Coming this fall:
we entered late afternoon’s house
& a favorite room: the room of the butterfly skeleton.
Intricate, delicate, somehow not an ounce of tragic.
So beautiful we thought we could have perfect
unswollen gums, be less predictable
gay men, obsessed with our mothers.
"Such Things Require Tenderness" from A Shiver in the Leaves by Luther HughesInto the rain, I walk—
the rain falling like light
falls before a storm—
and I never look back.
About storms, truly, what did I know?
I knew beauty. The clouds gathering
gray as depression or the taste of it
in my mouth.
No, that’s not beauty.
Before the storm, a declaration of birds.
Before the birds, a discarded pill,
a black hat with a clipped rose.
I did what storms do: held
against the frail night, made longer
by my wails and crashes,
which, by now, as I dissolve into
the cadence of rain, is only memory.
When the declaration makes use of its boredom,
I’ll return to this place to walk again
and again into the rain knowing
I must tackle such turmoil
if, by the laws of nature,
I want to grow.
—The rain is clearing.
I hold out my hand.
In his debut poetry collection, A Shiver in the Leaves (forthcoming September 27, 2022), Luther Hughes analyzes what it means to be a gay Black man in the world today. Set in Seattle, these poems explore dark landscapes, vulnerability, and the desire for reverence. Hughes is also the author of the chapbook Touched (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018).
"The New Order" from A Tinderbox in Three Acts by Cynthia Dewi OkaEverywhere, afterlife
With your noses vigilant
to the ground,
an infection’s harsh
slander. I said I felt you
like teeth above,
teeth below, therefore,
I resolved to master
you like my own
memory. Yes, I rose
like a flower from the scrotum
of the devil. Yes, I
moved like a flood against
the igneous mother.
She was strong
as American radio, but you
are the ministry of bones.
Dig, and you will find –
like those nights I stood,
fist not knocking on
my beloved’s door –
on the other side.
In her third collection of poems, A Tinderbox in Three Acts (forthcoming October 11, 2022), Cynthia Dewi Oka performs a lyric accounting of the anti-Communist genocide of 1965, which, led by the Indonesian military and with American assistance, erased and devastated millions of lives in Indonesia. Drawing on US state documents that were only declassified in recent years, Oka gives form and voice to the ghosts that continue to haunt subsequent generations despite decades of state-produced amnesia and disinformation.
Coming next year:
Four in Hand by Alicia Mountain (forthcoming spring 2023) is comprised of four crowns of sonnets, carving out room for lesbian gaze, speakership, and personhood.
Buffalo Girl by Jessica Q. Stark (forthcoming spring 2023) focuses on the burdens often suffered by women in this world, simultaneously exploring the different versions of the Little Red Riding Hood story.
Winner of the Poulin Prize, Good Grief, the Ground by Margaret Ray (forthcoming spring 2023) is a collection of poems encompassing the different phases of grief and touching on the struggles of communication through personal afflictions.
Transitory by Subhaga Crystal Bacon (forthcoming fall 2023) is a collection of elegies commemorating transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals murdered in the US and Puerto Rico in 2020, intertwining personal explorations and experiences through the many desires and tribulations of those in the Queer community.
Finally, if you just can't wait for these exciting collections to publish, check out this list of BOA titles by LGBTQIA+ authors that are available now!
Written and compiled by Lauren, summer '22 intern at BOA Editions.