Over the Rainbow Press Release, ALAMW 2020

PHILADELPHIA–The Over the Rainbow committee of ALA’s Rainbow Roundtable gave careful consideration to 324 books this year, 152 fiction and 172 nonfiction. We chose 32 fiction titles and 38 nonfiction titles to make up the complete 2020 Over the Rainbow book list. We are excited by the continued expansion of queer publishing. The depth of substantial topics covered and the number of quality books from all over the genre spectrum is thrilling. No longer is the focus solely upon stories of tragedy. We read about lives filled with joy.
The top ten fiction and nonfiction titles are:
Black Leopard, Red Wolf. Marlon James. Riverhead Books, 2019.
Buying Gay: How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement. David K. Johnson. Columbia University Press, 2019.
Claiming the B in LGBT: Illuminating the Bisexual Narrative. Edited by Kate Harrad. Thorntree Press, 2018.
Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers. Jake Skeets. Milkweed Editions, 2019.
Gideon the Ninth. Tamsyn Nuir. Tom Doherty Associates, 2019.
In the Dream House. Carmen Maria Machado. Graywolf Press, 2019.
Introduction to Transgender Studies. Ardel Haefele-Thomas. Harrington Park Press, 2019.
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Machines. Olivia Waite. Avon Impulse, 2019.
The Priory of the Orange Tree. Samantha Shannon. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019.
When Brooklyn Was Queer. Hugh Ryan. St. Martin’s Press, 2019.

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Under consideration for October 2020

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Poetry

Albert, Annabeth. Conventionally Yours. Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2020.

Appleby, Steven. Dragman. Metropolitan Books, 2020.

Catherine, Chelsea. Summer of the Cicadas. Red Hen Press, 2020.

Cipri, Nino. Finna. Tor, 2020.

Danforth, Emily M. Plain Bad Heroines. William Morrow, 2020.

Elliott, Kate. Unconquerable Sun. Tor, 2020.

Huang, S.L. Burning Roses. Tor.com, 2020.

Masad, Ilana. All My Mother’s Lovers. Dutton, 2020.

McMan, Ann. Galileo. Bywater Books, 2019.

Washington, Bryan. Memorial. Riverhead Books, 2020.

Nonfiction

Glaude, Eddie S., Jr. Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own. Crown, 2020.

Volpert, Megan. Closet Cases: Queers on What We Wear. Et Alia Press, 2020.

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Under consideration for September 2020

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Poetry

Addison, Katherine. Angel of Crows. Tor Books, 2020.

Chang, K-Ming. Bestiary. One World, 2020.

Cipri, Nino. Homesick: Stories. Dzanc Books, 2019.

Corral, Eduardo C. Guillotine: Poems. Graywolf Press, 2020.

Dunbar, Eboni. Stone and Steel. Neon Hemlock Press, 2020.

Frohn, Celine (editor). Unspeakable: A Queer Gothic Anthology. Nyx Publishing, 2020.

Garcia, Benjamin. Thrown in the Throat. Milkwood Press, 2020.

Gordon, John R. Hark. Team Angelica, 2020.

Kern, Sim. Depart, Depart! Stelliform Press, 2020.

Lydon, Clare. Before You Say I Do. Custard Books, 2020.

Montlack, Michael. Daddy. NYQ Books, 2020.

Persaud, Ingrid. Love After Love. One World, 2020.

Phillips, Stephanie. Devil Within. Black Mask Comics, 2020.

Wild, Arhm Choi. Cut to Bloom. Write Bloody Publishing, 2020.

Nonfiction

Buttigieg, Chasten. I Have Something to Tell You. Atria, 2020.

Doyle, Glennon. Untamed. Dial Press, 2020.

Eskridge, William N. Jr. and Christopher R. Riano. Marriage Equality: From Outlaws to In-Laws. Yale University Press, 2020.

Faliveno, Melissa. Tomboyland: Essays. Topplebooks, 2020.

Glasby, Hillery, Sherrie Gradin, and Rachael Ryerson (editors). Storytelling in Queer Appalachia. West Virginia University Press, 2020.

Hernández, Robb. Archiving an Epidemic. NYU Press, 2019.

Ivester, Jo. Once a Girl, Always a Boy: A Family Memoir of a Transgender Journey. She Writes Press, 2020.

Levya, Marizol and Selenis Levya. My Sister: How One Sibling’s Transition Changed Us Both. Bold Type Books, 2020.

Lorde, Audre (edited by Roxane Gay). Selected Works of Audre Lorde. W. W. Norton, 2020.

Malatino, Hil. Trans Care. University of Minnesota Press, 2020.

Wagner, R. Richard. Coming Out, Moving Forward: Wisconsin’s Recent Gay History. Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2020.

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Under consideration for August 2020

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Poetry

Bass, Ellen. Indigo. Copper Canyon Press, 2020.

Bellefleur, Alexandria. Written in the Stars. Avon, 2020.

Doss, Zachary. Boy Oh Boy. Red Hen Press, 2020.

Flowers, Charles. The Idea of Him. Midsummer Nights Press, 2020.

Guenther, Faye. Swimmers in Winter. Invisible Publishing, 2020.

Lansky, Sam. Broken People. Hanover Square Press, 2020.

Maldonado, Ricardo Alberto. The Life Assignment. Four Way Books, 2020.

Mootoo, Shani. Polar Vortex. Akashic Books, 2020.

Polk, C.L. Stormsong. Tom Doherty Associates, 2020.

Sala, Sarah M. Devil’s Lake. Tolsun Books, 2020.

Singer, Lea. The Piano Student. New Vessel Press, 2020.

Stintzi, John Elizabeth. Vanishing Monuments. Arsenal Pulp, 2020.

Tran, Eric. The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer. Autumn House Press, 2020.

Wilson, G. Willow, and Christian Ward. Invisible Kingdom: Volume 1, The Walking Path. Dark Horse Comics, 2019.

Nonfiction

Belcourt, Billy-Ray. A History of My Brief Body. Two Dollar Radio, 2020.

McBeth, Mark. Queer Literacies. Lanham Lexington Books, 2019.

Som, Bishakh. Spellbound: a Graphic Memoir. Street noise Books, 2020.

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Under consideration for July 2020

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Poetry

Borges Polesso, Natália. Amora: Stories. Amazon Crossing, 2020.

Dolan, Naoise. Exciting Times. Ecco, 2020.

Fitzwater, A. J. No Man’s Land. Paper Road Press, 2020.

Hargrave, Kiran Millwood. The Mercies. Little, Brown, 2020.

Hart, Ellen. Twisted at the Root. St. Martin’s, 2019.

Hudson, Genevieve. Boys of Alabama. W. W. Norton, 2020.

Jedrowski, Tomasz. Swimming in the Dark. William Morrow, 2020.

Kispert, Peter. I Know You Know Who I Am. Penguin Books, 2020.

Manning, Corinne. We Had No Rules. Arsenal Pulp, 2020.

Mar-Jones, Adam. Box Hill. New Directions, 2020.

Rader, Mark. The Wanting Life. Unnamed Press, 2020.

Smith, Timothy Jay. Fire on the Island. Arcade Crimewise, 2020.

Stintzi, John Elizabeth. Junebat. Anansi, 2020.

Upson, Nicola. Sorry for the Dead. Crooked Lane, 2019.

Nonfiction

Díaz, Jaquira. Ordinary Girls. Algonquin Press, 2019.

Jansson, Tove. Letters from Tove. University of Minnesota Press, 2020.

Manion, Jen. Female Husbands: A Trans History. Cambridge University Press, 2020.

Wojczuk, Tana. Lady Romeo: The Radical and Revolutionary Life of Charlotte Cushman, America’s First Celebrity. Avid/Simon & Schuster, 2020.

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Under consideration for June 2020

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Poetry

Alexander, Jenn. Home. Bywater, 2020.

Arafat, Zaina. You Exist Too Much. Catapult, 2020.

Aragón, Francisco. After Rubén. Red Hen Press, 2020.

Caruso, Melissa. The Obsidian Tower. Orbit, 2020.

Christmas, Jillian. The Gospel of Breaking. Arsenal Pulp, 2020.

Guzmán, Roy G. Catrachos: Poems. Graywolf, 2020.

Sickels, Carter. The Prettiest Star. Hub City Press, 2020.

Som, Biskakh. Apsara Engine. Feminist Press, 2020.

Staples, Dennis. This Town Sleeps. Counterpoint, 2020.

Non-Fiction

Adjmi, David. Lot Six. Harper, 2020.

Bombardier, Cooper Lee. Pass with Care: Memoirs. Dottir Press, 2020.

Esposito, Cameron. Save Yourself. Grand Central Publishing, 2020.

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Under Consideration for May 2020

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Poetry

Buchanan, Rowan Hisayo. Starling Days. Abrams, 2020.

Charles, KJ. Slippery Creatures. KJC Books, 2020.

Dawn, Amber. My Art is Killing Me and Other Poems. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020.

Delabroy-Allard, Pauline. They Say Sarah. Other Press, 2020.

Earley, Elizabeth. Like Wings, Your Hands. Red Hen Press, 2019.

Hall, Alexis. Boyfriend Material. Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2020.

Hashimoto, Emily. A World Between. Feminist Press, 2020.

Herren, Greg. Royal Street Reveillon. Bold Strokes Books, 2019.

Hicks, Faylita. Hoodwitch: Poems. Acre Books, 2019.

Knecht, Rosalie. Vera Kelly Is Not a Mystery. Tin House, 2020.

Moniz, Tomas. Big Familia. Acre Books, 2019.

Shraya, Vivek. The Subtweet. ECW Books, 2020.

 

Non-Fiction

Altman, Elissa. Motherland: A Memoir of Love, Loathing, and Longing. Ballantine Books, 2019.

Baron, Dennis. What’s Your Pronoun? Beyond He and She. W. W. Norton, 2020.

Boylan, Jennifer Finney. Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs. Celadon Books, 2020.

Brim, Matt. Poor Queer Studies: Confronting Elitism in the University. Duke University Press, 2020.

Cervini, Eric. The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. The United States of America. Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2020.

Chen, Angela. Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex. Beacon Press, 2020.

Crewes, Eleanor. The Times I Knew I Was Gay. Scribner, 2020.

Ghaziani, Amin, and Matt Brim, editors. Imagining Queer Methods. NYU Press, 2019.

Koestenbaum, Wayne. Figure It Out: Essays. Soft Skull Press, 2020.

Marszalek, John F. Coming Out of the Magnolia Closet: Same-Sex Couples in Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi, 2020.

Mesch, Rachel. Before Trans: Three Gender Stories from Nineteenth-Century France. Stanford University Press, 2020.

Orloff, Alvin. DISASTERAMA!: Adventures in the Queer Underground 1977 to 1997. Three Rooms Press, 2019.

Ortile, Matt. The Groom Will Keep His Name: And Other Vows I’ve Made about Race, Resistance, and Romance. Bold Type Books, 2020.

Rasmussen, Crystal. Diary of a Drag Queen. FSG Originals, 2020.

Rogers, Baker A. Trans Men in the South: Becoming Men. Rowman & Littlefield, 2020.

Szewczyk, Jesse. Tasty Pride: 75 Recipes and Stories from the Queer Food Community. Clarkson Potter Publishers, 2020.

Thomas, R. Eric. Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America. Ballantine Books.

 

 

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Under Consideration for April 2020

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Poetry

Awkward-Rich, Cameron. Dispatch. Persea Books, 2019.

Bibbins, Mark. 13th Balloon. Copper Canyon Press, 2020.

Brayden, Melissa. Back to September. Bold Strokes Books, 2019.

Cabezón Cámara, Gabriela and Frances Riddle. Slum Virgin. Charco Press, 2019.

Coldiron, Katharine. Ceremonials. Kernpunkt Press, 2020.

Diaz, Natalie. Postcolonial Love Poem. Graywolf Press, 2020.

Kramer, Larry. The American People Volume 2: The Brutality of Fact, A Novel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020.

Plante, Hazel Jane. Little Blue Encyclopedia. Metonymy Press, 2019.

Reed, Justin Phillip. The Malevolent Volume. Coffee Press Books, 2020.

Smith, Danez. Homie. Graywolf Press, 2020.

Szpara, K. M. Docile. Tor, 2020.

Villanueva Siasoco, Ricco. The Foley Artist. Gaudy Boy, 2019.

Non-Fiction

Barker, Meg-John. Gender: A Graphic Guide. Icon Books, 2019.

Clemmons, François. Officer Clemmons. Catapult, 2020.

Ruberg, Bonnie. Queer Games Avant-Garde. Duke University Press, 2020.

Shapland, Jenn. My Autobiography of Carson McCullers. Tin House Books, 2020.

Wizenberg, Molly. The Fixed Stars. Abrams Press, 2020.

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Under Consideration for March 2020

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Poetry

Crain, Caleb. Overthrow. Penguin Random House, 2019.

Delgado Lopera, Juliana. Fiebre Tropical. Feminist Press, 2020.

Foster, Claire Rudy. Shine of the Ever. Interlude Press, 2019.

Gailey, Sarah. Upright Women Wanted. Tor, 2020.

Greenwell, Garth. Cleanness. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020.

Heard, Wendy. The Kill Club. Mira Books, 2019.

Johnson, Cyree Jarelle. Slingshot. Nightboat Books, 2019.

Klune, TJ. The House in the Cerulean Sea. Tor, 2020.

Laskey, Celia. Under the Rainbow. Riverhead, 2020.

Lee, Joon Oluchi. Neotenica. Nightboat Books, 2020.

Martin, Kimmery. The Antidote for Everything. Berkley, 2020.

Moskovich, Yelena. Virtuoso. Two Dollar Radio, 2020.

Muir, Tasmyn. Harrow the Ninth. Tor, 2020.

Phillips, Xandria. Hull. Nightboat Books, 2019.

Porter, Chana. The Seep. Soho Press, 2020.

Taylor, Brandon. Real Life. Riverhead, 2020.

Non-Fiction

Arceneaux, Michael. I Don’t Want to Die Poor. Atria Books, 2020.

Gottlieb, Iris. Seeing Gender. Chronicle Books, 2019.

Koets, Julia. Rib Joint: A Memoir in Essays. Red Hen Press, 2020.

Lavery, Daniel. Something that May Shock and Discredit You. Simon and Schuster, 2020.

Li, Helen, Jake Hall, Jasjyot Singh Hans, Sofie Birkin. The Art of Drag. Nobrow Press, 2020.

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2020 Over the Rainbow Fiction Longlist

Black Leopard, Red Wolf. Marlon James. Riverhead Books, 2019. Violent, lyrical and intense prose follow a troubled warrior around a high fantasy version of epic Africa. His quest is complex and caught up in stories inside stories, diversions that are literal as well as narrative, and James style tumbles through nonlinearly and evoking raw images. This book is full of pain, fear, rage and their flipsides of strength, grace and beauty. It is a difficult masterpiece. 

Cantoras. Carolina De Robertis. Knopf, 2019. A lyrical novel about five queer women living in Uruguay from the 1970s to 2013. They find sanctuary in a coastal community that is temporary, but allows them to create a found family to sustain them despite dictators, trauma, and fear.

Condomnauts. Yoss. Restless Books, 2018.  A totally zany space opera that is sexy, erotic and sometimes non-erotic on purpose. Follow along with the human crewmembers whose job it is to have sex with aliens, because sex is the way all aliens have been making first contact long before anyone in the galaxy knew about humans. It’s funny, it’s gross, it’s queer, it’s happy, and it’s weird. 

Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers. Jake Skeets. Milkwood Editions, 2019. Skeets tells fierce stories of growing up queer and indigenous in the American West. His debut collection of poems is a mix of brutality and tenderness, showcasing the raw beauty and horror of the southwest. Skeets is an essential and ambitious new voice. 

Feed. Tommy Pico. Tin House Books, 2019. The final installation in the “Teebs” tetralogy weaves together a bountiful array of themes in this free-verse, tour-de-force of a book-length poem.  With a style that moves at the speed of a social media feed, Pico kneads his inner dialogue into a beautiful and funny poetic form, with plenty of pop culture references and internet slang, along with a good helping of depth and meaning. This is queer poetry for right now.

Frankissstein: A Love Story. Jeanette Winterson. Grove Press, 2019.  Three intertwined stories explore a transgender doctor falling in love, a cryogenics lab with people frozen and waiting to be revived, and Mary Shelley writes her famous story.  

Gideon the Ninth. Tamsyn Muir. Tom Doherty Associates, 2019.  After growing up in the geriatric 9th house of bone magicians, Gideon longs to be anywhere else. When she plans a daring escape, she is instead forced to fight against the other eight necromancer houses alongside her childhood nemesis to win a deadly trial put forth by the Emperor. 

Girl, Woman, Other. Bernardine Evaristo. Grove, 2019. A joyful read following connected characters in the UK, each with their own lived experience with identities of color and queerness. Each section haș its own voice and style while the connected nature gives varying perspectives of the others.

Grease Bats. Archie Bongiovanni. Boom! Box, 2019. This collection of comics follows the daily adventures of two queer main characters and their circle of friends. These comics explore the realities that queer individuals face in everyday life with dry humor. 

Half Moon Street. Alex Reeve. Felony & Mayhem, 2019. Half Moon Street features a transgender main character, Leo Stanhope. Leo finds his life turned upside-down when the woman he loves is murdered. When local authorities show little interest in the truth of the killing, Leo turns into an amateur sleuth in order to discover what happened. Though this novel is imperfect, it remains a valuable addition to the list of works featuring a transgender main character. 

In at the Deep End. Kate Davies. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019. Julia has a tumultuous coming out in her twenties, followed by a high-intensity relationship with the beautiful and confident Sam. As their relationship intensifies, Sam’s need for control begins to stifle Julia’s newfound liberation. This funny and painful coming of age novel does not shy away from the joys of queer community, or the challenges or shame of finding oneself in an abusive queer relationship. An unexpected and sincere read. 

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics. Olivia Waite. Avon Impulse, 2019. After her father’s death and her female lover’s sudden wedding to a man, Lucy wants nothing more than to distract herself with the challenge of translating a famous French astronomy text; however, in Regency England, the men offering to fund the text’s translation refuse to support a female translator. Luckily, she finds an unexpected ally in the Countess of Moth, a widowed artist whose talents were never recognized. The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics tells the story of how these two women navigate their differences, their shared goals, and, ultimately, their love for one another. 

Last Night in Nuuk. Niviaq Korneliussen. Black Cat, 2019. Haunting and evocative prose pulls the reader into the messy lives of 5 young Greenlanders and never lets go, propelling with an inventive style and voice that is brand new and mature at the same time. Featuring lots of drinking and drugs, sex, ambiguity and fluidity, these characters and their relationships tell all about contemporary Greenland, as well as what it is like for any young person just trying to figure stuff out.

Leading Men. Christopher Castellani. Viking, 2019. The real-life relationship between Tennessee Williams and his longtime lover, Frank Merlo, is the starting point for this highly fictionalized tale. At a party thrown by Truman Capote in Portofino, Italy in 1953, the couple meets a Swedish actress who becomes a pivotal figure in their lives in this lush, evocative story about love and fame.

Lie With Me. Philippe Besson. Scribner, 2019.  Philippe and Thomas become lovers in their last year of high school in rural France in 1984. Years later, Philippe looks back on their brief, doomed romance after spotting a Thomas look-alike. Translated by Molly Ringwald. 

The Long Road to Liquor City. Macon Blair and Joe Flood. Oni Press, 2019. The Long Road to Liquor City is a graphic novel that follows two hobos, Jed and Thanny, as they search for the fabled Liquor City. Along the way, they run afoul of rail yard sergeant, Ronan O’Feathers, who believes the two to be responsible for the death of his wife. This graphic novel is well-drawn, amusing, and features a unique and endearing cast of characters.

Love Letters to Jane’s World. Paige Braddock. Lion Forge, 2018. This collection pairs popular comic strips from Jane’s World–the first syndicated comic strip with a lesbian main character–with love letters from notable fans. This curated selection of strips from 1998 to 2018 will be a joy for current fans, as well as for new readers. 

The Melting Queen. Bruce Cinnamon. NeWest Press, 2019. The annual crowning of the Melting Queen in Edmonton, Alberta is given an unexpected twist when gender-fluid River Runson is named the newest queen in this modern fairy tale. 

Mostly Dead Things. Kristin Arnett. Tin House Books, 2019. After Jessa-Lynn discovers her father’s body on his taxidermy table, she must step up to run the family taxidermy business while her mother and brother fall apart. While grieving both her father and her brother’s wife–her first love, who married her brother Milo and later walked out without a word–Jessa must navigate the world created by their absence, including her mother’s increasingly sexualized art created out of her father’s prized mounts. This Floridian debut is macabre, intrinsically gay, and shockingly funny. 

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Ocean Vuong. Penguin Randomhouse, 2019. Poet Vuong’s debut novel, featured on several long and shortlists for the year, including the National Book Award Longlist, and winner of the 2019 New England Book Award for Fiction. The narrator, a twenty-something Vietnamese-American, is writing a long letter to his Vietnamese mother who cannot read. Vuong’s tender prose spans generations of trauma, exploring the narrator’s family’s experience in war, American poverty, and the narrator’s sexuality and relationships with other men. Vuong redefines form in this dreamlike and groundbreaking novel. 

The Priory of the Orange Tree. Samantha Shannon. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019. The Priory of the Orange Tree is a welcome queer addition to the existing catalog of high fantasy novels. Presented in three unique perspectives, the novel tells a story of magic, dragons, and political intrigue. At over 800 pages, this feminist fantasy tale will delight readers looking for a long read with a unique setting and well-developed characters. 

Red, White & Royal Blue. Casey McQuiston. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2019. The First Son of the United States and Prince of England go from antagonists to lovers in this slightly altered world. Both are very intelligent and quote literary icons in their emails. This was definitely the feel good read of the summer!

Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). Edited by Catherine Lundoff. Queen of Swords Press, 2018. This collection of short stories features themes of pirates and takes place across different settings and times. These stories feature a wide range of subjects from historical piracy on the seas to galactic piracy in space in the far future. Many of the characters featured throughout these stories are queer identified and are written by queer authors.

The Spellbinders. Aleardo Zanghellini. Lethe Press, 2018. This work of historical fiction reimagines the life of Edward II. The story focuses on Edward’s relationship with a soldier, Piers Gaveston, and how this relationship affects and even helps to build his relationship with his queen before Gaveston is murdered by a jealous earl. This book looks at the medieval king’s personal relationships with an honest and unapologetic lens.

Sugar Run. Mesha Maren. Algonquin Books, 2019. When Jodi McCarty is released from prison after 18 years on a manslaughter charge, she has plans for a low-key future, however the world is not cooperative in this noir-inspired tale of flawed characters living in Appalachia.

Thorn. Anna Burke. Bywater Books, 2019. Rowan is kidnapped by the legendary Huntress of local superstition after her father hunts on the Huntress’s lands and steals a cursed rose. Despite being held against her will, Rowan finds herself drawn to the Huntress, a welcome reprieve from the arranged betrothal that awaits her should she return home. Thorn is a brilliant feminist retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

The Tradition. Jericho Brown. Copper Canyon Press, 2019. Jericho Brown speaks the truth through poetry about being a gay black man in America who is also HIV-positive. Poems reflect his own experiences, some incredibly painful, while others provide insights into other members of his community. If the personal is universal, Jericho Brown represents all of us.

Transcendent 3. Edited by Bogi Takács. Lethe Press, 2018. A vivid collection of the year’s best transgender speculative fiction, these fantastical tales include everything from far futures to time travel, ghosts, horror movies, and much more. This anthology features diverse stories from important new voices: K.M Szpara, Rivers Solomon, Indrapramit Das.

Willa & Hesper. Amy Feltman. Grand Central Publishing, 2019. Willa and Hesper are both students in the MFA creative writing program at Columbia University, but it isn’t until a chance encounter one night in Brooklyn that their relationship turns romantic. The unraveling of their brief, intense relationship, and the journeys, both literal and figurative, that the break up propels both of them towards, are just as formative. The story is told with a thrillingly contemporary sensibility, mixing a lot of funny and playful moments with the sad ones.

Without Protection. Gala Mukomolova. Coffee House Press, 2019. Mukomolova mixes modern life as a lesbian in New York City with classic Russian folktales. In this stunning collection, Mukomolova explores her identities and family through the story of Vassilyasa, a young girl who must fend for herself against Baba Yaga. Her poems are compelling and erotic, a mix of mythology and modernity. 

WWJD and Other Poems. Savannah Sipple. SIbling Rivalry Press, 2019. These poems cover themes of what it is like to grow up in Appalachia while queer, female, and fat. She doesn’t shy from the seeming contradictions that evangelical underpinnings carry through her work. 

You are enough: Love Poems For the End of the World. Smokii Sumac. Kegedonce Press, 2018. In his debut collection of poetry using haiku format as a starting point in composition, Sumac shares with us all 2 years of poetry created from the experiences of 2 years of his journey as a Ktunaxa, Two-Spirit trans masculine scholar. Funny, touching, and inspiring poems.

 

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