LGBT+ history month: Spirit

Continuing the theme of this year’s LGBT+ History Month: ‘Body, Mind, Spirit.’ To celebrate and recognize this, the School of English’s Centre for Gender, Sexuality and Writing has put together a list of poems available online—written by LGBT+ poets—that explore and reflect these themes.

Orchard by H.D, an American poet and 20th century LGBT feminist icon (she/her), is a poem about finding spirituality in nature; specifically, in the overpowering beauty of fruit trees.

“you have flayed us / with your blossoms, / spare us the beauty /  of fruit trees”

Glitter in My Wounds by American poet CAConrad (they/them) is a beautiful and excoriating poem about queer precarity and survival; a refusal of heterosexual culture that homogenizes queer experience and commits violence against queer bodies.

to know glitter on a queer is not to dazzle but to / unsettle the foundation of this murderous culture / defiant weeds smashing up through cement”

(After God Herself) by Black trans poet Justice Ameer (xe) interrogates and reworks the biblical story of Adam and Eve and its gendered implications. It is a poem about self-actualization and about the ways in which gender is enforced upon the body.

the fall of man was an apple / hacked up from a fruitless body / a woman learning what evil was / like a man forcing his name upon you”

 Batter My Heart, Transgender’d God by Deaf genderqueer poet Meg Day (she/her) is a sonnet of prayer and worship reconceptualized; a poem that reimagines God as a reflection of transgendered self; a God that resists the heteropatriarchal imagination.

You, O duo, O twin, whose likeness is kind: unwind my confidence / & noose it round your fist so I might know you in vivid impermanence.”

Visit the previous instalments: ‘Body‘ and ‘Mind‘.

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