I have troubles reviewing poetry collections because I never really feel qualified. And some of the poetry included in Poetry Is Dead (Issues 2, Volume 3) didn’t help with that: one is entitled “Perfect Lovers (Gay Porn Story Removed (O’s Remain)), which is just two pages of the letter o with spaces between them. Another, “ff or letters to a fellow fluency” is described as “a sequence of poembriefs traversing the idioms of distance and the distances of idiom between felix and odile . . .” That one I had to put down several times before I found enough energy to finish it (though there are some beautiful moments, most of it sailed over my head). Mixed within the volume are interesting illustrations, like the cover.
Poetry Is Dead does have a good mix of poetry, however. Some of it is extremely abstract, and some very straightforward. Some of it is more prose, or even essay-like. I definitely think this volume is worth reading just for lisa foad’s poem “here be monsters”, which explores growing up and coming out in a conservative Christian family. Another favorite was “For queer grrls who considered silence/when the pap smear is too much”, which describes trying to get sexual health care as a queer woman.
I recommend this volume to queer poetry fans, but also to readers like me, who are more comfortable with concrete or linear stories. The queer issue of Poetry Is Dead might push your limits a little, and there are enough concrete stories to keep you engaged.