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“I thought if I wanted to write I needed to risk,” says the speaker in the opening poem of Robby Auld’s chapbook, Belly. The poems that follow document the risks of coming and living out as queer and non-binary. The risks and the gifts. Community. Intimacy. These poems dive into “the belly the body” of memory, remembering, reflecting, remaking. Love, queer love, self-love, ever- evolving. Self-image and the poems as a space in which to embrace and reimagine gender and sex(uality). History, family, all we inherit and enact. The speakers of these poems reckon with the pasts in their presents, not forgetting but facing. The poems as paths forward. “I’m glad you survived,” the speakers say to their queer elders and, through these poems, themselves. And the reader. Reclaiming resilience as a radical act of queer surviving, or better: thriving.


ROBBY AULD currently lives and writes in Waltham, MA. Their poems have appeared in Corporeal, Ghost City R eview, and the lickety~split, among others. Find them on Instagram @robbyauld.

Belly by Robby Auld

  • Belly will have you laughing *and* clutching your heart from the first poem, wherein Robby Auld invites you to ride shotgun in their stories. Friendly, deadly, raunchy, & precise, Auld’s poems display gay/queer culture, grounding it in inimitable bodies where it lives. In the club where it parties. Auld’s characters dance as they identify & undermine the perimeter of a cage (society's demand for normalcy). With the HD clarity of a top-tier storyteller, Auld describes why, in sum, a non-binary person must say, “Strangely I love being alive”. Yes! These poems praise the actual human body to resist what might harm or warp its unique beauty. They transcend stricture to access a palpable joy beyond.”

    -Joey Gould, author of Penitent>Arbiter


    “Robby Auld’s sure-footed and tender poems have a generosity to them; this young queer voice is committed to being understood, sharing the frank trials of self-acceptance in lucid filmic narratives. The poems of Belly are “genderbusted” survival songs in suburban America — everyone is invited to sing along.”

    -Sophie Klahr, author of Two Open Doors in a Field


    “Bravo to Robby Auld and their debut poetry collection, Belly. With deeply personal and vulnerable poems, Auld's work steers us through the crucible of life's challenges. The poems walk through fire, “the sharpest sunlight, painting every ash-stained wall.” As readers, we traverse this profound journey with Auld, a queer non-binary person navigating the intricate landscapes of relationships, sexuality, and body image. They challenge conventional notions of survival, inviting us to question the notions we've been taught. This is the narrative of a Phoenix rising, envisioning a new life from the remnants of what remains.”

    -January Gill O’Neil, author of Glitter Road


    “In Belly, Robby Auld details life’s bruises and ecstasies in frank, precise language. Even as they chart the pain of not being accepted, these poems are open to the world, with sex serving as both refuge and escape hatch. Auld has written a valuable, potent first book, a gift that will make many people feel less alone.”

    -J.D. Scrimgeour, author of Banana Bread

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