Every week, I’ll be doing a mini feature on my site (& blasting it on social media) on activists, artists, and educators who are doing important things in the world. Like Levar Burton, the only thing these folks have in common is that I like them, and I hope you do too.
This week brings you Boston Gordon: Boston Gordon is a poet and writer living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They run the You Can’t Kill A Poet reading series – which highlights queer and trans identified poets in Philadelphia. Boston earned their MFA in Poetry through Lesley University. They are a winner in the Free Library of Philadelphia’s inaugural Cultureshare. They received a Leeway Foundation Art & Change grant in 2017. They have previously been published in The Fem, Bedfellows, Tinderbox, Guernica and more.
In addition to all of that, Boston is also a lover of cats, a non-coffee drinker (baffling, right?!), and a mean banjo player, whose cover of Taylor Swift songs will make you laugh-cry.
Their work is ethereal and gritty, the sand and the oyster. They bring to light the shifting shadows of our inner worlds, the place of ‘border’ and identity. On the border between something and something else, few seem to stay for long. It’s not a comfortable space to habit. It’s not nice. But Boston’s work looks at that liminal space full-on, says welcome. It’s not only a unique voice in poetry, it’s a necessary voice in poetry.
Not just this
body, but all body.
–The Body, Guernica
In their own words: “My writing tends to tear into the connections between gender, mental health, the environment, sex, and landscape. How all these things are not so different from each other. How what we do to ourselves in not so different than what we do to our environment. How mental health is just another obsessive narrative you have with yourself just like the boundaries you place on your gender and sexuality. We’re all just bodies trying to figure out how to be in the world, and that is often rough, but often divine.”
Their philosophies and interests show not only in the rough and the divine, but also in the ways they celebrate community. Their reading series (You Can’t Kill a Poet) celebrates emerging and established queer poets whose voice range from lace and taffeta to blood and entrails. When asked about their influences, they said: “I read Crush by Richard Siken like it’s my holy book. I wish I could write like DA Powell. I am endlessly inspired by all the queer poets out there now and will continue to devour their work and swoon.”
So, do the same– devour their work and swoon.