Some Are and Most Aren't and It's Always Been Like That

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Some Are and Most Aren't and It's Always Been Like That Selected Poems 2004-2024 by James Schwartz (Alien Buddha Press) 

James Schwartz's collection of selected poems, "Some Are and Most Aren't and It's Always Been Like That," offers readers a compelling journey through the intersections of identity, society, and personal experience. Spanning two decades of poetic exploration from 2004 to 2024, Schwartz's work delves into themes of LGBTQ+ identity, cultural heritage, societal norms, and the human condition with a raw and unflinching honesty.

One of the most striking aspects of Schwartz's poetry is his ability to blend personal narratives with broader social commentary seamlessly. Through his keen observation and introspection, he crafts verses that resonate deeply with readers, inviting them to reflect on their own lives and the world around them.

The collection showcases Schwartz's versatility as a poet, ranging from poignant reflections on his Amish upbringing to powerful expressions of queer pride and resilience. His use of imagery and metaphor creates vivid landscapes that transport readers to the heart of his experiences, whether he's navigating the complexities of love and relationships or grappling with societal injustices.

In addition to his thematic depth, Schwartz's poetic craftsmanship shines through in his attention to language and form. Each poem is meticulously crafted, with every word and line contributing to the overall impact of the piece. From free verse to structured forms, Schwartz demonstrates a mastery of poetic technique that enhances the emotional resonance of his work.

Sci-fi Poetry

 My poem Night Portrait of Kalapana will be published this summer in the anthology Eccentric Orbits 5

Poetry Reading PHOTOS

 Thank you to everyone who came out tonight and thank you to @dollartospare for joining me at the Psychedelic Shack! (Photos below by @dollartospare) 








Poetry Reading 5.4!

Join me for a poetry reading preview of Some Are and Most Aren't and It's Always Been Like That Saturday May 4th 7 PM, at the Psychedelic Shack (Detroit)!




By James Schwartz 




BOOK RELEASE NEWS: SOME ARE AND MOST AREN'T AND IT'S ALWAYS BEEN LIKE THAT (SELECTED POEMS 2004-2024) by James Schwartz - Coming soon from Alien Buddha Press!

They're Conspiring Against the Alien Buddha Too 🛸

My recent poem "Birds" will be included in the conspiracy theory themed anthology "They're Conspiring Against the Alien Buddha Too", due out this summer!   


To celebrate #NationalPoetryMonth2024 here are 4 anthologies my poetry has appeared in and that I would point readers to.


Among the Leaves: Queer Male Poets on the Midwestern Experience (2012)

In Among the Leaves, 18 queer male poets share stories what it means to live in the Midwest. We learn what it's like for them to play football and come up short. We feel their lingering effects of bullying. We experience the undeniable power of seasons affecting their moods as they ache for a meaningful connection. We learn what it means to celebrate in spite of the odds against them. But more than anything, we discover anew through their poems the redemptive power of love and renewal among the leaves growing and falling.


Lovejets: Queer Male Poets on 200 Years of Walt Whitman (2019) 

Where the heck have you been, Walt Whitman?

Walt Whitman, author of Leaves of Grass, was born in 1819. The Stonewall riots happened 150 years later. On the bicentennial of Whitman’s birth and the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, over 80 poets pay homage to not only Walt Whitman, but also to queer poets and queer poetry and the vast and various events, revolutions public and private, that have shaken our world since 1819: who we are, where we are, where we have been, and where we might be going in the 21st century.

“This wide and impressive range of poetry echoing the spirit of Walt Whitman and his literary forebears demonstrates the essential embrace of community that we’ve always needed to feel whole with ourselves and among others, especially now during these tumultuous times. Celebrating what had to be largely hidden from view during Whitman’s day, the living queer male poets who grace the pages trumpet a glorious and unforgettable spectacle of passion and compassion.”

—Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet


SWEETER VOICES STILL: An LGBTQ Anthology From Middle America (2020) 

Edited by Ryan Schuessler and Kevin Whiteneir, Jr.

The middle of America—the Midwest, Appalachia, the Rust Belt, the Great Plains, the Upper South—is a queer place, and it always has been. The queer people of its cities, farms, and suburbs do not exist only to serve as “blue dots” within “red states.” Every story about the kid from Iowa who steps off the bus in Manhattan, ready to “finally” live, is a story about the kid who was already living in Iowa. Sweeter Voices Still is about that kid and has been written by people like them. This collection features queer voices you might recognize—established and successful writers and thinkers—and others you might not—people who don’t think of themselves as writers at all. In this book, transgender women and men are women and men, “they” and “them” can be singular pronouns, Black lives matter, sex work is work, and you don’t have to go to a gay bar to be gay—and it’s okay if you do, too. You’ll find sex, love, and heartbreak and all the beings we meet along the way: trees, deer, cicadas, sturgeon. Most of all, you'll find real people. 

Featuring a foreword by Northwestern University professor Doug Kiel. 


The Alien Buddha Loves You (2023)

AMISH: How Growing up in the strictest settlement led to...

Spring Update

Dear Readers,

I am happy to announce several new lit projects this year... 

ICYMI:  In January, Roi Fainéant Press published my Night Portrait of The Fisher Building which has been archived here! I also read Night Portrait at my St. Patrick's Day pop-up poetry reading at the Psychedelic Healing Shack.

 My meditation Summer History has been published in Fevers of the Mind Poetry, Art & Music Issue 11: the Lone Road which can be purchased here!

It was great to meet 'Attack from Within' author Barbara McQuade at the Detroit Library's Author series - put her important book on your reading list! 

Lastly, April is #NationalPoetryMonth... stay tuned!

Poetry Reading 3.17

Thank you to everyone who came out Sunday 3.17 for my pop up poetry reading at the Psychedelic Healing Shack! I had fun reading Detroit poetry! 

Fevers of the Mind Issue 11: the Lone Road

My mediation on childhood, a summer day & my Amish mother is published in Fevers of the Mind Poetry, Art & Music Issue 11: The Lone Road - NOW AVAILABLE!  


 * I was honored to finally meet in person and co-present with my Plain Rainbows podcast co-host Mary Byler at the 15th Annual Champions of Children Conference on Amish issues (presented by the Children's Advocacy Center of Illinois). 

March 5-7, 2024 15th Annual Champions of Children Conference Speaker Spotlight 

Mary Byler, Born Amish, is the CEO of The Misfit Amish, an organization they founded to create and provide meaningful and educational resources for survivors, medical and legal support systems. They are certified in social and behavioral research by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative and serves as a researcher and cultural advisor for the Lock Haven University study on child sexual abuse in conservative Anabaptist communities. They are actively working on publication of a peer reviewed study on Amish and Anabaptist Child Sexual Abuse with Tara Mitchell PHD, Lock Haven University, presenting educational information to Healthcare Providers, Domestic Violence Advocates and CYS/DHS to bridge the cultural gaps, while collaborating with The Plain People’s Podcast, other professionals and experts to continue creating resources that will enable Amish and Mennonites to access information that meets them where they are.

As an educator and advocate for Amish children, they collaborate with other organizations and agencies to provide research supported and evidence-based best practice-based resources for Amish / Plain communities and survivors. A medical coder by profession, Byler also holds a Master certificate in life coaching, multiple certifications in trauma awareness, and specializes in working with survivors from cults and conservative sectarian religious groups. Byler was a co-creator of an exhibit in Lancaster County on Amish/Plain clothing and sexual assault. They produce audio and video recordings of Amish / Plain survivor stories, focusing on LGBTQ survivor stories.



Psychedelic Healing Shack Poetry Pop-Up!

Come through for my poetry reading! I will be joining a great lineup of Detroit talent on Sunday March 3rd, 2024 (4:20 pm) at the Psychedelic Healing Shack!  

Soft White Underbelly meets Plain Rainbows!

Bravo and thank you to to my fabulous Plain Rainbows: LGBTQ Amish and Anabaptist Stories co-host Mary Byler for sharing her truth with Soft White Underbelly! This is a beautiful interview. 

“Resurget Cineribus”

 Early in the year I try to post my plans for any new / forthcoming work or book. After 2 fiction novellas my attention is returning to poetry although I do not have plans for a book as of now.

As you may know from my Instagram I survived a building fire in Dec. which caused me to lose everything but my life. 

In 1805 the entire City of Detroit burned down. 

The Detroit flags Latin inscription reads “Speramus meliora, resurget cineribus” translating to “We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes.” Detroit rose from the ashes symbolizing rebirth / resilience. 

There are always lessons to learn from history. 

My latest Detroit inspired "Night Portrait of The Fisher Building" is in Roi Fainéant Press' issue 56: Bag of Tricks and can be read here.  

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