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June’s Stories and Poems

Written by Maisie Jeynes, 3rd June 2021

To mark Pride month, June's selection of Monthly Stories and Poems showcase works from LGBTQ+ authors.

Family life is a feature of this month's prose selections; in particular we look at how gaps in understanding between family members, whether it be between siblings or parents and children, can be bridged, be that through overcoming physical distance or the passing of time. Identity, 'otherness' and the need to fit in and prove ourselves to others are other themes to explore, as well as the powers that come from opening ourselves up to others.

June's stories and extracts are:

'Sonny's Blues' by James Baldwin

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (extract) by Ocean Vuong

'The Selfish Giant' by Oscar Wilde

Shuggie Bain (extract from Chapter 14) by Douglas Stuart

My Antonia (extract from Book 1, Chapter 7) by Willa Cather

The joys and losses, adventures and questions both big and small are touched upon in this month's poetry choices. Through relations with the self, society and previous generations - as well as with the world around us - we begin to come closer to acknowledging past strains, as well as future hopes.

'Holy Island' by Jackie Kay

'Truth' by Afaa Michael Weaver

'Brand New Ancients' (extract) by Kae Tempest

'One Art' by Elizabeth Bishop

'My Grandmother's Love Letters' by Hart Crane

If you're looking for more suggestions and recommendations, take a look at what's on The Reader Bookshelf.

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