Pride Publisher Spotlight: Bold Strokes Books

There are many ways to find new books to read, whether it’s by reviews, browsing, asking a librarian, or friend recommendations. What is less common is to choose them simply by publisher. While this isn’t likely to be useful for any of the Big Six Publishers, there are plenty of small press publishers that provide enough focus that reading through them can be an enlightening experience.

For Pride Month, I’d like to provide a bit of a look at one such publisher, Bold Strokes Books. It was founded in 2004 by Radclyffe, and publishes LGBTQ+ fiction in a number of genres. My decision to read through a large number of their titles was partially wanting to read a lot of queer literature while experiencing new books and authors and partially because they use a fairly distinctive trade dress, so they can be found fairly easily by browsing the shelves.

Cash Braddock, by Ashley Bartlett. Cash Braddock is a drug dealer in Sacramento, but one with a moral code. She only deals pills, doesn’t do violence, and uses her profits to support her uncle’s organic farm. But even crime with a moral code can face difficulties. Bartlett weaves some fun thrills and heartfelt laughs along with some intriguing moral dilemmas in this first book of a series. If you want thrillers that look at the other side of the law regarding drugs, try Lay Down the Law, by Carsen Taite. Continue reading “Pride Publisher Spotlight: Bold Strokes Books”

Celebrate Pride with the latest LGBTQIA+ Fiction.

June is here: let’s celebrate the start of Pride month by dipping into various great LGBTQIA+ Summer fiction. Here are just a few highlights drawn from our big new list of LGBTQIA+ titles in the catalog. 

The Unbroken, by C.L. Clark.  Treachery and tolerance, loyalty and love clash in this action-packed queernorm epic fantasy debut set in the wild, desert outreaches of a crumbling empire under revolt.

Crosshairs, by Catherine Hernandez. As a totalitarian CIS white regime sweeps across Canada, the “Others” gather in the shadows to mount a resistance, awaiting their chance to restore their country’s sanity. Continue reading “Celebrate Pride with the latest LGBTQIA+ Fiction.”

Legendary Children: A QTBIPOC Celebration Goes Online

LEGENDARY CHILDREN is a QTBIPOC-led extravaganza is usually held at Seattle Art Museum, featuring spoken word, performance, dance, and a public runway. Legendary Children is where arts and social justice get real, with QTBIPOC voices ringing loud and clear.

Now you know a pandemic can’t stop The Children. Save the date for Saturday Nov 21, 8 p.m., the 5th Anniversary edition of Legendary Children. Come ready to show out with us! Continue reading “Legendary Children: A QTBIPOC Celebration Goes Online”

Pride Reads: More Trans and Non-Binary BIPOC Authors

Have you already blown through the last list of poetry by trans and non-binary Black, Indigenous, and People of Color that was posted on Shelf Talk? Well, you are in look, because we’re back with even more amazing reads by trans BIPOC voices. This time, the list includes writing in both poetry and novel formats, and some of them are even available as E-Books on OverDrive – all you need is your Library card, an internet connection, and a compatible device and you’ll be able to access them without ever leaving your home.

Holy Wild by Gwen Benaway
Holy Wild, released in 2018, is the third collection of poetry from Gwen Benaway, who identifies as a trans woman of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. She is also currently a PhD candidate in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Toronto. This poetry collection draws extensively on her own encounters with transphobia and how this has intersected with her experience as an Indigenous person in Canada, and ties these intensely individual, personal experiences into the macro historical, social, and political legacies of colonial violence they are ultimately derived from. The poems are also multilingual, utilizing both English and Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe), which definitely adds to both their dynamism and portrayal of her experience. Continue reading “Pride Reads: More Trans and Non-Binary BIPOC Authors”

Pride Reads: BIPOC Trans/Non-Binary Poets

Pride month is a great time to be delving deeper into poetry, and in particular the kind of poetry that shares aspects of LGBTQIA+ experience. More specifically, voices that are often pushed to the margins of the queer community – the voices of trans and non-binary Black, Indigenous, People of Color – are especially important to seek out during this time. The books listed in this post are written by trans and non-binary BIPOC and whose writing is born directly out of those experiences.

Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul by Ryka Aoki
This is the first collection of poetry published by trans and Japanese American poet Ryka Aoki. The poems contained here are certainly working intentionally with her heritage and identity, but she has also been careful to make sure that her works appeal to a broader audience, as well. In an essay for Publisher’s Weekly, Aoki once wrote, “If a trans musician can make the audience cry by playing Chopin, how else, but as a human, can she be regarded? And if a book written by a queer trans Asian American can make you think of your own beaches, your own sunsets, or the dear departed grandmother you loved so much…. then what more powerful statement of our common humanity can there be?” This sentiment certainly shines through in her writing here. Continue reading “Pride Reads: BIPOC Trans/Non-Binary Poets”