Nate Marshall is one of Chicago's best poets. This book is a long love song to the city, especially to the South Side.
This anthology calls for a radical future. It critiques the focus of mainstream gay and lesbian politics on marriage equality, military inclusion, and hate crimes legislation.
Eli Clare is well-known for writing about the intersections between disability and queerness. Exile and Pride is essential for anyone interested in those two topics and charts Eli's experiences growing up in a rural environment as a white, queer, disabled, trans and working class person.
This is a groundbreaking book about the relationship between trans people, the prison industrial complex, and how state violence permeates our every day lives. Contributors include CeCe McDonald, Reina Gossett, Chelsea Manning, Dean Spade, and other trans activists and academics.
This is feminism for the hip hop generation. I highly recommend this anthology from the creators behind the Crunk Feminist Collective blog.
When We Fight, We Win is a powerful activist history of movements in the 21st century to end mass incarceration, fight for immigrant rights, public education, and more. Its pages have full-color artwork from some of today's best artists envisioning a more just world.
Angela Davis is one of my favoritwe feminist thinkiners and theorists of all time. In this collection, she connects Black Lives Matter movement to Palestine and more.
This anthology about queer experiences of sexual violence is so necessary and long overdue. It builds off of the work of "The Revolution Starts at Home" and is a collection of personal essays. A tough but important read.
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza is one of my favorite trans poets writing today. Blunt, sarcastic, sad & queer, sometimes surreal--she imagines a future where she belongs.
She of the Mountains is a gorgeous work of short fiction that mixes gender, religion, and sexuality in an innovative writing style. Bonus: the text is complemented by striking illustrations done by the cover artist.
Natalie Moore is one of Chicago's best storytellers. In this book, she combines her personal history with that of the city's long history of segregation while also providing us with new ways forward to living in a more just Chicago..
Mayor 1% builds off of the history of Mike Royko's book Boss in that it takes an in-depth look at a mayor who has had a major influence on the lives of everyday Chicagoans. Lydersen looks at Rahm's efforts to privatize city services, close mental health clinics, and details the city's resistance to his policies.
This collection of short stories rightfully won the Lambda Literary Award for transgender fiction. Casey Plett talks about her changing relationships to friends, family, sex and more as a young trans woman moving between Brooklyn, Canada, bars, bedrooms, and everywhere in between.
Jacqueline Woodson is one of the most lyrical writers alive. In Another Brooklyn, her signature voice leads us through the lives of four young girls and how their friendships are impacted by race, class, and gentfrication. Woodson loves Brooklyn as much as Chicagoans love Chicago and one of this novel's strengths is the way that it portrays place in a rich and detailed manner.
This is a mixed-genre and experimental book of poetry, journal entries, and news articles about the mysterious murder of Nelson's Aunt Jane. Fans of Nelson's work should also read the follow up book, The Red Parts, which is a prose collection about the reopening of Jane's case and the impact of the trial on Nelson's family.