Read Proud: Poetry for Adults

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh engages all of our communities in literacy and learning. Check out the titles below for contemporary poetry of LGBTQIA+ individuals and ask your local librarian for more.


In “Cutlish,” Rajiv Mohabir creates a form migrated from Caribbean chutney music in order to verse the precarity of a queer Indo-Caribbean speaker in the newest context of the United States. 

Divine Fire

These poems gradually increase in scope, beginning with the intimacy of the narrator’s bedroom and expanding until Woo writes about the nature of reality itself. 

The Hurting Kind

Observations of daily life’s tiny, rich details serve as gateways for examining the connections between humans and the natural world in this collection by an award-winning poet. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla.

The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak

From boybands that show the way to become “the kind of girl a girl could love” to “rich flavours that are just a few generations of poverty away,” these poems about Hong Kong emigrants’ experiences in Canada invite the reader to meditate on spirituality, food, and the shapes love takes. 

Please Love Me at My Worst

Notable TikTok creator Michaela Angemeer explores connecting with your inner child, loving the worst parts of yourself, coming out as bisexual, and focusing on self-growth in her much-anticipated poetry collection. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.

Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes

Bi/queer poet Nicky Beer looks at the concept of illusion in this collection of incisive poems. Using pop culture reference points that range from Dolly Parton to Batman, Beer is seeking the truth, wherever that may lie. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.

The Renunciations

Through poems about “Now,” the narrator’s failing marriage, and “Then,” the narrator’s abuse at the hands of her father, Kelly grapples with trauma and desire in mythological yet personal terms. 

Time Is a Mother

The author of “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” experiments with form in this meditation on grief and impermanence, particularly in the wake of losing his own mother. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

You Better Be Lightning

Tender, empathetic, and raw, these queer, political, and feminist poems encourage the reader to feel welcomed and loved.