Poet Jee Leong Koh: What Makes a Poem Gay?

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting a series of one-question interviews in which I ask gay poets a simple (or actually, not so simple question): What makes a poem gay?

Here is Jee Leong Koh‘s answer:

To be honest I have not given any serious thought to it. When I write, I try to write as good a poem as I can, and I do not think about how gay it is. When I read, I ask myself if the poem is any good, and not if the poem is any gay. I am interested to know if a writer or reader is gay, because the writing and the reading may show the inflection of that person’s sexual identity, but a poem itself does not have, to my mind, a sexual orientation.

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4 responses to “Poet Jee Leong Koh: What Makes a Poem Gay?

  1. Very straight forward answer. I think I would agree with most of what he said.

  2. I like this answer as well. I think it is hard whenever you are in a minority or outside of the mainstream that people assume or expect a certain tone in your writing, It’s like so many people expect a writer of a minority group to speak for that group which they might be doing but in fact are really just speaking for themselves (first of all) as an individual. Just my opinion on this one, of course.

  3. To add to what Jessie said, or as if your experience within a minority group, or any group for that matter, is your *only* experience or story worth sharing.

  4. Pingback: What makes a poem gay? « ] Outside The Lines [

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