'The Weary World Rejoices' by Steve Fellner

In the poem “St. Sebastian,” the speaker ponders: “How many St. Sebastian statues/ can I give as coming out gifts?” As the complex figure representing homoerotic desire and emotional/ physical torture, St. Sebastian is well-situated at the center of Steve Fellner’s hard-edged second poetry collection, which doesn’t disguise or sugar-coat the more disturbing scenarios of… read more

'Chulito' by Charles Rice-González

This dazzling debut takes the coming-out, coming-of-age narrative and gives it a fresh landscape, namely, the Bronx urban scene, where the street codes are “mixed into the concrete and asphalt that was used to build the neighborhood.”… read more

'The Cross of Redemption Uncollected Writings' by James Baldwin

Although James Baldwin (1924-1987) considered himself first and foremost a novelist, he found other genres of writing irresistible, particularly the essay, in which he was able to voice a fierce intellectual and political perspective with an unparalleled eloquence. And during his lifetime he published no less than twenty major works including Go Tell It on… read more

'Normal Miguel' by Erik Orrantia

Set in the state of Puebla in southern Mexico, Erik Orrantia’s debut novel, Normal Miguel (Cheyenne), offers a unique experience for English readers: a heart-warming story about a young Mexican teacher in search of his soul in a rural, mostly-indigenous community. 25-year-old Miguel Hernández is openly gay, and even in mostly-liberal Mexico City, he cannot… read more

'If Jesus Were Gay' by Emanuel Xavier

A survivor of the gritty NYC streets, Emanuel Xavier shaped the troubling details and experiences of his past into arresting spoken-word performance pieces that were first published as Pier Queen in 1997. Since then he has undertaken other challenges–novelist, editor, and literary activist–building a strong reputation as a writer who is frank about sex and… read more

'Mute' by Raymond Luczak

“A deaf man is a foreign country./ He remains forever a language to learn,” declares the speaker in “Instructions to Hearing Persons Desiring a Deaf Man,” one of many “educational” poems in Raymond Luczak’s newest collection of poetry. A deaf poet, Luczak offers plenty of helpful tips for men pursuing a relationship or romance with… read more

Rigoberto González: 5 Poets Who Changed My Life

Any poet will say that it takes a community of poets to shape a single life, so it is with plenty of hesitation that I single out five of them, all but one of whom have passed on. Highlighting five makes me feel ungrateful to the other five hundred, but as I write and revise… read more

'Long Distance' by Steven Cordova

In Steven Cordova’s poem “13 Things to Do Once I’m Dead,” “Stop thinking about death” tops the list. This starting point seems to imply that death is an obsession for the poet, and that the obsession is bleak—think Sylvia Plath and the poetics of suicide, think Anne Sexton and the poetics of darkness. But the… read more

'The Other Side of Paradise' by Staceyann Chin

Spoken word artist and political activist Staceyann Chin lowers her voice a few decibels to deliver a surprisingly quiet and touching memoir about growing up in Jamaica in the 70s and 80s. Though she’s born in the small town of Lottery and lives out her adolescence in the town of Paradise, Chin’s early years are… read more

'All Screwed Up' by Steve Fellner

Structured as a series of vignettes in non-chronological order, All Screwed Up is a memoir written with a dead-pan humor and honesty that allows each piece to amuse, shock and eventually endear itself to the reader…. read more