Blue Hanuman

Hanging Loose Press, 2014
ISBN 978-1-934909-38-6

In Blue Hanuman, the poet's voice becomes the thing it speaks about, connecting the body to art and to the whole process of nature––the world's body seen from the inside. Order Blue Hanuman from your local bookseller or online from Hanging Loose Press or Small Press Distribution.

Praise for Blue Hanuman:

“[Joan Larkin's] poems are direct, brief, and quietly shattering and almost always double-sided: one things sets off another thing; memory itself expands into a kind of volatile expression of what it means to be alive in the present moment. In her simple—even, at times, ambiguous language—she is always tracking an abiding consciousness that is as critical as it is loving.”
           —Michael Klein


Legs Tipped with Small Claws

Hand-Sewn Chapbook
Argos Books, 2012
ISBN 978-1-938247-01-9

"In Legs Tipped with Small Claws, Joan Larkin’s first collection since My Body: New and Selected Poems, poems rich in the strangeness and struggle of the natural world have a way reordering the reader’s attention. From the eye of the plankton to the shell of the Red-Eared Slider, creatures – both human and animal – glow with the radiance of hard-won attention. The twenty poems that make up this small collection are meant to be savored and lived with for a very long time." Order online from Argos Books.


My Body: New and Selected Poems

Hanging Loose Press, 2007
ISBN 9781931236744

My Body: New and Selected Poems, winner of The Publishing Triangle’s 2008 Audre Lorde Award, is Joan’s first book since the 1997 Lambda Award-winning Cold River. My Body includes substantial selections from previous books and more than 40 new poems. Order My Body from your local bookseller or online from Hanging Loose Press or Small Press Distribution.

Praise for My Body:

“Over the decades of writing, Joan Larkin has proved her mastery, whether the poem is mythic, elegiac, or biographical.  Her honesty is overwhelming, but it is coupled with poetic cunning, gorgeous language and a rhythm and tone so precise and appropriate that it is—as in the great poets—transparent.  There are no tricks and no evasive moves, nothing that in ten years she will be ashamed of or confused by.  She is a poet of compassion and pity.  Where it is appropriate, she is merciless, especially to herself.  I love reading her poems; I love reading them over and over.  I salute her.”  
           —Gerald Stern

“Joan Larkin’s high-wire poetic acts unite both electric tension and steadfast balance.  Deft, probing language surges in these poems, to the music of free verse, metric invention, high rhetoric, & demotic wit.  She needs all these, to reach the full range of felt life she intends for us.”  
           —Marie Ponsot

“Joan Larkin knows how to write a crown of sonnets so vividly revelatory that it gave this reader goosebumps.  Deaths from AIDS, family deaths, a suicide—dark subjects deftly and honorably portrayed.”  
           —Maxine Kumin

“For nearly 40 years, Joan Larkin has written poems that stake out a territory of relentless self-examination, taking on love and death, family and sexuality in a voice that is unsentimental, ruthless and clear-eyed. . . . It's a remarkable statement, tracing the evolution of a poet from her earliest efforts. . . to the stunning sweep and simplicity of her current work. . . . This is poetry without pity, in which despair leads not to degradation but to a kind of grace.”
          David Ulin, Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2007
              [read the full review here]


Cold River

Painted Leaf Press, 1997
ISBN 0965155854

Cold River, winner of a Lambda Award for Poetry, includes harsh and tender elegies. These strong lyrics take on desire, loss, and the gifts of wholeness and self-knowledge in the age of AIDS. Cold River is out of print but some copies may be available here.

Praise for Cold River:

“In Cold River, Joan Larkin’s poems move deeper than ever into grief and tenderness and praise, her own wild and quiet voice the embodiment of desire.”
          —Jean Valentine

“I return to Joan Larkin’s poems again and again because I love their clarity, their revelatory strength, their allegiance to something like history and their great and surprising humor. But there is more. The poems in this little book that face AIDS are certainly some of the bravest and most eloquent ones on the subject. To put it simply, they floor me.”
          —Michael Klein


A Long Sound

Granite Press, 1986
ISBN 0961488611

Poems of addiction and healing, memory and praise form the nucleus of Joan’s second collection. The sonnet crown "Blackout Sonnets" at its center marries formal ingenuity with devastating honesty.

A Long Sound is out of print but may be purchased here and here:

A video recording of Joan reading the “Blackout Sonnets” in 1987 may be seen here.

Praise for A Long Sound:

“Taking brave, and transcendent, possession of her histories, the poet presents us with the facts of her outstanding craft. . . . A stunning testament to personal and artistic triumph. She digs deep. She shines.”
          —June Jordan

“With imagery as exquisite, unsparing and precise as a scalpel, A Long Sound shocks us through an underworld of black-out and soul-death into the realm of spiritual and sensual freedom we, with the poet, can call recovery.”
          —Honor Moore



Out & Out Books, 1975
ISBN 091831402X

Housework was Joan’s first published book of poetry. It includes Mimi Weisbord’s paintings of dollhouses, which hint of primal family dramas. Housework was typed on an IBM Selectric; the cover was created on an improvised light table using letters pressed-on by hand. It was printed at the Print Center in Brooklyn with the imprint Out & Out Books, a collective formed by Joan, Jan Clausen, Elly Bulkin, and Irena Klepfisz during the feminist publishing explosion of the ‘70s.

Housework is out of print but may be purchased here:

Praise for Housework:

“I love Joan Larkin’s poems, for their music, their tensile strength, their truthfulness, their clarity. . . .”
          —Adrienne Rich, in Ms. Magazine



Sor Juana's Love Poems

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Translated by Joan Larkin and Jaime Manrique
Painted Leaf Press 1997
University of Wisconsin Press 2003

ISBN 0299187047

Sor Juana’s Love Poems is a book of poems in English and Spanish by one of the world’s most daring erotic writers. Joan has created English versions with Jaime Manrique.

These exquisite love poems, some of them clearly addressed to women, were written by the visionary and passionate genius of Mexican letters, the seventeenth-century nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. In this volume they are translated into the idiom of our own time. Some of them are rooted in Renaissance courtly conventions; others are startlingly ahead of their time, seemingly modern in the naked power of the complex sexual feelings they address.

Sor Juana's Love Poems is available in bookstores or directly from the press.



Glad Day: Daily Meditations for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People

Hazelden, 1998
ISBN 9781568381893

The daily meditations in Glad Day explore such themes as change, fear and faith, success and failure, and openness to ourselves and others. Interwoven with references to the transforming experiences of coming out and of recovery, they remind us of the wholeness and beauty of each of our natures. Order Glad Day here.



If You Want What We Have: Sponsorship Meditations

Hazelden, 1998
ISBN 9781568381923

This book is a portrait of a year in recovery, written as daily conversations between sponsor and sponsee in twelve-step recovery. These daily meditations explore the concerns and struggles involved every day in recovery. They offer insights for both sponsors and sponsees and model a relationship based on compassion, humor, and mutual trust. Order If You Want What We Have here.



A Woman Like That : Lesbian and Bisexual Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories

Avon/Bard Books 1999
Harper Paperbacks 2000
ISBN 9780380802470

This anthology collects portraits of desire and courage, creating a rich, diverse picture of the meaning and impact of “coming out.” Thoughtful, wise, and often hilarious, A Woman Like That includes strong writing by both famous and lesser-known writers, among them Pat Califia, Chrystos, Judy Grahn, Bertha Harris, Jill Johnston, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Elizabeth Lorde Rollins, and Tristan Taormino. It was nominated for both a Lambda Award and a Publishing Triangle Award for Non-fiction.

Read a review of A Woman Like That here

Order A Woman Like That here.


Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our Time

Edited by Joan Larkin and Carl Morse
St. Martin’s Press, 1988
ISBN 0312022131

Gay and Lesbian Poetry In Our Time, winner of a Lambda Literary Award for Poetry, is the first of its kind, an anthology of poetry by both lesbians and gay men. It brings together the work of nearly 100 poets, from the famous to the hitherto unknown, a multigenerational group spanning a wide range of cultural heritages. Among the poets included are Frank Bidart, Chrystos, Cheryl Clarke, Edward Field, Allen Ginsberg, Judy Grahn, Essex Hemphill, Adrienne Rich, Muriel Rukeyser, and Tennessee Williams.

Order Gay and Lesbian Poetry In Our Time here:


Lesbian Poetry: An Anthology

Edited by Joan Larkin and Elly Bulkin
Persephone Press, 1981
ISBN 0930436083

This early lesbian feminist anthology collected strong work by a large number of lesbian poets, reflecting the rich diversity of age, race, class, and experience among poets identifying as lesbians. Some of the poets included are Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldúa and Judy Grahn. Lesbian Poetry is out of print but may be purchased here:

Amazon Poetry: An Anthology

Edited by Joan Larkin and Elly Bulkin
Out & Out Books, 1975

One of the first anthologies of lesbian poetry, this ground-breaking book gathered a wide range of poetry and poets, some appearing for the first time in a lesbian literary context. Amazon Poetry is out of print but may be purchased here: