In Amy Strauss Friedman’s poetry collection Gathered Bones are Known to Wander (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016), the familiar is made strange and surreal, and what’s “real” is slippery at best.
Tammy Robacker’s poetry collection R (Seven Kitchens Press) sets masculinity and the male gaze against female adolescence to heartbreaking effect.
Janeen Pergrin Rastall reviews Amorak Huey’s Ha Ha Ha Thump, a collection that finds humor and beauty in every situation it encounters.
QueerSexWords (Yellow Chair Press, 2016) by Caseyrenée Lopez sings with grief and power in its exploration of sexuality and what it means to love in a hostile world.
Esmé Weijun Wang’s novel The Border of Paradise (The Unnamed Press, 2016) forces readers to question how they define their own happiness and spirituality.
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza’s full-length poetry collection There Should be Flowers (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016) charts the struggle of making one’s body their own.
Hoa Nguyen’s poetry collection Violet Energy Ingots (Wave Books, 2016) weaves a rough tapestry of domestic objects and daily tasks that also reveal how we long to grow our own cultural garden.
Joanna Valente’s The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015) casts the Tarot’s Major Arcana as characters in the modern world, complete with Internet access, day jobs, night clubs, existential terror, Brooklyn, and bands.
Amie Whittemore’s debut poetry collection Glass Harvest (Autumn House Press, 2016) journeys through desire, loss, and starting again to offer up some hard-won lessons.
Neil Aitken’s chapbook Leviathan tells the story of Charles Babbage and the passion and ambition that outpaced his lifetime.
Arielle Greenberg’s collection Locally Made Panties, a playful mix of feminism and fashion obsession, examines clothing’s ties to identity, self worth, privilege, and how women are watched and seen.
Margaret Bashaar’s Stationed Near the Gateway explores what it means to belong—and resist belonging—to a place and the people in it.