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A timely celebration of the best new and emerging writers from the global margins—now brought center stage

Celebrating queer writing from around the world: Botswana to America, India to New Zealand, and Jamaica to Ireland, Queer Life, Queer Love comprises 43 stories, poems, essays and flash fiction.

This is writing that explores characters, stories and experiences beyond the mainstream. Featuring the fascinating, the forbidden, the subversive and even the mundane—in essence, the view from outside. Humorous, serious, autobiographical and revelatory, all aspects of the queer experience are reflected in this sparkling collection.

This book is dedicated to the memory of Lucy/Jack Reynolds, the trans child of Sarah Beal, Publisher at Muswell Press, and niece/nephew of co-Publisher Kate Beal. A student, musician and an advocate of LGBTQI rights, she died in March 2020 at the age of 20.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781838110161
Publisher: Muswell Press
Publication date: 01/01/2022
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Matt Bates is the editor of Muswell Press's LGBTQi+ list. Golnoosh Nour was born in Tehran. Her debut poetry collection Sorrows of the Sun was published to acclaim in 2017. Golnoosh now teaches at Birkbeck and Reading University and works as a translator. Her first collection of short stories The Ministry of Guidance has been shortlisted for the 2021 Polari Prize. Sarah Beal and Kate Beal are the Publisher and co-Publisher at Muswell Press.

Read an Excerpt

When, in March 2020, we received the devastating news of the death of Lucy/Jack Reynolds, publisher Sarah Beal’s trans daughter, we both felt an immense grief. Neither of us had met Lucy-Jack in person, nor did we have any interactions with her, so whilst our grief stemmed from our compassion for Sarah’s loss, it was intensified by the fact that this was another lost queer life.
Being queer is hard. Recognition of one’s own personal difference and the journey to self-acceptance can be a painful and bewildering one. And it is more than just identifying as LGBTQ+. To us, queerness is about disrupting the status quo. And while identifying as anything other than cis-heterosexual is automatically disruptive to the cis-heteronormative world that we have to live in, queerness is also about an attitude, and a courage that lets one express their own deviation from the norm. And writing is an action, a call to arms. Putting words on the page, articulating our fears and desires is a form of resistance: a symbolic shredding of the heteronormative script.
We received hundreds of submissions from almost every corner of the world and with so many amazingly written queer texts, the final selection process was tough. In the end, we decided on entries not only representative of many races, genders, and sexualities in all their rainbow glories, but also those that we found sublime and extraordinary in regard to literary craft. In this sense, we were interested in not just pushing the boundaries of gender and sexuality, but also the boundaries of literature itself. And that’s why we specified in the submission call out that we were interested in both poetry and prose, short stories, narrative nonfiction or indeed a hybrid of these. Although each entry was submitted independently, as we began the selection process a glorious sense of continuity and community began to emerge. Words and sentences created in private, in those liminal spaces where despair and desire meet, are articulated here and expand upon queer difference, queer difficulty, queer curiosity, and solidarity. These works shout, demand and proclaim our capacity to express queer life and queer love.
This beautifully daring collection is to honour a young, lost queer life, but also to create more space to encourage and salute the diversity of queer writing, and to celebrate the richness of queer life experience.
Golnoosh & Matt

Table of Contents

Queer Life, Queer Love
Introduction                                                                   Matt Bates & Golnoosh Nour
In Mercy and with Faith                                                  Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile
How to Build an Identity Without an Essence                   Jonathan Kemp
My Name is Frida                                                          Rosy Adams
Amethyst                                                                      Richard Scott
A History of Sheds                                                        Jon Ransom     
A Hunger                                                                      Fran Lock
Low Pony                                                                     Kesiena Boom 
Queer Love                                                                   Julia Bell
Fingers in the Dirt                                                          Sal Harris
Imaginaut                                                                      Tanaka Mhishi
Dancing Men                                                                 Manish Chauhan
Sympathy for the Villain                                                 Kathryn Hemmann
It Starts with Names Spat                                              Dale Booton
The Girl I Left Behind Me                                               Honor Gavin
The Glass Hammer                                                        Leon Craig
Bed                                                                              Aoïfe Hannah
Marriage Equality                                                          Erica Gillingham
The Old Castle                                                              Cathleen Davies
Stewards                                                                      Andrew F Giles
Autumn is the Queerist Season                                      Serge Neptune
Danny the Wild Kids and Abba                                       Wayne Blackwood
The Whole Heart Treasure                                              Debra Lavery
The Human Lottery Ticket                                              Francis Fox
The Wall                                                                       Len Lukowski
Fluid                                                                             Isabel Costello
Ten Years On                                                                Kay Inckle
Some Shadows Glitter                                                   Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile
Going West                                                                   Harry Rey
CBeebies has a lot to answer for                                    Victoria James
Camp at the Grocery Store                                            Claire Orrange
Just Coming Home                                                        Rosanna McGlone
The Beautiful Ones                                                        Nathan Evans
Gentrification                                                                Cal Legorburu
The Split Woman                                                           Marilyn Smith
Man Dancing                                                                Tony Peake
Fellatio, Regents Park, 1989                                          David Woodhead
The Stages of Frostbite                                                 Margot Douihy
All Our Elastic Mistakes                                                 Laura Vincent
Snowdrops in Spring                                                     Paul Whittering
Melancholia                                                                   Tom Bland
How a Woman Howls                                                    Giulia Medaglini
XXXX                                                                           Libro Levi Bridgeman
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