14. A collection of poetry: QuIP: An Anthology of Young Queer Writing by Fiona Deane-Grundman, Zeke Gerwein, Leila Mottley, Oliver Terry, Charlie Thomas, Sunari Weaver-Anderson
List Progress: 9/30
The language around gender and sexuality has exploded over the last few decades. While acceptance of the LGBT+ community varies across the world, many, many more people can find the vocabulary to describe their experiences, from all across the gender and sexuality spectrums. Queers in Print: An Anthology of Young Queer Writing engages with some of the youngest participants in this shift, teenagers working with the organization Chapter 510 in Oakland, CA. These six poets, fostered and supported by older writing mentors, explore themselves and put their experiences into words, based around a set of prompts, and the results are frequently moving. The content shines, but it is the level of polish and refinement that is the most surprising. Overall, this is a very strong set of poems.
A lot of a reader’s reaction to these poems will be a matter of personal taste. For those who enjoy longer-form free verse, Oliver Terry and Zeke Gerwein are the standouts. It is interesting that the collection doesn’t try to be “about” queerness; the writers are queer, but can mean as much or as little in their poems as it does in their day to day lives. A bit more analysis of what it means to be a queer youth would have been good, but that feels more like a question of marketing and framing than the works themselves. Chapter 510 has done a good job of letting these young writers bring their work to a larger audience, and I hope that they will continue to bring these opportunities to writers of all kinds.
Would I Recommend It: Yes.