LGBTQIA+ Studies

SELF-ish (2018)
LGBTQIA+ Studies. Transgender Studies. Memoir.

SELF-ish is a narrative drawn from an international life, beginning with some early glimpses out at the world by a girl in a boy’s body. Chloe Schwenke was raised as Stephen in a Marine Corps family, and was sent off at age fourteen to “man-up” at a military academy. Later—and still embodied as a man—she ventured abroad to work in some of the roughest regions of Africa, the Gaza Strip, Turkey, and many other locales. Her far-flung global journey was matched in intensity by an inner identity and spiritual struggle and the associated ravages of depression, before she came to the revelation of being a transgender woman. . . read more

a slice from the cake made of air (2018)
LGBTQIA+ Studies. Black & African American Studies. Race & Cultural Studies. Poetry.

A slice from the cake made of air processes the physical and mental trauma of abortion coupled with the desires for sexual and emotional love against a backdrop of contemporary culture with all the sexualization that comes with race, gender, and landscape. From front to back the book is wound through with a single poem whose language is permuted, translated, and retranslated (from English to English) as it cycles around abortion, both asking what artifact / do I resemble and stating small love / small / you failed it / in person. The poems directly confront the sexual self (This isn’t a real orgasm, a real patellar fatigue) and take up the thesis abstract as a malleable form for interrogating the inevitable intersections and overlaps of brains and bodies. Sexy and volatile, a slice from the cake made of air winds over and through itself, with no conclusions or solutions for the mess of living in the world. . . read more

As Burning Leaves (2018)
LGBTQIA+ Studies. Transgender Studies. Poetry.

An arresting whisper of a debut, As Burning Leaves is a record of what remains. It moves through the visible world with precision and heart – delivers us to a space of aquatic light, to bruises flowering and moonlit streets covered in clothing. This collection emerges from channels of film, contemporary art, and meditations on the body: “less / if you dare winter / if you cut a star into your leg / if you find the green in the muck / less if the clouds disperse to allow blue inlets.” As Burning Leaves traces a path of queer failure that questions notions of desirability, self, and otherness. Jesiolowski asks what art is for, recalibrates the room of the stanza, proposes names for touch we never use. . . read more

Hanging On Our Own Bones (2017)
LGBTQIA+ Studies. Poetry.

Through these seven narrative poems, Grahn weaves real-life conditions with goddess mythology to construct modern interpretations of lamentation in nine parts. Song and poem lamentations have a widespread history from all over the globe and carry a wealth of forms and a few requirements–they must read well out loud, they must address current pressing issues, and they must make every attempt to be truthful. Here Grahn’s steadfast and rhythmic verse directs our eyes to crucial yet often buried tribulations of our times by critiquing white supremacy, honoring battered women, exalting the powers of menstruation, conflating all labor with birth imagery, and revealing lateral hostilities among potential allies–all in order to arouse a meaningful social critique. . . read more

Red Channel in the Rupture (2018)
LGBTQIA+ Studies. Poetry.

Red Channel in the Rupture is a gathering place for the troubling abuses of the past. Looking through the lens of the present moment, Thomas shows us the open palm necessary to embrace change, as she finds beauty in bodies gnashed, trapped, and crushed into change. Images and experiences bleed together as we confront with the poet the animal of loss and death. Moving through the aperture of landscapes and moments that have defined this poet, we discover the rupturing territory of time and change. We recover absolution for what has tried to kill our very souls. Here is the endless rope thrown out to all of us in our shame and fear; we would be wise to snatch this coil from the air. . . read more

Boy Oh Boy (2020)
LGBTQIA+ Studies. Short Stories.

Boy Oh Boy is a collection of queer fabulist stories and flash fictions told via second person, asking readers to share Doss’s explorations of joy and longing. Your boyfriend is many boyfriends, possibly all the boyfriends you’ve ever had or will have. But you must ask yourself whether you have them or they have you. Your boyfriend plays jokes on you—plays jokes on the world. He is forever unattainable, and still you love your boyfriend, even when it hurts you. Doss explores how relationships can be all-consuming, how we transform ourselves to fit within their contour. Eventually, you might change so much that you don’t even fit inside your own body. This book is so much about space—the physical, emotional, and mental spheres that everyone inhabits. Doss uses humor to deal with the isolation that each of us experiences—not because we’re alone, but because we’ve become detached from ourselves, our needs, and our desires. Boy Oh Boy is our chance to understand Zachary Doss, as well as our strangest selves. . . read more

Like Wings, Your Hands (2019)
LGBTQIA+ Studies. Fiction.

Kalina, born in Bulgaria and now living in Boston, has always been a spiritual seeker. Her fourteen-year-old son, Marko, who has spina bifida and is partially paralyzed, shares her curiosity about larger metaphysical questions, but also has his own unique perspective on life: Marko perceives numbers as having colors, shapes, and textures—and they’re linked to emotions: embarrassment, for example, is fourteen; satisfaction is sixty-seven. Kalina is determined to respect her son’s dignity and privacy as he embarks on the new terrain of adolescence, complicated as it is by his continued physical dependence on her care. . . read more

Sugar Land (2018)
LGBTQIA+ Studies. Fiction.

It’s 1923 in Midland, Texas, and Miss Dara falls in love with her best friend who also happens to be a girl. Terrified, Miss Dara takes a job at Sugar Land Prison for men, hoping to keep her secret attractions under lock and key. Once there, she befriends inmate and soon-to-be legendary blues singer Leadbelly, who sings his way out (true story) but only after he makes her promise to free herself from her own prison. Sugar Land is a triumphant, beautiful debut novel about the hearts refusal to be denied what the heart wants. . . . read more