Blog Post 2

Given the contemporary poets I’m looking at (such as Blanco, Myles, and Gibson), I believe I’ll have more interaction with lesbian and gay identities for this archive. Lesbian and gay poets are the most easily accessible identities I’ve seen in other queer poetry archives; this may branch back to the history of queer poetry, such as with Wilde and Whitman. Even in the general population, lesbian and gay individuals are more likely to be “out” than people with other identities in the LGBT spectrum. This makes it harder to find other LGBT poets writing about their experiences.

However, because I’m focusing on contemporary literature, I think there’s a more likely chance I’ll engage with bisexual, transgender, and questioning poets than if I was focusing on another era of queer poetry. While there’s still rampant bisexual erasure and exclusivity of transgender individuals, there are more that are coming out and becoming visible. I would love to look at bisexual poets like June Jordan and transgender poets like Trace Peterson. That could help increase inclusivity and visibility while battling intersectionality concerns. I don’t want other identities in queer poetry to be ignored just because they’re less frequent. Frequency and quantity does not relate to importance and quality.

Richard Blanco


Artifact: Excerpt of Since Unfinished by Richard Blanco

“I’ve been writing this since
the woman I slept with the night
of my father’s wake, since
my grandmother first called me
a faggot and I said nothing, since
I forgave her and my body
pressed hard against Michael
on the dance floor at Twist, since
the years spent with a martini
and men I knew I couldn’t love.

I’ve been writing this since
the night I pulled off the road
at Big Sur and my eyes caught
the insanity of the stars, since
the months by the kitchen window
watching the snow come down
like fallout from a despair I had
no word for, since I stopped
searching for a name and found
myself tick-tock in a hammock
asking nothing of the sky.”

Identification: Written in 2012, a year before Blanco was invited to be the United States’s fifth inaugural poet, this poem explores how different moments in his life have inspired him to write, and how writing is a lifelong process. In this excerpt, he discusses his sexuality, a sense of insanity, and a despair “[he] had no word for.” This poem was published in one of his larger works, Looking for The Gulf Motel. It can be found in various mediums, including Poetry Foundation’s website.

Annotation: Richard Blanco is one of the most famous openly gay poets in the contemporary world. In this work, he describes how he has struggled with his sexuality, seeking women in only his most desperate times (the night of his father’s wake, shortly after his death) and how the rest of the time he has had to deny his sexuality and be around men he “knew [he] couldn’t love.” This could contribute to the despair he discusses in the second stanza. He also alludes to cohort differences, facing discrimination and labeling by his grandmother, and suggesting a more negative attitude toward homosexuality from the older generations. Given that this was written less than five years ago, this is an important piece to consider for contemporary literature. Even with our current strides towards acceptance, members of the LGBT community continue to face discrimination that leads to the minority stress, depression, and self-doubt described in this poem.

Blog Post 1

So far for my Archive website, I’ve changed the title, theme, and features to better match my project’s purpose. Instead of focusing on the entire scope of queer poetry, I’ve decided to focus on contemporary poetry in specific. While I’d love to discuss the building blocks of queer poetry courtesy of Wilde and Whitman and the like, I believe it’s just as important to focus on less known modern authors, such as Eileen Myles, Richard Blanco, and Andrea Gibson that have molded and adapted to a our new age of LGBT culture.

The layout was more difficult to settle on, but I finally found a template I like. Putting the title, information, and widgets in the side bar makes everything concise and in one easy place. It also lets the blog posts look center stage. Plus, by choosing a color scheme that’s soft on the eyes, I think it’s easier to read lines upon lines of poetry and discussion. The last thing I changed was the header. I was going to change the image to a typewriter if I chose Victorian writing and a laptop if I chose Contemporary writing, but I settled on a free access image that shows basic writing that transcends age and sexuality (

For my features, I decided to add the search bar, archive, and category widgets. The search bar can help find specific keywords; the archive can help organize the blog chronologically; and the categories can help organize the blog by specific ideas. If I’m able to organize poets not only by dates, but also by a specific time period, topic, or sexuality, it could be easier for others to find poets that interest them most. For example, poetry from 1950 may have different cohort implications than poetry from 2010, and poetry discussing bisexuality may be different that poetry discussing transgender issues. By using categories, I hope to show a wide range of topics discussed in the archive that are more easily accessible.