Life can get hectic, and it can be hard to take the time to focus on reading and enjoying art. If you feel like you used to love curling up with a good book and want to make more time for that in your life, supporting and participating in art and media by queer creators is always an admirable thing to do. We’ve put together a list of 10 upcoming books (some poetry, some prose) and a couple artists doing exciting things in 2019. You’ll want to get your hands on these, trust us.
1} Soft Science by Franny Choi
This collection of poetry will be out in April and is created by one of our favorite contemporary queer poets. This poetry book is set to explore intimacy in its many forms and features Choi’s strong, singular use of voice. Expect a lot of humor as well as emotional moments from this chapbook.
2} When Brooklyn Was Queer by Hugh Ryan
At peculiar, we love great nonfiction in all its forms. Learning the history of queerness in the United States helps us understand being queer in the modern day. This book tells the history of queer Brooklyn starting in the 1850s and going up through to today. You can get this book starting March 5.
3} Comic Book Covers by Jen Bartel
Comic books are the perfect medium if you love visual art as well as storytelling. Jen Bartel is a well-known comic book colorist and artist who creates vibrant, eye-catching covers for many Marvel comics. She also regularly opens her own shop and sells feminist and queer pins, patches, fan art, and more. You’ll definitely want to keep an eye on her work in 2019.
4} The Tradition by Jericho Brown
This book of poetry is the third collection put out by Jericho Brown and will be released on April 2. The poetry in this chapbook looks at evil and its normalization in both the past and present. Brown looks at topics such as queerness, fatherhood, trauma, and blackness, and he does so in ways that play with form in new and exciting ways.
5} Unbecoming by Anuradha Bhagwati
This memoir tells the story of Anuradha Bhagwati’s own life, and it’s sure to be an insightful, nuanced book. Bhagwati is a bisexual women of color who tells about her story as a daughter of immigrants from India who then became a queer woman in the military. Now, she’s an advocate for policy reform in the military and wants to change things such as the ban on women having combat roles. Available March 26, 2019.
6} These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
While serious works of poetry and nonfiction are always loved, sometimes you just need a break to read something a little more fun and upbeat. This novel is about a modern witch in Salem who has to team up with her ex-girlfriend to save her coven and town from a Blood Witch. This book is definitely in the YA category, so if you’re looking for a little palette cleanser that’s a good time, this is a great option. Expected release is May 28, 2019.
7} The Porch (As Sanctuary) by Jae Nichelle
This collection of poems is the first by Jae Nichelle, a spoken word poet from Atlanta who has received national recognition for her work. Her poetry is sure to combine more traditional forms as well as spoken word techniques and her poems have been described as “eccentric and mysterious.” You can get this collection in July.
8} Art, Comics, and Writing of Kate Leth
Kate Leth is a well-known creator on Twitter. She’s a fangirl, hilarious tweeter, and talented artist. Probably her best-known work was Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat for Marvel, she has also written and created other comics. And, like any great queer artist these days, she makes her own enamel pins and fabric patches. You’ll definitely want to keep an eye on what she creates this year.
9} The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg
The Music of What Happens is love-story and coming-of-age story about two boys, Max and Jordan, who on the surface are opposites. One summer in Mesa, Arizona, the two start to fall in love and will have to figure out if getting what they want is worth the risks. If you’re looking for a sweet romantic story to keep you warm on a rainy weekend, you’ll definitely want to check this book out. Plus, this book is already available, so you can start reading it now.
10} The Black Condition ft. Narcissus by jayy dodd
This collection of poems is part-memoir and covers the author’s experience with starting gender transition, using the inauguration of the current administration as a timeline and paralleling device. The poems in this collection are described as being a mix of autobiographical to meditative, and you can get reading when the collection comes out in April.
The works on this list are only the start of all of the exciting, diverse books and art by queer creators being released this year. You’ll be sure to find something you love that makes you laugh or makes you cry, or maybe both.
You can also check out some more on these lists:
Amanda Steele is a queer poet and writer with a degree in Creative Writing and Gender Studies from Utah Valley University. She was born and raised in Idaho and currently lives in New York City. Amanda works as a freelance writer and blogger and has been published in peculiar, The Dandelion Review, and Sun and Sandstone, among others. She loves to mix her love of writing with her passion for activism and fandom. You can follow her on Twitter: @adamantaflame or on her blog here.