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Home is Where You Queer Your Heart: Queer Writers on Finding and Making Home (Foglifter Press)
Home is Where You Queer Your Heart anthologizes contemporary queer writers and artists creatively thinking through the complex and fluid realities in the U.S. and abroad. Curated during the 2020 U.S. presidential election and the COVID-19 pandemic, as the culture shifts into a new normal—and many queer people feel their nation has further precluded them from a place of comfort—poets, essayists, storytellers, and artists remind us that it is at our kitchen tables, in our bedrooms, on our porches that makes us who we are.
This collection, organized around the four cardinal directions, encompasses poetry, prose, hybrid and concrete pieces, and highlights a diverse group of authors along the queer and trans spectrum.
For LGBTQ+ people, it has often been a matter of survival to leave home and a matter of thriving to make it anew. LGBTQ+ people have a tradition of creating “logical” homes, to borrow Armistead Maupin’s term, when biological families, and therefore the states and territories that legitimize them, have failed to recognize, accept, and protect us. Yes, liberation movements have led to progress, to gay rights, however, with our changing economies, environment, and technologies, what was more equitable then is less so now. How do queer writers negotiate their feelings of home when their nation has further precluded them from a place of comfort?
Narratives of departure and arrival have chronicled the formation of present-day communities built on radical acts of queer homemaking. Coastal cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are queer sites in our imaginary, but what if such places are inaccessible—you can’t make it there, you’ve been priced out or displaced, or you’re houseless? Because home is not “where you’re from, it’s where you’re at,” says rapper Rakim, we’re reminded of the mental and spiritual energies we harness to be present in the here and now. How are the conditions of the times affecting the way we make and write about home?
Foglifter Press has published poets, essayists, storytellers, and writers who delve within and in between these spaces. We are especially excited to present work that experiments with form in relation to themes of home. Most importantly, we desire to show how complicated these questions of home can be—we celebrate the multiplicity of definition with this anthology.
Miah Jeffra is author of The Fabulous Ekphrastic Fantastic! (Sibling Rivalry 2020), The Violence Almanac (Black Lawrence 2021), and the chapbook The First Church of What's Happening (Nomadic 2017). Awards include the New Millennium Prize, the Sidney Lanier Fiction Prize, The Atticus Review Creative Nonfiction Prize, the Alice Judson Hayes Fellowship, Lambda Literary Fellowship, and 2019 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Outstanding Anthology. Most recent work can be seen in StoryQuarterly, The North American Review, The Pinch, The Greensboro Review, DIAGRAM, The Boiler and Barrelhouse. Miah is a founding editor of Whiting Award-winning queer literary collaborative, Foglifter Press.
C.W. Emerson’s work has appeared in Atlanta Review, Crab Orchard Review, Greensboro Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Poetry East, Tupelo Quarterly and others. He received an International Merit Reward in the Atlanta Review 2017 International Poetry Competition. Emerson lives in Palm Springs, California where he works as a clinical psychologist, and studies with poet Cecilia Woloch.
Michal MJ Jones is a Black, queer non-binary poet and parent living in Oakland, CA. Their work is featured or forthcoming at Kissing Dynamite, Rigorous Mag, & Borderlands Texas Poetry Review. They are currently the Community Engagement Graduate Fellow in the MFA program at Mills College. michal-jones.com
Jahan Khajavi writes “wildly amusing & explicit queer poetry” informed by classical Persian traditions. When not in South Bend, Jahan lives, works, and performs in Rome. Other poems by Jahan can be found in Lotus-eater, Flash Cove, Split Lip, & The Recluse.
Claudia Rodriguez is a grassroots oriented poet/writer/performer, dedicated to creating accurate and empowering representations of marginalized communities and raising awareness of social issues through her art. Her first collection of poetry, Everybody’s Bread, was a 2016 Lambda Literary finalist. She is a PhD candidate in Chicana/o and Central American Studies at UCLA.
J.G. Simiński is a writer, poet, and audiobook narrator. Simiński is also the writer of the TV pilot, “ProvinceLands,” about the disappearances of young, queer men on Cape Cod. He has been the host of the podcast talkin’ ‘bout Our Generation since 2019 and most recently narrated the promo for the new Widdershins Role-Playing Game.
Kevin Simmonds is a writer and musician originally from New Orleans. His full-length poetry collections include Mad for Meat and Bend to it, and the anthology Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality. His chapbooks are the system must be tried and The Noh of Dorian Corey. He lives in San Francisco.
Christopher Soto is a poet based in Los Angeles. He works at UCLA with the Ethnic Studies Centers and sits on the Board of Directors for Lambda Literary. Soto’s poems, reviews, interviews, and articles can be found at The Nation, The Guardian, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and has recently been named a 2021 NEA Fellow in Poetry.