"The annual anthology concept came out of a discussion on how little non-erotic queer literature is published in book form at the national distribution level. The decision to include both prose and poetry in a single volume was chosen because there's so much great work being written without many outlets," said Kompes.
Kompes added that this "first volume's submissions request was a grassroots effort" that he initiated. "Bloggers, Website owners, and queer writers passed the word and more than 300 works were submitted for consideration. "
The result is a terrific collection of diverse queer poetry and stories.
It opens with a poem by Laura Loomis titled "Mirror Poem"--a piece which, to me, is worth the price of the book. It begins:
I am not
you would have made me into.
you would have made me into
I am not.
See the pattern? The whole poem is a surprising and touching experience in the interplay between form and function.
I also liked "When I Move Out of My Parents' House" by Shane Allison, which hooks the title right into the first lines:
I'm gonna thrown the biggest party the south has ever seen.
I'll invite all the men I've had sex with.
The ones I've had crushes on
When writing poems was the only thing to get
Met through the shock of seeing girlfriends and wives
Hanging off their shoulders like dirty washcloths.
Julie R. Enszer's poignant poem "First Kiss" says about teenage desire:
I wanted to kiss you.
I always waited late
into the night thinking,
could I pretend it was just an accident?
Lay my lips on yours: mid-sentence,
mid-giggle, mid-teenage confession.
There are many more strong poems in the book, as well as compelling prose pieces. Queer Collection is a great venue for queer voices.
Since Kompes envisions Queer Collection to be an annual publication, he is currently accepting submissions. Amazingly enough, he considers previously published work--and he pays. For more information, check out the submission guidelines.