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Divining Divas: 100 Gay Men on Their Muses

Editor Michael Montlack has assembled an anthology of a hundred gay poets—award winners and fresh voices—in thrall with female icons throughout the ages ranging from Gloria Swanson to Mary J, Blige, from Edith Piaf to Joni Mitchell, Bette Midler to Lady Gaga. These are not merely appreciations of the gorgeous and daring but poems that are confessional to bittersweet to witty.

   ”Dozens of gay poets riff on their favorite female icons in tones ranging from confessional to bittersweet to sardonic. Their diverse and riveting work puts the ‘muse’ back in amusing and the ‘verse’ back in perverse.” –Michael Musto, Village VoiceDivining Divas: 100 Gay Men on Their Muses is a wonderful follow-up collection to the same editor’s My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them. This new collection has a diva for just about everyone!Covering everyone from Sappho, Gertrude Stein, Gloria Swanson, Anaïs Nin, Edith Piaf, Maya Angelou, to more contemporary women like Bjork, Stevie Nicks, Mary J. Blige, Lady Gaga, even Buffy’s Sarah Michelle Gellar, these talented and respected poets masterfully and colorfully dust off cobwebs, call some divas out on the smoke and mirrors they use to bewitch us, exposing their vulnerabilities, or simply make us remember our own undeniable connection to the female icons we’ve adored and, sometimes, emulated (or even disliked).But this collection is a treasure of poetry for anyone who loves and respects women. As the editor states in his introductory notes: ”After all, often pioneers in their fields, they frequently paid a price for stepping beyond the lines drawn for them by society, for being a successful or loud or strong woman, when women were not supposed to be any of those things.” He continues, ”They, like gay men, failed at playing the gender role defined by their time and culture. And they, perhaps like gay men (and gay women), helped to redefine, broaden and loosen those restrictive roles, which benefits all of us.” –Chuck Willman for A&U Magazine

Divining Divas: 100 Gay Men on Their Muses is a wonderful follow-up collection to the same editor’s My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them. This new collection has a diva for just about everyone!

Covering everyone from Sappho, Gertrude Stein, Gloria Swanson, Anaïs Nin, Edith Piaf, Maya Angelou, to more contemporary women like Bjork, Stevie Nicks, Mary J. Blige, Lady Gaga, even Buffy’s Sarah Michelle Gellar, these talented and respected poets masterfully and colorfully dust off cobwebs, call some divas out on the smoke and mirrors they use to bewitch us, exposing their vulnerabilities, or simply make us remember our own undeniable connection to the female icons we’ve adored and, sometimes, emulated (or even disliked).

But this collection is a treasure of poetry for anyone who loves and respects women. As the editor states in his introductory notes: ”After all, often pioneers in their fields, they frequently paid a price for stepping beyond the lines drawn for them by society, for being a successful or loud or strong woman, when women were not supposed to be any of those things.” He continues, ”They, like gay men, failed at playing the gender role defined by their time and culture. And they, perhaps like gay men (and gay women), helped to redefine, broaden and loosen those restrictive roles, which benefits all of us.” –Chuck Willman for A&U Magazine

About the Author

Michael Montlack is the author of the poetry collection Cool Limbo. His work has appeared in The New York Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Court Green, Swink, 5 AM, Columbia Poetry Review, The Ledge, Poet Lore, Gay and Lesbian Review, Bloom, and other journals. He has won the Tin House Poetry Scholarship and was a finalist for the Frank O Hara Award and Brittingham/Pollak Competition. He splits his time between San Francisco and New York City.

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