poem index

LGBTQ Poetry

Celebrate pride and explore the rich tradition of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer poets and poetry through a showcase of audio, video, poetry, and prose—resources as exciting and diverse as the communities they represent.


Spotlight Audio

My Mother Would Be a Falconress Hear it!
by Robert Duncan
My mother would be a falconress, / And I, her gay falcon treading her wrist...

The Armadillo Hear it!
by Elizabeth Bishop
This is the time of year / when almost every night...

The Anactoria Poem Hear it!
by Sappho
Some say thronging cavalry, some say foot soldiers...

Lecture: Why Poetry Matters Now Hear it!
by Mark Doty
"When you're safe, fed, out of the weather, and loved, you can turn your attention to a more complex human need and desire to create..."

Joan (audio only) Hear it!
by Eileen Myles
Today, May 30th, Joan / of Arc was burned...

Living on Someone Else's Money (audio only) Hear it!
by Tom Healy
What it means is flowers always on the table...

A Poem about Intelligence for My Brothers and Sisters (audio only) Hear it!
by June Jordan
A few years back and they told me Black...

{C}To a Maple (audio only) Hear it!
by Wayne Koestenbaum
Green leaves outside my window...

The Black Unicorn Hear it!
by Audre Lorde
The black unicorn is greedy...

Featured Poets

CA Conrad
Of his work, the poet Eileen Myles writes, "[Conrad] always argues...for a poetry of radical inclusivity while keeping a very queer shoulder to the wheel."

kari edwards
Author of Bharat jiva, posthumously, edwards lived in San Francisco and was active in the local poetry and transgender communities.

Marilyn Hacker
The author of numerous poetry collections, Hacker received a Lambda Literary Award in 1990 for Back to the River (Vintage Books).

Dawn Lundy Martin
As well as being awarded numerous prizes for her poetry, Martin is also the cofounder of the Third Wave Foundation for social justice.

Frank O'Hara
A figure in both the literary and visual art worlds of the 1950s and '60s, O'Hara is associated with the New York School movement in poetry. 

May Swenson
Born into a large Mormon family, Swenson moved to New York City as a young woman. Her poems often employ sensual images and erotic language.

Mark Wunderlich
Wunderlich's debut poetry collection, The Anchorage (University of Massachusetts Press), won the Lambda Literary Award in 1999. 

Featured Essays

Marilyn Hacker on Love Poems
"Many love poems are actually poems of seduction. I've preferred to choose poems in which love is a presence, not a pursuit..."

Timothy Liu to His Younger Self
"Dear Timothy: You do not yet know that the cat you are holding will be one of the closest friends you will have for years to come."

Dawn Lundy Martin to Her Younger Self
"Dear Young One, You have come to me in a small sarcophagus buried in my own chest." 

Eileen Myles on Allen Ginsberg
"Allen was such a diligent student of ecstasy and vision that he knew that as the swastikas and belt buckles flicker, something happens, the road opens, and a space opens up..."

Carl Phillips on Reading
"What I offer here is less a list of what to read than an idiosyncratic gathering of those writers who have had an influence on me as a writer and human being in general..."

Reginald Shepherd on Beauty
"Without a notion of beauty, an embodiment of the possible beyond the abjections of the mundane, I would not have become a poet, would not, perhaps, have left behind the Bronx housing projects and tenements at all..."


Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics 
Featuring a diverse range of fifty-five poets with varying aesthetics and backgrounds, the book also includes “poetics statements”—reflections by each poet that provide context for their work covering issues from identification and embodiment to language and activism.

Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our Time
Published in 1988, this anthology collects nearly one hundred varied and distinct gay and lesbian voices representing various cultural backgrounds including Asian American, Native American, Jewish, Hispanic, and African Americans.

Love Letters

Letter to Peter Doyle from Walt Whitman "Dear comrade, I think of you very often. My love for you is indestructible..."

Two Love Notes to Alice B. Toklas from Gertrude Stein
"Dear dainty delicious darling, dear / sweet selected [enemifier?] of my soul..."