by L. Lamar Wilson
Carolina Wren Press. 88 pages, $17.95
Speaking Wiri Wiri
by Dan Vera
Red Hen Press. 80 pages, $16.95
THE WORLD of poetry for gay poets is increasingly a space where poets of diverse ethnicities are publishing stirring work. In the realm of gay male poets, some of the most exciting new or younger writers fall into this category: Jericho Brown, Rick Barot, Eduardo Corral, to name just three. Up-and-comers include Saeed Jones and Ocean Vuong. Two new books, both award winners, now widen that field of representation, however differently they approach race, culture, gay experience, and poetics.
Sacrilegion by L. Lamar Wilson, an African-American poet, won the 2012 Caroline Wren Press Poetry Series Prize. As his title suggests, Wilson’s themes often wrestle with religion. The title in fact appears in one of the book’s strongest poems, “Resurrection Sunday,” in which a speaker struggles to make sense of two very different scenes: one pornographic, a black man performing autofellatio; and the other horrific and historic, a black man hanged after being accused of raping a white woman in 1934.