The Queer South is OUT!

This week saw the official release of The Queer South: LGBTQ Writers on the American South, a project I’ve been working on for the past two years.  The final product has 63 different writers and some incredible nonfiction and poetry in a book with a stunning cover (the handiwork of Hollie Chastain, who also did the cover art for He Will Laugh).

You can order the anthology from Sibling Rivalry Press directly at:

Here are two blurbs about the book:

Think about it: When have you been in the South and not had a queer experience, in any sense of that word? It’s got to be the queerest space on earth. Matter of fact, go ahead and strike Queer from the title of this book. These writers are talking about the The South, period.

- Aaron Alford, editor of Southern Humanities Review

 In The Queer South words emerge, blazing, from the red clay, the kudzu, the steaming rivers and creeks, and the sun-cracked city streets. Poems and essays wrestle the ghosts of history, ghosts that don’t fight fair, hurling religion, race, and gendered expectations, alternating between shouts of bravado and whispers of shame.Yet, these love poems, coming out stories, and, yes, even songs of rejection win by laying bare the skin of any reader’s heart.
 - Sandy Longhorn, author of The Alchemy of My Mortal Form
I am so glad that this work is out in the world!

Tennessee Williams / New Orleans Literary Festival

Tennessee Williams / New Orleans Literary Festival

I am excited that I will be reading from He Will Laugh and on a poetry panel at this year’s Tennessee Williams / New Orleans Literary Festival.  The Festival is March 19-23 and has a star-studded lineup.  My panel / reading will be on Saturday, March 22.  The festival program will be released soon with more details.  Looking forward to food, drink, poetry, and Williams!

Deadline for Submission to THE QUEER SOUTH Extended!

You’ve got more time!


Sibling Rivalry Press seeks poetry and creative nonfiction submissions for The Queer South, an anthology scheduled for publication in September 2014. The anthology, edited by Douglas Ray, will be the first-ever to explore and celebrate Dixie’s queer culture in essays and poetry. Whether your roots are in the South, you spent some time there, you had an unforgettable encounter at a Mardi Gras ball in the Reagan Era, or you staged an impromptu drag show in Talladega after a NASCAR race, your submissions are welcome. This anthology will build on the shoulders of Capote, McCullers, and Williams (among others) and show that queer culture has, does, and will flourish in the red states south of the Mason-Dixon.

Submit up to four previously unpublished poems or one essay of no more than 5000 words at

Author should identify as LGBTIQ.  Poems / essays should have some relationship to the American South. Payment will be in the form of a contributor’s copy. Direct questions to The submission period ends June 15, 2013. The submission period ends July 31st, with decisions for inclusion made by or before early September.


A native Mississippian, Douglas Ray is author of He Will Laugh (Lethe Press, 2012), which explores the relationship of two young men from first meeting to the aftermath of one man’s suicide.  A former Lambda Literary Foundation Poetry Fellow, he earned his B.A. in classics and English and M.F.A. in poetry from The University of Mississippi, where he edited The Yalobusha Review.  He is Writer-in-Residence at Indian Springs School, an independent boarding and day school in Birmingham, Alabama. Visit him at


Founded in 2010, Sibling Rivalry Press is an independent publishing house based just outside of Little Rock, Arkansas, in the small town of Alexander. Our mission is to promote new, emerging, and established literary talent, particularly those writers who don’t fit into the mainstream. Sibling Rivalry Press is proud to be the home of Assaracus, the world’s only print journal of gay male poetry and one of Library Journal‘s “Best New Magazines.” Several Sibling Rivalry Press titles have been honored by the American Library Association through its “Over the Rainbow” list of recommended LGBT reading, including Ocean Vuong’s Burnings, Kevin Simmonds’ Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets and Faith, Religion & Spirituality, and Bryan Borland’s My Life as Adam. While we champion our LGBTIQ authors and artists, we are an inclusive publishing house and welcome all authors, artists, and readers regardless of sexual orientation or identity.