On Transgender Poetry


At the Los Angeles Review of Books this week, Stephen Burt reviews the anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics and discusses how poetry allows us, reader and author alike, to inhabit a body or being better or very different from the one we were born in.

Burt explains, “We need poetry when literal faces and bodies and circumstances are not as good as it gets: we might enjoy reading and writing poetry for many reasons, but we need it when we feel that we need figuration, need something unavailable in the literal world.”

As one of the poets whose work is included in the anthology, Burt provides an insider’s view and intense examination of the forces at work behind the creation of trans and genderqueer poetry.

Dawn Pier is a developmental editor who blogs at the Rumpus, the travelogue Baja.com, and Dawn Revealed, a personal blog about her adventures surfing and living in Baja. She is working on a memoir about moving to Mexico to learn to surf and save a coral reef. More from this author →