage and netgalley for providing me with a copy!
Wow such beautiful book wonderful poems all brought together in an amazing collection
Celebrating the LGBTQ+ community in very awa inspiring way
Had tears reading some of these and I don't normally do poems
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