2011 Emerging Writers Retreat Fellows
Author: Tony Valenzuela
July 3, 2011
2011 Emerging Writers Retreat Fellows
On behalf of the Staff and Board of Trustees of The Lambda Literary Foundation, we introduce to you the 2011 Class of the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices.
This summer from August 6-13, the forty-two talented emerging writers listed below, representing every region of the United States and traveling from as far away as Canada and Japan, will come to Los Angeles for the Retreat.
Alysia Angel is a wise cracking, working class, queer high femme, an avid yelp.com reviewer, and a long time barista and coffee lover. She has self published a series of prose/poetry chapbooks titled “what i do when you’re not looking”, has pieces published in Salacious Magazine, Curve Magazine online, and is slated to be published in a Lesbian BDSM Erotica anthology by Cleis Press in 2012. She deeply loves all dogs and encourages them to jump on her and muddy her fancy dresses.
Cooper Lee Bombardier is a blue-collar transgender visual artist and self-taught writer. He was raised in the South Shore of Boston. His visual art has most recently appeared in group shows like Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM; the 2011 National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco and the forthcoming ‘zine Faggot Dinosaur. Cooper’s writing has appeared in several periodicals, most recently Pathos Literary Journal and Original Plumbing, and the anthologies The Lowdown Highway, From the Inside Out, and Trans/Love. A veteran of the original Sister Spit tours, he has performed his writing all over the country. An avid fan of low-budget travel, Cooper has been to every state in the U.S. except North Dakota and Alaska. He loves good coffee, callouses, dogs, lifting weights, riding bikes and communing with nature. Currently he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Writing/Publishing at Portland State University, where he serves as a graduate assistant.
C. Adán Cabrera is the queer son of Salvadoran refugees. Among other publication credits, Carlos’s writing has appeared in Westwind, has been anthologized in From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction, and his author interviews have appeared in Switchback. While living in San Francisco, Carlos was also a member of the 2010 Intergenerational Writers’ Lab and wrote for the bilingual newspaper El Tecolote. Besides translating Salvadoran folktales, Carlos volunteers with Inside OUT Writers and is a regular contributor to the online magazine Being Latino. He holds an MFA in short fiction from the University of San Francisco and a bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA. Carlos currently lives in Los Angeles where he is hard at work on his first book, Tortillas y Sal, a bilingual collection of short stories about El Salvador and the many faces of the Salvadoran diaspora. Check out his website at www.cadancabrera.com. Help Carlos attend the Retreat
David Ciminello is a New York based writer and educator. His fiction has appeared in the Lambda Literary Award winning anthology Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City, Underwater New York, Lumina, and on broadcastr. His poetry has appeared in Poetry Northwest. He is currently working on a novel manuscript; a queer journey through WWII era NYC that involves tomatoes, cooking, Coney Island, a missing baby, a runaway gay boy, and burlesque queen. (http://beta.broadcastr.com/Echo.html?audioId=893026-93002)
Chuck Forester is Wisconsin raised, Ivy educated and a San Franciscan since 1971. He is the author of Do You Live Around Here? a memoir. His poetry appeared in ZYYZZYVA, and he is currently working on a novel. He is a father, grandfather, and has been partnered for six years with John Cadle and two standard poodles. He’s a spiritual humanist who wears T-shirts and jeans. Webpage: Queerchronicles.net.
Andrea Lawlor writes, studies, and teaches writing at UMass-Amherst, and edits the Pocket Myths series. Lawlor’s writing has appeared in Persiflage, The Brooklyn Rail, Route 9, Encyclopedia (Volume II), MiPOesias, and OCHO 31.
Anna-Marie McLemore writes from her Mexican-American roots in the Southwest, her upbringing in the Christian church, and the love of stories she first learned from her family. Her work is included in six Cleis Press anthologies and has also appeared in cratelit and on the website of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. She lives in California with her Sapphic husband.
Dawn Robinson is a butch-fag-diva living and working the gender-blur in Oakland, California. Dawn’s first publication was in Common Lives, Lesbian Lives, Vol. 2 in 1981. Recently, while completing her B.A. at University of California, Berkeley, Dawn’s poetry appeared in the Mills College Anthology and June Jordan’s Poetry for the People Anthology. Dawn was named a ZAMI Audre Lorde Scholar in 2009, and wrote, directed, edited, and starred in the short film, “My-Grations,” featured in the 2009 QWOCMAP Queer Women of Color Film Festival in San Francisco. That same year, Dawn’s short fiction appeared in Onyx, an anthology of Black student work at UC Berkeley (2010). She is currently writing a novel set in Oakland and prefers pie to cake, salty to sweet, crunchy over creamy, beach over snow, dogs over cats, and fire over ice. Help Dawn attend the Retreat
Johnathan Wilber is a novelist from Iowa, now based in New York, and a graduate of the MFA fiction program at Columbia. He is the author of Out, Beelzebub!, available in the Amazon Kindle store. An assistant editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and freelance copyeditor, he’s at work on a novel set in the mid-1970s, an adaptation of Stoker’s Dracula, which tells the story of how HIV came to the United States. Read the first chapters.
Ifalade Ta’Shia Asanti is the author of three books and a lover of all things poetry and fiction. A former columnist for the Lesbian News, Ta’Shia’s poetry and fiction have been published in bestselling anthologies including, Chicken Soup for the African American Soul (Tyndale), Best Black Women’s Erotica 2 (Cleis) and From Where We Sit: Black Writers Write Black Youth (Tiny Satchel Press). Ta’Shia is the recipient of the Audre Lorde Black Quill Award for creating positive images of Black lesbians in the media and the award for Best Contemporary Fiction by a Woman of Color. More about Ta’Shia’s work can be found at www.tashiaasanti.com.
John Copenhaver is passionate about crime fiction, visual art and artists, and the way that visual media skews our perception of reality. His novel, Dodging and Burning, a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, is a murder mystery that explores discriminatory attitudes toward homosexuals during the 1940s. He has an MA in literature from Bread Loaf, and a MFA in fiction from GMU. He currently teaches English at a college preparatory school outside DC and blogs: johncopenhaver.wordpress.com.
Sara Kate Ellis lives in Tokyo where she is a master of seat nabbing during crowded commutes. Her short fiction has recently appeared in Allegory, Brain Harvest and Electric Spec, with stories forthcoming in The Red Penny Papers and the Rockets, Swords and Rainbows anthology. She likes soba and can be found now and then at mojikashite.wordpress.com.
Allison Moon‘s first novel, Inner Moonlight, can be summed up in two words: Lesbian Werewolves. It will be released in October 2011 and she is currently working on the sequel. Her writing has been published in make/shift, Not For Tourists, Nerve, McSweeneys.net, and she was recently named a runner up for the Victoria Hudson Emerging Writer’s Award. Allison is a vocal queer, polyamorous, and sex-positive feminist who blogs about all of these things, and more, at TalesofthePack.com. Help Allison attend the Retreat
Ona Marae is a 46-year-old Denver transplant from rural Kansas, a Queer Femme with a disability. When not writing or reading voraciously, she is also a disability rights and LGBTQ rights activist. She has published short stories and poetry, but recently was pleasantly surprised to break into non-fiction with essays in two college textbooks. She is a full time writer and a practicing licensed minister in a progressive mainstream Christian denomination.
Alan Orr teaches college courses in writing, rhetoric, and grammar in Toronto. He’s written textbooks and instructors’ manuals on business writing, and his short screenplays have received honourable mention in the US and Mexico. Alan has an MA in English Literature from University of Sheffield (UK) and an MEd in Applied Linguistics. Alan is currently having a great time working on his first novel, Death by Deceit, a murder mystery romp in the desert. Help Alan attend the Retreat
Andrew J. Peters writes fantasy, young adult and contemporary fiction. His work has appeared in Ganymede, Wilde Oats and La Bloga. His latest project is an LGBT re-telling of the last days of Atlantis. While writing and submitting his work for publication, he works as a social worker for LGBT youth. Andrew lives in New York City with his partner and their feline “daughter” Chloë. For more about his writing, visit: andrewjpeterswrites.com.
Graeme Stone is a success-adjacent writer, playwright, and actor. A member of the uber-fabulous SCBWI, he won awards in 2010 and 2011 with the YA novel The French Class Confessional of the Mysterious Mr. Bridge, and the nonfiction MG disaster book Kiss Your Butt Goodbye. Current project: The Devil’s Claw, a thriller. www.graemestone.com. Help Graeme attend the Retreat
Robin Talley is a young adult novelist who dreams of being the queer J.K. Rowling, the female John Green, or the slightly cheerier Suzanne Collins, though she’s not picky and would be willing to settle for the combined sales totals of all three. When she’s not writing, Robin spends her days planning online communications strategy for progressive nonprofit organizations. Robin is represented by Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. She lives in Washington, D.C., and blogs at www.robintalley.com. Help Robin attend the Retreat
Ean Weslynn is an Aries, UW-Madison graduate and a self-taught writer. When not running a support group for queer youth in Madison, Ean works on his urban fantasy series The Quarterlife Crises. The first book, The Freshman Fifteen, will be e-published fall 2011. Help Ean attend the Retreat
John Boucher started writing in 2005 in HIV+ Writing Workshops sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AIDS Project Los Angeles, and the LA Gay & Lesbian Center. His first published piece, “Speaking in Tongues,” appeared in Washburn University’s inscape literary journal, where it won the 2009 Best Nonfiction award. John was a 2009 PEN Center USA Emerging Voice Fellow, and is the recipient of a 2009/2010 Community Access Scholarship to UCLA, where he studied and worked on Dichondra, his collection of humorously dark nonfiction stories. John attended Corcoran College of Art and Design and earned his MFA from Claremont Graduate University. Born in 1962 and raised in Los Angeles, John lives in West Hollywood. (Photo by Don Tinling.)
Kathy Bougher is an educator, progressive lesbian feminist activist and writer living in Denver, Colorado. She taught immigrant student in public schools for thirty years, and now teaches at the University of Colorado Denver. She is active in the immigrant rights movement in Denver, and travels to Mexico and Central America frequently where she writes about immigration and collaborates with feminist and lesbian groups in El Salvador. Her writing appears in off our backs: feminist newsjournal, Poetalk, and make/shift.
Belo Cipriani is a freelance writer, speaker, and the author of Blind: A Memoir. To read and write, Belo uses a desktop application for the blind called JAWS. His favorite snack is cold pizza and one of his past times is sneaking quick games of tug-a-war with his guide dog Madge throughout the day. Belo lives in San Francisco. For more information visit www.blindamemoir.com.
Corey Saucier is a Writer, Performer, and Post Queer Lyrical Philosopher: creating and presenting work that confronts and educates the Queer community. He cultivates his personal histories into a public voice that echoes themes of Gay Minority Identity, the Neo- Positive Perspective, Queer Faith, and the Crystal-Meth Epidemic. His 2010 One-man Show “Beautiful Abomination:” was a Powerful exploration of God, Sex, and Love that boldly challenged the audience to see beauty, purpose, and laughter in all things… In addition to his theater work he keeps a Blog at justwords.tumblr.com. Help Corey attend the Retreat
Charles Stephens is an Atlanta based writer. He has been published in the anthologies Think Again and If We Have to Take Tomorrow, and the online journal Loose Change. He is most inspired by memory, nostalgia, and the transgressive.
Caitlin Frances Thornbrugh is a feminist, writer, and Kansas native, who loves to travel. She is currently working on her MFA at the University of Kansas, writing fiction and non-fiction. After some morning coffee or tea, she is the Managing Editor for Beecher’s Literary Journal, and a Graduate Teaching Assistant. On Saturday mornings, she likes to go the farmer’s market, where someone once told her she had a map of Ireland on her face.
Ashley M. Young is a black feminist queer dyke; poet, non-fiction writer and teaching artist. She is the creator of an online writing project for women of color called Brown Girl Love and is currently working on a memoir. She works as the Education Program Assistant at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and as a teaching artist for Urban Stages. She lives with her partner and four cats in New York City.
2011 Emerging Writers Retreat Fellows:
Frank Adams writes poetry. Wild Ocean Press published his books, Mother Speaks Her Name in 2010, and Love Remembered is due out in 2011. He previously published Crazy Times. His poems have appeared in Q Review and downgo sun, as well as in several anthologies. Long ago he lived in NYC and studied under the direction of Lee Strasberg.
Stephanie Glazier has poems in various publications based in the Lansing, MI area. Her interviews with poets Billy Collins and Thomas Lynch have been published in MittenLit. She is a MFA candidate at Antioch University LA and assistant director of the RCAH Center for Poetry at Michigan State University. She lives in East Lansing, MI where she loves to write, eat, read, repeat.
Gale E. Hemmann is a poet and freelance journalist based in Olympia, Washington. She recently completed her M.F.A. in Writing in Poetry at Pacific University. She spends her time sending out writing, rescuing cats, and dancing around the house. She completed her B.A. in Women’s Studies at Smith College in 2003. Her poetry is forthcoming in Cloudbank and Apercus Quarterly, and she is a regular contributor to Olympia Power & Light newspaper. Gale is currently designing a community writing course that combines creative writing and holistic healing.
Juliet P. Howard (JP Howard) is a poet, lawyer, Cave Canem fellow & native New Yorker. JP has been selected as a 2011 Cave Canem Fellow in Residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and was a finalist in the Astraea Lesbian Writer’s Fund 2009-2010 poetry category. Her poems are published in Muzzle Magazine, TORCH, Queer Convention: A Chapbook of Fierce and Cave Canem XI 2007 Anthology. She is co-founder of Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon & Blog. Help Julie attend the Retreat
Jill Leininger is a poet, arts administrator, and all-around tinkerer. Her literary scrap pile currently includes: some notes on a play, the beginnings of a few essays, and six handfuls of lines which may or may not become poetry. Past work has been included in Shenandoah, Crab Creek Review, Seattle Review and, most recently, in the Harvard Review Online. “Roof Picnic Skies, New York,” a chapbook of prose poems, will be published by dancing girl press in Fall 2011. Help Jill attend the Retreat
Mario Macías hails from Guadalajara, Mexico. He attended Grinnell College thanks to the Posse Foundation Scholarship. At Grinnell, he started GoGo, a student publication on feminism and sexuality, and he served as the editor-in-chief of The Grinnell Review, the college’s arts and literary magazine. During the summer of 2009, he participated in the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA) Writing Workshop under the mentorship of Thomas Glave. He currently lives in East Los Angeles, California. Help Mario attend the Retreat
Charan 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.
Tanya Olson teaches English at Vance-Granville Community College. Her work has appeared in Boston Review, Cairn, Main Street Rag, Pedestal, Elysian Fields, Fanzine, and Southern Cultures. She won the 2005 Independent Poetry contest, was a runner-up for the 2009 Rita Dove Award, and received a 2010 “Discovery” Award from the 92nd Street Y and the Boston Review. She is a member of the Black Socks poetry group, and serves on the board of the Carolina Wren Press. (Photo by Derek Anderson.) Help Tanya attend the Retreat
Anders Renee is a purple seahorse living in a trannyboi’s body with a queer mind that is up to no good. He just received his BA in Gender Studies from Scripps College and can’t wait to explore his own voice and discover new ones. When he’s not cutting people’s hair he can probably be found eating a burrito and scribbling down poems on paper plates. Help Anders attend the Retreat
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal is an NYC traitor to LA, who lower case identifies as a poet, playwright, essayist, and lyricist. She earned a BA from Vassar College and is currently working on an MFA in Writing at CalArts. She likes: rubbernecking American culture, contemporary critical theory, mid-century modern furniture, and her grandfather. Her work has been published in Work Magazine and performed at LATC.
Danielle Stanard has been living in California for the past two years with her girlfriend, but they will be heading back to her home state of Minnesota in June to be closer to her family. She is a proud big sister, daughter, granddaughter and niece. She is hard at work on her MFA at Antioch University, Los Angeles, and currently works as a TA at Ashford University, an online campus. She is a vigilant feminist and a very serious nerd. Help Danielle attend the Retreat
July Westhale is a femme shark/radical-archivist with a weakness for botany & hot air balloons. An archive enthusiast, she has published with academic conferences around the world, focusing on queering normative forms of record keeping. Her poetry has most recently been published in A Sharp Piece of Awesome and Bang Out!. She has forthcoming publications in 580 Split and Generations. A graduate of Mills College, she is currently an MFA candidate at Lesley University. She believes that her story should be told the way she wants it to be, and yours should too. Help July attend the Retreat