10 LGBTQIA+ Poets To Read Even After Pride

This week, we turned our calendars to July, officially placing Pride month in our archives. But, our pride does not have to be over. I have compiled a list of ten contemporary poets who identify as LGBTQIA+ with recent poetry that speaks on behalf of their experiences.

1. Billie R. Tadros

Billie R. Tadros received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana and her M.F.A. in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She has published three books of poetry and intends to write more about her experiences as an injured queer woman. Tadros teaches English and Theatre at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.

From We Were Women, We Were Already Receding:

It’s too cold in the fall on the water

we fall in, too naked for falling in

naked and docking unanchored like this.

I remember. You’d kiss me and shiver.

2. Blas Falconer

Blas Falconer has received numerous awards for his poetry including the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers. He completed his M.F.A from the University in Maryland and his Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston. Currently, Falconer lives in Los Angeles with his family where he teaches the M.F.A. program at San Diego University.


From My Son Wants to Know Who His Biological Father Is:

My father had blue eyes, blonde hair,

though mine are brown. 

My father could not speak 

Spanish and wondered, How can you love 

another man? We rarely touched. 

When my son 

is counting, I count 

with him. I say, I am 

your father, too. 1…2…

3. Cameron Awkward-Rich

Cameron Awkward-Rich earned his Ph.D. in Modern Thought & Literature from Stanford University. His poetry focusses on his experiences of being a queer Black transman. Currently, he teaches Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts where he is working on his book surrounding trans literature and theory. 

From Faggot Poetics:

what it wants: to be a hallway 

where men hang their photos

on the wall. Does that make sense?

To want to own the image of the man

but not the man? To bask in that memory

of what first nailed you to the dark?

4. Chen Chen

Chen Chen earned his M.F.A. from Syracuse University and a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. He has written four chapbooks and has been awarded the Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Kundiman. His work focuses on his identity as a gay Chinese-American. Currently, he is the Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University and lives in Waltham, MA with his partner.

From I Invite My Parents to a Dinner Party:

In the invitation, I include a picture of my boyfriend

& write, You’ve met him two times. But this time,

you will ask him things other than can you pass the

whatever. You will ask him

about him. You will enjoy dinner. You will be

enjoyable. Please RSVP.

5. Gala Mukomolova

Gala Mukomolova was born in Moscow and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She earned her B.A. from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan. She has been awarded the 2016 Discovery Prize from 92nd St. Y and residencies at ASYLUM Arts, Pink Door, and Vermont Studio Center. Currently, she writes about astrology for NYLON Magazine and co-hosts Big Dyke Energy Podcast.

From But, like, where is the body:

I’m crying fruit tears inside the Goblin Market. I am 

Lizzie calling Laura up the

garden. Did you miss me? Come and kiss me. Never 

mind my bruises, hug me, kiss

me, suck my juices.

6. Jari Bradley

Jari Bradley earned their M.A. in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University and an M.F.A. at the University of Pittsburgh. They have been awarded numerous fellowships from Calloo, Cave Lantern, and Tin House. Their poetry often surrounds social justice as it is often fueled by their experiences as a Black genderqueer poet and scholar. Currently, they are the Poetry Editor of the University of Pittsburgh literary magazine called Hot Metal Bridge
From Unruly:

The body is a set of complex feedback systems

nothing is as it appears

                                           the coexistence of a 

beard & breasts

                                       evidence of the body’s 

willfully defiant nature

7. Joy Ladin

Joy Ladin earned a Ph.D. in American Literature from Princeton University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts as well as a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. She has written eleven books and has given numerous talks and readings at colleges and universities as well as TEDx. She is widely recognized. Currently, she is the Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University. This placed her as the first openly transgender professor at an Orthodox Jewish Institution. She continues to teach, speak, and write about Judaism, social justice, and her experiences coming out as transgender. 

From A Bridge on Account of Sex: A Trans Woman Speaks to Susan B. Anthony on the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment:

A few years later, about the age

I devoted myself to getting tenure at a school

that still doesn’t hire black professors

and pays women less than men

(I got a bonus for pretending

I was one of them),

you devoted your life to making

the kind of trouble

I spent my life avoiding

8. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Leah Lakishmi Piepzna-Samarasinha identifies as a queer disabled femme with passing privilege as a Sri Lankan with a white mother. Not only a writer and poet, she is also an organizer, educator, and performer focussed on uplifting queer and transgender people of color. She has earned an M.F.A. from Mills College and a fellowship at VONA. 

From Brown Love:

Brown love is getting the pat down but not the 

secondary screening

and waiting after you clear to make sure the Sikh 

man or

the Black woman or the hijabis behind you get 

through

9. Pamela Sneed

Pamela Sneed is a poet, performance artist, activist, and teacher from New York City. Her work focusses on her experiences as a Black lesbian. She has been featured in the New York Times, Artforum, Hyperallergic, and many others. She earned her B.A. from Lang College at the New School and an M.F.A in New Media Art and Performance at Long Island University. 

From I Can’t Breathe:

I guess what stands out to me is that they both were

gay black mountains of men

Cut down

Felled too early

And it makes me think the biggest and blackest are 

almost always more vulnerable

My white friend speculates why the doctors sent one 

home

If he had enough antibodies

Did they not know his HIV status

10. Raquel Salas Rivera

Raquel Salas Rivera is a bilingual Peurto Rican poet who is dedicated to uplifting transgender voices in literature. They earned a B.A. from the Universidad de Puerto Rico and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. They received the 2019 Lamba Literary Award for Transgender Poetry and awarded the 2018 Ambroggio Prize from Bilingual Press in 2020. They also served as the 2018-2019 poet laureate of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Currently, Rivera is the first poet in residence at La Impresora. 

From memories of the good daughter:

my first girlfriend is from a similar town.

we text each other in the bathroom.

i tell her i miss her.

she tells me they’re going to the church retreat.

when i come out, my body molds itself

to certain postural expectation


Works Cited:

Awkward-Rich, Cameron. “About.” Cameron Awkward-Rich. 2016. http://www.cawkwardrich.com/about.

Bradley, Jari. “Jari Bradley.” Jari Bradley. 2020. https://www.jaribradley.com/.

Chen, Chen. “About.” Chen Chen. 2020. https://www.chenchenwrites.com/about.

Ladin, Joy. “Joy Ladin.” Joy Ladin. 2020. https://joyladin.wordpress.com/.

Falconer, Blas. “Blas Falconer.” Blas Falconer. 2020. https://blasfalconer.com/.

Mukomolova, Gala. “About.” Gala Mukomolova. 2020. https://galacticrabbit.com/.

“Pamela Sneed.” The Poetry Project. 2019. https://www.poetryproject.org/people/pamela-sneed/.

Piepzna-Samarasinha, Leah Lakshmi. “About Leah.” Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. December 18, 2019. http://brownstargirl.org/about/.

“Raquel Salas Rivera.” Poets.org. 2020. https://poets.org/poet/raquel-salas-rivera.

Tadros, Billie R. “Billie R. Tadros.” Billie R. Tadros. 2020. http://www.billiertadros.com.

Published by Carley Walton

Carley Walton is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and English as well as having studied Women and Gender Studies as her minor. On top of pursuing a career in museum education, she is passionate about social justice and uplifting the arts. In her spare time, one can find her developing and shooting 120mm film or writing poetry with her cat, Otto.

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