The following blog is penned by solidad decosta, who graciously agreed to lend to her time and her voice to my efforts to keep Giovanni's Room open, and to bring you the best and brightest, latest and greatest in the queer worlds of art, activism and blogging. (And it is a small queer world friends. I found solidad via twitter and she was one of the first people I reached out to for this series; recently I emailed PhinLi Bookings to see who amongst their talent might lend me their voices and lo and behold, they represent solidad!) Follow the links to buy the books online from Giovanni's, and for items not in regular stock, they special order! Without further ado:
Performer/author/musician solidad decosta is an uppity Portuguese woman who isn't afraid to claim her black Latina maternal ancestry. Equal parts street journalist, storyteller and crone-ta-be with Leo moon credentials, her work encompasses the why and where of life outside the boxes in a label obsessed world, and the what, when, who and how of everything else.
(One of) my current projects: A new collection of page poems called Dérive. “From personal-is-political sonnet cycles on the Paris suburb riots to minimalist excursions into the trials of being a renter, this work covers new territory while staying true to the direct, passionate tone that shines through her previous works.” It's available at my website – solidadrocks.com.
My favorites? There's so many. Here are four of them:
Kate Bornstein, My Gender Workbook. If you've ever wondered “why is it that gender doesn't seem to fit neat and tidy for me, like it's supposed to?,” this book is for you. Lots of process work, but in the sparkling, engaging, inviting style that is uniquely Kate's.
kari edwards, a day in the life of p. Difficult, amazing, transgressive prose. kari was an amazing writer and a stellar human being; you owe it to yourself to check out her work. Her book of poems Iduna is a great read as well. Special order from Giovanni's Room via ISBN: 978-1930068186.
Matthew Rottnek (Editor), Sissies and Tomboys. An engaging combination of personal narratives and critical theory, this is the best book I've read on gender non-conformativity and those who want to police it. If you want to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, a must-read.
Arlene Stein (Editor), Sisters, Sexperts, Queers. An amazing companion to Sissies and Tomboys, this book rocks my world in many ways, but what has stuck with me over the years is how patiently and insightfully it calls into question the faults in 2nd wave feminism, from a queer/lesbian perspective. Special order from Giovanni's Room via ISBN: 978-0452268876.