Welcome to our second pandemic issue of Hiram Poetry Review. The poems here have one thing in common—we liked them immediately. Work by David Adams, Anthony Aguero, Fred Arroyo, Zulfa Arshad, Enne Baker, Grace Bauer, Demetrius Buckley, Jim Daniels, Edmund Dempsey, Norah Esty, Jess Falkenhagen, Antony Fangary, and more.
In the Spring 2020 issue of Hiram Poetry Review, find poetry by Jo Brachman, R. Steve Benson, Dan Cardoza, Daniel Daly, J. David, Lynn Domina, Ben Goluboff, Stuart Gunter, Alec Hershman, Joanne Holdridge, Henry Hughes, Richard Jones, Peycho Kanev, Kara Marell, Jose Oseguera, Jonathan Andrew Pérez, William Snyder, and more.
Magazine Review by Katy Haas
If you’re using pride month as a time to become more familiar with LGBTQIA+ writers, I recommend grabbing a copy of the Spring 2020 issue of Hiram Poetry Review. Inside is the four-page poem “I Didn’t Know You Were Transgender” by Mercury Marvin Sunderland. This poem is a response to the observation cisgender people have made: “I didn’t know you were transgender / they tell me / I thought you were a cis man.”
Sunderland spends the poem speaking to these people, asserting his place in the gender spectrum. At one point he declares:
if you knew
even a scrap
of trans culture
you’d know i
already do look
like a trans man
because we are a diverse multitude all over the earth.
With this poem, he challenges the idea of what someone is “supposed” to or expected to look like, challenges the argument that using “they” as singular “destroy[s] the english language,” challenges the idea that “stick[ing] medicine in me” means “i want to be cisgender.”
Throughout the four pages, Sunderland provides a better understanding of what it means to be a trans man, and what it means to be Sunderland himself.