Posted October 31, 2023

Call for Indigenous LGBTQ2SIA+ poetry

Editors Crisosto Apache and Julian Talamantez Brolaski are excited to announce a call for submissions for a new volume of Indigiqueer / two-spirit poetry, tentatively titled Gathering in the Glittering Field: Indigenous Two-Spirit Poetry.

This will be the first volume of poetry dedicated entirely to the work of Native LGBTQ2SIA+ poets. We are honored to be working in the tradition of two previous anthologies that amplified the voices of Indigenous queer writers: Sovereign Erotics (The University of Arizona Press, 2011) and  Living the Spirit: A Gay American Indian Anthology (St. Martins Press, 1988), as well as the Fall 2010 edition of the Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature and Art and Thought. The intention of this volume is to present established poets along with emerging voices, opening and enlarging the field of two-spirit poetry. Though the named publications listed focus on writing, we want to create a publication space for representing and supporting LGBTQ2SIA+  poetry.

“The creative work of Native two-spirit and queer people has been central to resistance against colonial gender and sexual regimes.”

— Introduction,  Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature.

“Some of us continue to fill traditional roles in our tribal communities; others are artists, healers, mediators, and community organizers in urban areas; many of us are active in efforts to restore and preserve our cultural traditions. Gay and lesbian Indians were special to a lot of tribes. We have roots here in North America.”

— Randy Burns, Preface, Living The Spirit: A Gay American Indian Anthology.

“Say: Weave with this. Weave with me. And we weave. […] We offer our art, this working of our hands, that we gift with you, our most loving embrace.”

— Ahímsa Tímoteo Bodhrán, Editor’s Note, Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art and Thought, (Fall 2010).

It is difficult being a creative person of gender, color, sexuality, and ethnicity against the challenges of Western culture and history. The perspectives, attitudes, conditions, and expectations continue to be difficult to navigate; having to always justify my existence and person.  As a poet, I can work through the situation I am dealing with. Confidence can be tough, but my art continues to remind me there are always opportunities to create spaces for voices to thrive and grow. Re-reading the introduction of the above-mentioned anthologies and collected works encourages me to think about how others have strived to create a space for my voice and for my voice to thrive. Participating in this opportunity to create a space and bring forth new and growing voices is my effort to give back to all of whom this collection has and will represent.

Say: Let us create work and continue; weaving, weaving, weaving for each other.

— Crisosto Apache (x-GNC), Mescalero, Chiricahua Apache, and Diné.


Deadlines for submission: December 15th 2023

Follow this link to submit your work and find more information on submission criteria.


Image (left): “Untitled” by Greg Deal (2016). Reprinted with permission from the artist.