5 Anthologies to Add Queer Voices to Your Shelf

October is LGBTQ History Month! This month is an opportunity to uplift queer stories and voices. One of the best ways to begin to approach and understand queer history is through poetry, and anthologies specifically. By bringing together many different voices, time periods, and perspectives, anthologies pack a broad, diverse understanding into one book – plus make a perfect selection for  displaying on your desk or your coffee table. Read one poem each day of this month and beyond from these five anthologies queering the literary canon.


We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics edited by Andrea Abi-Karam and Kay Gabriel


The poems in We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics are energizing and hopeful to read in a year that’s seen some of the most attacks on trans rights in recent history. The anthology, which earned praise from both Poets and Writers and Lit Hub, contains a wide-ranging chorus of intergenerational trans voices, raised in an urgent cry for revolution. The title speaks to the collection’s overall tone and theme, as it looks toward the future and how an intersectional coalition of trans writers and allies can begin to visualize, fight for, and embody it. 


LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia edited by Jeff Mann and Julia Watts


Lambda Literary, a leading queer literature organization, described LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia as “staggering” in the breadth of voices captured and “inspiring” for new generations. The anthology is a clear illustration of the power and importance of the role of place within poetry. Though queer Appalachian writers have often been unseen and overshadowed, this anthology spotlights them. Readers may recognize names like Ann Pancake and Silas House, as well as be introduced to many new, emerging voices. 



The Out Side: Trans & Nonbinary Comics


Here at Read Poetry, we’re always celebrating the deep, multi-modal connection between poetry and comics. The comics in The Out Side: Trans & Nonbinary Comics pair poetic language with vivid, highly personal illustrations. The collection visualizes the stunning array of trans and nonbinary experiences and gender’s all-encompassing, fluid spectrum, showcasing how ground-breaking artists came to stand in and celebrate their queer identities. 


The World That Belongs to Us: An Anthology of Queer Poetry from South Asia edited by Aditi Angiras and Akhil Katyal


The World that Belongs to Us contains poetry that spans from Bangalore to Boston, as well as poems in dozens of languages. In giving voice to the South Asian queer experience, this anthology resists the concept of a single story and depicts how diverse these experiences can be. Poets write about the erotic, the political, the familial, the internal world, and more. It’s a look at how cultural diasporas and queer diasporas can intersect, and how to find community and chosen family in the face of loneliness. 


Hand in Hand With Love: An Anthology of Queer Classic Poetry edited by Simon Avery


The queerness of writers like Emily Dickinson, Oscar Wilde, and Walt Whitman might not have been acknowledged or celebrated in their lifetimes, but we can celebrate it now – as well as express gratitude for the future generations of queer writers they inspired. Incorporating ancient Greek writers, modernist poets, and more, Hand in Hand With Love: An Anthology of Queer Classic Poetry gathers poems you probably read in English classes without realizing just how queer they were and provides a newfound lens. 


Want to add poetry collections by individual queer writers to your shelf, as well? Check out our round-up of 7 must-read poetry books by LGBTQ+ authors.