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30 review for Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our Time

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    The poems in this collection vary in quality from gorgeous to regrettable, but I'm grateful for every last one of them. The poems in this collection vary in quality from gorgeous to regrettable, but I'm grateful for every last one of them.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sivan N.

    A very impressive collection of poetry. It is difficult to rate a full collection because each poem is different and individual. There were poems I loved, poems I hated, and poems in between. One factor that contributed to my high rating of the book is the diversity. There are poets of all walks of life, sometimes with only their sexuality connecting them to the other poets. Yet some poets' lives intertwined with those of other poets, some connecting that I enjoyed doing in my mind. For example, A very impressive collection of poetry. It is difficult to rate a full collection because each poem is different and individual. There were poems I loved, poems I hated, and poems in between. One factor that contributed to my high rating of the book is the diversity. There are poets of all walks of life, sometimes with only their sexuality connecting them to the other poets. Yet some poets' lives intertwined with those of other poets, some connecting that I enjoyed doing in my mind. For example, each poet has a brief description of their life and/or work. One poet may have had their first book published by another poet in the anthology who created that publishing company. One poet may be lovers with another poet within the book. These little connections helped make the book even more interesting. Like when I saw that Peter Orlovsky was "lover and companion" of Allen Ginsberg, I was like, "Oh!! Allen Ginsberg!! He wrote Howl! He was also in this book! How cool!" So that was a really cool part of the book, the way the poets interacted with each other in life. So because, as I stated, it is hard to rate an anthology as a whole, I will quote some of my favorite passages and why I liked them and state my favorite poets and poems. I'd recommend to just read the poems and poets that I liked because I did not really enjoy much of the rest of the poems/poets, hence they are not in my favorites list. But if you are interested in delving into gay and lesbian poetry, go for it! Favorite passages: From "Assumption About The Harlem Brown Baby" by Salih Michael Fisher "So do not assume that I was some Harlem brown baby that came out in your world...your ghetto...your constructs of your reality...I came out in my own" I like this passage because it is empowering to the LGBTQIA+ community, especially POC within this community. From "A History Of Lesbianism" by Judy Grahn "The subject of lesbianism is very ordinary; it's the question of male domination that makes everybody angry." I like this passage because it is empowering to lesbians and to women as a whole. I ALSO LOVE JUDY GRAHN. SHE'S THE BEST. From "A Woman Is Talking To Death" by Judy Grahn "we left, as we have left all of our lovers as all lovers leave all lovers much too soon to get the real loving done." I like this passage because I like the repetition and fluidity of the word "lovers," and I like the concept that Grahn conveys here. Did I mention I also love Judy Grahn? From "Isn't It Funny?" by Essex Hemphill "Look at me standing here with my dick as straight as yours. What do you think this is? The weather cock on a rooftop?" I specifically wanted to include this passage to show how some of the poems sometimes get extremely graphic, and I wanted to prepare you as a reader. Most of my favorite poems are not the graphic ones, however I like this one because, just as the title implies, it is funny. From "March," In Academic Festival Overtures by Daryl Hine "If dancing with girls had always felt like a duty, Dancing with my own sex was a pleasant surprise." I like this passage because it shows how Hine discovers his sexuality through this little action of just dancing with a boy. I like the innocence of it, too. Favorite poets: Judy Grahn (favorite of the favorites), Susan Griffin, Richard Harteis, Essex Hemphill, June Jordan, Joan Larkin (one of the editors of the book!), Eileen Myles, Suniti Namjoshi, and Tennessee Williams Favorite poems: "Confessional" by Frank Bidart, "Curing Homosexuality" by Jim Everhard, "World War II" by Edward Field, "Deadly Weapon" by Beatrix Gates, "Courage, A Tale" by Thom Gunn, "The Woman Hanging From The Thirteenth Floor Window" by Joy Harjo, "How To Watch Your Brother Die" by Michael Lassell, "Dream Of The Artfairy" by Carl Morse (the other editor of the book!), "I'm Not A Man" by Harold Norse, "Waulking Song: Two" by Minnie Bruce Pratt, "Then" by Muriel Rukeyser, and "Women Who Cook" by Anita Skeen

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tristan

    This was a rather lackluster collection of poems. The anthology is a collection of gay and lesbian poetry, mostly from the seventies and eighties. The poems all, or almost all, fit a somewhat prototypical mold of Queer Liberation/feminist poetry of the period, which is interesting from a literary and social history perspective, but I found much of the work to be insufficiently musical/"poetic" for my taste. As such, I was often more interested by the fact that a given poem had been written/chose This was a rather lackluster collection of poems. The anthology is a collection of gay and lesbian poetry, mostly from the seventies and eighties. The poems all, or almost all, fit a somewhat prototypical mold of Queer Liberation/feminist poetry of the period, which is interesting from a literary and social history perspective, but I found much of the work to be insufficiently musical/"poetic" for my taste. As such, I was often more interested by the fact that a given poem had been written/chosen for the anthology than I was by the actual poem itself. The same problem applied to my issue with certain particular language choices that permeated the work. An incredibly large portion of the work in the anthology uses words like "fairy", "d**e", "f****t" (which I have expurgated as particularly offensive) and other slurs. I found these attempted reclamations, particularly of the third slur mentioned above to be astonishingly unsuccessful and actually sometimes personally painful to read, interrupting the fluidity of my reading and discouraging me from continuing with the next poem, part of the reason that I took so very very long to finish the book. There were a number of good poems in the collection. I particularly like the offerings of James Schuyler, James Merrill, Adrienne Rich, and W.H. Auden--although I also greatly enjoyed Joy Harjo's "The Woman Hanging from the Thirteenth Floor Window" and Cherrie Moraga's "Feed the Mexican Back Into Her" (and a few other poems) as well. In spite of these, the overall quality of the poetry here was disappointing, although I am still happy to have read the anthology.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jonny

    This was a startling and wondrous book for me. Many gems in this book--from people who were famous and not out--as well as more up-and-coming (now venerable) queer writers. Raw and timeless, really a classic.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    i've had a copy of this book for years on end. when i was younger, i read it religiously because it was a portal to a world i didn't at that point have access to. i still love perusing it. my favorite poems in it are by judy grahn and june jordan. i've had a copy of this book for years on end. when i was younger, i read it religiously because it was a portal to a world i didn't at that point have access to. i still love perusing it. my favorite poems in it are by judy grahn and june jordan.

  6. 4 out of 5

    beau

    hit or miss. didn't read everything. one of my faves: gloria anzaldua - "interface" hit or miss. didn't read everything. one of my faves: gloria anzaldua - "interface"

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Dante

    Wonderfully diverse, lots of breadth of voices and experiences. It wasn't all white gay men! I didn't love everything here, but I appreciated it more than most "Best of" collections of poetry. I imagine the Twenty-One Love Poems by Adrienne Rich are the only love poems I will ever love. Poem II was read as part of our wedding ceremony: "I wake up in your bed. I know I have been dreaming. Much earlier, the alarm broke us from each other, you’ve been at your desk for hours. I know what I dreamed: our f Wonderfully diverse, lots of breadth of voices and experiences. It wasn't all white gay men! I didn't love everything here, but I appreciated it more than most "Best of" collections of poetry. I imagine the Twenty-One Love Poems by Adrienne Rich are the only love poems I will ever love. Poem II was read as part of our wedding ceremony: "I wake up in your bed. I know I have been dreaming. Much earlier, the alarm broke us from each other, you’ve been at your desk for hours. I know what I dreamed: our friend the poet comes into my room where I’ve been writing for days, drafts, carbons, poems are scattered everywhere, and I want to show her one poem which is the poem of my life. But I hesitate, and wake. You’ve kissed my hair to wake me. I dreamed you were a poem, I say, a poem I wanted to show someone . . . and I laugh and fall dreaming again of the desire to show you to everyone I love, to move openly together in the pull of gravity, which is not simple, which carries the feathered grass a long way down the upbreathing air."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    Got this in Bookmarks the socialist bookshop for £3 & actually read all the way through it...it's a genuinely diverse collection of American poets from 1940s-80s. Some poems were disturbing, some were funny, some were powerful & angry or devastating, some depicted queer love so incredibly well I felt my chest ache. Not all of them were outstanding, hence the four stars out of five, but I wouldn't expect that from a large collection. There is a powerful sense of unity & urgency amongst these page Got this in Bookmarks the socialist bookshop for £3 & actually read all the way through it...it's a genuinely diverse collection of American poets from 1940s-80s. Some poems were disturbing, some were funny, some were powerful & angry or devastating, some depicted queer love so incredibly well I felt my chest ache. Not all of them were outstanding, hence the four stars out of five, but I wouldn't expect that from a large collection. There is a powerful sense of unity & urgency amongst these pages, especially considering the publication time (1988) & all that was happening then. I enjoyed reading some writers I already knew, and discovering new ones.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Rigg

    I had to purchase this for a Gay & Lesbian Lit class in college but I enjoyed it so much I held onto it. Some of my favorite poens in this collection are by Dorothy Allison, Jane Barnes, & Cheryl Clarke.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Wuttipol✨

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  11. 4 out of 5

    bleu

    some very beautiful strong poems and some very meh , i don't know why but the lesbian poems mention mean a lot the exact opposite of the gays !!! i need to search why it that some very beautiful strong poems and some very meh , i don't know why but the lesbian poems mention mean a lot the exact opposite of the gays !!! i need to search why it that

  12. 5 out of 5

    Max

    good

  13. 4 out of 5

    Louise Chambers

    This is one of my favorite poetry books. I got it the year I "came out" so it is a sentimental treasure. But more than that, it opens the doors to the "closet" of poets, and within are well known authors, and those not so well known. Each one is testament to our history, both hidden and known. This is one of my favorite poetry books. I got it the year I "came out" so it is a sentimental treasure. But more than that, it opens the doors to the "closet" of poets, and within are well known authors, and those not so well known. Each one is testament to our history, both hidden and known.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Will Stotts-Jr

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christine Taylor

  17. 5 out of 5

    P.C.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julianne

  19. 5 out of 5

    Peggy P.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Shoop

  21. 5 out of 5

    Misha

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matt Slaybaugh

  23. 4 out of 5

    William Dale

  24. 4 out of 5

    Connie Todd-mandler

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Longoria

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  28. 4 out of 5

    tom

  29. 5 out of 5

    tina

  30. 4 out of 5

    Frank Lions

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