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7 Wonderfully Queer Works Of Canadian Literature For Pride Month 2024 - By Sienna Tristen

7 Wonderfully Queer Works Of Canadian Literature For Pride Month 2024

The Director of Programming at The Word On The Street Toronto selects seven favourite queer works to add to your reading list…

By Sienna Tristen

Many of these authors have been onstage at The Word On The Street throughout the years, and I’m delighted to shine a light on them once again! Also, almost all of these picks have some sort of speculative element, whether it’s straight-up sci-fi or a more atmospheric fabulism—that was important to me, both as a lover of speculative fiction and as a believer in that gender itself is speculative. Not all of them are aboutqueerness, not explicitly, but they ground themselves in a queer universe, orient you towards a queer worldview. I hope you find something nourishing within their pages.

Suture
By Nic Brewer

The “suffering artist” trope taken to its illogical (fantastical) extreme. Manages some absolutely grody body horror while also holding you with genuine tenderness. A book that, in my opinion, explores the creativity in queerness, and the queerness of creativity.

Queer Little Nightmares: An Anthology of Monstrous Fiction and Poetry
Edited by David Ly and Daniel Zomparelli

Did you want your queerness with a side of cryptids? This anthology subverts classic horror tropes and ideas for the monster-likers in all of us. Some of my favourite authors contributed to this one, including Amber Dawn, David Demchuk, and jaye simpson!

Anomia
By Jade Wallace
With its experimental form that does away with all gendered pronouns entirely, Anomia queers the idea of prose itself. This is Jade’s debut novel, fresh off the press this month, and I can’t wait to dive into the mysterious world they’ve created, rife with all its love and longing. “Speculative” fiction on a whole other level.

Asking For a Friend
By Ronnie Riley
I cannot tell you how it warms my heart to see queerness normalized for middle grade readers! That kind of rep would have blown me away when I was young! This story also makes space for asexual and aromantic identities, which are still often less visible in the mainstream conversation but a deeply important part of my own identity.

The Honey Month
By Amal El-Mohtar
Originally published in 2010, this short collection is hard to find but worth the treasure hunt: queer like strange, queer like fey, sweet and sensuous and sly. I’ve always loved Amal’s work for its dizzyingly delicious prose. Revel in the heat of summer with these 28 honeyed tales.

Pluralities
By Avi Silver
Did you want sentient space ships! Did you want cathartic quitting-your-mall-job scenes! Did you want, as Nino Cipri once said, the “401-level nonbinary speculative fiction” of your dreams! Then Pluralities is for you. This read will take you on a cosmic journey through transness and gender euphoria all in under 125 pages.

I Hope We Choose Love – Kai Cheng Thom
Kai Cheng’s essay collection was absolutely formative for me to expand/explode my notions of queer community, solidarity, and how to hold many complicated, conflicting truths at once. Fierce, clear-eyed, and nuanced, with compassion at its core. Check out her newer collection too, Falling Back in Love with Being Human!


Hungry for more? The Word On The Street invites you to our pop-up Book Nook at Luminato In The Square, this June 7-16, to relax and unwind under the shade with a selection of on-theme books curated by yours truly—including plenty of LGBTQ+ picks!

And of course, mark your calendars for September 28-29 this year as WOTS takes over Queens Park for our 35th year! Enjoy readings and discussions, browse books, and connect with other readers & writers at our free annual festival of storytelling, ideas, and imagination.


SIENNA TRISTEN is an author, poet, and literary organizer living in Treaty 3 territory who explores queer platonic partnership, the nonhuman world, and mythmaking in their work. Among their published works are the award-winning literary fantasy duology The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming, the poetry chapbook hortus animarum: a new herbal for the queer heart, and poems in Augur Magazine, Plenitude, and the League of Canadian Poets’ Poetry Pause. When the sun is up, they work with The Word On The Street Toronto to showcase the coolest in Canadian & Indigenous literature.

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