Friday, July 16, 2010

Poetry News: The Hanky Code

I am pleased to announce to my friends, readers, and enemies that a collection of poems I wrote with Bryan Borland will be published by Lethe Press in 2011. I've mentioned my project with Bryan in passing on this blog. We wrote a manuscript entitled The Hanky Code. What is the Hanky Code? It is a code within the gay community to signal sexual preferences and positions. It isn't as commonly used now, but was once a main method of communication in gay cruising spots. A hanky worn on the right side indicates the passive role, and a hanky worn on the left indicates the active role. The most simple of these is a navy hanky, which tells people if you are a top or a bottom. From there the preferences get wild and varied. Currently, our book is a collection of forty poems and each poem takes on a different colored hanky. Bryan wrote twenty of the poems and I wrote the other twenty. The poems range in voice and subject matter and help paint a sexual picture of the gay community.

The process of writing this manuscript has been fun and thrilling. I've never worked with another poet on a project like this and it's been a very positive experience. Bryan and I get along really well, and I'm honored he asked me to do this with him (it was his original idea). I'm thrilled that Lethe Press is interested in the manuscript and willing to move forward with it. I will obviously post more specific information as it comes available to me. As of right now, the book is scheduled for release sometime in 2011.

If you would like a preview of the poems, Velvet Mafia just published six of the poems (three of mine and three of Bryan's). Warning: Velvet Mafia is not safe for work (well, maybe that depends where you work). You can read my poems here: and Bryan's here:

-Stephen (Throwing Hankies in the Air)


  1. Congratulations, Mr. Mills. You've been a dream to work with, or at least a nocturnal emission.

  2. Congrats! This is exciting. Can't wait to read it.