Christopher Stephen Soden’s work Closer, stirs. It is filled with wry, coercive wanting—his poems waft past ethereal men, Gods, jock straps and stars while stomping a foothold on the Texas plain and in sex, queer sex.
Soden, who completed his MFA in poetry at Vermont College in 2005 and was named a Lambda Literary Fellow in 2010, has published this new work of poetry through Queer Mojo (more…)
Slut Machine (Queer Mojo) by Shane Allison is a thoroughly enjoyable, frequently raunchy, and poetically compelling account of gay male eroticism and identity.
Widely ranging in formal experimentation, including free verse, sestinas, and pantoums, the poems speak to us with a seemingly autobiographical and fairly plain-spoken voice about the many pleasures and occasional pains of the persona’s sexual adventures. The poet also intersperses periodic meditations on family life and his struggles coming to identify as a young gay man amongst verses that frankly and explicitly detail his sexual proclivities, desires, and kinks.
Perhaps most striking about this collection is the poet’s voice—strong, self-assured even when doubting, and provocatively straightforward about the complexities of gay male sexual life. Allison frequently borrows from the plain-spoken and free verse tradition of Whitman and Ginsberg, often listing items, such as “Things I Could Never Tell My Mama” and “Afternoon Pleasures,” with “lines taken from random walls of public bathroom stalls.”
From WWII To DADT
One of the biggest LGBT literary trends of the past 15 months is also an important talking point in contemporary mainstream politics: gays and the military. From acclaimed WWII biographies to critical investigations of DADT to books on gender and war to romantic tales of service men and women, here is a sample of the military-inspired books that crossed our desk this year.
Amos Lassen doesn’t think of himself this way, but he is one of the most influential Amazon reviewers in the nation — especially when it comes to the categories for gay romance, gay fiction, gay and lesbian erotica, DVD, and documentary. An Amazon Top 50 Reviewer and a member of the Amazon Vine Program—a highly-coveted, invitation only badge—he has reviewed 3,683 products to date and receives hundreds of review submissions a month. He was kind enough to share a summary of his favorite titles for 2010. From indie publishers to top houses, from romance to poetry to literary fiction, Lassen’s carefully curated list is as diverse as his evolving tastes.—AG (more…)
When I received this book my first question when I opened it was, “why am I getting this?” Isn’t there a poetry editor? Does someone think poems about the men we love, the men who dump us, and poems about our self doubt and heartbreak are erotic literature? To me those poems are the stories of our lives, but maybe all the stories of gay men are erotic because that’s our essential nature. Once that question went unanswered I started reading the rest of the book and had trouble putting it down. Emanuel Xavier asks the question we’ve all wanted to ask major the influences in our lives. What if my Dad had played with another man in college? What if my mother had inherited a fortune? This “street grown poet angry with God” is also asking larger questions about morality and trust. It’s not about whether or not Jesus would pierce his nipple if he were gay, but would we see ourselves differently if the Jesus had been a queer shepherd boy? As he says, “would we hang him from our chest?” (more…)
Hannah Free, starring Sharon Gless and based on Claudia Allen’s acclaimed stage play about the unabashed love of two women over several decades, will premiere at Outfest Los Angeles on July 10. As the film schedules future festival dates, Bella Books has acquired the print and digital rights to the novelization of the play, which Claudia will also write.
Big news from the world of horror fiction: Vince Liaguno and Chad Helder have won the prestigious Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement from the Horror Writer’s Association for their anthology, Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet . To learn why this is so important, read our Q&A with Vince and Chad below.