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Queer Nature

A Poetry Anthology

An anthology of queer nature poetry spanning three centuries.
This anthology amplifies and centers LGBTQIA+ voices and perspectives in a collection of contemporary nature poetry. Showcasing over two hundred queer writers from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, Queer Nature offers a new context for and expands upon the canon of nature poetry while also offering new lenses through which to view queerness and the natural world. 
In the introduction, editor Michael Walsh writes that the anthology is “concerned with poems that speak to and about nature as the term is applied in everyday language to queer and trans bodies and identities . . . Queer Nature remains interested in elements, flora, fauna, habitats, homes, and natural forces—literary aspects of the work that allow queer and trans people to speak within their specific cultural and literary histories of the abnormal, the animal, the elemental, and the unnatural.” The anthology features poets including Elizabeth Bishop, Richard Blanco, Kay Ryan, Jericho Brown, Allen Ginsberg, Natalie Diaz, and June Jordan, as well as emerging voices such as Jari Bradley, Alicia Mountain, Eric Tran, and Jim Whiteside.

320 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2022

Gay and Lesbian Studies


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"This significant anthology features three centuries’ worth of more than 200 LGBTQ poets’ writing on the natural world. . . . This beautifully curated anthology reshapes the genre of nature poetry and awakens readers to its richness."

Publishers Weekly

" '...In these pages, you will find the birds, the bees' as well as deer, gay bars, riverbanks, bedrooms, field, and forests.... habitats in which these poems lament and sing."

Edge Media Network

"When heteronormativity prescribes a binary to everything it touches—something is either natural or unnatural—what a salve to reclaim and celebrate nature in its sprawling wonder and unfettered queerness. This is an invitation to readers who’ve long felt excluded from representations of the natural and pastoral. No longer stripped of its wildness and subtext, the nature reflected in these poems is the breadth of human experience: its complexities and aches, its trauma and desires, its richness and possibilities. Queer Nature understands nature resists constraint and simplification. It is boundless and borderless. It belongs to everyone."

Ruth Awad, author of Set to Music a Wildfire

"Imagine my delight and pride in being a part of this anthology! Imagine your pleasure as you immerse yourself in this beauty of queerness! This is a must-have book for all."

Chrystos, author of Fire Power, In Her I Am, and Not Vanishing

"This anthology makes visible the astonishing range and impact of queer poets. Page after page shimmers with emotional and intellectual pleasures—these poems will make you think, weep, sing, and sigh with relief. Walsh’s remarkable curation reminds us what’s natural has always been queer and what’s queer is always natural."

Eduardo C. Corral, author of Guillotine

"Queer Nature grew from one queer farm boy’s longing for poetry that spoke to his complex love for the natural world he loved but to which, he was taught, love like his did not belong. Like a dowsing rod, this longing led Walsh to an underground poetic river, a heretofore obscure but essential American lyric tradition of conceiving, celebrating, and mourning nature. Gathering poets of innumerable ethnicities, histories, styles, and sexual and gender identifications, this book gives us access to a desperately needed aquifer of language that help us reimagine, revitalize, and repair our connection to the world we are destroying."

Joy Ladin, author of The Future is Trying to Tell Us Something: New and Selected Poems and The Book of Anna

"Queer Nature is a vital anthology, generous in scope and elegantly cultivated Walsh. As I began reading Queer Nature, I started highlighting passages that illuminated for me new paths of understanding. Now the whole book is neon, glowing: Queer Nature—a moon, Queer Nature—a firefly, Queer Nature­—a fish in the dark abyss shining its own extraordinary light. Reader, if you hold this surprising and luminous anthology close it just might guide you home."

Alicia Mountain, PhD, author of High Ground Coward

"Queer people have had, are having, and will continue to have complicated relationships to nature, which is why this anthology of poems marks an important and nuanced contribution to our understanding of the nature poem. The real joy of Queer Nature, though, is the diversity of poems assembled here and their multifaceted renderings of nature, which challenge any simplistic understanding of the pastoral. By gathering these poems from the past 150 years in this long overdue and critically important anthology, Walsh has accomplished an incredible thing."

Jacques J. Rancourt, author of Brocken Spectre and Novena

"The poems in Queer Nature investigate the ways we inhabit ourselves and our landscapes—everywhere unfurling, throwing roots, spores. Here, the ground is rich with worm and bone. Here, the concerns are both urgent and eternal. How do we locate the places where we can survive? How do we create them? And, ultimately, how will we create and recreate ourselves so we can thrive?"

Richard Siken, author of Crush and War of the Foxes

"I fell in love on nearly every page of Queer Nature. Sure, there is suffering to consider in our long journey into the light of acceptance and recognition, but what tumbles out of these poems again and again are affirmations of love and the reek of hope. This anthology is a homecoming. Readers will recognize many of these voices and be moved by the magnitude of the rich populous of queer eco-centric nature poets gathered here. I am less lonely, less terrified of my queerness, as I pour through these pages. This is a magnificent collection."

Amber Flora Thomas, author of Eye of Water: Poems

"The poems in this remarkable collection work in both tandem and contradiction to make the irrefutable sound of queer ecologies. An aching intervention into the violent logics that position queerness as the antithesis of a natural world, Queer Nature says otherwise. The poems congeal, illuminating again and again that queer is nature. Queer is the animal. Queer are the hands 'moved like rivers.' Queer is the genre of the poem itself—its small and infinite ecosystem."

Stacey Waite, author of Butch Geography

“A curated collection like this allows us to discover modern poets whose voices we might not otherwise have heard.”

Gay and Lesbian Review

Table of Contents

Wilderness of Flesh | Tory Adkisson
What Use Is Knowing Anything If No One Is Around | Kaveh Akbar
The River’s Address | Kazim Ali
Taking a Visitor to See the Ruins | Paula Gunn Allen
A Vegetarian Goes to H Mart | Ally Ang
Enskyment | Antler
Encountering the Medusa | Gloria Anzaldúa
Atrophied Prescript: | Aaron Apps
Asleep You Become a Continent | Francisco Aragón
Farmer’s Almanac | Brent Armendinger
Godzilla’s Lament | Jubi Arriola- Headley
Late Echo | John Ashbery
We’re Standing on the Sun | Derrick Austin
Let me be a lamb in a world that wants my lion | Ruth Awad
The Little Girl Is Busy Asking Questions about Desire | Cameron Awkward- Rich
Inventory | Rick Barot
The Dyke with No Name Thinks about Landscape | Judith Barrington
Ground State | Samiya Bashir
Kissing after Illness | Ellen Bass
Prairie Dogs | Robin Becker
Poet Wrestling with Why the Heart Feels So Bad | Rosebud Ben- Oni
Outing, Iowa | Oliver Baez Bendorf
Pastoral for Effective Teaching | Lillian- Yvonne Bertram
Creatures of Hurt and Heal | Tamiko Beyer
Song for the Rainy Season | Elizabeth Bishop
Break Me To Prove I Am Unbroken | Sophie Cabot Black
Burning in the Rain | Richard Blanco
Swimming Hole | Sam Bonosevich
Regarding the Absent Heat of Your Skin on Letters I Receive While at Sea | Elizabeth Bradfield
Unruly | Jari Bradley
in the cut | Julian Talamantez Brolaski
Fast | Olga Broumas
Lion | Jericho Brown
Self- Portrait as Land Snail | Nickole Brown
Hurricane Lyric | Matthew Burgess
Home | Tara Shea Burke
Hermit Crab | Stephanie Burt
For the Feral Splendor That Remains | CAConrad
Who Holds the Stag’s Head Gets to Speak | Gabrielle Calvocoressi
What I Would Give | Rafael Campo
On Harvesting Oneself | Kayleb Rae Candrilli
The Hummingbird | Cyrus Cassells
Drown | Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
Lesson of Bread | Jerah Chadwick
Post Op | Judith Chalmer
XXIV. | Jos Charles
Elegy to Be Exhaled at Dusk | Chen Chen
Dear O | Ching- In Chen
Magnified | Justin Chin
Wildlife | Franny Choi
Desire as Blue Fog | Chrystos
Twin Cities | James Cihlar
[this the forest] | Cody- Rose Clevidence
The Rock | Henri Cole
Welcome to the Fall | Flower Conroy
(An Orchid) | S. Brook Corfman
To a Straight Man | Eduardo C. Corral
Voyages | Hart Crane
First Date, Hawk Mountain | James Crews
Youth Sings a Song of Rosebud | Countee Cullen
Once All the Hounds Had Been Called Home | Meg Day
The Art of Butterflying | tatiana de la tierra
These Hands, If Not Gods | Natalie Diaz
Archaeopteryx | William Dickey
Could I but ride indefinite | Emily Dickinson
Wood and Rain | Melvin Dixon
The Basilisk | Lynn Domina
Deep Lane | Mark Doty
Going Home | Qwo- Li Driskill
Conception Myth | Cheryl Dumesnil
Sonnet | Alice Moore Dunbar- Nelson
Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow | Robert Duncan
Pervert | Julie R. Enszer
Settling In | Jenny Factor
Sex | Nikky Finney
once a marine biologist told me octopuses have three hearts | Denice Frohman
Ode to the Corpse Flower | Benjamin Garcia
In Transit | R.J. Gibson
Sunflower Sutra | Allen Ginsberg
All at Sea | Sarah Giragosian
pedicles, or this is where | Matty Layne Glasgow
The Strangers Who Find Me in the Woods | Rigoberto González
You Form | Rae Gouirand
A Migration | Jan- Henry Gray
Heaven and Earth | Miriam Bird Greenberg
A Kingdom of Longing | Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Not Children | Benjamin S. Grossberg
Words for Some Ash | Thom Gunn
Queerodactyl | Roy G. Guzmán
The Sheltered Garden | H.D.
Untitled | Marilyn Hacker
The Valley of the Amazons | Eloise Klein Healy
The Kiss | Christopher Hennessy
Bottle Gentian | KateLynn Hibbard
Shadows, Saddle Canyon | Jane Hilberry
Grafted | Matthew Hittinger
Idyll | Richie Hofmann
Demand | Langston Hughes
Tenor | Luther Hughes
Elementary Departures | Christina Hutchins
Primer | Jessica Jacobs
A Stranger Asks Where I Am From | Charles Jensen
Mesquites | Joe Jiménez
Late Bloom | Jenny Johnson
To a Strayed Cat | Stephen Jonas
Golden Egg | Ever Jones
Drag | Saeed Jones
Letter to the Local Police | June Jordan
purple | Britteney Black Rose Kapri
Love Poem: Chimera | Donika Kelly
Young Male | Maurice Kenny
Conservation & Rehabilitation | Alyse Knorr
Sweet Briar | Melissa Kwasny
A Little Bit of Ocean | Joy Ladin
Perianth | Gerrit Lansing
Breathing You In | Joan Larkin
Self- Portrait with Scoliosis (II) | Travis Chi Wing Lau
A Southern Wind | Rickey Laurentiis
Amphibians | Joseph O. Legaspi
Love Two Times | Muriel Leung
Thunder Cake | Mel Michelle Lewis
I Came | Timothy Liu
poem to my boyfriend’s human immunodeficiency virus | Chip Livingston
Coal | Audre Lorde
Falling, Falling, Then Rain, Then Snow | Su Smallen Love
Grotesque | Amy Lowell
Viscous | Ed Madden
[Dear one, the sea . . . ] | Dawn Lundy Martin
Dove Season | Michael Martella
The Way the World Comes Back | Janet McAdams
My Sideshow | J. D. McClatchy
Coming Out in the Ozarks | Anne Haven McDonnell
Know My Soul | Claude McKay
Dear Canaries | Kevin McLellan
América | Sarah María Medina
For Two Lovers in the Year 2075 in the Canadian Woods | William Meredith
The Lovers | James Merrill
Sonnet IV | Edna St. Vincent Millay
Eating a Mountain | Deborah Miranda
Hemispheres | Susanna J. Mishler
The Complete Tracker | Rajiv Mohabir
Shared Plight | Kamilah Aisha Moon
Real Curvature | Rachel Moritz
Hawk like a Steeple | Alicia Mountain
He Says, Oyster | Miguel Murphy
[I always put my pussy] | Eileen Myles
For the Era of Extraordinary Weather | Jim Nawrocki
Changeling | Hieu Minh Nguyen
To You | Frank O’Hara
On Trans | Miller Oberman
Wild Geese | Mary Oliver
Three times on the trail, I looked back for you | Kate Partridge
Toward | Juliet Patterson
Thrush | Gerry Gomez Pearlberg
Radiance versus Ordinary Light | Carl Phillips
Nature Poem with a Compulsive Attraction to the Shark | Xan Phillips
Migration | Carol Potter
Landscape with Lymphatic System, System of Rivulets, System of Rivers | D. A. Powell
Burning Water | Minnie Bruce Pratt
Lost Season | Alison Prine
Livestock | Khalisa Rae
Backyard Rock | Jacques J. Rancourt
Gerard Manley Hopkins Drafts the Light | Varun Ravindran
Head of the Gorgon | Justin Phillip Reed
uncoil | Rita Mae Reese
Horses in Snow | William Reichard
Memory as Missionary Position | No‘u Revilla
heart of the bell | heidi andrea restrepo rhodes
Diving into the Wreck | Adrienne Rich
Backflash: Hinge | Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers
Hero Worship | Dakota R. Rottino-Garilli
How a Thought Thinks | Kay Ryan
Fairy Tale | Sam Sax
Await | James Schuyler
Many Things Are True | Ruth L. Schwartz
Woman Circling Lake | Maureen Seaton
Unbearable White | Charif Shanahan
I’m Over the Moon | Brenda Shaughnessy
Geology of Water | Reginald Shepherd
Boy with Flowers | Ely Shipley
November 19, 2016 | Cedar Sigo
Lovesong of the Square Root of Negative One | Richard Siken
Love Letter to a Dead Body | Jake Skeets
What’s Required | Aaron Smith
alternate names for black boys | Danez Smith
Closing the Gay Bar outside Gas City | Bruce Snider
Queer Earth | Jess X. Snow
The Joshua Tree // Submits Her Name Change | Christopher Soto
For Mac | Jack Spicer
Lifting Belly (II) | Gertrude Stein
Tonawanda Swamps | James Thomas Stevens
Visiting the Natural History Museum with the Son I Don’t Yet Have | Will Stockton
The Exchange | May Swenson
Estuary | Lehua M. Taitano
Little Errand | Brian Teare
Field Song | Amber Flora Thomas
The War with the Dandelions | Bradford Tice
Garden | Eric Tran
the aftermath of what | Arianne True
Beast Meridian | Vanessa Angélica Villarreal
Instructions for Opening up the Heart | Irene Villaseñor
Torso of Air | Ocean Vuong
Butch Geography | Stacey Waite
A Natural History of Gay Love | Michael Walsh
The Third Measure Paused & Set to Your Breathing | Michael Wasson
El Beso | Angelina Weld- Grimke
Iowa | Valerie Wetlaufer
Tail | Arisa White
Skin Movers | James L. White
Parable | Jim Whiteside
Juneberry | Amie Whittemore
This Compost | Walt Whitman
A Poem for Trapped Things | John Wieners
blackbody | Candace Williams
First Words | Phillip B. Williams
Root Sutra | Morgan Grayce Willow
Turing’s Theories Regarding Homosexuality | Tobias Wray
The Trick | Mark Wunderlich
The Kiss | Yanyi
The Gods among Us | C. Dale Young
Flora and Fauna | Amanda Yskamp

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