Queer Poetics

What does poetry have to do with queerness? What can we learn about the history of gender and sexuality from poetry? How have queer poets used their voices in the face of oppression? How has poetry galvanized queer communities and helped people envision new ways of being? These are some of the questions we will explore in this survey of LGBTQ+ poets, from the ancient world to the present day. Our study will take us from the island of Lesbos in Ancient Greece to the modernist salons of Gertrude Stein to the rich field of contemporary poetry. We’ll read celebrated poets like Walt Whitman, Adrienne Rich, Allen Ginsberg, and Audre Lorde, as well as contemporary poets like Danez Smith, Eileen Myles, C.A. Conrad, and Jericho Brown. This class will provide a safe space for students to explore their identities and write poetry alongside and inspired by queer poets.

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