Introducing the 2012 Emerging Writers Fellows
Posted on 20. Jun, 2012 by Edit Team in Foundation Updates
We are thrilled to introduce to you the 2012 class of the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices. Hailing from three countries and 16 U.S. states (and from as far away as England!), these poets, fiction and nonfiction writers will spend July 28 – August 4 in Los Angeles for a week that is guaranteed to be transformational to their literary careers. These emerging writers are among the LGBT community’s most gifted and will be working on their book projects-in-progress with this year’s exceptional Retreat faculty: Dorothy Allison (Fiction), Cris Beam (Nonfiction), Jewelle Gomez (Poetry) and Alex Sanchez (Young Adult Fiction).
Learn more about LLF’s Emerging Writers Fellows by reading their bios below. Please support these talented writers today by making a donation to the Writers Retreat Scholarship Fund. You will also find links at the end of some emerging writers’ bios where you can donate toward their personal fundraising efforts.
FICTION — Faculty: DOROTHY ALLISON
Alysia Angel is a southern-bred Lakota, and a working class queer high femme. She is self-published in chapbooks entitled “what i do when you’re not looking”. She is also published in Femme Family zine, Salacious Magazine, Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion, Bay Woof Magazine, Cactus Heart Magazine, Curve Magazine, Say Please, a Cleis Press anthology, and is a 2011 and 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow. www.alysiaangel.com
Kevin Brannon is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas. He moved to New York City in 2002 following two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Estonia. His experiences writing about LGBT communities of faith in Manhattan and the Bronx as a student at the Columbia Journalism School have informed his interest in the intersection of race, religion and sexuality in American culture. These themes have also provided the focus for his studies as an MA candidate in English, also at Columbia. Kevin began work on his first novel in the winter of 2011 after a long hiatus from fiction writing. He is also an avid movie-goer and an unrepentant consumer of crime and suspense fiction.
Jade Brooks is a writer, editor, and activist who lives in Durham, NC. She does work for make/shift magazine, Duke University Press, Southerners on New Ground, and other brave folk here in the South. She comes from the blackberry wilds of Oregon.
Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Monica Carter currently resides in Los Angeles, California where she recently finished the PEN Center USA’s Mark program for Emerging Voices alumni. A PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellow 2010 and a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging GLBT Voice 2010, her fiction has appeared in Strange Cargo, An Emerging Voices Anthology, The Rattling Wall, and the current Spring issue of Bloom. She is finishing her novel, In the Life, and a collection of short stories. She is accepting believers at www.monicacarterthewriter.com.
Bryan Castille is a fiction writer from St. Louis, Missouri. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Upernavik Artist Residency in Greenland and from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He’s currently working on a novel.
Cheraé Clark is a recent graduate from the University of Kansas where she studied English and French. Though she is a Kansas native, she was greatly influenced by living in England for two years, where she developed a penchant for accent imitation. Over summers, she helps teach English and creative writing to gifted youth in middle and high school and she moonlights as a personal trainer. She’ll spend her newfound freedom writing and finding ways to help teens in Kansas City find creative emotional outlets. She’s been published in KU literary magazines Comma, Splice and Kiosk and has presented her stories on masculine-of-center queers at KU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium.
HELP CHERAE ATTEND THE RETREATNicolas Hoover
is a poet, playwright, and fiction writer from Seattle, WA. His work has appeared in [untitled]
, Fringe Magazine
, and Breadcrumb Scabs
. Nicolas was also a semi-finalist for L Magazine
‘s Literary Upstart competition, and won first place for the Writers’ Weekly
24-Hour Short Story Contest in 2010. The Red Merit Badge of Courage
, his children’s play, is available for purchase or production from Baker’s Plays. He completed a BA in Drama from University of Washington in 2004. To find out more about Nicolas and his work, please visit his website at www.NicolasHoover.com.
HELP NICOLAS ATTEND THE RETREATElaine Howell
is a fiction writer whose work has been published in several lit magazines, including Zyzzyva
. A few years ago, she was a finalist in Glimmer Train
’s Short Story Competition for New Writers, and, thanks to Winnie the Pooh, was first runner-up in the 23rd International Imitation (“Bad”) Hemingway Competition for her parody, The Sun Also Rises in Hundred Acre Wood
. Elaine has an M.A. in English, lives and works in Los Angeles, and is writing a collection of short stories. She tumbles at urbanbamboo.tumblr.com
Kenny Kruse is a first-generation Utahn from Park City. He is currently getting his MFA at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where drivers do not use blinkers. He is a classical pianist and avid swimmer and has a rare condition in which his body is unable to conserve water. His spirit animal is Wolf. When not writing postcards, he might be working on his novel, essays, fictions, or poems. His work can be found in Neon, SOFTBLOW, and Artichoke Haircut.
HELP KENNY ATTEND THE RETREATChristopher Marnach
grew up on a farm in Iowa and has worked as a cook, a copy boy, a bartender, an essay scorer, a canvasser, and a graphic designer for a funeral card company. Currently, he is at Columba College Chicago, pursuing an MFA in Fiction Writing. He is at work on a few short stories, a novella, and two novels, one about an Iowa farmer revolt in the 1930s, and another about the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland in the 1960s, an excerpt of which was long-listed for the 2011 Fish Publishing Short Story Award in Ireland.
HELP CHRISTOPHER ATTEND THE RETREATDawn Robinson
is a genderqueer writer and filmmaker who makes a home in the wilds of Oakland, California. A 2011 Lambda Literary Foundation Fellow, Dawn is returning to Lambda in 2012, and will be at Voices of Our Nation (VONA), a Retreat for Writers of Color. Using universal themes, familiar dilemmas and humor, Dawn seeks a wider conversation on issues of race, gender and sexuality, one that transcends social barriers. Dawn firmly believes in the organic creative spark in each of us, and that the work we do is part of a global continuum of gratitude, rage, rebirth and irreverence. Dawn prefers pie to cake, salty to sweet, crunchy to creamy, beach over snow, dogs over cats, and fire over ice.
HELP DAWN ATTEND THE RETREATJan Zivic
will graduate in the MFA in Writing program at USF in San Francisco this year. A Lambda Literary Fellow in 2011, Jan joined the Board of Trustees of Lambda in 2012. In previous careers Jan taught film and English, sponsored the literary magazine, and directed the musicals at a high school in Pittsburgh, where she is from. She then moved to San Francisco and developed new interests in business and film production. Always a highly active community volunteer, Jan is now focused on her writing and volunteering in the literary community where she hopes to someday actually be a published writer. The two most important women in her life are Lisa Schoonerman, her wife, and her daughter, Jessie.
NONFICTION — Faculty: CRIS BEAM
Nancy Agabian is a nonfiction writer and performer based in Queens, New York. She is the author of Princess Freak (Beyond Baroque Books), a collection of poetry and performance texts on sexuality and rage, and the Lambda Literary Award-nominated Me as her again (aunt lute books), a memoir about the influence of her Armenian family’s dark history on her bisexual coming-of-age. A Fulbright scholar to Armenia in 2006-07, she is currently working on “The Fear of Large and Small Nations”, a nonfiction novel about the contradictions between political ideals and personal liberation in the fight for social change. nancyagabian.com
HELP NANCY ATTEND THE RETREATSarah Fonseca
is a blue collar essayist living in south Georgia. While Bible Belt politics are another story, she appreciates the strong women, cheap rent, and stray dogs that come with the territory. Her work has appeared in The Q Review, Off the Rocks 16, Diverse Voices Quarterly
, and in the digital pages of Autostraddle. When not working on her memoir, Sarah serves as a Choice USA correspondent and a speechwriter for Marc Silver, a democratic candidate for the Georgia House of Representatives. For more about Sarah, visit flavors.me/sarah
HELP SARAH ATTEND THE RETREATChe Gossett
is a genderqueer activist and writer, a contributor to Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, a steering committee member of the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance and ACT UP Philadelphia. Che has forthcoming writing on neoliberalism and memorialization of sites of queer and/or trans resistance in the second volume of the Transgender Studies Reader and forthcoming writing on the struggle to decriminalize HIV/AIDS in the sociopolitical context of black radicalism, queer and trans liberation and prison abolitionist organizing. They are excited about and looking forward to L.A. sunshine, queer and/or trans collective brilliance and creativity nourishing literary gatherings. As an LLF Emerging Writers Retreat Fellow, Che will be finalizing their book proposal: a biography of AIDS activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya (1943-2000).
Sailor Holladay is a writer, artist, and teacher living in San Francisco while pursuing an MFA Creative Writing Nonfiction degree at Mills College in Oakland. Sailor’s writing and art have appeared in Gay Genius comics anthology, When Language Runs Dry #3, The Encyclopedia Project Vol. F-K, Chronotopia at the 2010 National Queer Arts Festival, Colony Collapse Disorder Radio, Enough.org, Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing up Working Class, and elsewhere.
Karman Johnson-Vega is a credentialled Teacher Librarian serving two high schools in California. She spent three decades instructing an award-winning Fine Art and Graphic Design program for high school and college students. She is also a survivor of a violent crime, an experience which informs both her art and her writing. Karman believes she lived in order to tell her story to help others facing similar challenges. She is a recipient of the Wayne Thiebauld Undergraduate Fellowship in Art at University of California Riverside, where she earned a Bachelors degree in studio art and art history. She also holds a Masters Degree in Library Information Science from San Jose State University. She owns a home with her partner, Roz, that they share with a Rottweiller, and three tiny toy poodles. www.facebook.com/KarVega.AuthorIllustrator
HELP KARMAN ATTEND THE RETREATLiz Latty
is a queer, feminist, adoptee, writer, educator, and activist originally from the Detroit area. Her work can be found in The Wayne Literary Review, The F-Word Magazine, make/shift
and the anthology We Don’t Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists
, among others. Liz is a 2012 nominee for the Jackson, Phelan, and Tanenbaum Literary Awards from the San Francisco Foundation and her chapbook, A Parallel Life
, is forthcoming from Unthinkable Creatures Press in October of 2012. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and currently lives in Oakland, California where she works in public education.
Nikkya Martin is a mom, a wife, and a writer currently working on creating and publishing her first work, a memoir. Her memoir chronicles her life from birth to her journey through parenting with her wife, Dinushka. She lives in Stamford, Connecticut and is passionate about making a difference in the world not only through her writing but also in her professional life. She is a graduate from Bard College with a BA in Humanities, and she also has a Masters in Counseling from Mercy College. Nikkya and her family recently moved to Connecticut from New York. When not writing, Nikkya can be found perusing Connecticut real estate, reading, and deepening her spirituality through yoga and church. Her motto in life is: the mind is a fragile organ, we must water it with positive thoughts, happiness, and nurturing people.
HELP NIKKYA ATTEND THE RETREATJacks McNamara
is a genderqueer writer, artist, activist, and healer based in Oakland, California. Co-founder of The Icarus Project
, an adventure in mutual aid & radical mental health support, and co-author of Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness
, Jacks has facilitated workshops and performed poetry across North America and Europe. Jacks is currently building a somatics practice, making everyone pancakes, and working on finishing their first book. Lung Seed
, a collection of poetry, prose, & hybrid experiments inbetween, is due out from Deviant Type Press later this year. Jacks’ life and work are the subject of the documentary film Crooked Beauty
. Visit Jacks online at redwingedjacksbird.net
Julian Shendelman is an aspiring memoirist who spends most of his time talking about food, having existential crises, and fixing his hair. Having graduated from Mills College with a degree in Queer Studies in 2011, he now spends his days assembling sandwiches in Philadelphia, journaling extensively, and plotting his return to Oakland to pursue an M.A. in Human Sexuality Studies at SFSU. Julian has published poems in The Walrus, displayed photographs in San Francisco, and screened videos in The Netherlands, Germany, and of course, the Bay Area. You can find his photography at queerlens.tumblr.com and his writing at ashandbone.tumblr.com.
Ennis Smith is an MFA graduate of the New School’s creative writing program, where his work won him the National Arts Club Literary Scholarship in Nonfiction. His memoir piece, The Super with the Toy Face, was published in the anthology New York: Lost and Found (WW Norton, Thomas Beller, editor); another memoir piece, The Rapunzel Effect, was recognized as an outstanding work of nonfiction by In Our Own Write. Other publications: Boys in the City (Bruno Gmünder Verlag GMBH, publishers), the literary journal Ganymede; Attitude: The Dancer’s Magazine, where he’s been an associate editor and dance critic since 2006. For his volunteer work with LIFEBEAT/Musicians Against AIDS, Ennis was the featured subject on PBS’s In the Life. He currently teaches writing at SUNY Empire State College in New York.
Erika Turner is an awkwardblackgirl with strong feminist leanings and a love for people of any gender. She was raised in Las Vegas and studies in Massachusetts with the full intention of returning to her birthplace of California. Erika has written columns for QWOC Media Wire and is a 2011 Point Scholar. She is usually a writer of short stories but also enjoys writing essays, memoir pieces, and terrible poetry. Sometimes a femme but always fabulous, Erika spends most of her time wishing she could be a host on HGTV and staring blankly into her refrigerator. She is currently interning as a PR agent.
HELP ERIKA ATTEND THE RETREATLee Wheaton
is a genderqueer introvert who lives in Oakland, California. Raised in New England and molded into an adult by New York City, Lee combines natural imagery and Yankee sensibility with reflections on complex familial and queer relationships in non-fiction prose. Lee, a former encyclopedia editor, continues to work in online reference publishing and spends free time attempting to bring the country into the city through cooking, urban farming, rock climbing, and two-stepping.
POETRY — Faculty: JEWELLE GOMEZ
Nic Alea is a poet based in San Francisco. They received their BA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. They co-host a bi-monthly reading series called New Poetry Mission focusing on the production of new work. They co-facilitate a creative writing workshop at Solano Juevnile Detention Center and perform at various reading series around the Bay Area. Nic has self published three chapbooks, Arcana, P.S. Crater Face was Here, and This Crumbled Bell Tower. Their work has appeared in the Evergreen Review, >kill author, and the Minetta Review. Nic is a crafter, a tarot card reader, and will be working on their manuscript, Things We’ll Never Speak Of, while at Lambda.
HELP NIC ATTEND THE RETREATIndira Allegra
is a poet and interdisciplinary artist. Her experimental video poem, Blue Covers
, has screened at festivals and events both nationally and internationally. Indira has contributed work to Cherokee Writers From the Flint Hills of Oklahoma: An Anthology
and Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature
, a winner of the Silver Medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards and a finalist in 2012 for both the Lambda Literary Award and ForeWord Book of the Year Award. Indira has also contributed to Chicken Skin and Impossible Trees, Rivets Literary Magazine, Wordgathering Journal of Disability Poetry, Make/Shift Magazine
and the 2008 Artists Against Rape Chapbook
. She has forthcoming work in Konch Magazine
. Indira is a 2007 Voices of Our Nation’s Arts alum and 2011 writer for the Intersection of the Arts, Interdisciplinary Writer’s Lab. She is currently working on her first collection of poems entitled Indigo Season
Megan Backer is a queer poet and spoken word artist from Rochester, NY. Upstate New York’s inclement weather has forced her into the seclusion of academia where she teaches English and Women’s Studies at the SUNY College at Brockport. She most recently participated in the Juniper Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Ever-dutiful in the “publish or perish” realm, shortly after she received her MA in Creative Writing, her work will be published in the upcoming literary anthology Off the Rocks.
HELP MEGAN ATTEND THE RETREATDominika Bednarska
is a performer, poet, writer, teacher, and academic. Her full-length solo show, My Body Love Story
, recently kicked off the 2012 National Queer Arts Festival at the Garage Theater in San Francisco. Her first book of poems, Smothered Breath
, will be out by the fall from Tulip Pulp Press. She has performed at Girl Talk, the Marsh, CounterPULSE, Queer Open Mic, Femme Con, Butch Voices, the Society for Disability Studies Annual Conference, and the Knitting Factory in NYC. Also, her writing has or will appear in A Different Art, The James Joyce Quarterly, Wordgathering, The Bellevue Literary Review, Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity, The Culture of Efficiency: Technology in Everyday Life, What I Want From You: An Anthology of East Bay Lesbian Poets, Ghosting Atoms
, and Cripping Femme
. For more information, go to dominikabednarskaspeaks.blogspot.com
Vanesa Evers is currently an MFA Poetry Candidate at Sarah Lawrence College, Class of 2013. Her writing challenges stagnant and “conservative” paradigms. Through her poetry, she frees her readers/listeners. There is nothing that can’t be written.
HELP VANESA ATTEND THE RETREATLeah Horlick
is a writer, poet, and spoken word artist from Saskatoon, SK. Her work on queer and feminist experiences of love, justice, and violence has earned her a 2008 Short Grain Award and a place among the top 15 independent slam poets in Canada in 2012. An MFA student in Creative Writing at UBC, Leah is the Poetry Editor for PRISM international
. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in So To Speak, Canadian Dimension, GRAIN, Poetry is Dead
, and On Nights Like This: An Anthology of Comics by Survivors
. Leah’s first collection of poetry, Riot Lung, will be released by Thistledown Press in fall 2012.
HELP LEAH ATTEND THE RETREATJP Howard
(Juliet P. Howard) is a poet, lawyer, Cave Canem fellow and native New Yorker. JP was a 2011 Cave Canem Fellow-in-Residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a finalist in the 2009-2010 Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund poetry category. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Muzzle Magazine’s “Best of the First Year” print edition, The Mom Egg 2012, Cave Canem Anthology XII: Poems 2008-2009, Connotation Press and OF FIRE, OF IRON by The Hot Poets Collective. She co-founded and runs Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS) and blog. WWBPS’ debut poetry Anthology is forthcoming. womenwritersinbloompoetrysalon.blogspot.com
[Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffith.]
HELP JP ATTEND THE RETREATKima Jones
is a poet and writer. Born and raised in Harlem, she writes to honor her grandmothers. Kima is at work on a first collection that is poetry but also fiction, family history and geography. It is a matriarchal line and a witness. Kima is concerned with mother/daughter relationships, the black female body, the family as body, women as a united body, anatomical and spiritual bodies, the ability and disability of the corporeal body and how those bodies inform relationships. Kima is an Afrofuturist and is interested in the body on this planet, in the sea, out to space, other realms, the possibilities of the black female body on other Earths. Kima can be found online at www.kimajones.com
HELP KIMA ATTEND THE RETREATBonnilee Kaufman
is a Learning Disabilities Specialist for the California Community Colleges. Her poetry was included in two anthologies Ghosts of the Holocaust
and, Milk and Honey, A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry
. She looks forward to having more of her work published.
HELP BONNILEE ATTEND THE RETREAT
Abbie J. Leavens
is a writer-poet-mother-lover-teacher-student-friend who lives in Los Angeles. She is currently wrapping up her MFA from UC-Irvine. While at UCI, she has taught classes such as composition & rhetoric and beginning poetry. She loves teaching as much as writing, so this has been very awesome. Her work has appeared in various journals including Barnstorm, BlazeVOX, BLOOM, Reed
, and Xenith
, among others. She grew up in Iowa and enjoys iced tea, sunshine, and good company.
HELP ABBIE ATTEND THE RETREATCharan P. Morris
is a poet/performer/educator transplanted from Chicago to New York. She has been teaching literature in the NY public schools for seven years. Poetry takes its rightful place in her life — neck and neck with teaching. She has performed as a feature poet at a number of festivals and venues, namely The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Nuyorican Poets Café, DC Poetry Festival. Charan has shared a stage with artists such as Gill Scott-Heron, Lemon Anderson, The Last Poets, Staceyann Chin, Ishle Park, Tara Betts and others. After completing the Cave Canem spring writing intensive, she has just finished her first chapbook, When A Locked Door Opens
, which explores the shifting relationship between family and the self.
HELP CHARAN ATTEND THE RETREATRobert Andrew Perez
lives in Berkeley, California with two biologists in a regrettably, but predictably, platonic arrangement. Unlike most poets, he is, quite literally, rolling in the dough, working for a deep dish pizza company based in Oakland. In true post-recession fashion, he holds various other odd jobs: teaching ESL, mobile DJing for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, and working for the English departments of UC Berkeley and Saint Mary’s College (where he earned his BA and MFA, respectively) in a variety of academic capacities ranging from undergraduate paper scrubber to lecturer. He is also the blog manager for the Underpass Reading Series and—for the sake of alliterative music we’ll call—the “director of design” for speCt!, a chapbook project. His recent work can be found in publications such as The Cortland Review
, Writing Without Walls
, and The Offending Adam
. He apologizes for his aggressively professional bio photo.
HELP ROBERT ATTEND THE RETREAT
YOUNG ADULT — Faculty: ALEX SANCHEZ
Bridget Birdsall (MFA Vermont College) author, teacher, queer-loving salad-bar spiritualist seeks to connect hearts with words and art. Bridget made a mid-life decision to overcome dyslexic challenges and pursue her passion for writing, especially Young Adult (YA) lit and poetry. Today, she is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. Her YA novel August Atlas, about the challenges facing an intersexed teen, is seeking a publisher under the representation of the Jonathan Lyon’s Literary Agency. Her debut novel, Ordinary Angels, a story about siblings surviving the death of a sibling is available at Amazon.com. Her BirdSpeak blog is at: bridgetbirdsall.wordpress.com
Jef Blocker works as a recruiter for a non-profit and as Store Manager at Bound To Be Read Books in East Atlanta Village. His short fiction, essays, and poetry have won several writing contests. Jef participated in the Perfect Pitch at the 2004 and 2006 Atlanta Film Festivals. He’s a graduate of Orson Scott Card’s 2011 Literary Boot Camp, and was a finalist in the 2012 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. Jef writes a humor blog at www.CultofJef.com. He’s the 17th biggest Bananarama fan in the world and frequently does his cat’s evil bidding.
Christina Clover is a femme writer from England. She is currently completing a MA degree at the prestigious Bath Spa University and hopes to embark on a PHD course next year. She is working on “Riding the Line,” a Young Adult novel which introduces a teenaged girl coming to terms with her sexuality, after experiencing a devastating crush on an older woman. Christina has a young daughter and a house filled with pets. She has travelled around Europe and Africa, and is looking forward to extending her lesbian arms to the United States.
Lydia Eato Harris, a diary/journal writer from the age of seven, draws on her eclectic life experiences to energize her fiction writing. Born on Long Island, she has written, sang, and worked her way through Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, and Florida where she lives with her husband and her partner. Lydia has a Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees. She particularly enjoyed her seventeen years in Alaska. She also enjoyed her time in Oregon’s high plateau desert as “Motorcycle Mama” working with veterans and children. She’s a reviewer of Young Adult fiction for Lambda Literary Online.
HELP LYDIA ATTEND THE RETREATAnnameekee Hesik
grew up on a healthy diet of Pippi Longstocking movies, Fig Newtons, and Schwinns. Too tall for most backseats, she spent her teen years playing basketball and wearing high waters. She now teaches high school English in Northern California and writes the books she wishes were around when she started falling for girls. Her YA novel, The You Know Who Girls
, will be available in October, 2012. Its sequel is in the works. She is the youngest of ten siblings and likes her beverages ice cold. She is…the most interesting lesbian in the world. Cyberstalk her at www.annameekee.com
Miguel M. Morales lives in Kansas and embraces his farmworker/child laborer past. As a journalist, he earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ First Amendment Award. Miguel serves on the Latino Writers Collective board and is featured in its anthologies: Primera Página: Poetry from the Latino Heartland and Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland. His work also appears on the Latino Literature website, La Bloga; in From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction; and in the forthcoming To the Stars Through Difficulty: 2012 Kansas Renga and Joto: An Anthology of Queer Ch/Xicano Poetry. Learn more at TrustMiguel.com
HELP MIGUEL ATTEND THE RETREATBeth Neff
majored in journalism at the University of Michigan but only turned back to writing recently after almost three decades as an organic vegetable farmer, dairy goat maven, sustainability activist, and single mother to four homeschooled children. Her young adult novel Getting Somewhere
was released by Viking/Penguin in early 2012. She is presently at work on several more novels, a couple of non-fiction manuscripts and a collection of short fiction. When not writing, she can usually be found in her garden, playing the piano, on the river, reading, or in the kitchen. You can find her electronically at www.bethneff.com
HELP BETH ATTEND THE RETREATNina Packebush
is a kick-ass queer, unschooling, grown-up-teen-mama, granny, writer, zinester, activist, artist, wanna-be-urban-farmer and often survives on little sleep and lots of coffee. She has been published in a variety of alternative press magazines, websites and anthologies. Nina has been publishing zines for almost ten years now, including; The Edgy-catin’ Mama, The True Adventures of the Feminist Snails (a comic zine) and The Granny Chronicles. She is currently working on a graphic novel for young adults.
Rachel Pepper is the author of several nonfiction books including the recently released anthology, Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children (Cleis, 2012). She is the long standing book editor of Curve magazine and an award winning, widely published journalist. Having recently gone back to school to get her Master’s degree in counseling, Rachel is also an MFT Intern practicing in the Bay Area, specializing in the mental health needs of the transgender, LGB, and transitional age youth communities. Rachel is currently working on her first young adult novel.
HELP RACHEL ATTEND THE RETREATAJ Reyes
was born and raised in Austin, Texas. As a music lover, bookworm and sexy beast, he enjoys all things awesome. When he’s not roller skating, playing his guitar or watching covers of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” on YouTube, you’ll find him sitting on his bedroom floor writing. His published works include— Oh, wait. He doesn’t have any. He does, however, have a large collection of other people’s published works. You’ll often find an AJ in a dark and cold climate. AJ’s often melt when left in direct sunlight.
HELP AJ ATTEND THE RETREAT