Friday, August 31, 2007

Poem: "Psalm" by Stuart Kestenbaum, from Prayers & Run-on Sentences. © Deerbrook Editions, 2007. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)


The only psalm I had memorized was the 23rd
and now I find myself searching for the order
of the phrases knowing it ends with surely
goodness and mercy will follow me
all the days of my life and I will dwell
in the house of the Lord forever only I remember
seeing a new translation from the original Hebrew
and forever wasn't forever but a long time
which is different from forever although
even a long time today would be
good enough for me even a minute entering
the House would be good enough for me,
even a hand on the door or dropping today's
newspaper on the stoop or looking in the windows
that are reflecting this morning's clouds in first light.

More about Stuart Kestenbaum is here, here, and here.

Marriage Just Doesn't Work - Column in the Washington Blade

Marriage just doesn’t work
High divorce rate proves that it’s unrealistic for couples to bond for life.

Friday, August 31, 2007

I FIND IT ironic that at the same time the gay civil rights movement has marriage at the forefront of our political agenda, in my personal life, I am seeing repeatedly how insufficient the institution of marriage truly is.

Read the rest of the column here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Galatea Resurrects #7


is pleased to release its seventh issue.  You can access the issue at For convenience, the Table of Contents is also featured below. 

Please note we are always looking for reviewers and review copies; information about review submission is at .


August 31, 2007

By Eileen Tabios

Jessica Bozek reviews AFTER YOU, DEAREST LANGUAGE by Marisol Limon Martinez

Nicholas Manning reviews POEM FOR THE END OF TIME AND OTHER POEMS by Noelle Kocot

Eileen Tabios engages THE STEAM SEQUENCE by Carly Sachs

Brian Strang reviews BROKEN WORLD by Joseph Lease

Brenda Iijima reviews A HALF-RED SEA by Evie Shockley

Patrick James Dunagan reviews A FIDDLE PULLED FROM THE THROAT OF A SPARROW by Noah Eli Gordon

Nicholas Grider reviews INSECT COUNTRY (A), INSECT COUNTRY (B), and the INSECT TUTELAGE BLOG by Sawako Nakayasu

Patrick James Dunagan reviews TRAFFIC: A PUBLICATION OF SMALL PRESS TRAFFIC, ISSUES 1 AND 2, (2005-2007) edited by Elizabeth Treadwell

Teresa Carmody reviews [one love affair]* by Jenny Boully

John Bloomberg-Rissman reviews THE BODY ACHES and NOT EVEN DOGS by Ernesto Priego

Nicholas Grider reviews NETS by Jen Bervin

Patrick James Dunagan reviews HOUSE ORGAN #58 Win/Spr ’07 edited by Kenneth Warren

Nicholas Manning reviews GUESTS OF SPACE by Anselm Hollo

Rochita Loenen-Ruiz reviews THE GODS WE WORSHIP LIVE NEXT DOOR by Bino A. Realuyo

Jennifer Bartlett reviews THE SECOND CHILD by Deborah Garrison

Eileen Tabios engages BROKEN/OPEN by Jill Jones

Laurel Johnson reviews THE ELEPHANT HOUSE by Claudia Carlson

Alysha Wood reviews a(A)ugust by Akilah Oliver, with collages by Brenda Iijima

Eileen Tabios engages BELLUM LETTERS by Michelle Detorie

Steve Halle reviews POSIT by Adam Fieled

Paul Klinger reviews THE BOOK OF OCEAN BY Maryrose Larkin

Michelle Detorie reviews BIRDS AND FANCIES by Elizabeth Treadwell

Eileen Tabios engages ERRATUM to and including A SPY IN THE HOUSE OF YEARS (LEVIATHAN PRESS, 2001) by Giles Goodland

Craig Santos Perez reviews NAMES ABOVE HOUSES by Oliver de la Paz

Christopher Mulrooney reviews OSIP MANDELSTAM: NEW TRANSLATIONS edited by Ilya Bernstein

Craig Santos Perez reviews ANYWHERE AVENUE by Oscar Bermeo

Christopoher Mulrooney reviews STIGMATA ERRATA ETCETERA by Bill Knott, with collages by Star Black

Nicholas Grider reviews THE STATES, Vols. 1 and 2 by Craig Foltz, designed and edited by designed and edited by Ellie Ga, and with photographs by William Gillespie, Justin Ulmer, Martin Bland, Sabra Cox, Kristina Del Pino, Simona Schneider, Florence Neal, Jon Ciliberto, Stephen Mead, Christa HOlka, Don Goede, Lyn Lifshin, Shelton Walsmith, Marie Kazalia, Rebekah Travis, Lara Khalil, Tracy Lee Carroll, Jennifer Stahl, Barbara Henning, Jade Doskow, David McConeghy, Jared Zimmerman, Alice Arnold, Robert Matson, Mary Wrenn, Julia Marta Clapp, Tina Burton, Jim Simandl, Philip Metres, Chris Hampton, Hayley Barker, Thomas Ciufo, Meredyth Sparks, Shannon Shaper, Renae Morehead, Ryn Gargulinski, Robert S. Dunn, Jen Hofer, David Gatten, Jerilyn Myran, Shara Shisheboran, Courtney Fischer, ARiana Smart Truman, Tod Seelie, David W. Lee, Katherine McDowell, Mike Mahaffie, Willile Baronet, Karen Lillis, Paul Yoo, Justin Simonsen and Elizabeth Willis.

Beatriz Tabios engages BRIDGEABLE SHORES: SELECTED POEMS (1969-2001) by Luis Cabalquinto

Carlos Hiraldo reviews THE SALESMAN'S SHOES by James Roderick Burns

Nicholas Manning reviews FOLLY by Nada Gordon

Alysha Wood reviews trespasses by Padcha Tuntha-obas

Kristin Berkey-Abbott reviews THE MCSWEENEY BOOK OF POETS PICKING POETS edited by Dominic Lumford

Joe LeClerc reviews THE ENEMY SELF: POETRY & CRITICISM OF LAURA RIDING edited by Barbara Adams

Hugh Fox reviews LIBIDO DREAMS: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS by Glenna Luschei

Laurel Johnson reviews THE MOUNTAIN IN THE SEA by Victor Hernandez Cruz

Craig Santos Perez reviews THE WIND SHIFTS: NEW LATINO POETRY edited by Francisco Aragon

Kristin Berkey-Abbott reviews PUNK POEMS by John Burgess

Julie R. Enszer Reviews SUGARING by Ann Cefola

Julie R. Enszer Reviews TEAHOUSE OF THE ALMIGHTY by Patricia Smith

Julie R. Enszer Reviews CINEPHRASTICS by Kathleen Ossip

Julie R. Enszer Reviews THE PARAGON by Kathrine Varnes

Julie R. Enszer Reviews KALI’S BLADE by Michelle Bautista

Julie R. Enszer Reviews three books by Rochelle Ratner: QUARRY, COMBING THE WAVES, and PRACTICING TO BE A WOMAN

"Objections to the Beauty-Object: A Reading of Two Poems by Barbara Guest" by Catherine Wagner

"The Ocean At Night: An Inside Look at the Poetry Process" by Aimee Celino Nezhukumatathil

Catherine Wagner reviews 19 VARIETIES OF GAZELLE: POEMS OF THE MIDDLE EAST by Naomi Shihab Nye and EMAILS FROM SCHEHEREZAD by Mohja Kahf

Catherine Wagner reviews CATALOGUE OF COMEDIC NOVELTIES: SELECTED POEMS by Lev Rubinstein, Translated by Philip Metres and Tatiana Tulchinsky


Poetry Feeds The World!


Friday, August 24, 2007

Article: "Waiting for Marriage in Maryland" in Baltimore Out Loud

My column, "Waiting for Marriage in Maryland" was published in Baltimore Out Loud on Friday, August 17, 2007. Copies of the column are below - they may be too difficult to read online, so I've posted the .

Pride Profile from June

I am belated in this post - it's nearly the end of August, but I feel sure somewhere, someone is celebrating Pride.

My buddy, Ken Hill, over at the QueerSighted Blog, included a link to my column about Pride in the Washington Blade in the AOL pride wrap up.

A JPEG of the link is included below.

HT to the beloved Kenny Hill.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Join Me In Vermont at Black Sheep Books on Tuesday, August 14th at 7 p.m.


Three Queer Poets:
Readings by Julie R. Enszer, Merry Gangemi,
and Nicki Hastie

Tuesday, August 14 at 7:00 p.m.
at 4 Langdon Street, Montpelier, VT

Julie R. Enszer, a Maryland-based writer and lesbian
activist, is published in "Iris: A Journal about
Women," "Room of One's Own," "Long Shot," the "Jewish
Women's Literary Annual," and the "Harrington Lesbian
Literary Quarterly." Her book, "Homesteading: Essays
on Life, Death, Sex, and Liberation," is forthcoming
in winter 2008. For more on Julie, see

Merry Gangemi lives in Woodbury, VT, and is the host
of Woman-Stirred Radio, a weekly queer cultural
journal on WGDR 91.1 fm. Her work is published in the
"Paterson Literary Review," "Journal of NJ Poets,"
"Harrington Lesbian Fiction Quarterly," the
"Harrington Lesbian Literary Review," "Vermont Woman,"
and the "Hardwick Gazette." She produces the annual
Tea & Poetry series, a Vermont literary festival now
in its sixth year. For more on Merry, see

Nicki Hastie lives in Nottingham, England. She is a
founding member of the Woman-Stirred blog. Her work is
published in "Chroma," "Diva," "Trouble & Strife," and
also in critical anthologies relating to women's
health, coming out stories, lesbian fiction, and
representations of lesbians in popular culture. For
more on Nicki, see

* * *

Black Sheep Books, a community space and bookstore in
Montpelier, Vermont, offers affordable radical and
scholarly books, and hosts educational events on
cultural and political topics. As an all-volunteer
project, we are operated by a five-member collective
hand in hand with a group of dedicated volunteers. Our
principle focus is to provide access to
anti-authoritarian Left ideas in a way that promotes
intellectual debate and challenges today’s hegemonic
culture. Together with horizontalist social movements
and political projects, bookstores, infoshops, and
publishers, Black Sheep Books works toward an
egalitarian, ecological, and nonhierarchical society.

Black Sheep Books
4 Langdon Street, Montpelier, Vermont / 802-225-8906
Hours: Tues-Sat 11-6, Sun 11-5, Mon closed

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Happy Birthday, Wendell Berry!

From The Writer’s Almanac
It's the birthday of Wendell Berry (books by this author), born in Port Royal, Kentucky (1934). He grew up on farmland that had belonged to his family since 1803. He went on to college and to graduate school. He lived in California and Italy and New York City. But through all those years, he never stopped thinking about the place where he grew up, and he finally decided to move back to the area permanently. Most of his city friends thought he was crazy, but he bought a small farm in his hometown, which still had a population of only a hundred or so people, and he began farming it the way his grandfather had taught him, without any machines.
He grew squash, corn, and tomatoes, and he got a flock of sheep, a milk cow, and some horses. And he wrote about his experiences as a farmer in more than 40 books of poetry, fiction, and essays. His collections of poetry include The Farm (1995) and A Timbered Choir (1998). But he's best known for his essays in books such as The Gift of Good Land (1981), What Are People For? (1990), and Life Is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition (2000).
Wendell Berry said, "Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.“

Oh, I am a fan of Wendell Berry. I hope that he is enjoying a fabulous birthday today with many red berries!

Friday, August 03, 2007

When Queer Collection 2007, Gregory Kompes’ contribution to the world of GLBT anthologies, was released in June of this year, I emailed him and offered to help him promote the book. In part, I did this because I have a book coming out next spring and I thought that I could use Queer Collection as a tool to build some new relationships and get a warm up for the promotion of my own book. It didn’t hurt that Gregory selected two poems of mine, First Kiss and Black Dress, for the collection and I was thrilled to see them in print. All to say, my promotion wasn’t selfless. In spite of that it was motivated by my belief in the importance of independent publishing for GLBT writers.

Two anthologies that I treasure are Amazon Poetry and Lesbian Poetry. These books are two iterations of similar material and were edited by Elly Bulkin and are critical anthologies in the development of a lesbian voice in poetry during the second wave of feminism in the 1970s and early 1980s. I treasure them both and am consequently always looking out for anthologies that will capture, most likely retrospectively, our historical moment now. That’s the reason when the call for submissions for Queer Collection 2007 came into my email box, I submitted. I don’t know what will be the collection of queer poetry that signifies a renaissance in queer writing, but I do know that I want to be in it.

So I support the project that Kompes has undertaken and am pleased to be a part of it. I also was thrilled with Gregory sent me ten copies of Queer Collection 2007 to use as promotional copies. I began contacting reviewers and gay and lesbian publications to encourage them to consider writing about the book.

Kate Evans at Being and Writing wrote a lovely entry about the book for her weekly installment, Poetry Monday. Kate’s book, Like All We Love, was recently published and has gotten good reviews.

Ann White who blogs at Red Hibiscus also wrote a lovely - and trenchant - review.

I emailed with Ann a bit this week about her review and I want to include some of my responses here on my blog. This isn’t in any way to refute what Ann has written because I am enormously grateful for the time and attention that she gave to the Queer Collection 2007. I know myself from writing reviews that its and extraordinary amount of work and to write a review that addresses books in a critically constructive way, which Ann has, requires even more work. So I write this to extend her analysis somewhat and to be in dialogue with someone I regard as having a sharp mind.

I wrote to Ann:

Hi, Ann,

I see your comments about the editorial treatment in a political context - as I am want to do. There is a corporatized publishing industry which waxes and wanes in it's treatment of queer writers. Right now, I think we are in a waning phase. There is less interest in queer writers and queer writers aren't selling as well. The Washington Blade just did a story about how Mary Cheney's book underperformed. When in the mainstream houses, queer writers are not doing well, the less mainstream houses suffer - Alyson, Carroll & Graf, etc. Moreover, we've lost some of the important publishers of lesbian writers. I still mourn every day that Firebrand is gone. And Spinsters Ink seems to be rising again, but I haven't seen what they have published lately. In short, I think we're [GLBT writers] underrepresented in the publishing industry and not getting time and attention from them.

This creates a need for independent projects. There are great ones happening - I love what the fellows at Suspect Thoughts are doing, for instance, and the great lesbian romance house in NY - criminey, I can't recall the name - BOLD STROKES Books. I don't consider these corporatized at all. Then there are these independent operations like Kompes. The things is in producing a truly independent book, without any press infrastructure like proofreading, design, distribution, marketing, etc, doing a book like Queer Collection is a humongous undertaking. I salute Kompes for doing it because it isn't profitable - for anyone. If it was, more corporatized publishers (again, I'd include Alyson in that and even in a stretch Spinsters Ink) would be publishing book like this. Now perhaps it could just be said, they don't make money. Well, most literary novels don't make money and no books of poetry are profitable. None. Ok, maybe Jewel and the woman at Blue Mountain Arts - Susan Polis. So in that context, what Kompes has done is to me important and admirable. Is the quality that of a NY publishing house? No. You ask, does the archive of lesbigay writing merit as diligent an editorial treatment as those that have come before? Certainly, but I think that there are some disanalogies in what you set up. Faderman's book, for instance, is out of a big NY house and Faderman did it as a tenured professor. A different beast than assembling something as an independent writer as Kompes is. Moreover, I think it is not only editorial treatment, but design, marketing, distribution, etc. I want lesbigay writers to have the highest quality of everything in the publishing world, but if I waited for that, I'd be living in complete silence and I'd be writing for no one.

That's my political rant. I'm actually going to write a bit more about it on my blog because I think you raise important questions about the anthology though I have other ones as well. Mostly, I just appreciate that in the silence, Kompes added his voice - not a perfect one, but a voice. A sound. We need that.

Have a great day!


In the days since that email and in my further mullings of things, I still feel strongly inspired by what Gregory has done with Queer Collection 2007. Certainly, Ann raises good points, but as I’ve been working for a publisher this summer i am becoming more and more aware of the challenges that publishers, even large publishers, have to getting books into the hands of readers. Yet, I know and believe in books powerfully. Books have changed my life and they have changed my understanding of the world. We must have them. We - especially us queers - must find ways of getting them out into the world. Even if that means our projects have shortcomings. Even if that means we make mistakes. Even if that means we have a flawed archive. To have no archive at all would be much worse.

In the interim from this communication, another small press, A Midsummer Night’s Press, has announced two new annual anthologies. I’m pleased and thinking about what I’ll send them in November. Their full call for poems is below.

Meanwhile, though, I’d love to hear from others their thoughts about publishing, independent and otherwise, the queer archive, anthologies, or any of the other issues raised here.

A Midsummer Night's Press announces two new annual anthologies:

BEST GAY POETRY edited by Lawrence Schimel
BEST LESBIAN POETRY edited by Linda Alvarez

For the 2008 editions of this exciting new series celebrating the best
in gay/lesbian poetry, A Midsummer Night's Press invites submissions
of poems published during 2007.

Poems can have appeared in print or online magazines, journals, or
anthologies; we are also willing to consider poems from books or
chapbooks first published in 2007, even if the poem was originally
published previously in periodicals, so long as the poet has the right
to reprint the poem.

We are open to all styles of poetry, from formal to free verse; we are
likewise open-minded in terms of content, so long as it somehow fits
(even if pushing the boundaries of) what might be considered "gay
poetry" or "lesbian poetry".
We are willing to consider slam poetry, so long as it has been
published in text form, not merely performed; the poem must also work
on the page, for these anthologies.
We are open to English-language poetry from all over the world, and
actively look to include non-North American voices.

Submissions from individual poets or queries should be sent by email
in .doc format to one of the following addresses, as appropriate:

Please title documents with the poet's surname.

Please include contact information (both street and email address),
bio, and previous publication history WITHIN the document, as
documents will be read separately from the emails.

Deadline is December 1, 2007.
(We will consider submissions of work that is scheduled to appear in
the latter half of the year, but which has not yet been published.)

In each volume, A Midsummer Night's Press also plans to include a
round-up of all books/journals/anthologies of gay/lesbian poetry
published the previous year. (We also welcome recommendations or
suggestions of appropriate poems from editors of journals or

Books and journals for review can be sent to the attention of the
appropriate editor at:
A Midsummer Night's Press
16 West 36th Street
2nd Floor
New York NY 10018

About the Editors

Linda Alvarez is the editor of the anthologies BEST DATE EVER: TRUE

Lawrence Schimel is an award-winning author and anthologist who has
published over 80 books, including FIRST PERSON QUEER (Arsenal Pulp),
TWO BOYS IN LOVE (Seventh Window), THE FUTURE IS QUEER (Arsenal Pulp),
PoMoSEXUALS (Cleis), and TWO HEARTS DESIRE (St. Martin's Press). He
also edited the first (and so far only) anthology of gay love poetry
to appear in Catalan, ELLS S'ESTIMEN (Llibres de l'Index). His poems
have appeared in a diverse array of periodicals, from THE CHRISTIAN
VERSE, among others. He lives in Madrid, Spain with his husband,
Ismael Attrache.

About the Publisher:

A Midsummer Night's Press ( is an
independent publisher devoted primarily to poetry, publishing under
three imprints: Fabula Rasa for work inspired by fairy tales or
mythology, Funny Bones for light verse and humor, and Body Language
for works exploring sexuality and queer subjects. The press' first
titles include THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED IN OUR OTHER LIFE by Achy Obejas,
Ardai, and FAIRY TALES FOR WRITERS by Lawrence Schimel. A Midsummer
Night's Press is distributed by SPD (

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tea & Poetry in Vermont August 18 & 19

I'll be in lovely East Hardwick, VT again this summer for Tea & Poetry organized by the incomparable Merry Gangemi. Please join me if you are able.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Civil Unions in NJ

This article, Why Civil Unions are Not Enough, was featured on Alternet today. Greta Christina raises good points and it’s great to read reactions from people in New Jersey.