AuthorS and performers
Caitlin Abadir-Mullally (kt) is an installation artist and art worker based in Los Angeles. She works in sculpture, video, performance and relationship building. Her practice consists of creating communities for folks who live between spaces. An ongoing project, Hybrid Vigor, is an event exploring mixedness, complex ethnic identities, celebrating complications and correcting the misconception of racial purity. She’s interested in what parts of a culture remain as immigrants are white-washed to fit the United States and her participation in that erasure. She often thinks about fear-driven practices, the fictions of firsts, queer(ing) collective thinking and trouble. Caitlin likes playing cards and driving fast.
Born and raised in East Los Angeles, Pat Alderete writes about the beauty and brutality of varrio life, rendering the complex inner worlds and strict social hierarchies of a community seldom observed in literature. Her short stories are published in Joteria and PEN Center Journal, and have been anthologized in Hers 2 and 3; Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Latino Arts Anthology 1988-2000; A Geography of Rage; Afro-Hispanic Review; and Love West Hollywood. She has written two one-act plays, Ghost and the Spirit and Love and Fire. Pat was an inaugural member of PEN Emerging Voices. She is also a member and current board member of Macondo, a writers homeland founded by author Sandra Cisneros. Alderete is currently working on her memoir about Chicana life in East L.A.
Ryka Aoki is the author of Seasonal Velocities, He Mele a Hilo and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. She has appeared in Vogue, Elle, Publisher’s Weekly, and the Huffington Post, and was honored by the California State Senate for “extraordinary commitment to the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.” She worked with the American Association of Hiroshima Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors, and two of her compositions were adopted as the organization’s official “songs of peace.” Ryka is the Director of The After School Workspace at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, Head Instructor of Supernova Queer Martial Arts, and Founder of Studio Passoire. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and is professor of English at Santa Monica College.
Tara Madison Avery is a cartoonist, illustrator, editor, and publisher. Her imprint Stacked Deck Press focuses on comics and coloring books of LGBTQAIU interest. Avery’s comics work includes the webcomics Dirtheads and the bisexual-themed Gooch as well as short story work in anthologies such as Anything That Loves: Comics Beyond Gay and Straight, Death Saves, and We’re Still Here: An All-Trans Comics Anthology. Her current projects include Merrier, a satirical look at the intersecting bi, trans, and polyamorous communites of Los Angeles, and Agents of A.S.C.E.N.D., a politically explicit superhero story.
librecht baker is the author of vetiver (Finishing Line Press), an English Professor, and a Sundress Publications’ Assistant Editor. She was part of The Vagrancy’s 2018-2019 Playwrights’ Group and Eastside Queer Stories Festival 2019. baker has attended Ragdale, VONA/Voices, and Lambda Literary Writer’s Retreat. She has a MFA from Goddard College. Her poetry appears in Solace: Writing Refuge, & LGBTQ Women of Color, Bone Bouquet (Issue 8.1), Sinister Wisdom 107 – Black Lesbians: We are the Revolution!, Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices, and other publications. Baker’s play, “Lineage Undone,” was awarded Top Performance in the “Top Papers and Performances in Performance Studies” category at Western States Communication Association’s 89th Convention.
Kay Ulanday Barrett aka @brownroundboi is a poet, performer, and cultural strategist. K. has featured at The Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Princeton University, Tucson Poetry Festival, NY Poetry Festival, The Poetry Project, The Dodge Poetry Foundation, The Hemispheric Institute, & Brooklyn Museum to name a few. They are a 2x Pushcart Prize nominee and received fellowships from Lambda Literary Review, VONA/Voices, The Home School, Pink Door, and Macondo. They’ve previously served as Guest Faculty for The Poetry Foundation & Crescendo Literary, as well as Guest Editor for Nat.Brut. Their contributions are found in Academy of American Poets, The New York Times, Asian American Literary Review, PBS News Hour, Poets House, F(r)iction, VIDA Review, NYLON, The Huffington Post, Them., & Bitch Magazine. Their first book, When The Chant Comes was published by Topside Press in 2016. Their second collection More Than Organs, will be published by Sibling Rivalry Press, Spring 2020.
Maya Beck is a Cali transplant, lapsed Muslim, covert otaku, part-time hermit, broke blipster, and socially-anxious social justice bard. She is also a 2019 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grantee, 2019 Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step Fund Grantee, as well as an alum of writing fellowships and programs by VONA, Kimbilio, Tin House, We Need Diverse Books, The Loft Literary Center, and the Givens Foundation. Her Pushcart-nominated writing has been published in LitHub, Mizna, PANK, Pollen Midwest, NAT BRUT, Catapult, Water~Stone Review, and more. She’s recently enrolled in a data analytic coding bootcamp, and would love to talk diversifying tech with you.
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge (Sundress Publications 2016), and is a former Steinbeck Fellow and Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange winner. Her work is published in Acentos Review, CALYX, and crazyhorse. She is a member of Miresa Collective and cofounder of Women Who Submit.
Ana Bernal, a Gender Non-Conforming artist born and raised in East Los Angeles. Founder of Q Youth Foundation, a non-profit organization using the power of storytelling to connect the LGBTQIA+ community on the Eastside and beyond. They earned a Master’s degree in Non-Profit Management at Antioch University Los Angeles. They are an inductee to Honor 41 national list of LGBTQ Latino/a role models for 2015. LGBT Hero Award for Eastside Queer Stories Festival 2016. Currently, they are a professor at Humboldt State University. IG: QYouthFDN.
James Brandon’s ZIGGY, STARDUST AND ME is being released August 6 from Putnam/Penguin Random House. “Set in St. Louis in 1973, months before homosexuality was ‘de-classified’ as a mental illness, sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins is fighting to overcome his ‘illness’ when he meets Web, a Lakota Two-Spirit. The two boys fall in love and struggle to retain their identities in a world that continually threatens to tear them apart.
Cori Bratby-Rudd is a queer LA-based writer and co-founder of Influx Collectiv(e)’s Queer Poetry Reading Series. She graduated Cum Laude from UCLA’s Gender Studies department, and received her MFA in Creative Writing from California Institute of the Arts. She has been published in Ms. Magazine, The Gordian Review, Califragile, PANK Magazine, Entropy, Crab Fat Magazine, among others. She won the Editorial Choice Award for her research paper in Audeamus Academic Journal and was nominated as one of Lambda Literary’s 2018 Emerging Writers. Her manuscript Dis/owned: Confessions of a Frankgaybe is a semi-finalist for YesYes Book’s 2019 Pamet River Prize. You can find her at coribratbyrudd.com.
MJ Brown aka Miss Barbie-Q (Pronouns: they/them/theirs) is a Drag Performance Artist/Event Host/Panelist/Activist/Actor/Producer/Writer. They have been in the entertainment for over two decades and identifies as a Trans Femme Non Binary gender Non Comformist, bringing more visibility through theatre, film and other mediums. They are a company member of Sacred Fools Theatre and have worked with Bespoke Plays, Coerage Theatre, Sorority and The Vagrancy Theatre Company. They have hosted many events such as the 2019 AIDS LifeCycle Finishing Line Festival, 2018DTLA Proud Festival and 2017 Grand Park’s Proud Stories. They are so excited & proud to be working with this wonderful cast and crew! And thanks their friends, fans & chosen family for always being there! Website: BarbieQ.me IG: MissBarbieQLA Facebook Fan Page: @BarbieQLA
Ingrid M. Calderon-Collins is an immigrant from El Salvador. She studied journalism at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA. Her work has been featured in Drunk Monkeys, Rabid Oak, and Rhythm & Bones Lit, among others. She is also the author of four volumes of poetry, Things Outside, Wayward, Zenith, and Ablution. She lives in Historic Filipinotown, CA with her husband, painter, and poet, John Collins. You can follow her blog at notesofadirtyyoungwoman.com. Twitter: @BrujaLamatepec Instagram: @brujapoetry
Rocío Carlos attends from the land of the chaparral. Born and raised in Los Ángeles, she is widely acknowledged to have zero short term memory but know the names of trees. She is the author of (the other house) (The Accomplices/ Civil Coping Mechanisms), Attendance (The Operating System) and A Universal History of Infamy: Those of This America (LACMA/Golden Spike Press). Her poems have appeared in Chaparral, Angel City Review, The Spiral Orb and Cultural Weekly. She was selected as a 2003 Pen Center “Emerging Voices” fellow. She collaborates as a partner at Wirecutter Collective and is a teacher of the language arts. Her favorite trees are the olmo (elm)and aliso (sycamore).
Mary Carrasco is a queer Zapotec and Honduran person from Koreatown, Los Angeles. They started writing poetry in high school to find a healthy coping mechanism to get through the difficult times they were facing as a poor queer person of color. They also wanted to have an outlet to express themselves and their beliefs. Through writing poetry they have learned about who they are and what matters to them. Mary wants to focus on writing and art in their life to continue both themselves and others.
Marci Carrillo is a Los Angeles writer and a 2014 PEN America Emerging Voice Fellow. Her writing focuses on the effects of generational addiction on families and what happens when the past collides with the present.
Ania Catherine is an artist and director based in Los Angeles. Her work merges performance, film, and choreography and has been shown internationally at the British Film Institute, Art Basel Hong Kong, Peacock Theatre (London), LA Center for Digital Art, Forum des images (Paris), Dansmuseet (Stockholm), CICA Museum (Korea), Traumabar und Kino (Berlin), among others. Her work finds ground in surrealism, cinéma vérité, the aesthetics of boredom, and her studies (academic and physical) of the body as a tool of both learning and unlearning. She holds a master’s degree in Gender and Politics from the London School of Economics.In addition to her personal practice, she works internationally performing, choreographing, speaking, directing, and teaching.
Jess Cen is a queer, Mexican American writer-of-all-trades who goes by any and all pronouns. They write stage plays, screenplays, poems, songs, and prose, just to name a few. “Son Snapped” is their first stage play, but they intend on writing more. They would like to remind you to not be fooled by their antiheroics, because they are just a villain in disguise.
Catherine Chen is a poet and performer. Their writing has appeared in Slate, The Rumpus, Apogee, Anomaly, and Nat. Brut, among others. A 2019 Poets House Fellow, their work has been supported by Lambda Literary, Sundress Academy for the Arts, Millay Colony, and Art Farm. Their chapbook Manifesto, or: Hysteria (Big Lucks) is forthcoming August 2019.
David Ornette Cherry to adapt Embers as a jazz opera. Terry has received a COLA Fellowship from the City of Los Angeles, a Fellowship in Poetry from the California Arts Council, and the Judy Grahn Award from the Publishing Triangle, among other honors. She is the founder of Writers At Work, a creative writing studio in Los Angeles, and Affiliate Faculty in the MFA Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles.
Cassandra Christenson has a varied and extensive background as a registered nurse. During the AIDS crisis she developed Project Nightlight, a program for those alone and dying. As a lifelong speaker, workshop leader and writer, she inspires, guides, and supports others during this unknown, sacred time of life. Her poetry is published in My Life Is Poetry, Lady Business: A Celebration of Lesbian Poetry, Sinister Wisdom, and several Southern California anthologies. Christenson is another who turned from years of denial to come out at 50. Her poetry themes are many and varied but always sexual, lush, and woman love liberated. As Cassandra says, “OMG, I’m Gay!”
Sam Cohen is the event producer of Lambda LitFest and author of the forthcoming linked story collection Sarahland, out from Grand Central in 2021. She is the founding editor of Yes Femmes and her fiction is in Bomb, Fence, Diagram, and many other places.
Antonia Crane is the author of the memoir Spent. She is a writing instructor at UCLA, a stripper, sex worker, activist and performer in Los Angeles. She has written for The New York Times, The Believer, The Toast, Playboy, Cosmopolitan, Salon.com, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, DAME, The Establishment, Bustle, The Los Angeles Review, Quartz: The Atlantic Media, Medium.com, Buzzfeed, Lenny Letter and lots of other places. She has appeared on CNN’s This is Life with Lisa Ling and has been interviewed on WTF with Marc Maron and Michael Smerconish on SiriusXM POTUS where he compared dancers to Uber drivers. She is currently making cool shit by and for the sex worker community.
Chaz Lamar Cruz was raised in the deserts and cities of southern California by his maternal grandparents. This upbringing informs his compassion towards addiction, survivors of trauma, and elders. Chaz’s work is informed by his interest of sharing truth & stories, and exploring identity as an ever evolving, ever expanding Black/BlaQ, 1st generation academic, lovechild. His work primarily explores the complexities of identity, race, gender, sexuality, art and futurity. www.chazlamar.com
Jesús Daniel Cruz is a Mexican artist, writer, and poet living in Los Ángeles. The immigrant and gay experience can be discerned in his works. He has worked with the Q-Youth foundation as an Eastside Queer Stories Festival writer as well as a Pride Poet for the city of West Hollywood and Houses On The Moon theater company as a live storyteller. More of his work and short stories are also available on Amazon Kindle.
Don Cummings’ critically acclaimed love-sex-and-health memoir, Bent But Not Broken, was released March 15, 2019 by Heliotrope Books. Don has been published in the literary journals Epiphany, Cagibi, Post Road Magazine and The Coachella Review. He often performs his stories at venues around the country: Comedy Central’s Sit ‘n Spin, HBO Workspace, Brooklyn Reading Works, Tell It!, Personal Space and True Story. His many plays have been produced and read on both coasts, performed by committed artists, curious interlopers and Meryl Streep. Don has appeared on television and in film, but more often on stage. His production company, Pacific Hudson Railroad, produces and develops filmed and recorded entertainment. A graduate of Tufts University with a degree in biology and The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre with an actor certificate, an alumnus of the Yale Writer’s Workshop, a professor of contemporary drama at William Paterson University and judge for Literary Death Match at Club Oberon, A.R.T., Harvard University, he spends most days writing and trying to help others in some way. www.doncummings.net
Martha K. Davis is a writer, editor, and teacher living in San Diego. Her short stories and essays have appeared in River Styx, Stone Canoe, The Gay & Lesbian Review, StoryQuarterly, CALYX, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in fiction from Columbia University. Parts of Scissors, Paper, Stone were written during residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.
Amber Dawn is the author of the novels Sodom Road Exit (2018) and Sub Rosa (winner of a Lambda Literary Award, 2010), the Vancouver Book Award-winning memoir How Poetry Saved My Life (2013). She is also editor of Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire and co-editor of With a Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn. She teaches creative writing at Douglas College in Vancouver, and also leads several low-barrier community writing classes.
Nick Dong is a conceptual metalsmith, mixed-media sculptor and socio-commodity engineer with the intention of creating works in order to ignite an experiential moment, who creates mixed-media fields to change the relationship of the viewer’s apperception. Art is not an object nor a picture; art is the unique impact created by that object or picture. Participatory conceptualism is antithetical to passive visual experience. His work partakes of both aspects to achieve the unique impact and constructs the particular sentiment or antipathy.
Margot Douaihy, PhD, is the author of Scranton Lace (Clemson University Press), Girls Like You (Clemson University Press), a Lambda Literary Awards finalist, and I Would Ruby If I Could (Factory Hollow Press). Her true crime poetry project, Bandit Queen: The Runaway Story of Belle Starr, is under contract with Clemson University Press. Her poetry has been featured in PBS NewsHour, The Madison Review, The South Carolina Review, The Tahoma Review, Colorado Review, and The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review. Margot serves as the editor of the Northern New England Review.
Justin Ducharme was born and raised in the small Metis community of St. Ambroise, Manitoba. He is a graduate of Vancouver Film School and the writer/director of three short films, most recently the 2018 drama Positions, which tells the story of a queer, Indigenous, male sex worker in Vancouver. Justin has been a Metis dancer since the age of ten and is passionate about dance, radicalizing Indigenous “Canadian” Cinema, and writing poetry about the people who broke his heart and the ones who paid to do so.
Kate Durbin is a Los Angeles-based artist, writer, and filmmaker whose work focuses on popular culture and digital media. Her books include E! Entertainment (Wonder), The Ravenous Audience (Akashic Books), and ABRA (1913 Press). ABRA is also a free, interactive iOS app that is “a living text,” which won the 2017 Turn On Literature Prize for electronic literature. In 2015, she was the Arts Queensland Poet-in-Residence in Brisbane, Australia. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Art in America, Art Forum,Yale’s American Scholar, NPR, and more.
Elizabeth Earley is the publisher of Jaded Ibis, a feminist press publishing socially engaged literature. Her first novel, A Map of Everything (a Lambda Literary Award finalist), was inspired by her own experience growing up with a sister who had suffered a traumatic brain disorder. Her writing continues to be informed by her interest in family dynamics, healing, disability rights, and the nature of consciousness. Earley has an MFA in fiction from Antioch University Los Angeles and lives in San Diego.
Brandon English is a Pilipino-American actor, producer, and writer who enjoys bringing community together and creating theatre for change. Some of his favorite performances include Polaroid Stories (Narcissus), Measure for Measure (Pompey), and his solo show of Juan Luna: Savage in Paris, which made its premiere at Art of Acting Studio, and was later extended to The Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018. Aside from acting, he is a plant enthusiast, loves watching Schitt’s Creek and RuPaul’s Drag Race, and having deep conversations with his mom over the phone. Love you mom! IG: BrandonUniverse
Blas Falconer is the author of Forgive the Body This Failure (forthcoming, Four Way Books, 2018); The Foundling Wheel (Four Way Books, 2012); A Question of Gravity and Light (University of Arizona Press, 2007); and The Perfect Hour (Pleasure Boat Studio: A Literary Press, 2006). He is also a co-editor for The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity (University of Arizona Press, 2011) and Mentor & Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets(Southern Illinois University Press, 2010). He teaches in the MFA program at San Diego State University. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California with his family.
Tai Farnsworth is a mixed-race, queer writer based in Los Angeles who earned her MFA in writing from Antioch University. Her work can be found in ‘The Quotable,’ ‘CutBank Literary,’ ‘The Evansville Review,’ ‘Homology Lit,’ ‘Sinister Wisdom’ and forthcoming in ‘Drunk Monkeys.’ She’s presently shopping around her young adult book about a girl discovering her bisexuality in the wake of her boyfriend’s death. She was also a 2018 YA Mentee through We Need Diverse Books.
Ana Foxxx After being discovered in a grocery store, Ana worked as a runway model prior to her involvement in the adult entertainment industry. Foxx did her first hardcore shoot for the adult website Reality Kings. Among the notable companies Ana has appeared in X-rated features for are Adam & Eve, Evil Angel, Jules Jordan Video, and Pure Play Media. She was nominated for an AVN Award for Best New Starlet in 2013. She is Urban X Female Performer of the Year.
Kenning Jean-Paul García grew up in Brooklyn, NY and studied linguistics at SUNY Albany. Xe is the author of the no(t)vel OF (What Place Meant) as well as ROBOT: the Waste Land Reimaged and other experimental/speculative epic ebooks. Xe is the founder and one and only member of the NahNahist School of Rejectionist Literature and is an Afro-absurdist diarist, performer, antipoet, and shortform visual essayist. Xe is also a pop culture humorist and writer of various lists, erasure, and other running gags on social media. When xe is not hard at work on creating content of all sorts, xe co-hosts the KNOW and St. Rocco’s Reading Series in Albany, NY and is an editor at Rigorous.
Based in Los Angeles and a native of New York City, Kiran Gandhi, aka Madame Gandhi, is a singer, percussionist, activist and music industry thinker known for her electronic-based sound and fourth-wave feminist perspective. Former drummer for MIA and Thievery Corporation before starting her solo project, she studied Political Science, Mathematics, and Women’s Studies at Georgetown University and received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Gandhi has been featured on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list and her 2018 “Own Your Voice” TED Talk has been viewed 200,000+ times. She also previously served as the first digital analyst at Interscope Records in Los Angeles. Madame Gandhi now tours full-time as a musician and speaker. She speaks about fourth-wave feminism, modern gender equality, and menstrual care access and is working on her next album.
Olga García Echeverría: Born and raised in East Los Angeles. Ultra Libra in love with the ocean and the clouds and the birds and the trees and the disappearing bees. Author of Falling Angels: Cuentos y Poemas (Calaca Press and Chibcha Press 2008). Teacher of English. Creator and destroyer of language. Splendid Spinster of the New Millennium who plans to joyfully spin words until her fingers turn to dust. Touching Lives Fellow.
Annelyse Gelman’s work has appeared in BOMB Magazine, The New Yorker, TriQuarterly, the PEN Poetry Series, and elsewhere. She is the author of the poetry collection Everyone I Love Is a Stranger to Someone and the director of www.midst.press, an experimental publishing platform and writing app developed in collaboration with programmer Jason Grier. She was the inaugural poet-in-residence at UCSD’s Brain Observatory and a Fulbright arts grantee in Berlin for her work at the intersection of poetry, music, and film. Gelman is currently a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, TX. Her EP About Repulsion will be released in 2019 by Fonograf Editions. Find her at www.annelysegelman.com.
Emily Geminder is the author of Dead Girls and Other Stories, winner of the Dzanc Books Short Story Prize. Her work has appeared in AGNI, American Short Fiction, Conjunctions, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Tin House, Witness, and elsewhere. She has received an AWP Intro Journals Award, a Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award, and a Pushcart Special Mention. She lives in Los Angeles and is a PhD candidate in creative writing and literature at the University of Southern California.
Jacq Greyja is a Jewish and Mexican-American poet living in Berkeley, California. They are a William Dickey Poetry Fellow and MFA candidate in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. Jacq is the author of the poetry chapbook Greater Grave (The Operating System, 2018). Their poetry has appeared in Hold: A Journal, Dream Pop Journal, Linden Avenue Literary, Peach Mag, Bettering American Poetry: Volume II, Apogee, Columbia Poetry Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Their poetry and collage pieces have exhibited at the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive (2018) and Bushel Collective in New York (2017). They were a 2018 poetry fellow for RADAR Production’s San Francisco Public Library residency “Show Us Your Spines.” Jacq is a high school dropout and first-generation college student. More about Jacq can be found at greyja.com.
Rae Gouirand is the author of two collections of poetry, Glass is Glass Water is Water (Spork Press, 2018) and Open Winter (Bellday Books, 2011), two chapbooks of poetry, Jinx (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019) and Must Apple (Educe Press, 2018), and a short work of nonfiction, The History of Art (The Atlas Review, 2019). She has founded numerous longrunning workshops in poetry and prose in northern California and online, and lectures in the Department of English at UC-Davis. (raegouirand.com)
Milcah Halili (they/he) is a nonbinary writer, web developer, and performer. They write about intersectionality, cannabis, sexuality, and web development. They’ve been published in Coming Out Like a Porn Star, Witch Craft Mag, The Rumpus, and Filthy Media. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, April Flores.
Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett is a queer activist, writer, and storyteller and current resident of Long Beach, CA. His first fiction short-story collection Dark Corners debuted in 2019 through Running Wild press. Dark Corners received a star rating by Kirkus and was recently included in the swag bag for George Lopez’s Celebrity Golf Tournament. Tihi currently works at Demand Progress, leading online campaigns against the overreach of government surveillance, and is a Lead Training Associate with the Oakland-based Center for Story-Based Strategy. Before relocating from Brooklyn to Southern California, Tihi produced Rustik Storytellers, a monthly oral storytelling live show in 2013. In 2016 he co-produced PRACTICE, a safe-space live storytelling show designed to encourage new-comers to take up the oral storytelling tradition. As a fluent speaker of Dothraki, one of the languages created for HBO’s Game of Thrones, Tihi recently worked on the upcoming Netflix series Daybreak as a Dothraki Language Consultant.
Eloise Klein Healy, the author of eight books of poetry including A Wild Surmise, was appointed the first poet laureate of The City of Los Angeles in 2012. Awarded the Publishing Triangle Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, she also had artist residencies at The MacDowell Colony and Dorland Mountain Colony. She has received grants from the California Arts Council, the CSUN Merit Award Program, and a COLA Fellowship from the City of Los Angeles. She directed the Women’s Studies program at CSU Northridge and taught in the Feminist Studio Workshop at The Woman’s Building in Los Angeles. She was the founding Chair of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles. Her imprint with Red Hen Press, Arktoi Books, specializes in publishing high quality literary work by lesbian authors.
Hank Henderson is a poet and storyteller. His monologues and one person show have been featured at Highways’ BEHOLD! Queer Performance Festival, INSTALL: WeHo, APT 3F, and the West Hollywood One City One Pride Arts Festival. He has been published in RFD Magazine, Entropy Magazine, HIV Here & Now, and Emerge. He is a Lambda Literary 2018 Emerging Writer Fellow. and has curated the LGBTQ reading series homo-centric since 2010.
Bri Hermanson is a scratchboard illustrator. Clients include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Tor Books, SKYY Vodka, Pentagram, Xerox, Philanthropy Magazine, the American Bar Association, Southern Poverty Law Center, Guitar World, Grand Ten Distillery, Llewellyn Worldwide, and Complex Magazine. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Creative Quarterly, Luerzer’s Archive, Applied Arts, the Altpick Awards, the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, and the 3×3 Directory. Bri is the President of ICON11: The Illustration Conference.
Jen Hitchcock is the proprietor of Book Show, an eclectic book shop and safe communal space for queers, creatives and other fringe folks. She is also a published music journalist and writer of fanzines.
Maiza Hixson is an artist, writer and 2017 UCSB Regents Fellow. She studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibited and performed widely at such venues as: the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Baltimore Contemporary (Koban); Soap Factory, Minneapolis; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art; Southwestern Center for Contemporary Art; Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford; University of the Arts, Philadelphia; the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, and beyond. She is an affiliate of Independent Curators International.
Lane Igoudin is an English professor at Los Angeles City College and a deeply engaged father of two teens. His memoir Children on Trial: When the System Fails, a Family Begins recounts his children’s rollercoaster adoption from the Los Angeles County foster system, and his and his partner’s transformation through parenting.
Charles Jensen is the author of the poetry collection Nanopedia and six chapbooks of poems, including the recent Story Problems and Breakup/ Breakdown. His first collection, The First Risk, was a finalist for the 2010 Lambda Literary Award. He is the recipient of the 2018 Zócalo Poetry Prize. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review, Field, The Journal, New England Review, and Prairie Schooner. He lives in Los Angeles and directs the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension, the largest continuing education creative writing program in the nation.
Amanda-Faye Jimenez is a Blaxican fat femme dyke writer, comedic performer, and a Los Angeles native. She is known for her overshares and letting her dogs kiss her on the mouth, even though everyone keeps telling her that’s some white people shit.
Andrea-Celeste Jimenez was born and raised in North East Los Angeles, California. She has always been a photographer and now is making her statement as a poet. Her fun and quirky style is one of a kind so take note. While she finishes her studies as an Art Therapist for the youth, her collections are being created and shared at events all across LA. She hopes to raise awareness among those who feel their experiences and emotions are invalid, to create a community where we are all included.
Zeyn Joukhadar is the author of the novels The Map of Salt and Stars (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 2018) and The Thirty Names of Night (Atria/Simon & Schuster 2020), a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI), and a member of American Mensa. His work has appeared in Salon, The Paris Review Daily, PANK Magazine, and elsewhere, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net. The Map of Salt and Stars, currently being translated into sixteen languages, was a 2018 Middle East Book Award winner in Youth Literature, a 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist in Historical Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.
Bonnilee Kaufman participates in spoken word performances and staged readings at various venues in California and New Mexico. Her poetry has appeared in several publications including, Ghosts of the Holocaust, Milk and Honey-A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry, BayLaurel, Conceptions Southwest, River’s Voices, Sinister Wisdom, Selfish, The Brillantina Project, & Gyroscope Review. Lately, you can find her writing poems, playing the piano with a tumbler of brandy at her elbow ignoring all calls, even for submissions.
Kirin Khan is a writer living in Oakland, CA who calls Albuquerque, New Mexico her hometown, and Peshawar, Pakistan her homeland. She is an alumna of VONA/Voices, Las Dos Brujas, and the Tin House Writers Workshop. She was a 2017 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow, a 2017 SF Writers Grotto Fellow, a 2018 AWP Writer to Writer Mentee, a 2018 Steinbeck Fellow, and she received a 2019 fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. Her essay “Tight” was nominated by Nat. Brut for a 2018 Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in The Margins, sPARKLE & bLINK, Your Impossible Voice, and 7×7.LA and elsewhere. She is working on her first novel.
Evan Kleekamp lives in Los Angeles, where they founded NOR Research Studio. With Kim Calder, they directed Les Figues Press from September October until July 2019. Their writing has been featured in X-TRA Online, Open Space (SFMOMA), the Los Angeles Review of Books, Fence, and Tripwire: A Journal of Poetics. Evan has performed, lectured, and given talks at CalArts, Otis College, the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, the Poetic Research Bureau, and Columbia College Chicago. They are the author of two chapbooks, 13 THESES ON STATE-SPONSORED BLACK DEATH IN AMERICA (Kastle Editions, 2016) and Once Upon a Time I Was Michael Thomas Taren (Ghost City Press, 2017). Evan is currently editing an artist monograph and writing a novel.
Audrey Kuo is a genderqueer femme poet, writer, bread baker and organizer. Their art is part of their commitment to nurturing relationships and community among queer and trans people of color. Audrey believes in the liberatory possibilities of gathering to share food & stories. Audrey currently lives on unceded Tongva territory (in Los Angeles) and is interested in reconnecting with Taiwanese and Chinese food histories and land.
Born and raised in Ojai, California, Noah Lashly is a writer/performer and the producer and host of the Comedy/Party Thing at Kim Maxwell Studio. His story “In Heat by Eugenia Schabernacke” was published by Cagibi Literary Magazine and is available to read through their website. He has been featured in the Aonian, on the Townies Podcast, Speaking of Stories in Santa Barbara and will be published in Array Photo Journal later this year. He won the 2019 first place prize for Humor Writing at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. He was assistant director on “Sex with Strangers” at the Hudson Theater, and is the Co-Intern Manager at the Ojai Playwrights Conference. He’s also severely addicted to caffeine for the first time in his life, severely lactose intolerant for too much of his life, probably smokes too much weed, too tall for how bashful he can be, worries a lot, and really cares what his mother thinks of him. Thanks to Eastside Queer Stories for the amazing work they do. That’s a group of beautiful people!
T.K. Lê writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. She has shared her work on KPCC’s Take Two and on stage for ALOUD-Los Angeles and Tuesday Night Project. Her essay, “Part of Memory is Forgetting,” appears in the W.W. Norton anthology, Inheriting the War. She is an alum of the VONA/Voices summer writing workshop and is currently a PEN America Emerging Voices fellow. She strongly believes that her writing cannot exist without community. She tweets @tk_le_tired.
Sophia Le Fraga is a poet and visual artist. She is the author of literallydead and I DON’T WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE INTERNET. Le Fraga’s ongoing interview series, “Having a Smoke With You,” consists of cigarette-long chats with artists and writers. She is a member of Collective Task and the founding editor of @No___Ish, an Instagram zine.
REXYLAFEMME (rex renée leonowicz) is a visual + performing artist, writer, and organizer born and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens. As a working class trans femme, rex’s work is grounded in a politics of radical resistance, healing, and witness. rex blends genders and genres, utilizing drag, comedy, visual art, and burlesque, to critically respond to the relationships people “on the margins” have with our surroundings and each other. rex’s book of poems and illustrations, when there is no one and there is everyone is available from Magic Helicopter Press. rex is also a practicing witch and offers spiritual readings and mentorship with a focus on radical occultism. S/he was a 2017 EmergeNYC Performance Fellow with the Hemispheric Institute at NYU, has an MFA in Poetry from Mills College, and a BA in Gender Studies and Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College.
Henry Lien was born in Taiwan, and currently lives in Hollywood. He is a 2012 graduate of Clarion West. He is the author of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed Peasprout Chen middle grade fantasy series, on which he was mentored by George R.R. Martin, Chuck Palahniuk, and Kelly Link at Clarion West. His work has received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist and acclaim in the New York Times, and been a finalist for three Nebula awards. Publishers Weekly, Logo Network, and Book Riot also included the Peasprout Chen books in their lists of top LGBTQ books. Henry has worked as an attorney, fine art dealer, and college instructor. Hobbies include writing and performing campy science fiction/fantasy anthems, and losing Nebula awards.
Stephanie Kaylor is a PhD student at UC Santa Barbara, where she researches sex work, labor, and affect. Stephanie also holds an MA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University at Albany, and completed coursework at the European Graduate School. She is currently Reviews Editor of Glass: A Journal of Poetry and formerly the Managing Editor of FIVE:2:ONE. She tweets @sm_kaylor
Concentrating on theatre work, Michael Kearns has—for the past forty-plus years—established himself an artist whose activism is integral to a resume that encompasses solo performance, playwriting, teaching, directing, producing, and writing books. While he has received numerous Lifetime Achievement Awards for his contributions as an actor-artist, he considers his greatest lifetime achievement being the father of Katherine Kearns.
Kona, a singer songwriter Atlanta raised, singer songwriter now living in Los Angeles California is a culmination and rebirth of her musical influences. With a musical knack she developed at an early age as the daughter of both a jazz singer & soul DJ. Kona, who as at the start of her music career delivers a refreshing take on soul that has already resulted in an impressive online following and creative collaborations. She is a singer/songwriter, entrepreneur, writer, and director. All in all Kona is a talented musician with a live show as authentic, true, and heartfelt as the music she makes.
CB Lee is a bisexual Chinese-Vietnamese American writer whose novels include the Sidekick Squad series, a young adult science fiction adventure that follow queer teens who take on a corrupt government superhero agency, and also the fantasy Seven Tears At High Tide. Lee’s work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Wired Magazine, and Hypable. Not Your Sidekick was a 2017 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist in YA/Children’s Fiction and a 2017 Bisexual Book Awards Finalist in Speculative Fiction. Seven Tears at High Tide was the recipient of a Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Fantasy Romance and also a finalist for the 2016 Bisexual Book Awards in the YA and Speculative Fiction categories.
Muriel Leung is author of Bone Confetti, winner of the 2015 Noemi Press Book Award. A Pushcart Prize nominated writer, her writing can be found in The Baffler, Cream City Review, Gulf Coast, The Collagist, Fairy Tale Review, and others. She is a recipient of fellowships to Kundiman, VONA/Voices Workshop and the Community of Writers. She is the Poetry Co-Editor of Apogee Journal and host of The Blood-Jet Writing Hour podcast with Rachelle Cruz and MT Vallarta. She is a member of Miresa Collective, a feminist speakers bureau. Currently, she is a Dornsife Fellow in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California. She is from Queens, NY. For more information about her work, please visit www.murielleung.com.
Rachel Levy is the author of A Book So Red and editor of Dreginald.
Garuda Love was born in Georgia, but currently lives in Los Angeles. She is an MFA candidate at Antioch University, and an assistant editor for Lunch Ticket. Her writing can be found in South 85 Journal and Recovery Today Magazine. Garuda was a sex worker from 1991–2002, where she worked in Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, San Diego, and LA.
Napoleon Lustre is a poet, cultural worker, and AIDS activist. He started volunteering for the Asian Pacific AIDS intervention Team in 1992, before becoming a Community Health Outreach worker and Treatment Advocate there. He also worked at Being Alive, Los Angeles, as Director of Programs and as Acting Executive Director. He was a Community Health Specialist in Alameda County, working with Filipino Men who have Sex with Men who use Crystal Methamphetamine. Today he serves on the Inland Empire HIV Planning Council. Napoleon has read and performed at many venues, including Japanese American National Museum, UCLA, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture. He is one of the founders of Puro Arte, the Filipino-American gallery and cultural space.
Ronna Magy, Los Angeles-based poet and social justice advocate, claims roots in the rusting Midwest. In the decades of her life she’s seen the world through the eyes of a community organizer, switchboard operator, hardware store cashier, and teacher of English to immigrants and refugees Currently, Ronna writes with the Still We Rise senior lesbian writers group. Her poetry and short stories have been anthologized in multiple publications including Nasty Women Poets. She is pleased to call herself one.
2008 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow Davin Malasarn is Lead Writer and Director of Presidential Communications at Caltech. He has a Ph.D. in biology from Caltech and was a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA and the Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique in Paris. His fiction has appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Night Train, Rosebud, SmokeLong Quarterly and others. He was a finalist for the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Contest and a featured writer for the New Short Fiction Series.
Pablo Marz is an actor, storyteller, improviser, director, and teacher. He’s been acting professionally for over 30 years, has performed and taught improvisation in cities across the U.S. with ComedySportz L.A., and has taught workshops in storytelling and theatre to LAUSD students, teachers, corporations, and educators in art institutions like Barnsdall Art Park and LACMA. In 2011, he created and began producing the popular storytelling show, Tell It! Personal true stories told onstage. He has written dozens of personal essays on a wide variety of topics, performing them at Tell It! and at other storytelling venues throughout Los Angeles, including Word Now!, Backstory, Bada Bing Bada Boom, The Muse Literary Salon, Tattle Tales, 10 by 10, and Two Truths and a Lie. This year Pablo is planning to perform a selection of his stories in a show called Life on Marz. www.facebook.com/tellitla
Bernadette McComish earned an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence, and an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from Hunter College. She writes poems that explore parallel realms where fortunetellers work as cashiers, and ghosts ride subways underwater singing Shakespeare. Her poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, Deluge, For Women Who Roar, Hospital Drive, Slipstream, Storyscape, Flypaper Magazine, Peregrine, and she was a finalist for the New Millennium Writers 41st poetry prize. Her chapbook The Book of Johns, was published in 2018 by Dancing Girls Press. She teaches High School in Los Angeles, and performs and produces for The Poetry Society of New York making poetry accessible to everyone.
Hadrian Shawn Miguel (also simply known as, Hadrian) is a multicultural Latinx writer, artist, and poet, born & raised in the Mission barrio of San Francisco who has called New York, Miami, Seattle, and now Los Angeles his home. Their love of storytelling and body of work has given life to over 40 poems, short stories, plays, and songs. The collection of poems here is inspired by modern themes & ideas about identity, resilience, family, diversity, and inclusion. Hadrian is also influenced by the music, art, and erotica of Prince’s Dirty Mind & Controversy era and Madonna’s Sex Book & Erotica album.
Megan Milks is the author of Kill Marguerite and Other Stories, which won the 2015 Devil’s Kitchen Award in Fiction and was named a Lambda Literary finalist in Debut Fiction. Milks is also the recipient of the 2019 Lotos Foundation Prize for Excellence in Fiction Writing. They have published four chapbooks, most recently Kicking the Baby, an essay in four parts, and The Feels, an exploration of fan fiction and affect. They have published criticism in 4Columns, Bookforum, and other venues, and currently teach writing at The New School and women’s and gender studies at Pace
mixedgreens is a publishing collaboration founded by designer Emma Berliner and poet Amanda Scharf in 2014. Their projects aim to enhance the representation of a queer & lesbian voice in printby challenging conventional narratives, materials, and structures of the book. Their interests include dogs and disco. @mixedgreensla
Thea Monyeé is an accomplished self identified Black Woman Creative with credits including appearances on HBO, BET, and TV One, performances at the legendary Ford Amphitheater and House of Blues in Los Angeles. Her most recent work Murmurs of a MadWoman: An Unconventional Memoir is available through Amazon, and she is a signed fiction writer with Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. She is currently studying to add certified sex therapist to her list of credits. Monyeé enjoys creating work that dives into the intersections of healing through decolonization of joy, pleasure, and mental health. www.theamonyee.com
Louise Moore has been a published writer since 1980. Her work has appeared in an Archives, also in at least one lesbian bar. Currently her writing is focused on those living with terminal cancer. Despite the pain of the world, she continues to believe in humor, satire and love variety of publications including: Sinister Wisdom, Common Lives/Lesbian Lives, In a Different Light: An Anthology of Lesbian Writers, Lesbian Contradiction, Harrington Lesbian Fiction Quarterly, and Queer Prose and Poetry 2007. She has read in numerous venues including: The Lesbian Writers Series at A Different Light Bookstore, and ONE Culture Series hosted by ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives. And last year with the Still We Rise Writing Group here at Lambda LitFest. Herding poets is not like herding cats.
Abdi Nazemian’s LIKE A LOVE STORY was released June 6 from Harper Teen/Balzar+Bray. “At the height of the U.S. AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s and early 1990s, three teenagers grapple with love, friendship and family as they become involved in activism under the tutelage of a queer mentor.”
Dakota Noot is a Los Angeles-based artist. He uses drawings, paintings, and installations to create animal-human hybrids that explore rural yet fantastical, queer identities. Originally from Bismarck, North Dakota, he graduated with a BFA in Visual Arts in 2015 from the University of North Dakota. In 2017, he received an MFA from Claremont Graduate University. Noot continues to show in both North Dakota and Los Angeles, including solo shows at Highways Performance Space and MuzeuMM. He has exhibited in group shows at Charlie James Gallery, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Torrance Art Museum, and “Queer Biennial: What if Utopia” at LAST Projects. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Oxnard College and Orange Coast College.
Gloria Noto is a visual artist and makeup artist living between Los Angeles and New York. In addition to her artistry, Gloria is the founder of NOTO botanics, an all natural gender fluid cosmetic line. In addition, she collaborates with other artists for her annual conceptual art magazine – The Work Mag in which she is the Editor In Chief and soon to be special top secret new publication idea.
JoAnna Novak is the author of the novel I Must Have You and the book-length poem Noirmania. Abeyance, North America, her second book of poetry, will be published later this year. Her writing has appeared in publications including The Paris Review, The New York Times, the Washington Post, BOMB, and Guernica. A founding editor of Tammy, a literary journal and chapbook press, she lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing at Mount Saint Mary’s University.
Jasmine Nyende is an artist from South Central Los Angeles who explores the fields of fiber, music and community-based social practice using poetry, plays, and experimental performance. Her work with sculpture includes hand-sewn dolls of intentions, knitted hanging nests, and rag rugs made from recycled clothes and sheets. She runs the fiber-arts collective Common Threads, and her performance work has been shown at institutions including the Hammer Museum, Human Resources, and Sade Gallery. She is lead vocalist for Black queer punk band FUCK U PAY US!
Jen OConnor was 50 years old before realizing she was a lesbian. That’s a long time to be mistaken. During that time she fell to many rabbit holes. Now she is following her bliss like a dog with a really good marrow bone. Part of her bliss is writing and she has had the good fortune to get some poetry and short fiction published. Her work has appeared in Two Hawks Quarterly, Saved Objects, Imagine Magazine, Persimmon Tree, London Journal of Fiction, and Sinister Wisdom.
Isobel O’Hare is a poet and essayist with dual Irish and American citizenship. They received an MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts and have received awards from Split This Rock and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. Their collection of erasures of celebrity sexual assault apologies, all this can be yours, is available from University of Hell Press, which will also publish an anthology of erasure poetry edited by O’Hare, called Erase the Patriarchy, late in 2019. Their work has also appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals and anthologies, including the 3rd volume of Bettering American Poetry. O’Hare edits the journal and small press Dream Pop.
Wendy Oleson (MFA, PhD), is the author of two award-winning prose chapbooks, Please Find Us (Gertrude Press) and Our Daughter and Other Stories (Map Literary). Her fiction appears in Denver Quarterly, Fourteen Hills, Copper Nickel, Carve Magazine, and elsewhere. Wendy serves as Associate Prose Editor for Fairy Tale Review and teaches online for the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension. Find her at wendyoleson.com.
Catalina Ouyang is a visual artist and child of the Chinese diaspora by way of St. Louis, New Jersey, and a cul-de-sac outside of Chicago. Her non-disciplinary practice spans sculpture, text, installation, performance, video, and participatory projects, among other modalities, exploring the interstices of myth, desire, subjugation, and monstrosity. Ouyang has had solo exhibitions at Rubber Factory (New York, NY), Selena Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Make Room (Los Angeles, CA), Trestle Projects (Brooklyn, NY), the Millitzer Gallery (St. Louis, MO), and fort gondo compound for the arts (St. Louis, MO). Her work has been included in group exhibitions throughout the United States and in Italy, Germany, Mexico, and China. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University. www.catalinaouyang.com
Eugene Owens, MLS, is an Adult Services Librarian at Exposition Park Regional Library – Los Angeles Public Library. He has librarianed at Simmons, Oberlin and Emerson College, University of Redlands and Antioch University of Los Angeles. He has been with the Los Angeles Public Library since 2011. Responsibilities and interests include programming, community engagement, collection development and social media. Being the only white person on staff in a 97% POC service area makes one very conscious of privilege. Selecting materials and programs by and about POC is of primary importance, patrons must be able to see themselves reflected in the library.
Maura Pellettieri is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her current work focuses on the relationship of the femme body to climate-based traumas. Since 2013, she has collaborated with visual artists in a variety of mediums, as well as with composers and writers. She has performed, curated, and installed works in St. Louis and New York, as well as at numerous rural sites. Her writing appears in On the Seawall, The Kenyon Review, The Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, Newfound, Fairy Tale Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Vinyl, Guernica, Apogee, Tammy, and others. Her work has been supported by grants and residencies from Seguin Maine, The Yiddish Book Center, The Edward F. Albee Foundation, and Washington University in St. Louis. www.maurapellettieri.com
Angela Peñaredondo is a queer Filipinx interdisciplinary writer-artist-educator. Author of the chapbook Maroon (Jamii Publications) and All Things Lose Thousands of Times (Inlandia Institute, winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize), Peñaredondo’s work has appeared in The Academy of American Poets, Black Warrior Review, Southern Humanities Review and elsewhere. Peñaredondo is a Kundiman, VONA/Voices of our Nations Art fellow, Macondista of the Macondo Writer’s Workshop, and Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at California State University San Bernardino. IG: @domainedenarwhal; Facebook.com/AngelaPenaredondo, website under construction.
Angela Peñaredondo’s photo credits: Provvidenza Catalano
Rabbi Robin Podolsky teaches Jewish thought at California Sta University, Long Beach. She serves on the Board of Governors for the Sandra Caplan Community Bet Din. Her writing can be found at Shondaland.com and jewishjournal.com, and her most recent academic article was published in Religions, Vol. 10, #4.
Roxana Preciado is an indie author and artist recognized for her work as a poet and activist. Born in Jalisco, Mexico, she migrated to the US at four-years-old and has been writing poetry since the age of twelve. She has released three books of poetry with the most recent being Hood Educated. In this work, Preciado explores evolution and healing, connecting the disparate parts of her past self into a unified whole. Preciado uses poetry and her story to support community engagement and activism around DACA and, as a survivor, to raise awareness about violence against women. She often speaks to Latinx and LGBTQ+ youth to help them find their own voice and tell their stories. Preciado is completing her graduate degree while continuing advocacy work for her various communities. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California with her wife and son.
Kamala Puligandla lives in LA and writes autobiographical fiction and essays, mostly on queer love. She is a distinguished recipient of her parents’ leftovers and hair compliments from strangers on the street. Her writing has been featured in Autostraddle, The Establishment, The Tusk, and her first novel, Zigzags, is forthcoming from Not A Cult Publishing. You can find her work at kamalapuligandla.com.
Melian Radu lives in Los Angeles, working as a tutor while writing her first book. She earned her BA from Middlebury College and her MFA from the University of Iowa. Her work has appeared in POETRY Magazine and Vetch, a journal of trans poetry and poetics.
Linda Ravenswood BFA, MA, PhD abd is a poet and performance artist. First published in Sligo as a teenager, her work has been featured in books and journals in the United States, Mexico, Ireland, Germany, and the UK. She was shortlisted for poet laureate of Los Angeles in 2017. Cofounding member of the Melrose Poetry Bureau, and the founder and editor in chief of The Los Angeles Press, her work straddles the relationship between performative and literary arts. Much of her performance text has been featured off Broadway, in art galleries and at live theaters. With Project 1521, a group of International Art Museum curators and scholars, Linda explores resonances still experienced in the 500 year anniversary of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. This work will be on exhibition as text and performance at LACMA in 2021.
Nina Revoyr is the author of six novels, including The Age of Dreaming, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Southland, a Los Angeles Times bestseller and “Best Book” of 2003 and winner of the Lambda Literary Award in 2004; Wingshooters, which won an Indie Booksellers Choice Award and was selected by O, The Oprah Magazine as one of “10 Titles to Pick Up Now;” and most recently, A Student of History.
Verónica Reyes is a marimacha feminist poet from East LA and the author of Chopper! Chopper! Poetry from Bordered Lives: Best Poetry from 2014 International Latino Book Awards, Goldie Book Awards, and Lambda Literary Finalist. She received fellowships from Ragdale Foundation, VCCA, and Montalvo Arts Center. Reyes is a lecturer in the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) program in Liberal Studies Department and Department of English at Cal State LA.
Alison C. Rollins is a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Literature fellow. A Pushcart Prize winner her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, Poetry, and elsewhere. A Cave Canem and Callaloo fellow, she is also a 2016 recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. In 2018 she was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award. Her debut poetry collection, Library of Small Catastrophes (Copper Canyon Press) is available now. www.alisoncrollins.com
Samantha Rose is an author, poet, and wild womxn. She is the Creatress in Chief of Pussy Magic and the author of L’ACQUA (2017) and mouth made of satin, (Wide Eyes Publishing, 2020). Her writing has been featured in Rhythm & Bones, Occulum, ILY Mag, Rose Quartz Magazine, and more. Samantha is the host of “Satin Soulbits,” the limited series podcast focused on sex, wellness, and womanhood, and curator of the Satin Soulbits Blog for Wide Eyes Publishing. For more about Samantha, visit her website (samantharosej.com) and follow her @samantha.rose.johnson on Instagram
Phyllis Rose-Child is a life long lesbian and one of the “Old Lesbians” on YouTube. She took an early retirement to travel the US with her partner Mary. On her first visit to LA, she joined the Forever Young Chorale. It was so much fun that she has been performing ever since. Presently, she sings with One Voice, New Stages, and is a stand-up comedian. She directs a weekly workshop, Creative Performance, at the LGBT center. She also writes. She loves having a microphone in her hand and insists that if it’s not fun, don’t do it.
Aimee Carrillo Rowe is a memoirist, feminist theorist, culture critic, and professor of Communication Studies at California State University, Northridge. Her books include Power Lines: On the Subject of Feminist Alliances, Answer the Call: Virtual Migration in Indian Call Centers, and Queer Xicana: Performing the Sacred (under review). She is an MFA student at UCR, Palm Desert, where she’s writing a memoir about queer single motherhood entitled, After Birth: Memoir of a Queer Family.
Alicia Vogl Saenz is a poet, meditator, and museum educator who brings her queer and mixed immigrant background to her writing and teaching. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies such as Grand Street, Blue Mesa Review, Mischief, Caprice, and Other Poetic Strategies (Red Hen Press) and the chapbook The Day I Wore the Red Coat (VCP Press, 2001). Alicia has performed her poetry throughout Los Angeles, most recently as part of the community celebrations of The Secret City. She is a member of Macondo Writers Workshop, the Lezerati Writer’s Group, and has been in residence at Hedgebrook. Her blog, Translucent Matter can be found at aliciabird.me.
Carla Sameth is a writer living in Pasadena. Her debut memoir, One Day on the Gold Line was published July 18, 2019. Her work on blended/unblended, queer, biracial and single parenting appears in a variety of literary journals and anthologies including: Collateral Journal, The Nervous Breakdown, Anti-Heroin Chic, Brevity Blog, Brain, Child & Brain Teen Magazine, Narratively, Longreads, Mutha Magazine, Full Grown People, Angels Flight Literary West, Tikkun, Entropy, Pasadena Weekly, Unlikely Stories Mark V, and La Bloga. She writes about addiction, trauma and resilience with a sense of humor and connection to her readers. Carla was selected to be one of the 2019 Pride Poets with the City of West Hollywood and was a fall 2016 PEN In The Community Teaching Artist. She has taught creative writing to incarcerated youth through WriteGirl. She teaches at the Los Angeles Writing Project (LAWP) at California State University Los Angeles (CSULA) and with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). Carla is a member of the Pasadena Rose Poets who present “poetry within reach and in unexpected places.” Carla has an MFA in Creative Writing (Latin America) from Queens University. She received a scholarship from and attended the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Post Graduate Writers’ Conference. Website: carlasameth.com
Jaime Schaffner is an accountant and writer. Born in Los Angeles, raised in Portland, Oregon, she earned a BA in economics from UC Santa Barbara. A recipient of a PEN America Emerging Voices Fellowship and a Kirkwood Award Finalist, her work appears in the anthology Best Lesbian Romance. She is completing her first novel Get the Girl and lives in Los Angeles with her wife Melissa and cat, Buffy the rodent slayer.
Estefania Schubert is a Jewish/Uruguayan poet and multi-media artist currently based in Southern California. Her mediums include painting, audio & visual production, event planning, poetry, zine-making, and jewelry-making. Her artwork and poetry have been displayed at Sonder Exhibit in New York City and Viva La Muxer in Los Angeles. Her handmade jewelry has been featured on Remezcla and VoyageLA Magazine. Her online portfolio can be found at EstefaniaSchubert.com. Twitter: @EstefaniaSchub Instagram: @estefaniaschubert
Daviel Shy is an independent scholar, writer, and filmmaker. She has written and directed nine shorts and one feature, The Ladies Almanack, which premiered at Outfest in 2017 and will be featured at The University of Maryland Galleries in 2020. She taught writing at the Art Institute of Chicago, film at The University of Illinois at Chicago, and Profile of a Radical at The Women’s Center for Creative Work in Los Angeles. Her writing has been published in Performance Research Journal, by University of Chicago Press, Dancing Girl Press, Walls Divide Press, and Yes Femmes. Her zines can be found at book stores, galleries, and the Edendale library. She writes about art and movies for the Los Angeles Beat and is currently in development on her second feature film.
Richard Siken is an American poet, painter, and filmmaker. He is the author of the collection Crush (Yale University Press, 2005), which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition and a Lambda Literary Award, and War of the Foxes (Copper Canyon Press, 2015) which was a recipient of two residencies with the Lannan Residency Program and a Lannan Literary Selection. He lives in Tucson and is an editor at Spork Press. (richardsiken.com)
jaye simpson is an Oji-Cree Saulteaux Two Spirit warrior whose roots hail from the Sapotaweyak, Keeseekoose & Skownan Cree Nations. jaye holds firm their rage about being a former youth in care, as well as a queer indigenous person & weaves it into poetry, prose & essays. they are published in Poetry Is Dead Issue 17: Coven, This Magazine: September/October 2018, PRISM 57.1: DREAMS, SAD Magazine: Green, GUTS Magazine online, and Room 42.1 Magic. they are a displaced indigenous person resisting, ruminating and residing on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations territories.
Allison Smith‘s practice investigates the cultural phenomenon of historical reenactment as the ritualized performance of unresolved trauma. Through apprenticeships with culture bearers across traditions, she creates sculptures with a curative potential, serving as keys for time travel and the possibility of healing past, present, and future generations. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at P.S.1/MoMA, SFMOMA, Palais de Tokyo, the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, MASS MoCA, the Tang Museum, among many others. She lives and works on the ancestral lands of the Ohlone peoples in the San Francisco Bay. Area. www.allisonsmithstudio.com
Frederick Smith is the author of four novels, In Case You Forgot (co-authored with Chaz Lamar), Play It Forward, Right Side of the Wrong Bed (a Lambda Literary finalist), and Down For Whatever, which all focus on queer characters of color in Los Angeles. He recently earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University. www.FrederickLSmith.com
Brian Sonia-Wallace is a Harper Collins author, winner of Mall of America, Amtrak, and Boston Harbor writer’s residencies, and the founder of RENT Poet, a company that brings typewriter poets to events. He guest lectures on poetry and performance at UCLA and teaches regularly with Get Lit – Words Ignite and 24th Street Theater.
Irene Suico Soriano is an immigrant FilipinX American poet, independent literary curator and the author of Primates from an Archipelago (Rabbit Fool Press, 2017). In the 1990s, she worked at APAIT and founded and coordinated the reading series “Wrestling Tigers: Asian Pacific American Writers Speak” at the Japanese American National Museum. She was featured in the Los Angeles Times for her curatorial participation in the groundbreaking NEA funded “World Beyond Poetry Festival” that featured over 100 poets from the diverse communities of LA. She received the PEN America Emerging Voices Fellowship in 2001 and her poems have appeared in, among others, The Philippines Free Press, Clamour dyke zine and Maganda’s Eleben queer issue. She’s mum to mutts, Papoo and Max, and participates in antivivisection efforts because she believes in the fundamental rights of non-human animals to live their lives, free from harm, pain, exploitation and captivity. Find her on Instagram: @ArchipelagoPoem
Christopher Soto (b. 1991) is a poet based in Los Angeles, California. He works at UCLA with the Ethnic Studies Centers and sits on the Board of Directors for Lambda Literary. He is currently working on a full-length poetry manuscript about police violence and mass incarceration. Christopher Soto’s poems, reviews, interviews, and articles can be found at The Nation, The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Tin House, and more. His work has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Thai. He was raised in the outskirts of Los Angeles, by a large Salvadoran family that came to the United States undocumented. His father’s side of the family is Puerto Rican. He identifies as non-binary and often uses the name “Loma” and “they” pronouns.
Amy Spalding grew up in St. Louis, but now lives in the better weather of Los Angeles. She has a B.A. in Advertising & Marketing Communications from Webster University, and an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School. Amy studied longform improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. By day, she manages the digital media team for an indie film advertising agency. By later day and night, Amy writes, performs, and pets as many cats as she can. She is the author of five young adult novels, including her latest, the bestselling THE SUMMER OF JORDI PEREZ (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles).
Joël Barraquiel Tan was born in Manila in 1968. As an artist, innovator and nonprofit leader, Joël has dedicated his life’s work to promoting social justice, cultural equity and arts as civic engagement. He served as Kalanihonua Retreat Center’s Executive Director from 2016 until the Kilauea eruption halted business operations in 2018. Joël is also the cofounder of the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team. He is the award-winning author of Type O Negative (Red Hen) and two previous books of poetry, in addition to editing three erotica anthologies. His award-winning critical essays, fiction, verse, and other writings on AIDS and queer politics appear in numerous academic and commercial venues. Joël is also known as Sister Baba Ganesh of the San Francisco Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the creator of Project Nunway, an annual recycle themed fashion fundraiser produced in various cities. Joël currently resides in Kapa’au Hawai’i with his husband Bunny.
Molly Thornton is a multi-genre writer and writing coach whose poetry, essays, and fiction have been published in The Lavender Review, baldhip magazine, The Leveller, Seattle Globalist, and They Said, a collaborative anthology from Black Lawrence Press. Her chapbook Daisy Chains was a finalist for the 2016 Gazing Grain chapbook contest. She is a graduate of Artist Trust’s LitEdge program, and a Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Fellow.
Dejha Ti is an artist and creative technologist based in Los Angeles. Spanning fine art, nightlife, and commercial realms, her practice brings together environments, bodies, and creative technology to create immersive experiences that draw audiences into her idiosyncratic worlds. In collaboration with her creative partner Ania Catherine, Ti launched Operator, an experiential art house that executes their large-scale multifaceted works. The duo has spoken and presented work internationally and has partnered with cultural institutions and companies including Adidas, Art Basel Hong Kong, LACMA, SCAD Museum of Art, Ableton, and CICA Museum.
Jensen Rule Tierra. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Currently based in Los Angeles, CA. Jensen Rule Tierra studied film theory and production at Los Angeles City College. Spent many years clerking at Rocket Video in Hollywood until its demise in 2011. Influenced by David Cronenberg, Pedro Almodovar, David Lynch, Dario Argento and Alejandro Jodorowski. Interests include diseases, serial killers, parasites and plastic surgery.
Diep Khac Tran was the chef-owner of Good Girl Dinette from 2009 to 2018 (which was named one of the essential Los Angeles restaurants by the late Jonathan Gold) and is now the Research & Development Chef at Red Boat Fish Sauce. As a chef, she has been featured on Los Angeles Times, New York Times, KCET’s The Migrant Kitchen, Lucky Peach, Evan Kleiman’s Good Food, and David Chang’s Netflix show Ugly Delicious. She continues to be an ardent advocate for pay equity in the restaurant industry. Before her culinary career, Diep was a staff member at the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team and then Khmer Girls in Action in Long Beach. She was also an active member of Ô-Môi, a Vietnamese queer women and transgender support network in Southern California. Her poetry and other work appeared in Q&A: Queer in Asian America and Watermark: Vietnamese American Poetry & Prose.
Addie Tsai teaches courses in literature, creative writing, dance, and humanities at Houston Community College. She collaborated with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater on Victor Frankenstein and Camille Claudel, among others. Addie holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and a PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. Her writing has been published in Banango Street, The Offing, The Collagist, The Feminist Wire, Nat. Brut., and elsewhere. Her queer Asian young adult novel, Dear Twin, is forthcoming from Metonymy Press in November 2019. She is the Nonfiction Editor at The Grief Diaries, Senior Associate Editor in Poetry at The Flexible Persona, Assistant Fiction Editor at Anomaly, and Senior Editor of Culture and Interviews at Raising Mothers. Addie Tsai’s photo credits: Cut Loose Salon
Courtney Trouble is a writer and artist living in california via the pnw currently interested in gender, data, and chaos as inspirational topics for works largely informed by the Dada style. They also make semi-autobiographical photographic work and run an indie porn distro, perform and produce porn, and coach other queer sex workers in porn.
Phoebe Unter produces audio & sound art. She and her artner, NK, make an experimental radio project called bitchface, and collaborate on performances, installations and publications. She has worked on podcasts by Kaitlin Prest, and did a stint as office eccentric & producer for the public radio show Marketplace. She has had the pleasure of working collectively in residency at This Will Take Time and the Women’s Center for Creative Work. Phoebe lives in Los Angeles, where you can find her dreaming up elaborate party & outfit concepts and waiting on her Saturn to return.
Stephen van Dyck, a writer, artist, and educator, is the author of People I’ve Met From the Internet, out August 2019 from Ricochet Editions. Van Dyck’s work has appeared in Zyzzyva, Yes Femmes, The Gay & Lesbian Review, and Entropy. An MFA graduate of Integrated Media, Critical Studies and Experimental Sound Practices at CalArts, van Dyck has performed and presented work all around Los Angeles, including LACE, MOCA, LACMA and Human Resources. Since 2008, van Dyck has curated the Los Angeles Road Concerts, all-day arts events where over 300 LA artists and locals have re-imagined unused outdoor public space along the entire lengths of LA’s very long streets.
Christopher Anthony Velasco works between Los Angeles, CA, and Santa Barbara, CA. He received his MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his BFA from California Institute of the Arts, and also has studied at Art Center College of Design and East Los Angeles College. Velasco’s work has been featured in wide range art exhibitions including those at Art Center College of Design, Avenue 50 Studios, California Institute of the Arts, Hibbleton Gallery, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Photo-L.A., and Vincent Price Art Museum. And was included in Where We Live: Student Perspectives, an exhibition associated with the Getty Museum’s Where We Live: Photographs of America from the Berman Collection.
Jizhong Albus Wang is a writer, an artist, and a recent graduate from Loyola Marymount University with a Theatre Arts bachelor degree. Seeking social justice and overall equality, Wang is also an activist passionate about causes such as rights for immigrants and LGBTQ+ community. As a trans and non-binary writer, Wang works to empower trans community around the world by giving them a voice through literacy.
Eric Wat is the author of SWIM (The Permanent Press, 2019), about a drug-addicted gay Asian man planning his mother’s funeral. As a community historian, he also wrote The Making of a Gay Asian Community: An Oral History of Pre-AIDS Los Angeles (Rowman & Littlefield, 2002). He is currently working on a community memoir of the AIDS movement in the API communities in Los Angeles, for which he received a research fellowship from the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives in 2018.
Ken White is a poet and screenwriter who divides his time between Montana and southern California. He is the author of three books of poetry: Eidolon, The Getty Fiend, and Middlemost Constantine (forthcoming). He teaches creative writing at the low-residency MFA at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and in the fall of 2019 will join the University of Nebraska at Omaha Writer’s Workshop as an Assistant Professor of Screenwriting.
Lauren White is a performer, comic, writer and unemployed muse. Her work explores themese of queer identity and desire, the body and pain, and her (our) mental illness(es). She is a regular act of the acclaimed performance series, SORORITY. She has been a BMXer, a love and sex expert, a cult leader, an MC for a public access show for witches by witches and a PornHub scholarship recipient. She bombs. Every. Single. Open mic. She attends. You can hear her voice in the forth-coming anime High Guardian Spice or any of the LEGO movies.
B.A. Williams is a queer writer and performer from East Long Beach, CA. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is currently working on a novel-length manuscript and poetry collection. When she isn’t writing or performing she is developing a platform which seeks to uplift communities of color, redefine “otherness,” and distribute intersectionality with various modes of art. B.A. co-curates and hosts un::fade::able – the requiem of Sandra Bland and is the content manager for lovedby.her, a digital storytelling platform that showcases and celebrates Black queer love. Her poetry and prose focus on all things “other” with a heavy emphasis on Blackness, womanhood, and queerness. Her work is featured in Rigorous Magazine, Every-Other Broadsides, The Rumpus and The New York Times Parenting.
A 2019 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow, Dare Williams is an HIV-positive poet, artist, activist from Southern California. Dare’s poetry has been featured in Cultural Weekly and magazines including Starrfucker. An alumnus of Home School Claremont, he is currently working on a poetry collection confronting the erasure of queer culture.
Lee Wind’s QUEER AS A FIVE-DOLLAR BILL was inspired by the real historical letters between Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Fry Speed. In this award-winning novel, Wyatt, a bullied and closeted teen, outs Lincoln to change the world—triggering a conservative backlash and media firestorm. Crowdfunded, the book was Publishers Weekly’s September 2018 “Indie Success Story.”
Terry Wolverton is author of eleven books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, including Embers, a novel in poems, and Insurgent Muse: Art and Life at the Woman’s Building, a memoir. Her most recent poetry collection is Ruin Porn. In addition, she has edited fourteen literary compilations, including the Lambda Literary Award winning His: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Men and Hers: Brilliant New fiction by Lesbians. Terry also collaborated with composer
Gina Young is a queer feminist playwright, director and performer. Her plays and musicals include sSISTERSs, Butch Ballet, Femmes: A Tragedy, and Tales of a Fourth Grade Lesbo. Her work has been presented by The Hammer Museum, REDCAT, Highways, Los Angeles Performance Practice/LAX Festival, USC’s Visions & Voices Series, The Los Angeles LGBT Center and the Women’s Center for Creative Work. She is a winner of the HUMANITAS/PLAY LA Prize, a Finalist for Center Theatre Group’s Richard E. Sherwood Award, a 2018 Directors Lab West selectee, and a winner of the Jane Chambers Award for Playwriting for her play Femmes: A Tragedy, which is published by NoPassport Press. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and The Kilroys. Gina is the creator of SORORITY, a new works salon for women, trans and queer performing artists working in Los Angeles, and Feminist Acting Class, a revolutionary experiment in actor training. She is developing a new musical in Fall 2019.
Abe Zapata Jr. is a playwright, director, and actor, whose work tackles issues of race and sexuality with a slant to camp and pop culture. Abe has performed at Highways Santa Monica, directed for the 2017 Eastside Queer Stories Festival at the Aerial House in Alhambra, and for the past two years has been the workshop facilitator for the Eastside Queer Stories Workshop presented by the Q Youth Foundation. In 2019, Abe co-produced The Eastside Queer Stories Festival with Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA and was featured as a storyteller for The Houses on the Moon Q-Story Stream at the LA LGBT Center’s Davidson/Valentini Theatre. Borracho: Spanish for Drunken Bum is Abe’s first full length play to premiere at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019 and winner of Hollywood Fringe Festival’s MB Studio Award. IG: abe_zapatajr
Magdalena Zurawski is the author of The Tiniest Muzzle Sings Songs of Freedom (Wave Books, 2019), the novel The Bruise, which won the Ronald Sukenick Award from FC2 in 2008 and a Lambda Literary Award in 2009, and the collection of poems Companion Animal, which was published by Litmus Press in 2015 and won a Norma Faber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has lived in Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Durham, NC where she ran the Minor American Reading Series. She is currently Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia.