Image: Lee Relvas, "Hags," 2009. Gouache on paper, 15 in. by 20 in. Courtesy of the artist
This June we present the fifth installment of our annual queer issue. We've gathered a group from all corners of the world to celebrate this milestone with us. From Colombia, Alberto Salcedo Ramos gets in league with the queens of soccer, while Taiwan's Qiu Miaojin pens fiery, lyrical dispatches from Montmartre. Belgium's Stéphane Lambert paints a nostalgic portrait of a teenage friendship, and Iranian writer Ghazal Mosadeq's beleaguered asylum seeker finds himself at a crossroads in France. From Israel (via Brooklyn), graphic artist Miki Golod blends memories of army service with a snowbound New York, while Spain's Elvira Tobío frames a carnal appetite in haiku form. Nao-Cola Yamazaki's protagonist dwells on a foundering relationship from the dentist's chair, while Algerian Rachid Boudjedra's Olympian falls in love with a student. From Mexico, Javier Malpica reads us entries from a coming-of-age diary, while Russia's Olga Pogodina-Kuzmina dwells on the allure of youth.
Elsewhere in the issue we showcase new writing from Equatorial Guinea. Graphic novelist Jamón y Queso lampoons the man in charge, while Melibea Obono Ntutumu's protagonist takes a cab ride from hell and Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel remembers his island home.
The Queer Issue V: Impressions from a Passing Train
The appeal of the Queer Issue is in seeing that great ambition writ small
“You're so gay you even want to get it on with men in cartoon strips!”
from “Last Words from Montmartre”
Dusk in the Latin Quarter was like a fairy tale or a love poem, like a Klimt mosaic, like glowing, rose-colored clouds reaching toward the heavens.
from “My Body Laid Bare”
My face was more akin to Florentine portraits of androgynous ephebes than to paintings of ancient heroes.
"Your problem is that you say you are gay but have never seen a gay guy in your entire life.”
Full Body Scan
"Do you know anyone who died in the army?"
from “Carnia Haikai”
An omnivorous poet, / I eat everything.
Cavities and Kindness
It was almost Christmas, I had a cavity, and I was in the process of getting dumped.
In fact, Teldj no longer felt anything at all. She only pretended to. She only thought about Algeria.
from “Adam’s Apple”
His skin and hair gave off an intoxicating scent of apples.
I opened it and wrote the first date, and what would be the first chapter of that extraordinary life that was my own.
Reviewed by Eric M. B. Becker
The author’s urgency to finish "La Grande" is palpable in the anxious prose.
Reviewed by Mike Baugh
With the English publication this month of Bohumil Hrabal’s "Harlequin’s Millions" and Jáchym Topol’s "Nightwork," it’s Vánoce (“Christmas”) for fans of Czech literature.
Reviewed by Christie Roe
Steeped in broad cross-cultural influences from traditional jazz to Guillaume Apollinaire, Harding masterfully crafts vision and music into free verse.