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Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  356 ratings  ·  55 reviews
In 2014, Christopher Soto and Lambda Literary Foundation founded the online journal Nepantla, with the mission to nurture, celebrate, and preserve diversity within the queer poetry community, including contributions as diverse in style and form, as the experiences of QTPOC in the United States. Now, Nepantla will appear for the first time in print as a survey of poetry by ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 1st 2018 by Nightboat Books
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Average rating 4.43  · 
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Start your review of Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, antiracism
Gorgeous, necessary poems about resilience, about sex, about having fun, about struggling. I'm so grateful this anthology exists and I can return to it whenever I need.
Kurt Ostrow
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Lick my butt & call your mother, she misses you.
Flea-dip the cat & luck my butt.
Recycle & lick my butt.”
— from Justin Chin, “Lick My Butt”

“Fuck your order. Fuck your time. I realigned the cosmos. I chaos all the hell you have yet to feel. Now all your kids in the classrooms, they confused. All the clocks: wrong. They don’t even know what the fuck to do.”
— from Fatimah Asghar, “Pluto Shits on the Universe”

“dyke reminds me of Indians
like Indians dykes
are supposed to die out
or forget
or drink al
Jared Levine
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Here are reasons to sing, to shiver, to cry, to snap, to bark, to love, to feel—in resonance. Words to keep near your pillow, and to read on the train, and to keep on your tongue.

love Jared, City Lights Bookseller
Mary Vermillion
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
This is what intersectionality looks like! I can't wait to teach this gorgeous & powerful anthology in my LGBTQ literature course.

Although the book includes poems from writers I love (Harjo, Baldwin, Lorde, Hughes, Jordan, Giovanni, Blanco, Cullen, Hayden, Cullen), I'm most excited about all the poets I want to get to know better.

It's hard to choose a favorite poem out of so many gems, but given what is happening on our border, I'm going to share an excerpt from Rigoberto Gonzalez's list poem
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Raw, heartfelt, and beautiful. The anthology included a wide variety of poets/poetry that covers different sentiments and experiences (parents, coming out, sexuality, homophobia and racism, solidarity, small pleasures, nature, joy and sorrow) allowing any reader to see themselves in it. It was moving and I felt seen. And even if a reader can’t relate, it introduces new and unique experiences—making it a great read for QPOC and non-QPOC. The poetry is sincere and moving and I couldn’t get enough ...more
Ai Miller
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a really incredible anthology that manages to collect decades' worth of work by queer poets of color and give you an amazing taste of the variety and possibility. I want to go out and read so much more work by all these poets; it has works by the sort of "obvious" poets, but also newer, then-up-and-coming poets, and poets whose work is perhaps less immediately thought of. Favorite poems in this include Denice Frohman's "once a marine biologist/told me octopuses have three hearts", "Somed ...more
➳ johanna
Jun 25, 2020 added it
Shelves: read-2020
this is probably a five star because it's an absolutely stunning collection of poetry they've put together here, but i don't know if or how you rate something that has over a hundred different voices in it. anyway. who knew i was a poetry peron after all? i'll admit that some of them still left me as a big question mark where i hadn't understood a single word, but some also hit me right where they were supposed too.
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, queer-reads
A fantastic anthology featuring a staggering array of different kinds of poems, reflecting the wide diversity of queer experience. This is a fantastic place to start if you're looking for an introduction to some of the best queer poets working today. Many (though not all) of these poets have collections that I will now be seeking out.
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
this literally took me six months to finish and if that doesn't confirm that i'm not fond of poetry i don't know what will
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An absolute joy to savor. Will own a copy after returning this to the library.
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Super powerful and unapologetic. I loved this and if you want to get into poetry this is a good place to start!!
Reagen Ward
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the most interesting and compelling collections of poetry I’ve encountered - a whirlwind of emotions in one sitting, most from perspectives I’ve not held myself.
Theodor Östervall
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book contains some of the best poems I’ve read. And even the poems that don’t leave you breathless with their brilliant use of words, leave you with something to think about, a new perspective. This is definitely not the last time I read this book. Recommended to anyone who has even a passing interest in poetry.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love this anthology. Some poems and poets were familiar to me; others were not. The words in the pages left me feeling thrilled, scared, energized, romantic.
mökka kat
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, poetry
A stunning collection of work from the online journal by the same name. As with any anthology, there are poems that will work for some, not for others, but on the whole this is a very important collection both culturally and critically.

Standouts for me include "Heavy" by Hieu Minh Nguyen:

There are days when I give up on my body/but not the world. I am alive."

"The Language of Dust" by Assotto Saint:

"where/do you find/strength/to climb/down the hill/to your lover's/grave"

"Fuck U's" by Kokumo:

Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Keep the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls before mixing.

You do the egg/cream thing, and I'll take care of the salt/flower/sugar situation.

Reader, do you hearing the moaning plane overhead? Feel the beating noon heat on yr t-zone?
See the sizzle of foam on the salt water? Poems light up corridors of the mind, like food. If I owe
poetry to cooking, this is an inheritance of that lineage

I grew up on a food desert, a speck of dust on the map of the
United States--an Indian
reservation east
Cameron Foster
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was such a thoughtful, relatable, and beautiful compilation; I have marked off many favorites of my own that just pulled me right in and embraced me with their themes of pain and perseverance. I’m also so glad that in light of the protests and current events surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement, I got to read personal stories and moments captured by these queer black folks. Especially now, their stories surrounding oppression, racism, and homophobia need to be shared, and brought int ...more
Kamlyn Y
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer-literature
To anyone interested in queer authors, authors of color, poetry... I urge you to read this book. There are so many different poems and authors that everyone is bound to get something out of it. Some of the poems I didn't really understand and others I loved- but it opened my mind so much that it was definitely worth it. Some of the poems were so incredibly touching, and I learned about many new activists and authors who I wouldn't have known about otherwise.
Definitely a 5/5 star read.
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
This wasn't exactly what I was expecting—I'd thought it was all contemporary poets, but it also included Audre Lorde, James Baldwin and etc. That's not a bad thing at all, just different to what I thought.

As with every anthology, there are ones in here I loved who I'd never read before, including; Jess X. Snow, Ariana Brown and Fatimah Asghar. Ones I knew I loved already like Lorde and Baldwin, and then a whole bunch that I didn't connect with for one reason or another.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I really enjoyed most of the poems in this book. I read this book sort of on and off again, finishing the last chunk in two days. I loved the collection of poems, but might have rearranged the order. This is a great starting point if someone's interesting in exploring more literature by queer poets of color. I definitely found some authors I'm going to pick up next.
Nicole Killian
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it
There are some really beautiful poems in this book but honestly it could have been spread out into multiple volumes. 100+ poets is too much to retain and I feel like some organization of topics or eras could have helped raise up the writers instead of piling them into one book. That being said, it’s still a worthy compendium.
Lorcan Redvers
Oct 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This anthology was definitely very hit and miss with me, although frankly that is to be expected with most anthologies. As with all collections of poetry, i tab the ones which hit a cord with me, & i tabbed only 14 poems.
But i think the contents is vital, even if i didn't enjoy most of the poems included.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
This only took me 1000 years. This was a very good and very needed poetry compilation, and I have soooo much respect for the people that put it together. Considering just *how many* poems are in this book, I think 3/5 makes sense. There was such a wide range of poetry-- I LOVED some and really super didn't vibe with others. Overall, a good, though very prolonged, reading experience.
Lewis Elliott
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
For the first published anthology of its kind, this is a great resource for a wide ranger of poetry style, classic-to-contemporary authors, a queer spectrum, and a brilliant array of artists. The subjects are also vast in terms of racism, societal issues, family, relationships, politics, you name it! The interest now is how, and with great hope, this anthology will evolve and grow.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
I did not read all of the poems just only around half the book all together that I was assigned. I just didn’t connect, or really feel for the poetry. Some of them l, for some reason, I was lost. The concept of the collection is great, though.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer, poetry
A beautiful survey of queer poets of color throughout US history - Christopher Soto founded Nepantla as an online journal to nurture, celebrate, & preserve diversity in the queer poetry community. Great poems & poets in here. ...more
Wyrd Witch
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, anthology
A great introductory text to the works of queer poets of color both old and new. If I had one complaint, I wish they included more than one poem per poet in the anthology. The editing, however, remains fantastic.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An eye-opening, humbling, and utterly powerful collection of poetry; one that - as a white, cis, gay European - was both educational and awe-inspiring. One of the few literary anthologies I've read which left a profound effect on me. Kudos.
Some of these poems are a 5 star rating like Wet Dream by Allyson Ang and Pluto Shits on the Universe by Fatimah Ashgar. Others are 2 or 3 stars for me. I love the memories this collection invokes for me as well so that pushed me to give it 4.5/5 stars
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