Hello YCA Fam,
Welcome to the Top Five. We know it's Monday and you may be looking for inspiration, and we are here to help! Every Monday, we will be inviting some of our favorite artists to share five links that inspire them. Tune in to find some new music, poems, and more.
Today's Top Five comes from H. Melt!1) Edie Fake taught me a lot about what it means to honor, celebrate, and organize queer and trans community in Chicago. He's an incredible artist who envisions queer spaces in the past, present, and future. I'm really loving the 7th issue of Gaylord Phoenix, a long running comic series that he's drawn over the years.
2) If You Are Over Staying Woke by Morgan Parker. I listen to this poem when I'm having a rough day or when I need encouragement. It reminds me that it's okay to take a break and care for myself sometimes. It's important to take care of your mental health and Morgan Parker often reminds me of that through her work.
3) Open TV is a platform that supports the creation and distribution of web series that focus on sharing stories by queer people and people of color. I don't watch a lot of TV, but I'm always interested in the shows they are involved with including Brown Girls, Brujos, Been T/Here, Bronx Cunt Tour, and Two Queens in a Kitchen. So many artists that I know and love have appeared on screen because of Open TV.
4) I Dream of Horses Eating Cops by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza. I love reading and teaching this poem so much. The poem has lines that are both surreal and those that are grounded in reality. The "I name my body" stanza is such a beautiful and empowering turn in the poem. It's great for teaching a dream workshop.
5) Gerber/Hart Library & Archives. Located in Rogers Park, Gerber/Hart is a library and archive for the Midwest's queer history. In the last year or so, I started reading comics again. They have a great exhibit up right now called Cartooning AIDS and I recently checked out two great collections--a historic anthology called Gay Comics edited by Robert Triptow and Rude Girls by Jennifer Camper.
Bio: H. Melt is a poet and artist whose work proudly documents Chicago’s queer and trans communities. Their writing has appeared many places including In These Times, The Offing, and Them, the first trans literary journal in the United States. They are the author of The Plural, The Blurring (Red Beard Press 2015) and editor of Subject to Change: Trans Poetry & Conversation (Sibling Rivalry Press 2017). H. Melt co-leads Queeriosity at Young Chicago Authors and works at Women & Children First, Chicago’s feminist bookstore. Lambda Literary awarded them the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers in 2017.
Photo credit: Janie Stamm.