Grounded in protest and solidarity, Subhaga Crystal Bacon's Isabella Gardner Award-winning Transitory is a collection of elegies memorializing 46 transgender and gender-nonconforming people murdered in the US and Puerto Rico in 2020.
Epistolary in nature, these commemorative poems are "gleaned sketches" attempting to reconstruct lives and deaths from the typically scarce information made available on the internet. Interspersed with the elegies are personal explorations of gender identities and sexualities from a Queer elder who has lived through the post-Stonewall years of sexual liberation, the second wave of feminism, and the recent rapid increases in awareness about gender and sexualities met almost equally with anti-trans and anti-Queer violence.
Seen through the lenses of whiteness and privilege from the last quarter of a lifetime, these poems navigate the desire to be at home in our bodies, to be loved and desired without danger, and most of all to live free, healthy, and welcome in the world we inhabit.
Subhaga Crystal Bacon is the author of two previous collections of poetry, Elegy with a Glass of Whiskey, BOA 2004, and Blue Hunger, Methow Press, 2020. She was a nominee for the 2021-23 Washington State Poet Laureateship and was nominated for both Pushcart and Best of the Web prizes in 2021. A Queer elder, she is a teacher of embodied awakening and poetry and the places where they intersect. Subhaga's work touches on the liminal spaces between personal identity-- gender, sexuality, aging, loss, and ways of being-- and contemplation of the natural world. She lives with her partner, Sugandhi Katharine Barnes, a painter, and their Labradoodle, Lola, in the expansive Twisp River valley on the eastern slopes of the North Cascade mountains in Twisp, WA.