by Eduardo C. Corral
Yale University Press. 96 pages, $18
Divining Divas: 100 Gay Men on their Muses
Edited by Michael Montlack
Lethe Press. 202 pages, $25
Among the Leaves: Queer Male
Poets on the Midwestern Experience
Edited by Raymond Luczak
Squares & Rebels. 126 pages, $14.95
Lady Business: A Celebration of Lesbian Poetry
Edited by Bryan Borland.
Sibling Rivalry Press. 146 pages, $16.95
by Matthew Hittinger
Sibling Rivalry Press. 114 pages, $17.99
by Brad Richard
Sibling Rivalry Press. 72 pages, $14.95
Later Poems Selected and New: 1971-2012
by Adrienne Rich
Norton. 608 pages, $39.95
NOW THAT 2012 is squarely in the past, it is clear this past year was a good one for lovers of poetry by gay men and lesbians.
One of the poets who made the perhaps biggest splash of 2012 was Eduardo C. Corral, whose Slow Lightning won the Yale Younger Poets Series, one of the highest honors for writers in this category. He is the first Latino to win the prize. Slow Lightning includes heart-wrenching poems about the immigrant experience, erotically charged but imagistically haunting lyrics of same-sex desire, and a set a powerful poems that draw on and honor acclaimed African-American poet Robert Hayden, who secretly struggled with homosexual feelings despite being married. (Another gay Latino poet, Richard Blanco, started 2013 out with a splash when he was chosen to be President Obama’s inaugural poet.)
For one press specializing in gay male poetry, 2012 was in fact a breakthrough year. It was also a year in which four separate anthologies were released, two from men and two from women.