"The new collection by Sean Hanrahan is a fiery expression of poetic defiance against the country that would treat LGBT citizens as second class. The cake of the title becomes a symbol of resistance as well as desire even in a conservative epoch. Here is a playful, vital work of political writing when that can seem nearly impossible to accomplish." — C.M. Crockford (poet)


"When in 2017 a Lakewood, CO, baker refused to accept an order to prepare a gay wedding cake, the response was a lawsuit, Masterpiece Bakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which wended its way to the Supreme Court, where bigotry was vindicated. Gay Cake is Sean Hanrahan’s response. These poems, snapping faggoty sarcasm and sass, eviscerate, layer by layer, the deeply emplaced homophobia of America, 'this gerrymandered quilt stitched/with threads of intolerance and pretend commonality.' Gay Cake balances its cool anger by reminding us that 'the world is full of kind stories and strangers.' If you thought gay poetry had been assimilated to the point of disappearing, check this out."—Jim Cory (poet)


"The more I read, the more I want a gay cake of my own. Not to eat it, more to shove it in all its gay sugary glory down the unworthy throats of all the straight bigots we continue to endure. Sean echoes all the ways in which our gay history and people relate, to each other, to ourselves, to our oppressors, to fellow revolutionaries, even to those closest to us, through cake, slurs, flashes of memory, hope, and regret. Perfect for that (pre)diabetic gay in your life who needs some sweet, sweet confectionary suffering. Also perfect for cake lovers, would-be rebels, frosting addicts, and sugar-sucking fiends." — Marc Rosen


Gay Cake is a hard-hitting poetic response to the current state of gay life in America in the wake of the muddled Masterpiece Bakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Supreme Court decision. This chapbook explores the intersection where gay acceptance meets homophobia and assimilation meets defiance through incorporating gay history, contemporary topics, and personal experience.


Sean Hanrahan is a Philadelphian poet originally hailing from Dale City, Virginia. He is the author of Hardened Eyes on the Scan, published in 2018 by Moonstone Press. His work has also been included in several anthologies, including the Moonstone Featured Poets, Queer Around the World, and Stonewall’s Legacy. His work has been published in several journals, including Impossible Archetype, Mobius, Peculiar, Poetica Review, and Voicemail Poems. He currently serves on the Moonstone Press Editorial Board, as head poetry editor for Toho Journal, and as an instructor for Green Street Poetry. Stay tuned for his first full-length poetry collection, Safer Behind Popcorn, coming from Cajun Mutt Press in early 2020.

Gay Cake: Sean Hanrahan



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