Article Title:Six Queer Poets You Should Know
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Published on:21st March 2016 - 12:08 pm
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Story ID:18083
Text:Today is international poetry day and to celebrate we take a look at some contemporary queer artists making waves around the world. Photo by Jane Ussher Courtney Sina Meredith Courtney is a New Zealand poet, playwright, fiction writer and musician who launched her first book of poetry Brown Girls in Bright Red Lipstick, in 2012. Her poetry and prose have been translated into Italian, German, Dutch, French and Bahasa Indonesia. In 2011, she was the first New Zealander, the first Pacific Islander and the youngest artist in the history of the LiteraturRaum project to be invited to Germany as writer-in-residence for the Bleibtreu Berlin So/ Hi So a love note pre Christmas. It’s okay, I’m not missing you much. I’m keeping in mind your views on missing-ness: A. loss of energy B. loss of opportunity C. girly mush. Last night I had a long bath without bubbles. It was very grown up. Tomorrow and the day after I’m feeding the homeless in Hackney. On Christmas day I’ll feed the homeless in the city and then I’ll walk back to my upside down heart for an evening of tofu and mushrooms. I've been asked to feed the next door neighbour's cat. They have a TV with sky and I’m encouraged to watch it. I will do my best to survive a night of terrible merry movies but I can’t promise anything. Hi I hope you’re alive. It would be very off-plan if you weren't. The silence has lasted for longer than usual. Are you swimming through an ocean of limbs? I had a good night, a bit too good. I got a free pass to some dub in Brixton, it was incredible. I befriended a drug dealer, a gang of Nigerians and a young couple - the guy played sax, some random from Lower Hutt. When I woke up I had strange bruises, evidence of having eaten fried chicken and a cut on my leg from breaking into a huge park. I don't remember falling asleep, but I must have. I woke up in beautiful light. You do a very good impression of someone who forgets me everywhere. Like an umbrella you don't need when it’s sunny. From the feature film Actually Alex Photo Credit: Annie Jamieson Cole Meyers Cole is a New Zealand poet, writer, actor, director, artist and activist whose work is focused on creating spaces for trans people, queer people and people with disabilities and mental health experiences- to feel validated, creative and safe. In this way he combines his passion for art of all kinds with his drive to help others heal and express their truths through their own creative pursuits. TDoR How about remembering not just the violence of the world but remembering the violence of the words that build our graves? How about remembering who is really dying and the systems of control that bury them alive? How about remembering not just the violence of the system but the violence this world taught us we should do to ourselves? How about remembering us before we are dead? Janani Balasubramanian Janani Balasubramanian is a queer South Asian literary and performance artist based in the US. Their work deals broadly with themes of empire, desire, embodiment, microflora, ancestry, apocalypse, and the Future. Excerpt from Trans/national “I understand that your bodies have not always been yours, but they have always been beautiful. You have always had words for them. My testosterone is now made by Israel’s largest company. There is colonization running through my bloodstream. Every time I take a shot, my muscles feel out of place for several days.” Check out the full poem performed in a poetry slam here. Andrea Gibson Andrea Gibson is a US spoken word poet whose poetry unravels gender norms and addresses politics, social reform and the issues faced by LGBTI people. Excerpt from the poem ‘Say Yes’ When two violins are placed in a room if a chord on one violin is struck the other violin will sound the note If this is your definition of hope This is for you The ones who know how powerful we are Who know we can sound the music in the people around us simply by playing our own strings for the ones who sing life into broken wings open their chests and offer their breath as wind on a still day when nothing seems to be moving Spare those intent on proving god is dead For you when your fingers are red from clutching your heart so it will beat faster For the time you mastered the art of giving yourself for the sake of someone else For the ones who have felt what it is to crush the lies and lift truth so high the steeples bow to the sky This is for you This is also for the people who wake early to watch flowers bloom Who notice the moon at noon on a day when the world has slapped them in the face with its lack of light For the mothers who feed their children first and thirst for nothing when they’re full Check out the full poem performed live, here. Danez Smith A spoken word poet from the US, Danez is a 2-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist whose work is often centered around intersections of race, class, sexuality, faith, and social justice, Danez uses rhythm, fierce raw power, and image to re-imagine the world as takes it apart in their work. alternate names for black boys 1. smoke above the burning bush 2. archnemesis of summer night 3. first son of soil 4. coal awaiting spark   
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