Ours for the Making: Trans Lit, Trans Poetics

Last February, Cheryl Morgan published an essay entitled, “Is There, or Should There Be, Such a Thing as ‘Trans Lit’?” As Morgan points out, there is such a thing as “Gay and Lesbian Literature”: “Go into a large, urban bookstore,” she writes, “and you are likely to find a few racks full of books written… read more

'Transmigration' by Joy Ladin

The title of Joy Ladin’s 2009 Transmigration suggests the collection’s key themes: death, rebirth, the soul and its passing in and out of the body, transition. Written, as the introductory note explains, “during the hardest part of [Ladin’s] transition from living as a man to living as a woman,” the poems cohere into a narrative… read more

'Coming to Life' by Joy Ladin

I’d like not to tell you about Joy Ladin. I know her professionally, but if I tell you her history, Coming to Life becomes her life story. The poems flatten, as you go hunting for clues. Attentive readers might find them anyway: “You were twenty-five again./I was still a man. Lit/by a lifetime’s bitterness” (“Something… read more