WINDY CITY TIMES
||BOOK REVIEW Subject to Change: Trans Poetry and Conversation
by Liz Baudler
This article shared 1101 times since Tue Oct 31, 2017
Edited by H. Melt. $17, Sibling Rivalry Press, 110 pages
In some ways, Subject To Change, the new collection of trans and gender-nonconforming poets assembled by Chicagoan H. Melt ( the recent winner of the Judith Markovitz Emerging Writers Award from Lambda Literary ), is brief, numbering 110 pages.
However, you wouldn't know it; the poetry inside is expansive in incredible directions, as are Melt's interviews with poets Kay Ulanday Barrett, Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, Christopher Soto, bezya ozer and Cameron Awkward-Rich. Not to damn with faint praise, but Subject to Change is a truly inspiring collectionbut not in the inspiration-porn sense. It's a collection celebrating the queering of insight and the queering of view of accepted trope, whether political or societal or through inquiry or composition. It throbs with the weighted emotion of experience: You can tell this pain and joy came from some place real, and its assembly is a singular gift reflecting its owner.
The work veers from plaintive directness to complex parenthetical experience in ways that feel entirely appropriate for such a multilayered subject. Soto's "Home [Chaos Theory]," one of the book's longer pieces, is a microcosm of the collection as a whole. It weds direct political address, "Let's talk about the ownership of/Land as a colonial construct & how the police state was created/to protect stolen property" with sharp yet fantastic imagery, "the space between us was a walrus/With sharp tusks." A similar dynamic is on display in the work of local poet ozer, who presents concepts like celestial and interrupts the line of imagery with starkness, "if a man asks you to smile it's okay to tell him to fuck off." Rich follows that vein, with images that are by turn gentle and humorous to more fraught. Espinoza and Barrett are more confrontational, and their works bookend the collection. Barrett, in particular, invokes their Chicago roots in the ode "Albany Park/Logan Square 1993-2000 Chicago, IL." Their work speaks of the city's exponential growth and erasure, which mirrors the flowering of identity.
Melt's thoughtful, informed interviews are an welcome addition to an already standout collection. The poets think aloud about the factors that inform both about themselves and their work in genuine, revealing ways. All of them seem to echo ozer's statement, "right now, I'm waiting for my life to begin" whether they're thinking about the future, as Rich does, or celebrating finally having a book, like Barrett, and they help add context to work that is already standing powerfully alone, yet in defiant, celebratory chorus with its peers.
The release party for Subject to Change will be held Wed., Nov. 8, at 7:30 p.m. at Women and Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark St.
This article shared 1101 times since Tue Oct 31, 2017
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|New book sets the record straight on Act Up New York 2021-06-10|
- Novelist, playwright, nonfiction writer, journalist, screenwriter, LGBTQ+-rights activist and AIDS historian Sarah Schuman preserves the power of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) while laying everything out about ...
|Lambda Literary Award winners announced 2021-06-09|
- On June 1, Lambda Literary announced the winners of its 33rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards. The winners were selected by a panel of more than 60 literary professionals from more than 1,000 book submissions from more ...
|Temple Beth-El to offer 'Drag Queen Story Time' on June 5 2021-05-31|
- Temple Beth-El, a Reform Jewish synagogue in Northbrook, will hold "Drag Queen Story Time" on Saturday, June 5, 4-4:45 p.m., on Zoom. The all-ages event will feature Merriam Levkowitz, described on a flyer as "Chicago's premier ...
|An Evening with Fran Lebowitz at the Auditorium Theatre on April 15, 2022 2021-05-25|
--From a press release - Chicago, IL May 24, 2021 — An Evening with Fran Lebowitz on Friday, April 15th at Auditorium Theatre located at 50 E. Congress Pkwy Chicago, IL. This show is all ages and begins at 7:30 PM ...
|Little library honoring John Pennycuff is unveiled 2021-05-24|
- Chicago's Unity Park Advisory Council (UPAC) held "Park Day" May 22 at the site, 2636 N. Kimball Ave.and one of the events involved the unveiling of a custom-designed little library that honors late LGBTQ-rights activist John ...
|'Real Housewives' expert Brian Moylan keeps it real in new tell-all book 2021-05-21|
- Bravo's Real Housewives franchise, which has been stirring the pot for more than 15 years, has launched 31 books and a cocktail line; featured two jail sentences and a couple of supermodel daughters; made Andy Cohen ...
|Women and Children First hosts 'Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories' virtual panel 2021-05-18|
- To celebrate the release of Diana Souhami's book No Modernism Without Lesbians, Women and Children First hosted a "Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories" virtual panel May 16. Gerber/Hart Library and Archives volunteer ...
|NBJC and Out in Tech kick off Pride with launch of Lavender Book app 2021-05-18|
--From a press release - As Pride Month approaches, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and Out in Tech are launching Lavender Book, a web based app dedicated to finding safe and inclusive spaces for members of the Queer BIPOC community ...
|BOOKS Lesbian author Amanda Kabak to release hate-crime novel July 20 2021-05-15|
- Lesbian author Amanda Kabaka Chicago native who now resides in Lakeland, Floridais releasing the novel Upended on July 20. In Upended, Maddie, a driven entrepreneur, finds her world thrown into disarray when she survives a hate ...
|'An Evening with Fran Lebowitz' in April 2022 in NYC 2021-05-12|
- Legendary author, journalist and social observer Fran Lebowitz is slated to return to The Town Hall stage in New York City for two live, in conversation events on April 6-7, 2022. Lebowitz is coming off her ...
|Stephanie Battaglino, New York Life's first transgender officer, releases memoir 2021-05-11|
--From a press release - May 11, 2021… Educator and motivational speaker Stephanie Battaglino today officially released her memoir, Reflections from Both Sides of the Glass Ceiling: Finding My True Self in Corporate America, from L'Oste Vineyard Press. After many years ...
|Gerber/Hart holding large book sale/exhibit viewing June 6 2021-05-10|
- Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, 6500 N. Clark St., is holding a one-day book sale is returning on Sunday, June 6, 12-4 p.m., in the library reading room. Extra tables will be set up to significantly increase ...
|NATIONAL Military bill, LGBTQ teen, trans deaths, Pride items, children's book 2021-05-09|
- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that directs the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs in the Garden State to assist former Armed Forces service members who were denied an honorable discharge due to ...
|Jonathan Ned Katz talks new book, LGBTQ history, state of the world 2021-05-05|
- Author, historian and activist Jonathan Ned Katz will come out with a new book, The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams, on May 18. The biography is centered on the life of Adams, a Jewish lesbian immigrant, and also ...
Lambda Literary Awards to take place June 1 2021-05-03|
- The 33rd Annual Lambda Literary Awardswhich celebrates LGBTQ+ books and authorswill take place Tuesday, June 1, 6-8 p.m. Typically held in person in New York City, this year's Lammys will be presented virtually for the first ...