October is Arts and Humanities Month nationally and in Little Rock. Americans for the Arts has identified a different arts topic to be posted for each day in the month. Today’s feature is Poetry.
I cannot think of Poetry in Little Rock without thinking of poet and publisher Bryan Borland. He is not only a gifted writer, he is a nurturer of talent in others. He selflessly cultivates talent as he also serves as a social activist and historian.
BRYAN BORLAND is the founder and publisher of Sibling Rivalry Press, an independent publishing house based in Little Rock, he runs with his husband, Seth Pennington.
SINCE 2010, Sibling Rivalry Press has published Poets & Writers Top Debut Fiction, a Poets & Writers Top 12 Debut Poet, a Pushcart Prize winner, a Lambda Literary Award winner for Gay Poetry, a Lambda Literary Award winner for Lesbian Poetry, eight Lambda Literary Award finalists, three Publishing Triangle Award finalists, 29 American Library Association “Over the Rainbow” recommended LGBT titles, four American Library Association “Over the Rainbow” top 10 favorite picks, “a book all Georgians should read” as selected by the Georgia Center for the Book, one of Library Journal‘s “Best New Magazines,” one of Flavorwire’s “50 books that define the last five years of literature,” and finalists for the Bisexual Poetry Book of the Year, the Oklahoma Book of the Year, the Oregon Book of the Year, and the Georgia Book of the Year. Sibling Rivalry Press authors have gone on to win such prestigious prizes as the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, the Whiting Award, and the T.S. Eliot Prize. In 2015, the Library of Congress acquired all of Sibling Rivalry Press’s printed titles for housing in its Rare Books and Special Collections Vault, “housed among history’s greatest writers for all of perpetuity.”
AS A POET, Bryan’s first collection of poetry, My Life as Adam, is a potent cocktail of family life, religion, and sexuality. It was one of only five books of poetry selected by the American Library Association for its first annual “Over the Rainbow” list of recommended LGBT-themed publications. His second collection of poetry, Less Fortunate Pirates: Poems from the First Year Without My Father, was released in November 2012. Bryan is also the founding editor of Assaracus, the world’s only print journal dedicated exclusively to the gay poet, the editor of Lady Business: A Celebration of Lesbian Poetry, published in August 2012 by Sibling Rivalry Press and included on 2013’s “Over the Rainbow” list, and the co-editor of Joy Exhaustible, an anthology highlighting the writing of gay publishers and editors, which was included on 2014’s “Over the Rainbow” list. He is a 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry and winner of the 2016 Judith A. Markowitz Emerging Writer Award. His third collection of poetry, DIG, was published in September 2016 by Stillhouse Press/George Mason University. DIG was named a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, honored as a Stonewall Honor Book in Literature by the American Library Association, and included on the 2017 “Over the Rainbow” list. Bryan also edited If You Can Hear This: Poems in Protest of an American Inauguration. Of this anthology, Out in Print said, “This book serves as a reminder that nothing is more dangerous than words and those who know how to wield them.” Bryan was selected as the inaugural “Best Poet of Arkansas” by the readers of the Arkansas Times in its annual Best-of-Arkansas issue in July 2018.
BRYAN’S LATEST RELEASE is Tourist (2018), a chapbook which chronicles his cross-country tour during the 2016 presidential election.