Excerpts from a Burned Letter

Award-winning writer Joelle Barron looks back at history through queer eyes in their second poetry collection.Excerpts from a Burned Letter places the experiences of historical figures and fictional characters in modern contexts—and makes their queerness explicit. This collection highlights the circular nature of time, demonstrating how even in a post-marriage-equality world, queer experiences and queer histories still face erasure.From the perspective of a single, modern speaker, each poem is haunted by a fictional or historical queer couple, connecting ancestors to their descendants and underlining the ancientness of being queer. The book also explores themes of religion, disability, motherhood, birth, and the experience of being a queer child. The poems zoom in and out; gross, visceral depictions of bodies and their functions stand beside poems that call out the hypocrisies of religion in both its extreme and subtle forms. These poems describe the experience of being a queer person in the present day—writing the queer history of the future.When searching for stories of themselves in history books, queer people are often met with
denial and resistance. Excerpts from a Burned Letter provides explicit acknowledgement where
it didn’t exist before: You were here. You live on.

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Award-winning writer Joelle Barron looks back at history through queer eyes in their second poetry collection.Excerpts from a Burned Letter places the experiences of historical figures and fictional characters in modern contexts—and makes their queerness explicit. This collection highlights the circular nature of time, demonstrating how even in a post-marriage-equality world, queer experiences and queer histories still face erasure.From the perspective of a single, modern speaker, each poem is haunted by a fictional or historical queer couple, connecting ancestors to their descendants and underlining the ancientness of being queer. The book also explores themes of religion, disability, motherhood, birth, and the experience of being a queer child. The poems zoom in and out; gross, visceral depictions of bodies and their functions stand beside poems that call out the hypocrisies of religion in both its extreme and subtle forms. These poems describe the experience of being a queer person in the present day—writing the queer history of the future.When searching for stories of themselves in history books, queer people are often met with denial and resistance. Excerpts from a Burned Letter provides explicit acknowledgement where it didn’t exist before: You were here. You live on.

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Pages

Published:

April 13, 2024

Publisher:

Nightwood Editions

ISBN:

9780889714700

Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

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