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Past Queer Voices Readers

MAY 2017 READERS: Loving In a Time of War: Queer Muslim Voices
Guest Curated by Nur Jibran and Nasreen Mohamed
Presented in partnership with Mizna
 

Bilal is a first generation Palestinian-American immigrant. After work in the science and biotech industry, Bilal gained a Masters in Public Health with a focus on Global Health. He discovered his passion for community-driven initiatives while working to promote health and social equity both internationally and now in Minnesota. Currently, Bilal is working as a Program Manager at the Bush Foundation. An admirer of the arts, he spends spare time creating poetry, pottery, as well as, gardening and hiking.
 


Awale Osman has a variety of experiences with community organizing and program development in nonprofit, K-12 and higher education. He has lived disparate experiences from war-torn Somalia, to Kenyan refugee camps, to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in American classrooms, to high academic honors. His work includes expanding after-school opportunities for Somali youth, impressing upon congress the value of federal TRIO programming, and increasing the retention rate of Black community college students. Currently, Awale is a Community Innovation Associate at the Bush Foundation where he is responsible for implementing projects and making grants that inspire and enable communities to create innovative solutions to their challenges. He earned his bachelor’s degree in communication studies with a minor in gender, sexuality and women’s studies at Augsburg University. He most recently served as a TRIO/Student Support Services advisor at Normandale Community College. 
 
Dua Saleh is a multidisciplinary performing artist based in Minneapolis. Using diverse afro-diasporic influences, the work produced by this artist provides audiences with ripe and unrefined emotions. Dua has gained local and national recognition for spoken word, even landing the artist the 2017 VERVE Grant for spoken word and readings at places like the Cedar Cultural Center, Lowertown Reading Jam, Button Poetry, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and more. Recently the artist has also received a role as a primary character in Sweetness of Wild a Free Black Dirt Production.

Sima Shakhsari is Assistant Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled Blogging in Times of War: Civil Society, Gender, Sexuality, and Diasporic Politics in Weblogistan. Utilizing feminist cultural studies and online and offline ethnographic methods, the book provides an analysis of Weblogistan as a site of cybergovernmentality where simultaneously national and neo-liberal gendered subjectivities are produced through online and offline heteronormative disciplining and normalizing techniques. Shakhsari’s current research examines the way that Iranian transgender refugees are nationalized/denationalized, sexed, gendered, and raced in multiple re-reterritorializations as they transition across national boundaries, sexual norms, religious discourses, and geopolitical terrains during the “war on terror.” Shakhsari has published articles in Feminist Review, Sexualities, The International Journal of Middle East Studies, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Transgender Studies II, and Queer Necropolitics.

Mashal Dilruba Sherzad is a recent graduate from Hamline University with a degree in Political Science. She identifies as Muslim, Queer and Middle Eastern with roots in Afghanistan and Iran. She is slightly skeptical of her American identity, though it is part of who she is. Mashal has recently delved herself into what it means to stand one's ground in the face of oppressive structures both in the public and private spheres. Her family, strong relational ties and self love are important to her.
 


Vanessa Taylor (they/them, she/her) is a community organizer and free-lancer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are a co-founder of the Black Liberation Project, a grassroots collective of Black youth. Their writing touches on topics ranging from Black womanhood to interrogating an American Muslim identity. They are an Afro-pessimist at heart, with their work centering the Black experience. They can most often be found yelling about something on Twitter.

 


ABOUT THE GUEST CURATORS 

Nur Jibran 
is a Political Science PhD student at University of Minnesota. Nur is a published poet in his native language, Farsi/Dari. His collection of poems captures the inner struggles of gay Muslims yarning for love and affection in the Muslim world. Originally from Afghanistan, Nur landed in MN in 2008 to pursue his education. Growing up in the midst of war and struggling with his sexual identity, Nur found peace and freedom in writing. Expressing his feelings for another men in writing was easier than in practice. Currently, Nur is working on his autobiography, aiming to give visibility to Muslim GLTBQ community and become a voice for the pain of oppressed GLTBQ Muslims throughout the Muslim world. His photography project, Allah Akbar: I am Muslim and Gay won the Best on the Show Award during the 2014 Twin Cities Gay pride.
 
Nasreen Mohamed is a queer Ismaili muslim born and raised in Tanzania who calls Twin Cities home. Through the years, he has performed his work at various local venues, including Walker Art Center, Intermedia Arts, Center for Independent Artists and Patrick’s cabaret. Most recently, Nasreen wrote an essay for the University of Minnesota, campus climate website titled “Islamophobia or disposable Muslim body syndrome?” illustrating the understanding that violence against Muslims is tied to the history of colonialism. Professionally, Nasreen works at the University of Minnesota as the Director for Student Engagement for International students with the goal of creating a sense of belonging and an environment that recognizes International Student contributions.
 



MARCH 2017 READERS

Lisa Marie Brimmer is a Queer, Black, Transracial Adoptee poet and arts based community organizer. She is a two-time Givens Foundation for African American Literature fellow, has received a Playwrights’ Center Many Voices Fellowship and is a current graduate fellow at the University of St. Thomas in English Literature. Her work has been published in Ishmael Reed’s Konch Magazine, Gazillion Voices Magazine, On the Commons Magazine and inBurn Something zine and Ellen Hinchcliffe's recent collection Walk Towards It. Her improvisational music collective, High Society, has been featured on Minnesota Public Radio, KFAI and many stages throughout the Twin Cities and Wisconsin.

 
Anthony Ceballos received his BFA from the Creative Writing program at Hamline University in 2015. He has been a guest on KFAI’s Write on Radio and Fresh Fruit radio programs and has read for the Intermedia Arts Queer Voices Reading Series, Minneapolis Community and Technical College's Night of Native American Music and Poetry and The Many Faces of Two-Spirit People gallery show at Two Rivers Art Gallery in Minneapolis. In 2014 he won the George Henry Bridgeman Poetry Award from Hamline University for his poem “Walking Across Soil.” His work has been featured in The Fulcrum and Yellow Medicine Review. He was selected to be a participant in the 2016-2017 Loft Mentor Series. He can be found in various coffee shops and music stores around South Minneapolis when he’s not waiting for a bus.
 
Catherine Lundoff is an award-winning bisexual author, editor and publisher from Minneapolis, where she lives with her fabulous wife and cats. She toils in IT by day and writes all the things by night. Her recent stories have appeared in Respectable HorrorCallisto: A Queer Fiction Journal, The Cainite Conspiracies: A Vampire the Masquerade AnthologyThe Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Tales and The Mammoth Book of the Adventures of Professor Moriarty. Her collection Out of This World is available from Queen of Swords Press. www.catherinelundoff.com
 
Sofia Yarberry is a recent college grad working as a children's librarian at a local montessori school. They have interned with the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Minneapolis based publisher, Milkweed Editions. They've studied literature and poetry at Lewis & Clark College, Sarah Lawrence College, and abroad in Dublin, Ireland. Sofia explores gender and sexuality in their work and often uses the work of William Blake and other writers to talk about these ideas, concepts, and life experiences more poignantly. Their work has been published in some portland based zines and in Broken Yolk.

 

JANUARY 2017 READERS

Anya Johanna DeNiro writes short stories, novels, poems, essays, and games. Her short fiction has appeared in many places, including One Story and Minnesota Monthly, and has been shortlisted for the O. Henry Award. She's the author of a young adult fantasy novel called Glitchblood, about a young trans woman who trains dragons for a popular fantasy television show, which is currently seeking publication. She's also writing a series of linked short stories of magic realism from a transgender perspective, tentatively called OKPsyche. She lives outside St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Roy G. Guzmán was born in Honduras and raised in Miami, FL. He is an MFA candidate in creative writing at the University of Minnesota. His work has appeared or will appear in Winter TangerineJuked, Superstition ReviewPublic Pool, and Up the Staircase Quarterly. Roy is one of the poetry editors for Sundog Lit, and his work has been nominated for the Pushcart prize and Best of the Net. He is the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board grant and the Gesell Award for Excellent in Poetry. After the massacre in Orlando, his poem “Restored Mural for Orlando” was turned into a chapbook with the help of poet and visual artist, D. Allen, to raise funds for the victims. Reach him at: roygguzman.com; Twitter: @dreamingauze.

Dua Saleh is a multidisciplinary performing artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Saleh hopes to explore art as a means to resist the status quo and as a medium to engage in all parts of their multifaceted identities. Saleh has held positions such as the President of NAACP St. Paul Youth and Collegiate Branch, President of the Pan Afrikan Student Union, Youth Civic Engagement Coordinator for Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, and (currently) Program Assistant for the LGBTQIA Student Services. In present day time, they are the President of Augsburg's MPIRG Chapter, founding the Art Collective Committee as a way to bridge social justice and arts organizing. As an emerging artist, Saleh has been a featured artist in a number of events including the Lowertown Reading Jam, The Free Black Table, Westbank Open Mic, The 2016 Augsburg Interfaith Scholars Sending, and much more. They are excited to share space with you all through art.

Nghiem Tran was born in Vietnam and raised in Wichita, KS. He graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Educational Studies. He is a Kundiman Fellow and his writing can be seen in the Indiana Review, Gulf Coast Online, Nepantla, The Offing, The Margins, and elsewhere. He works at a Montessori school.





NOVEMBER 2016 READERS

Eyenga Bokamba is a painter who writes and a writer who paints. She has been on the performance scene since 1996, working with Patrick's Cabaret, the Walker Art Center, and Intermedia Arts as a regular at Dyke Night and Vulva Riot. She was the founder of UQAC - United Queer Artists of color - a theater company that performed from 1996-97. Eyenga is an artist who is most drawn to abstraction as a means of expressing her perceptions of complex realities. Her work has been widely collected by public libraries, universities, and private collectors who value the spacious expansiveness and luminosity of her paintings. Eyenga produces large-scale paintings using acrylic paint and calligraphers' ink to create layers of translucence, sometimes including text that may or may not figure into the final visible configuration on the canvas. In her latest body of work, the abstracted figure emerges, giving rise to a new visual language of gesture and movement. Eyenga holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and a graduate degree from Harvard University. In recognition of the high caliber of her work, she has been inducted into the National Association of Women Artists.

Greg Hewett is the author of darkacre (Coffee House Press, 2010), The Eros Con- spiracy (2006), Red Suburb (2002), and To Collect the Flesh (New Rivers Press, 1996)—poetry collections that have received a Publishing Triangle Award, two Minnesota Book Award Nominations, a Lambda Book Award Nomination, and an Indie Bound Poetry Top Ten recommendation. The recipient of Fulbright fellowships to Denmark and Norway, Hewett has also been a fellow at the Camargo Foundation in France, and is a professor of English at Carleton College. He is currently finishing a biography of the film noir actor Thomas Gomez. 


Lucas Scheelk is a white, autistic, trans, queer-identified poet from the Twin Cities. Lucas uses they/them/their pronouns. They are the author of This Is A Clothespin (Damaged Goods Press, 2016) and Holmes Is A Person As Is (2016). Their writing has appeared in publications such as Sibling Rivalry Press – Assaracus, Barking Sycamores, Glitterwolf Magazine, THEM, and QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology, among others. Lucas Scheelk was a recipient of the VSA Minnesota Emerging Artist grant for 2016, and they were recently selected as one of the 24 writers for the Saint Paul Almanac IMPRESSIONS Project for 2017. Aside from poetry, Lucas is involved in advocating for neurodiverse representation in media, particularly in Holmesian adaptations. Since 2014, they've run the "Autistic Sherlock in Elementary" tumblr blog. In 2015, they were one of the panelists for "Neurodiversity in Sherlock" at 221B Con. In 2016, they were one of the panelists for "Neurodiversity in Sherlock" at Sherlock Seattle. Lucas is also a Consulting Producer for S(her)lock: The Web Series. You can reach Lucas Scheelk on Twitter [@TC221Bee] and on Facebook [@lucasscheelk].

Dr. Felicia Washington Sy is the Clinical Director of Reclaim, a mental health service provider for queer and transgender youth in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is also an artist, activist, and academic whose work has previously been performed at Intermedia Arts, the Walker Arts Center, the Patrick’s Cabaret of old and many other small venues in and around the Twin Cities metro area. Following a ten year hiatus to complete her Ph.D., raise an amazing 7 year old daughter, and develop her private practice in clinical social work, Felicia Sy is back. She believes words have the power to hurt and heal; she believes art in all its forms has the power to save lives. Her spoken word poetry is about what it means to be queer, black, female, over forty and unapologetic. Amen.
 

SEPTEMBER 2016 READERS


Dale Gregory Anderson
 has published short stories in North American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Indiana Review, The Greensboro Review, and other journals. He earned an M.F.A. from the University of Arizona and has received a number of awards for his work, including a Loft Mentor Series award, a SASE/Jerome award, a Jerome Foundation travel grant, and the Jack Dyer Fiction Prize from Crab Orchard Review. He is a fiscal year 2016 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State legislature, and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His website is dalegregoryanderson.com

Wendy Brown-Báez is a writer, teacher, performance poet and installation artist. Her poetry books include Ceremonies of the Spiritand transparencies of light. Her poetry and prose appear in numerous literary journals, both in print and online such as Borderlands, The Litchfield Review, Lavandería, Mizna, Minnetonka Review, talkingwriting.com and The Compassion Project, and in anthologies such asThe Chrysalis Reader, Wising Up Press, and The Heart of All That Is. Her essay Why We Write: The Wounded and Enduring appeared in Poets & Writers July/August 2014 and her non-fiction piece Pilgrimagewon WNBA’s 2016 national contest. Wendy was awarded McKnight and MN State Arts Board grants to teach writing workshops to youth in crisis and in non-profits. Wendy teaches in prisons as a member of the Mn Prison Writing Workshop, is a community editor for Saint Paul Almanac and is on the teaching roster of Intermedia Arts. She has a series of POP UP Writing Workshops and Readings planned this fall to generate interest in a manuscript tentatively entitled Writing Circles: a portable writing workshop, otherwise known as Classroom in a Backpack. www.wendybrownbaez.com


Alan Lessik
 is the author of The Troubleseeker, his debut novel. A San Francisco-based writer, Alan is a zen practitioner, amateur figure skater, LGBT activist and non-profit director. His non-fiction works include news articles published in the Advocate, San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Frontiers. His contribution to KQED Radio Perspectives, Judge Not His Death was one of the most commented on in 2014.




Ralph Winkelmeyer’s debut memoir, On Shaky Ground: Scenes from My Messy Gay Life, will soon be in consideration for publication. A transformational story about living in San Francisco as a young gay man during the seventies and the eighties, his book is an eyewitness account of the Gay Liberation and AIDS eras. Ralph’s memoir is a timely reminder that the human rights that we enjoy today were hard won and nearly lost when many of the movement’s most unwavering voices were silenced by a pandemic. As an older gay man, Ralph believes that the living voices of his generation still have a lot to contribute to the LGBTQ community of today. Ralph lives in Minneapolis and is a member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and The Loft Literary Center. More of his work is available at: winkwrites.com.
 


MAY 2016 READERS

 

Ben French is an interdisciplinary writer and artist based in Minneapolis. Originally from Georgia, his work often addresses the intersection of queer and Southern identities through a variety of media. Ben’s theatrical work has been developed by and performed at Horizon Theatre (Atlanta), Kenan Theatre Company, Lab! Theatre, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, among others. He was the recipient of the Sam Selden Award for Playwriting, the inaugural Bill Hallberg Award, and the inaugural Young Playwright Award from the Dramatists Guild of America. Ben also makes and performs work with the neofuturist group Modern Shakespeare Society and The Sprawl, a multi-city performance making collective that he co-founded in 2015. You can follow his writing explorations at medium.com/@frenchb.

Julie Gard's prose poetry collection Home Studies (New Rivers Press) is a finalist for the 2016 Minnesota Book Award, and her chapbooks include Obscura: The Daguerreotype Series (Finishing Line Press) and Russia in 17 Objects (Tiger's Eye Press). Julie's work has appeared in journals and anthologies including Gertrude, Fourth River, Crab Orchard Review, Blackbox Manifold, and When We Become Weavers: Queer Female Poets on the Midwestern Experience (Squares & Rebels Press). She lives with her partner, the poet Michelle Matthees, in Duluth, Minnesota and is Associate Professor of Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. www.juliegard.com


Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of 18 books. His latest titles are The Kiss of Walt Whitman Still On My Lips and QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology. His Deaf gay novel Men With Their Hands won first place in the Project: QueerLit Contest 2006. He has just workshopped his 20th play I Never Slept With Helen Keller in New York City. He is also the editor of Jonathan: A Queer Fiction Journal. He lives in Minneapolis and can be found online at raymondluczak.com.


Nasreen Mohamed is a queer Ismaili muslim born and raised in Tanzania who reluctantly calls twin cities home. Nasreen is returning to writing after a long hiatus of concentrating on being a parent to Larry and LaRay. Through the years, Nasreen has performed their work at various local venues, including Walker Art Center, Intermedia Arts, Center for Independent Artists and Patrick’s Cabaret. Most recently, Nasreen wrote an essay for the University of Minnesota, campus climate website titled “Islamophobia or disposable muslim body syndrome?” illustrating the understanding that violence against muslims is tied to the history of colonialism. Professionally, Nasreen works at the University of Minnesota as the Director for Student Engagement for International students with the goal of creating a sense of belonging and an environment that recognizes International Student contributions.

Bradford Tice is the author of two books of poetry: Rare Earth (New Rivers Press, 2013), which was named the winner of the 2011 Many Voices Project and a 2014 Debut-litzer finalist, and What the Night Numbered (Trio House Press, 2015), winner of the 2014 Trio Award. His poetry and fiction have appeared in such periodicals as The Atlantic Monthly, North American Review, The American Scholar, Epoch, as well as in Best American Short Stories 2008.His poetry was also selected as the winner of Prairie Schooner’s 2009 Edward Stanley Award. He currently teaches at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln.


 

MARCH 2016 READERS


Chelsey Clammer is the 2015 winner of the Red Hen Press Nonfiction Manuscript Award for her creative thesis, Circadian (publication in Fall 2017). She is a Pushcart Prize-nominated essayist who has been published in The Rumpus, Essay Daily, The Water~Stone Review and Black Warrior Review, among many others. She is the Essays Editor for The Nervous Breakdown and Founding Editor of www.insideoutediting.com. Her first collection of essays, BodyHome, was released in 2015. Her second collection, There Is Nothing Else to See Here, is forthcoming from The Lit Pub. Clammer is currently enrolled in the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA program. You can read more of her writing at: www.chelseyclammer.com.

Nikolas Martell is a nationally ranked spoken word artist, actor, emcee, and craft artisan. They work professionally with Button Poetry in the Twin Cities as a videographer and production lead. Their material primarily focuses on issues of identity, drawing on their experiences as a queer and anuerotypical person. In 2013 they co-founded the queer open mic OUTspoken, and were a 2015 Lavender Community Award recipient. As a guest curator with Patrick's Cabaret they produced Gray Matters, a show centered on mental health and identity. They have performed in numerous local and touring productions, and their works have been included in productions with 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities and Gadfly Theatre. Gunpowder Elephants is their first self-published collection, with Coming Out Crazy anticipated for release in Fall 2016.

Gary Eldon Peter’s short stories have appeared in Water~Stone Review, Great River Review, River Oak Review, Blithe House Quarterly, and other publications. His awards include a Loft-McKnight fellowship and two Minnesota State Arts Board grants. He has been awarded residencies to the American Academy in Rome, the Millay Colony for the Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Anderson Center. His short fiction collection, Oranges, was named a finalist in the 2013 New Rivers Press Many Voices Project competition, a semifinalist for the 2014 St. Lawrence Book Award, and was shortlisted for the 2015 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and is currently a faculty member at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches courses in law and popular culture, law and citizenship, and writing.

Trina Porte’s work has appeared in many forms and places. Favorite publications include A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley (Codhill Press), Nickel Empire: A Study of Coney Island (Christopher Street Press), Lifeblood: Woodstock Poetry Society Anthology (Chickaree Press), Just Like A Girl: A Manifesta (GirlChild Press), Perfect 8 Number 3, Dust & Fire Volume XVIII, and Photography Quarterly #87. Favorite venues include Cornelia Street Café, BAAD, Bluestocking’s, and Brecht Forum in New York, Bet Gavriel Arts Center in Israel, The Haunted Bookshop in Iowa City, and Patrick’s Cabaret, Vulva Riot, K. E. Nash Gallery, Grand Marais Arts Center, and Blue Moon Cafe in Minnesota. She received a BFA and an MEd from the University of Minnesota, her writing is archived by Booklyn, Poets House, and the Minnesota Historical Society, and she has enjoyed teaching poetry writing and art at a number of public libraries and schools. Ms. Porte is also founder, editor, and publisher of Chickaree Press, and she makes a fine Genoise.





JANUARY 2016 READERS

Award-winning Jessie Chandler lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her wife and two mutts, Fozzy Bear and Ollie. In the fall and winter, Jessie writes, and spends her summers selling T-shirts and other assorted trinkets to unsuspecting conference and festival goers. Learn more at www.jessiechandler.com
 





Venus de Mars is a multidisciplinary artist and musician, best known as a singer-songwriting transgender rock star and leader of the band All the Pretty Horses. Venus is also one of the foundational artists for Rifle Sport Alternative Art Gallery, creating the iconic big blue doors that fronted on Hennepin Avenue and installations that included a Honda Civic art car parked halfway up the main staircase.  A chance tax audit transformed her into a champion of artists’ tax rights, after which the Venus de Mars Fund with Springboard for the Arts was established. Venus came out as transgender at a time when identifying as trans meant being classified as mentally ill and living as an outcast. Her refusal to live a shadow existence, instead embracing her uniqueness, complicated her musical and artistic career paths. She is now mid-process in writing a memoir reflecting on her twenty-plus year trans journey and place in this fast changing, trans-embracing world where we now find ourselves. Venus de Mars is the recipient of multiple grants and awards, among them a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, a Bush Fellowship, a Minnesota Music Award, and is the subject of the award-winning documentary "Venus of Mars."  She recently completed a tour with Laura Jane Grace and Against Me. Her newest release, an acoustic album produced by longtime collaborator Barb Morrison (Debbie Harry, Rufus Wainwright, Scissor Sisters, etc.), is called Flesh and Wire.

Christina Glendenning would like to say that writing fiction helps her make sense of the world because very little of reality makes sense to her. But realistically, being a novelist makes everything feel more complex, more nuanced, more of a Zen Koan – not less unknowable, not more manageable. Christina writes books because deep down she know her real talent lies in her fly eyes … due to their compound lenses, house flies can recognize even the slightest movements in a wide field. So while Christina can’t even begin to solve life’s savage inequities in her creative work, she does a fairly good job of complicating human existence.To date, Christina Glendenning has written two novels. The Rattlesnake Vote is a murder mystery set against the backdrop of the Gay Rights Amendment in Minnesota Searching for Gods That Deserve Us is a collection of humorous and related short stories about lesbian love & marriage. Her novel in progress, Rain, Rain Went Away, is a mystery of recovered memories and the power of love between two women. When Christina is not being a house fly, she an educator and academic. Presently, she is working on her first non-fiction book – a writer’s workbook about emotional intelligence and the creative process.

Ellie Krug holds degrees from Coe College and Boston College Law School, practiced law in Massachusetts and Iowa, and founded a law firm specializing in trial work. She has more than 100 trials to her credit. In 2009, after transitioning from male to female, Ellie became the first Iowa attorney, and one of the few nationally, to try jury cases in separate genders. Ellie frequently presents on diversity/inclusion and motivational topics and assists businesses with employee on-the-job gender transitions. Ellie’s clients/presentations include Fortune 100 companies, cities, universities, law schools and nonprofits. Ellie’s other passion is serving as the executive director of Call for Justice, LLC, an ABA award-winning  nonprofit that helps low-income earning persons connect with legal resources in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. Ellie’s Lavender Magazine column, “Skirting the Issues,” won a 2013 Gold Award for Excellence from the Minnesota Magazine Publishers Association.  Her memoir, Getting to Ellen: A Memoir about Love, Honesty and Gender Change (Stepladder Press), has been featured in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She has been a frequent commentator via various media outlets including Minnesota Public Radio, MyTalk 107.1, Iowa Public Radio and Huffington Post (podcast). In 2015, the Hennepin County Attorney awarded Ellie a Community Leadership Award. 

Paul Canada Nemeth is a poet focused on accomplishing social justice through art. After a year of service in AmeriCorps at the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission, he moved to Minneapolis, where he became active in the spoken word community. His work focuses on social stigmas on sexuality, spiritual violence, and gender norms. Paul Canada is the Grand Slam Champion of Fuck Yeah Poetry Slam and Slam!MN's Storytelling slam. His work has been featured by Button Poetry and seen on the Tourette's Without Regrets stage in Oakland, CA. Paul Canada is a co-creator/host of OUTspoken! Queer open mic, as well as the creator/host of the Never Have I Ever Show.


DECEMBER 2015
 

Rachel Gold is the award-winning author of Just Girls (Bella Books 2014) and Being Emily (Bella Books 2012), the first young adult novel to tell the story of a trans girl from her perspective. She has an MFA in Writing from Hamline University and has spent the last 14 years working in marketing and publicity – but if that makes her sound too corporate and stuffy, you should know that Rachel is an all around geek and avid gamer. For more information visit: www.rachelgold.com.



Michael Kiesow Moore was exposed to Walt Whitman at a young age. That changed his life and he is now the author of the recently published poetry collection, What to Pray For (Nodin Press). Michael was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming and grew up in Florida and Maryland. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Hamline University and his work has appeared in several books and journals, including Among the Leaves: Queer Male Poets on the Midwestern Experience, Water~Stone Review, Talking Stick, Evergreen Chronicles, The James White Review, and A Loving Testimony: Losing Loved Ones Lost to AIDS. His awards have included a Pushcart nomination in poetry, a Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship, and a Loft Mentor Series Award. He co-curates the Birchbark Books Reading Series at Birchbark Books and lives in downtown Saint Paul. For more seewww.michaelkiesowmoore.org.

Christine Marie is a writer, poet, healer, and speaker. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a self-created degree in Language and Spanish. After deepening her language and cultural knowledge traveling in Latin America, she went on to create her real estate business, Amigas Realty. At a young age, she became aware of the power of words and thoughts when her mother gave her a lock-and-key diary. She peers past the self/other dichotomy in her writings on rape and forgiveness. Christine explores (re)programming herself and others to live more abundantly, creatively, and successfully. She is a member of the RAINN Speakers Bureau, serves on the board of directors for Spark Artists’ Collective and helps people heal and reconnect to their creativity through intuitive consulting sessions. Christine Marie is passionate about the power of art to heal and is always eager to connect people around this theme. She hosts monthly gatherings on the full moon for sharing art, poetry, stories, and music. She firmly believes in the power of story to change the world. Her website can be found at SegmentsOfSelf.com, and she would love to hear from you!

William Reichard is a writer, editor, and educator. He’s published four collections of poetry, and his fifth, Two Men Rowing Madly Toward Infinity, will be published by Broadstone Books in 2016. Reichard edited American Tensions: Literature of Identity and the Search for Social Justice, an anthology of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction published by New Village Press in 2011. His second chapbook, As Breath in Winter, was published by MIEL Books in June 2015.



 



SEPTEMBER 2015
September Reading presented in partnership with Shades of Yellow (SOY)

Photo by Ellie PhotographyChardenai is a 20-year old aspiring singing/rap artist. She moved to Minnesota from the Carolinas in hopes to step foot into the Hmong community as one stepping stone on her journey. She believes that her purpose in life is to save lives. Music is a universal language and that is her tool to make even the slightest difference in this world. She's associated with non-profit organizations as in Shades Of Yellow, Center for Hmong Arts and Talent, and is a part of In Progress along with their Nexus Program which provides resources and mentoring for artists in Film, Photography, and Music. She's performed at SOY New Year, the 1st annual Yacht Pride Party, and the Twin Cities Pride (on the Power to the People stage). She released her first album, The 2nd Chapter on July 4th, 2015 and is now working on her upcoming album, "To Infinity" in dedication to her partner.

Oskar Ly is a Hmong French American artist and organizer. She is a fashion artist, singer songwriter and writer. She is dedicated to a journey of creative exploration that is rooted in the progress of social movements. She does this through shaping space and moments for new experiences that lift multi-dimensional identities and embrace authenticity, discovery, and shifting narratives. She enjoys crafting to liberate beyond words and sharing food, culture, and conversations.




Sonic Rain is a Hmong queer performing artist, musician, and emcee from Saint Paul. She released her first EP called Unique on November 2014 and is currently working on new projects and collaborations. She is on a self-discovery journey so, when life gives you paper, write your truth.  





 




MAY 2015

Stephani Maari Booker writes prose and poetry for the page and for performance in which she wrestles with her multiple marginalized identities: African American, lesbian, lower-class, nerdy and sexy. She holds an MFA from Hamline University and is a contributing editor for the African American newspaper Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. Journals that have published her creative work include Adrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer Women, The Voices Project, Cactus Heart, Skin to Skin, phati'tude Literary Magazine and Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette. Anthologies and collections that feature her work include Jalada 02: Afrofuture(s) (2015), Queenies, Fades, Blunts: A Zine (The Lonely Londoners, 2014); Coming Together: Girl on Girl (2013); 60 Seconds to Shine: 221 One-minute Monologues For Women (Monologue Audition Series, Volume 2) edited by John Capecci and Irene Ziegler Aston (Smith & Kraus Inc., 2006); and Longing, Lust, and Love: Black Lesbian Stories edited by Shonia L. Brown (Nghosi Books, 2006). She has also performed for the Annual Women’s Author Event presented by Quatrefoil Library and the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection at the University of Minnesota, Power to the People Stage at 2014 Twin Cities Pride, "The Love Project" presented by Obsidian Arts at Pillsbury House Theatre, and the Dirty Queer Show 4 at Intermedia Arts. For more information about Stephani's work, visit www.goodreads.com/athenapm.

Kelly Frankenberg is an artist, writer, teacher, and activist. She has illustrated several published children’s books and her first book, a memoir titled, “Diary of a Gay, Pregnant Bride,” is coming out the end of June. Kelly writes song lyrics, poems, comedy, comic books, screenplays, fiction, and non-fiction. Her artwork has appeared on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Fox National News, Kare 11, Public Television, in short films, newspapers, on windows, walls, and mailboxes. She lives with her partner and their two sons. www.diaryofagaypregnantbride.com
www.kellyfrankenberg.com

Juliann Rich spent her childhood in search of the perfect climbing tree. The taller the better! A branch thirty feet off the ground and surrounded by leaves, caterpillars, birds, and squirrels was a good perch for a young girl to find herself. Seeking truth in nature and finding a unique point of view remain crucial elements in her life as well as her writing. Juliann is a PFLAG mom who can be found walking Pride parades with her son. She is also the daughter of evangelical Christian parents. As such she has been caught in the crossfire of the most heated topic to challenge our society and our churches today. She is drawn to stories that shed light on the conflicts that arise when sexual orientation, spirituality, family dynamics and peer relationships collide.  You can read more about her journey as an author and as an affirming mom on her website, juliannrich.com. Juliann is the author of three young adult novels: Caught in the Crossfire,  Searching for Grace, andTaking the Stand. She is the 2014 recipient of the Emerging Writer Award from The Saints and Sinners Literary Festival and lives in a quaint little brownstone in Minneapolis with her husband and their chronically adorable and naughty dachshund, Bella.

Erin Sharkey is a prose poet, essayist, educator, and graphic designer, passionate about creating events and spaces where community and art are vital. She was nominated for Best New Poet 2015, as been featured in the Crooked Rib?! St. Paul Almanac Reading and The 2015 Great Twin Cities Poetry Read, and has been published in rockpaperscissors.  Erin is a co-founder of Free Black Dirt, an artist collective committed to creating original theater and performance, hosting innovative events, organizing local artists, and promoting and supporting the emerging artists’ of color community in the Twin Cities. Erin recently produced the play, There Are Other Worlds, which opened to sold out audiences at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis.  Erin is an MFA candidate at Hamline University.

 

APRIL 2015

 

Michael Broder is the author of This Life Now (A Midsummer Night's Press, 2014), a finalist for the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Assaracus, BLOOM, Columbia Poetry Review, Court Green, and Painted Bride Quarterly, among other journals and anthologies. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband, the poet Jason Schneiderman, and a colony of feral cats.  

 

  

 

 

   

 

Photo Credit:
Kearny St. Workshop/Leslie Rabine

Celeste Chan is an experimental artist, writer, and organizer. A Lambda Literary fellow & VONA alumni, her writing can be found in Ada: Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, As/us journal, Feminist Wire, Hyphen Magazine, Matador, and the forthcoming Writing the Walls Down anthology (Trans-Genre Press). She recently received a Hedgebrook residency, a SF Writers' Grotto fellowship, and a San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant. Her films have screened in CAAMFest, Digital Desperados, Entzaubert, Frameline, Heels on Wheels, MIX NYC, National Queer Arts Festival, Queer Women of Color Film Festival, and Vancouver Queer Film Festival, among others. Alongside KB Boyce, she co-directs Queer Rebels, a queer and trans people of color arts project. She has presented and curated in the SF Bay Area, NYC, Seattle, Bloomington, Seoul, Glasgow, Berlin, and beyond. She lives in San Francisco.www.celestechan.com  

 

 

 

 

Temim Fruchter writes poems and stories and loves noodles indiscriminately. She lives on the edge of a forest in Washington, D.C. and believes in magic. She writes a monthly column for [PANK] called "Between the Bones," and was recently featured in the Washington City Paper's fiction issue. More at temimfruchter.wix.com/temimfruchter  

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

 

Celeste Gainey is the author of the full-length poetry collection, the GAFFER (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press, 2015), and the chapbook In the land of speculation & seismography (Seven Kitchens Press, 2011), runner-up for the 2010 Robin Becker Prize. The first woman to be admitted to the International Alliance of Stage Employees as a gaffer, she has spent over thirty years working with light.

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

RJ Gibson is the author of the chapbooks Scavenge and You Could Learn a Lot. He lives and works in West Virginia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JP Howard is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging LGBT Voices Fellow. She is the author of SAY/MIRROR, a debut poetry collection published in 2015 by The Operating System. JP curates Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS), a forum offering women writers at all levels a venue to come together in a positive and supportive space in New York.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

LeVan D. Hawkins is a Chicago-based poet, essayist & performance artist formerly of Los Angeles. He is a 2013 Lambda Literary Fellow in Non-Fiction and received his MFA from Antioch university - L.A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrea Jenkins is a published poet and freelance writer. She has written for the Minneapolis Spokesman and Recorder, One Nation News, Insight News, LivingOUT Magazine and The Minneapolis Observer. Jenkins has also been the recipient of several awards and fellowships including the Loft Mentor Series Fellowship, The Napa Valley Writers Conference scholarship and five Cave Canem workshops in the Twin Cities. She has performed for several years at many venues throughout the Twin Cities as well as in New York City, Chicago and Northern California. Jenkins has self-published three successful editions of a chapbook of poems called Tributaries, Poems Celebrating Black History. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Hamline University.

 

 

 

Tobey Kaplan, a poet originally from New York City, with degrees from Syracuse and San Francisco State Universities, has been teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost forty years. An active member of California Poets in the Schools and Associated Writing Programs, Ms. Kaplan has given readings, workshops and presentations throughout the country regarding creative process, literacy and social change. Over the past five years, she has been working for the Washoe Tribe to coordinate a range of educational services and identify career building programs for the Native American community in Alameda Country. omnidawn.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/poetry-feature-tobey-kaplan/ 

 

 


Donna Minkowitz's
magical realist memoir, Growing Up Golem, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Judy Grahn Nonfiction Award. Her first memoir, Ferocious Romance, won a Lambda Literary Award. She has also written for the New York Times Book Review, Salon, the Village Voice, and The Collagist. She recently became the restaurant critic for Gay City News (New York).
 



 

Michael Kiesow Moore is an award-winning writer of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction and author of the poetry collection, What to Pray For (Nodin Press). He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Hamline University and his work has appeared in several books and journals. His awards have included a Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship, a Loft Mentor Series Award, and a Pushcart nomination in poetry. He curates the Birchbark Books Reading Series at Birchbark Books and teaches creative writing classes at the Loft Literary Center. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota. More information about him can be found at www.michaelkiesowmoore.org.

 

 

 

 

John Medeiros is a writer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His first book of poetry, couplets for a shrinking world, was published by North Star Press in June 2012. His work has appeared in several  books and journals, including Among the Leaves: Queer Male Poets on the Midwestern Experience; Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion, and Spirituality; Sport Literate, Water~Stone Review; Gulf Coast; Talking Stick; Willow Springs; other words: a writer's reader; Gents, Badboys and Barbarians; Evergreen Chronicles; qartsilluni, Swell and Christopher Street. He is the recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board grants; a Jerome Foundation Grant for Emerging Writers; Gulf Coast's First Place Nonfiction Award; and the AWP Intro Journals Project Award. He received an MFA from Hamline University, in St. Paul, Minnesota, and his work has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, a Minnesota Book Award, and as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays of 2006. More information about him can be found at his website www.jmedeiros.net 

 

 

 

 

 Rachel M. Simon is the author of the poetry collections Theory of Orange (2005, Pavement Saw Press) and Marginal Road (2009, Hollyridge Press). She teaches writing, gender studies, and film courses at Pace University, Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, and SUNY Purchase College as well as working full-time in Multicultural Affairs as the LGBTQQ Coordinator at Pace University, Pleasantville.

  

  

  

  

 

 

 

Ariel Zitny is a queer poet from Southern California. She
is passionate about feminism and cats. She was recently featured in the
queer literary magazine The Wild Ones. She's currently seeking
publication for her poetry manuscript entitled Pussy.  



MARCH 2015

CHASE BURNS is a writer and performer based in Minneapolis. He often makes work with the performance group HOMO HOTDISH, and their original plays and performance pieces have been seen at 20% Theater Company, Bedlam Theater, the Minnesota Fringe, and soon the Illusion Theater. Chase often writes essays and plays about the gay imaginary, hookup culture, and what it means to be young and gay in a time of gay marriage. He has won two Undergraduate Research Opportunity Grants to write and develop the play MICHAEL MICHAEL MICHAEL, as well as an interview piece about Franklin Avenue. His short play, The Vagabond of Boise, won an award from YoungArts. Recently, his article "Queering your Straight Theater" was published on Minnesota Playlist. Chase has a BFA in Acting from the University of Minnesota / Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program, and runs a queer performance blog at www.homohotdish.com.

NATE CANNON is the author of the memoir Running on a Mind Rewired, which is being used in college and high school classes, treatment centers and hospitals to teach about chemical dependency and mental illness. Nate has survived two suicide attempts and as a result of the first lives now with a painful, progressive neurological disorder called dystonia. Carrying with him 11 years of sobriety, Nate has completed 6 marathons since 2009 despite the limitations imposed by his condition. As a trans person living in recovery with bipolar and anxiety, Nate speaks regularly for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and is an advocate for mental health and suicide awareness. He is currently penning his second memoir, detailing the gender dysphoria that led to his second suicide attempt as well as his subsequent transition. Nate lives in Minneapolis with his cat Miles and is currently pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University.

ANTHONY CEBALLOS is a BFA student in the Creative Writing program at Hamline University. His poetry deals with what it means to be a gay, 24 year old, Native American, Hispanic male, from an inner city, single-mother-run home, and everything that entails. He is readying himself for graduation at the end of the spring 2015 semester and eagerly awaits whatever new chapter next opens for him…although he’s not quite sure what that will be. He is slowly and meticulously piecing together poems for a manuscript that revolves around the absence of his father. In 2014 he won the George Henry Bridgeman Poetry Award from Hamline University for his poem “Walking Across Soil.” His work has been featured in the Hamline undergraduate literary magazine The Fulcrum. He has been a guest on KFAI’s Fresh Fruit radio program. He can be found in various coffee shops and music stores around South Minneapolis when he’s not waiting for a bus.

JAY OWEN EISENBERG is New York-based actor, writer, and illustrator. He has performed, devised, and directed work in New York, Los Angeles, and now, Minneapolis, where he recently performed in Taylor Mac's HIR at Mixed Blood Theatre. Jay's writing has been published by Akashic Books, University of California Press, and Scholastic Press, among others, and his storytelling has been featured on Dana Rossi's award-winning podcast The Soundtrack Series. Jay is currently being filmed for the upcoming HBO documentary Three Suits, and he’s gearing up for the August premiere of a musical he’s in the process of writing. When he isn’t doing any of those things, he can be found riding his bicycle around town, delivering cartoons to his friends. Education: BFA - NYU Tisch School of the Arts (Experimental Theatre Wing). To learn more about Jay, visit www.jay-eisenberg.com.

CHRISTINE STARK is an award-winning writer, visual artist, national and international speaker of Anishinaabe & Cherokee ancestry. Her first novel, Nickels: A Tale of Dissociation, was a Lambda Literary Finalist. Her essays, poems, and creative non-fiction have appeared in numerous publications, including University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Florida Review, The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prize Winning Essays, When We Become Weavers: Queer Female Poets on the Midwest Experience, Hawk and Handsaw: The Journal of Creative Sustainability, and many others. Her poem, “Momma’s Song”, was released by Fred Ho and the Afro Asian Music Ensemble as a double manga CD. She is also a co-editor of Not for Sale, an international anthology about sexual violence and a co-author of the groundbreaking “Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota”. Currently, she is completing her second novel, Carnival Lights, which will be published in 2015. She teaches writing part-time at Metropolitan State University. She is a graduate student in the MSW program at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. For more information, visit www.christinestark.com

JANUARY 2015

NICOLA KOH is in her first year of Hamline University's MFA in Creative Writing, specializing in Fiction. She also has two masters degrees in Theology from Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan, writing a thesis that confronts traditional anti-transgender interpretations of Genesis 1:27b: "male and female God created them." Nicola has always had a deep appreciation for the unbelonging: she is herself a product of at least seven distinct ethnicities, from a country no one in the United States had heard of before it lost two planes, a post-Christian agnostic from a devoutly Christian family, and a transgender queer woman. Without many easy connections to others, she has had to learn something of how to look for the bonds that unite us as animals, as humans, as people, and strives to explore those bonds in her writing. She currently interns at Tubman, a multiservice organization that serves victims of violence, especially family violence, as well as working for the Title IX coordinators at Hamline. When she has free time, she hangs out with friends, plays with her dog, and dominates at Tetris.

MATTHEW PENDLETON is a geologist who studies volcanoes on Mars. As a graduate student, Matthew conducts detailed image-based analyses to unravel volcanic and fluvial processes that scoured the planet's surface in the past few millions of years. These extraterrestrial interests fuel his imaginative and descriptive written work, providing creative outlet to his logic-based career. Matthew writes to understand his surroundings through metaphorical and abstract frameworks. Since a young child, Matthew has been creatively expressing himself through art. Music was his primary focus, and he attended the Perpich Center for Arts Education and graduated in music in 2006. Matthew went on to receive a Bachelors of Science in geology from the University of Minnesota and is currently in the final stages of completing his Masters of Science in geology at the University of Idaho. His pursuit of creative expression through writing was not established until the final stages of his graduate education. In May of 2014, Matthew moved back to Minnesota with hopes of developing the type of gay-community he so desired in Idaho but was not able to create. Since moving back to the Twin Cities, Matthew has become an active organizer and member of the local Leather and BDSM community, which has provided experiences that guide the content of his written work.
   
Minnesota writer JULIANN RICH spent her childhood in search of the perfect climbing tree. The taller the better! A branch thirty feet off the ground and surrounded by leaves, caterpillars, birds, and squirrels was a good perch for a young girl to find herself. Seeking truth in nature and finding a unique point of view remain crucial elements in her life as well as her writing. Juliann is a PFLAG mom who can be found walking Pride parades with her son. She is also the daughter of evangelical Christian parents. As such she has been caught in the crossfire of the most heated topic to challenge our society and our churches today. She is drawn to stories that shed light on the conflicts that arise when sexual orientation, spirituality, family dynamics and peer relationships collide. You can read more about her journey as an author and as an affirming mom on her website, juliannrich.com. Juliann is the author of three young adult novels: Caught in the Crossfire, Searching for Grace, and Taking the Stand. She is the 2014 recipient of the Emerging Writer Award from The Saints and Sinners Literary Festival and lives in a quaint little brownstone in Minneapolis with her husband and their chronically adorable and naughty dachshund, Bella.

CHRISTOPHER TRADOWSKY lives in Saint Paul, where he writes stories and makes visual art. He has a PhD in Art History from UCLA, and teaches at St Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. His story "The Mountain Cousins" was selected by Scott Heim as the winner of the 2013 Bloom Chapbook Prize for fiction. His stories have appeared previously in Harrington Gay Men's Fiction Quarterly, The Battered Suitcase, and Spontaneous Combustion. His criticism has appeared in the CAA Art Journal. You can see more of his visual work and read more at www.christophertradowsky.com.

 

NOVEMBER 2014


ROXANNE ANDERSON is a community activist/ rebel rouser who’s been doing social or civil service work for some 20+ years.  Roxanne is the Associate Director for Transgender Organizing at Outfront.  Roxanne was honored with the 2013 University of Minnesota’s Community Excellence Award,  the Outfront MN Legacy Award 2013, Anderson has also been awarded 2012 Lavender Magazine’s 100 Fab Community Organizer Award,  in 2010 Roxanne was honored by Twin Cities Black Pride with the Community Service Award for Diversity and Inclusion, and featured in Curve magazine for community leadership.  Roxanne also helps direct the Exchange (a community space sharing project of MTHC) and the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition’s programs, where they help with the shot clinic and needle exchange program.   Anderson is the co-founder and director of RARE Productions, a multimedia arts and entertainment company focusing on producing and promoting queer artists of color. For the past 15 years Roxanne has predominantly worked in LGBTQ community.  Some of those roles include the Program Director for the upper Midwest’s largest LGBTQ by and for youth center District 202, President and Vice Pres. of the Board of Minneapolis/ St. Paul PFLAG, Vice President of Twin Cities Black lgbt Pride 1999-2003, Chair at Womyn of Color Bldg Project.  Anderson has been very effective in the development of culturally appropriate community events and implementation of successful, outcome measured harm reduction programming. Roxanne is a producer, promoter and DJ who enjoys taking pictures.  Anderson lives in South Minneapolis with, partner Anna, their dog Lila and Jazper and the community cat Link aka Garden Kitty.

TRISHA COLLOPY is a Minneapolis writer. She’s interviewed writers, including Sherman Alexie, Anchee Min, W.S. Merwin and Billy Collins. Her journalism has appeared in the Washington Post, the Pioneer Press and many other publications. Her fiction and creative nonfiction have been published in Blithe House Quarterly and the anthology Queer and Celtic. She’s worked with young writers through the Intermedia Arts Wings program and through The Lab in the St. Paul Public Schools. She is currently a student in the MFA program at Hamline University and was a fiction finalist for the 2014 Loft Mentor Series.
 

SHERRIE FERNANDEZ-WILLIAMS is the author of Soft. She holds an MFA in Writing from Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and is the recipient of an Artist Initiative Award through the Minnesota State Arts Board as well as a SASE/Jerome Grant through Intermedia Arts of Minneapolis. She was a Loft Mentor Series winner for Creative Nonfiction, selected for a Givens Black Writers Collaborative Retreat, and received a Jones Commission Award for new playwrights through the Playwrights' Center of Minneapolis. Excerpts of her memoir have been published in several literary journals and anthologies. Fernandez-Williams discovered her need for words in Brooklyn, New York, where she was born and raised, but she "grew up" as a writer in Twin Cities. She resides and teaches in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

NUR JIBRAN a Political Science PhD student at University of Minnesota. Nur is a published poet in his native language, Farsi/Dari. His collection of poems captures the inner struggles of gay Muslims yarning for love and affection in the Muslim world. Originally from Afghanistan, Nur landed in MN in 2008 to pursue his education. Growing up in the midst of war and struggling with his sexual identity, Nur found peace and freedom in writing. Expressing his feelings for another men in writing was easier than in practice. Currently, Nur is working on his autobiography, aiming to give visibility to Muslim GLTBQ community and become a voice for the pain of oppressed GLTBQ Muslims throughout the Muslim world. His photography project, Allah Akbar: I am Muslim and Gay won the Best on the Show Award during the 2014 Twin Cities Gay pride.

MORGAN GRAYCE WILLOW's most recent poetry collection is Dodge & Scramble, a collection which features a sequence of poems in the voice of a barn like the one on the farm her great grandfather settled in the 1890’s . . . and where she grew up. Earlier collections and chapbooks include Between, Silk, and The Maps are Words. An award-winner in both poetry and prose, Morgan has received awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the McKnight Foundation, and The Witter Bynner Foundation. Her prose publications include “Legend” in Imagination & Place: Cartography, “Class Struggles” in Queerly Classed (South End Press), and “Riding Shotgun for Stanley Home Products” in Riding Shotgun: Women Write about their Mothers (Borealis Books). Her poems have appeared in queer publications such as When We Become Weavers (Squares & Rebels), Evergreen Chronicle, Equal Time, Sinister Wisdom, Malachite & Agate, and the anthology From Wedded Wife to Lesbian Life. Morgan lives in Minneapolis with her partner of twenty-four years.


SEPTEMBER 2014

COLE BAUER grew up in rural northwest North Dakota and moved to Minneapolis, where he earned a B.A. in Studies in Cinema & Media Culture and German Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2010. Approaching his poetry as if it were moving pictures, he writes under the heavy influence of a visual background, developing characters amongst rich atmospheres and pervasive undercurrents of melancholy and transience. His work has appeared in the likes of The Daily Palette and Ivory Tower.



ELIZABETH JARRETT ANDREW is the author of the novel, Hannah, Delivered (Koehler Books), Writing the Sacred Journey:  The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir (Skinner House Books), Swinging on the Garden Gate:  A Spiritual Memoir (Skinner House Books), and the collection of personal essays, On the Threshold:  Home, Hardwood, and Holiness (Westview Press).  She is a recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board artists’ fellowships, the Loft Career Initiative Grant, and is a Minnesota Book Awards finalist. She teaches creative writing at the Loft Literary Center, Madeline Island School of the Arts, and various retreat centers in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  You can connect with Elizabeth at www.spiritualmemoir.com and www.elizabethjarrettandrew.com.

As a freshman in college, RACHEL MURR found herself trying to decide which campus social group to join: the gay and lesbian advocacy group or the campus Christian fellowship. She knew it couldn't be both.  For the next fourteen years she held onto the belief that she couldn't be both gay and Christian. When the pain involved in trying not to be lesbian called for a change in theology, she came out at her Evangelical church. Conflict ensued.
In Unnatural, Rachel uses her own story as well as personal interviews with ten other queer women and one transgender man to tell of the harm done by religiously inspired negative messages about homosexuality and to tell stories of redemption. Participants were judged, lectured, kicked out of homes and families, subjected to reparative therapies, and even assaulted.  Some faced homelessness, depression, suicide attempts, and pervasive shame. Still, they fought to keep their faith alive. Each demonstrated an Unnatural ability to forgive, love, believe, advocate, and heal. 
Rachel completed her research paper, “I Became Proud of Being Gay and Proud of Being Christian:” Faith Experiences of Queer Christian Women as part of her MSW degree at St. Thomas University/University of St. Catherine. She is a therapist at the Working Well Mental Health Clinic and a mental health practitioner at a trauma-informed treatment center for women with mental illnesses. Unnatural: Spiritual Resiliency in Queer Christian Women is her first book.


MICHAEL WALSH is the author of The Dirt Riddles, which won the inaugural Miller Williams Prize in Poetry from the University of Arkansas Press as well as the 2011 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. His poetry chapbooks from Red Dragonfly Press include Adam Walking the Garden (2004) and Sleepwalks (2012). He lives in Minneapolis.






JUNE 2014

TOMMY J. BECKWITH is a home grown Florida boy. He moved to Minnesota in May 2012 after completing his Master of Arts in Higher Education from The University of Arizona. Tommy works as an academic professional for Century College. After taking a hiatus from writing after completing his undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech, he has rediscovered his passion for writing poetry about the human condition and his personal experiences. Tommy's most recent work was published in Verse/Chorus.



RYAN BERG, a graduate of the Hunter College MFA program, received the New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature and is a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Writers Fellow. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, Local Knowledge and The Sun. Ryan has been awarded artist residencies from The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.




JAMES CIHLAR is the author of the poetry books Rancho Nostalgia, A Conversation with My Imaginary Daughter, Undoing, and Metaphysical Bailout. His writing has been published in The American Poetry Review, The Awl, Court Green, Smartish Pace, The Rumpus, Lambda Literary Review, and Forklift, Ohio. He has received two Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowships for Poetry and a Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner. His website is jimcihlar.com.     


 

PAM COLBY
is a producer, writer and director working in the Twin Cities. Pam's work has screened on public television stations, cable networks, and film festivals. Pam's current project, "Not in My Lifetime" is a 60--minute documentary featuring GLBT elders in a conversation about marriage equality, further information on this project at colbycreative.net.





MOLLY BETH GRIFFIN is a graduate of Hamline University's MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Her first picture book, Loon Baby, came out with Houghton Mifflin in 2011 and her first YA novel, Silhouette of a Sparrow, came out with Milkweed Editions in 2012. Her next book is a picture book called Rhoda's Rock Hunt, which will come out with the Minnesota Historical Society Press this fall. Molly teaches picture book and YA writing at the Loft, and lives in South Minneapolis with her partner and their two children.   

 
CAT HAMMOND is a writer and performer interested in telling stories that disrupt prevailing narratives of gender and sexuality. Since moving to Minneapolis in 2012, s/he has performed original work at the 2013 Gender Reel Festival and, more recently, as part of 20% Theatre Company's The Naked I: Insides Out.  






KEVIN HERSHEY is a St. Paul native and graduate of Cretin-Derham Hall. He recently crossed  the river to to live on the beautiful Powderhorn Park and work at Waite House Neighborhood Center, where he is repeatedly amazed by the power of resilient communities and their stories. Kevin writes as an activist seeking to understand the world he wants to change.




 

ANDREA JENKINS is an Award winning poet and writer. Most recently was awarded a Bush Fellowship and a Fellowship in the Cultural Community Leadership Institute at Intermedia Arts and sponsored by the Bush Foundation and named a fellow in the Many Voices Fellowship at the Playwrights Center. Last year she won the Verve Grant for Spoken Artist at Intermedia Arts and the Naked Stages Grant for Emerging Performance Artist at Pillsbury House Theatre. She is a Givens Foundation Fellow working Amiri Baraka and J. Otis Powell! She has won the Loft Mentor Series in 2002 and the Napa Valley Writers Conference scholarship in 2003.Andrea earned her Masters of Science, Community Economic Development –Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, New Hampshire, a Certificate, University of St. Thomas, Community Leadership Institute, and Bachelors of Science, Human Services / Interpersonal Communications – Metropolitan State University and has a MFA in Creative Writing at Hamline University.
 
As a Poet and writer, her work has appeared in several local publications including The Minneapolis Spokesman and Recorder, The City of Minneapolis Website, The Minneapolis Observer, The International Journal of Transgenderism, The Powderhorn Writers Festival, . She has performed with The Outward Spiral, Mama Mosaic and many others. Andrea has self-published a chapbook of poems called “tributaries: poems celebrating black history, and a  self-published collection called Pieces of a Scream: New and Selected Poems. She currently is co-curator of the Queer Voices Reading Series, and Board Chair at Intermedia Arts. Most recently her work was published in the Gender Outlaws Two: The Next Generation.
 
Andrea works as a Senior Policy Aide to City Councilmember Elizabeth Glidden and lives in Minneapolis.


NANCY MANAHAN, Ph.D., is a retired community college English teacher and writer. Her award-winning books include the international best-seller Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence, published in 11 counties in 7 languages, On My Honor: Lesbians Reflect on Their Scouting Experience and Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully: A Journey with Cancer and Beyond, written with her wife Becky Bohan.
 
As Minnesota writers, Nancy and Becky have a named chair at the Minneapolis Public Library, the only lesbian couple to have such an honor. They are founding members of the Minnesota Threshold Network, which educates Minnesotans about conscious dying, home after-death care, and green burials. They make their home in Minneapolis and Isla Mujeres, Mexico. www.nanbec.com.
 
The 2013 edition of Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence, with new material, is available from Bella Books or Amazon.com. On My Honor: Lesbians Reflect on Their Scouting Experience and Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully: A Journey with Cancer and Beyond are available at local bookstores and at Amazon.com.


EDMOND MANNING published two novels and one book of short essays. His most recent novel, King Mai, is a finalist in the 2013 Lambda Literary awards. On Friday of this week, he leaves for the New York award ceremony. He read first on this stage before anything he wrote was published and is honored to be invited back. Manning has always been fascinated by fiction: how ordinary words could be sculpted into heartfelt emotions, how heartfelt emotions could leave an imprint inside you stronger than the real world. Mr. Manning never felt worthy to seek publication until recently, when he accidentally stumbled into his own writer's voice that fit perfectly, like his favorite skull-print, fuzzy jammies. He finally realized that he didn't have to write like Charles Dickens or Armistead Maupin, two author heroes, and that perhaps his own fiction was juuuuuuust right, because it was his true voice, so he looked around the scrappy word kingdom that he created for himself and shouted, "I'M HOME!" He is now a writer.
 

JOHN MEDEIROS is a writer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His first book of poetry, couplets for a shrinking world, was published by North Star Press in June 2012. His work has appeared in several  books and journals, including Among the Leaves: Queer Male Poets on the Midwestern Experience; Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion, and Spirituality; Sport Literate, Water~Stone Review; Gulf Coast; Talking Stick; Willow Springs; other words: a writer’s reader; Gents, Badboys and Barbarians; Evergreen Chronicles; qartsilluni, Swell and Christopher Street. He is the recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board grants; a Jerome Foundation Grant for Emerging Writers; Gulf Coast's First Place Nonfiction Award; and the AWP Intro Journals Project Award. He received an MFA from Hamline University, in St. Paul, Minnesota, and his work has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, a Minnesota Book Award, and as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays of 2006. More information about him can be found at his website, www.jmedeiros.net.

ANN TWEEDY loves traveling, especially the strangeness of being an outsider in a tiny town and the disorientation of exploring foreign countries.  She’s shy but relishes the rush of doing the things that scare her.  While in law school, she studied poetry writing with Robert Hass.  She currently teaches law at Hamline University in St. Paul.  Her poetry has been widely published in journals and anthologies, including Rattle, Clackamas Literary Review, and Wisconsin Review, and she has been nominated for both a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net Award.  She also has read in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, and elsewhere. tcCreativePress of Los Angeles published her first chapbook in 2010, and her second chapbook, White Out, was published by Green Fuse Press in 2013.
 



MAY 2014

TOMMY J. BECKWITH is a home grown Florida boy. He moved to Minnesota in May 2012 after completing his Master of Arts in Higher Education from The University of Arizona. Tommy works as an academic professional for Century College. After taking a hiatus from writing after completing his undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech, he has rediscovered his passion for writing poetry about the human condition and his personal experiences. Tommy's most recent work was published in Verse/Chorus.



JAMES CIHLAR is the author of the poetry books Rancho Nostalgia, A Conversation with My Imaginary Daughter, Undoing, and Metaphysical Bailout. His writing has been published in The American Poetry Review, The Awl, Court Green, Smartish Pace, The Rumpus, Lambda Literary Review, and Forklift, Ohio. He has received two Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowships for Poetry and a Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner. His website is jimcihlar.com.     


 
EDMOND MANNING
published two novels and one book of short essays. His most recent novel, King Mai, is a finalist in the 2013 Lambda Literary awards. On Friday of this week, he leaves for the New York award ceremony. He read first on this stage before anything he wrote was published and is honored to be invited back. Manning has always been fascinated by fiction: how ordinary words could be sculpted into heartfelt emotions, how heartfelt emotions could leave an imprint inside you stronger than the real world. Mr. Manning never felt worthy to seek publication until recently, when he accidentally stumbled into his own writer's voice that fit perfectly, like his favorite skull-print, fuzzy jammies. He finally realized that he didn't have to write like Charles Dickens or Armistead Maupin, two author heroes, and that perhaps his own fiction was juuuuuuust right, because it was his true voice, so he looked around the scrappy word kingdom that he created for himself and shouted, "I'M HOME!" He is now a writer.


JOSINA MANU MALTZMAN is a carpenter by trade, a writer by passion, and a rabble-rouser by everything else. Jo has been writing short stories and essays for as long as memory provides, with the honor of being published in That's Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation in 2004.  Currently Josina is working on a mytho-biography spanning multiple generations of a Jewish family, which relates historical trauma to cycles of violence, both intimate and global. Josina is a fiscal year 2014 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. The writing being shared tonight is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


MARCH 2014


PAM COLBY is a producer, writer and director working in the Twin Cities. Pam's work has screened on public television stations, cable networks, and film festivals. Pam's current project, "Not in My Lifetime" is a 60--minute documentary featuring GLBT elders in a conversation about marriage equality, further information on this project at colbycreative.net.




 

MOLLY BETH GRIFFIN is a graduate of Hamline University's MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Her first picture book, Loon Baby, came out with Houghton Mifflin in 2011 and her first YA novel, Silhouette of a Sparrow, came out with Milkweed Editions in 2012. Her next book is a picture book called Rhoda's Rock Hunt, which will come out with the Minnesota Historical Society Press this fall. Molly teaches picture book and YA writing at the Loft, and lives in South Minneapolis with her partner and their two children.    
 

 
 
CAT HAMMOND is a writer and performer interested in telling stories that disrupt prevailing narratives of gender and sexuality. Since moving to Minneapolis in 2012, s/he has performed original work at the 2013 Gender Reel Festival and, more recently, as part of 20% Theatre Company's The Naked I: Insides Out.  







KEVIN HERSHEY is a St. Paul native and graduate of Cretin-Derham Hall. He recently crossed  the river to to live on the beautiful Powderhorn Park and work at Waite House Neighborhood Center, where he is repeatedly amazed by the power of resilient communities and their stories. Kevin writes as an activist seeking to understand the world he wants to change.







AUGUST 2013


RYAN BERG, a graduate of the Hunter College MFA program, received the New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature and is a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Writers Fellow. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, Local Knowledge and The Sun. Ryan has been awarded artist residencies from The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.



 

NANCY MANAHAN, Ph.D., is a retired community college English teacher and writer. Her award-winning books include the international best-seller Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence, published in 11 counties in 7 languages, On My Honor: Lesbians Reflect on Their Scouting Experience and Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully: A Journey with Cancer and Beyond, written with her wife Becky Bohan.
 
As Minnesota writers, Nancy and Becky have a named chair at the Minneapolis Public Library, the only lesbian couple to have such an honor. They are founding members of the Minnesota Threshold Network, which educates Minnesotans about conscious dying, home after-death care, and green burials. They make their home in Minneapolis and Isla Mujeres, Mexico. www.nanbec.com.
 
The 2013 edition of Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence, with new material, is available from Bella Books or Amazon.com. On My Honor: Lesbians Reflect on Their Scouting Experience and Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully: A Journey with Cancer and Beyond are available at local bookstores and at Amazon.com.


ANN TWEEDY loves traveling, especially the strangeness of being an outsider in a tiny town and the disorientation of exploring foreign countries.  She’s shy but relishes the rush of doing the things that scare her.  While in law school, she studied poetry writing with Robert Hass.  She currently teaches law at Hamline University in St. Paul.  Her poetry has been widely published in journals and anthologies, including Rattle, Clackamas Literary Review, and Wisconsin Review, and she has been nominated for both a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net Award.  She also has read in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, and elsewhere. tcCreativePress of Los Angeles published her first chapbook in 2010, and her second chapbook, White Out, was published by Green Fuse Press in 2013.

 




FEBRUARY 2013: QUEER VOICES


 


Alison Bergblom Johnson
writes creative nonfiction and plays. Fiction Fix and Diverse Voices Quarterly, among others, have published her nonfiction. She was a resident of the Arts Retreat at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. She has read her work at the Walker Art Center and 7th Street Entry. Her one-woman show, Other Than Tragedy, and a group show in resistance to sexual violence have premiered in the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

Aaron Lichtov is a statistics-confounding transgender parent of a transgender kid. He lives in the part of Minneapolis that is practically-St.-Paul, with four pets, lots of books, the aforementioned kid, and his beloved partner in life and art, who is teaching him to appreciate teenagers. In his spare time (ha) he uses words and food to repair and transform the world. His favorite oven temperature is 400 degrees.

Lane McKiernan's performance memoir, Foodshelf Follies, was part of the 2009 Minnesota Fringe Festival. He received a Jerome Foundation funded Emerging Artist Grant from VSA Minnesota in 2012 to begin work on a new show. When Lane isn't writing, he knits. 



Barbara MacKay Simmonds began to write poetry in the late 1970’s, andis currently completing two memoirs:  Lincoln Park: No Bell-Shaped Curve, a memoir harking back to lessons she learned from students while teaching fifth-grade in an inner-city Ohio elementary school during the height of the Civil Rights era during the early 1960’s; and Going Home: Growing Up Behind Oregon’s Sagebrush Curtain. Her creative non-fiction and poetry has appeared in anthologies, chapbooks, and a literary arts journal. Barbara co-led a writing workshop at The Loft Literary Center; has taught several writing workshops; in North Carolina, she was a Poet in the Schools and board member of Celo Press, and member of South Toe Writers Workshop in Asheville. Her literary teachers have included Mary Jean Port, Nancy Raeburn, Barrie Borich, Michael Dennis Browne, Judith Guest, Carol Bly, Linda Pastan, Richard Hugo and William Stafford. She completed two Writers Residencies at Norcroft, A Writing Retreat for Women in 1996 & 1999. Barbara received her M.A. in Human Development from St. Mary’s College of Minnesota and a B.A. in Psychology from Lewis & Clark College. Currently, in her private practice, Post-Trauma Healing, she works with people recovering from trauma, is a Reiki Master-Teacher and Life~in~Motion personal life coach. She lives in St. Paul, MN and is a member of “Grace!” Writers Group.



DECEMBER 2012: QUEER VOICES

Gina Marie Bernard holds Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Master of Arts degrees, all from Bemidji State University, and she currently teaches in the English Department at Bemidji High School. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies including Wisconsin Review, Voices (Duke University Women's Center), Gray's Sporting Journal, and Talking Stick.  She won the 2002 Tamarack Award for short fiction from Minnesota Monthly.  In addition, her young adult novel, Alpha Summer, is currently available from Loonfeather Press. She lives in Bemidji with her partner, Michelle.  In her spare time, she slips into her alter ego, wicked vixen, a blocker for the Babe City Rollers roller derby team.  She is the crazy-proud parent of two incredible daughters, Maddie and Parker.

Lisa Dordal holds a Master of Divinity and a Master of Fine Arts, both from Vanderbilt University, and she currently teaches in the English Department at Vanderbilt. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies including Cave Wall, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Sinister Wisdom, The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, and Milk and Honey: A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry. Her chapbook, Commemoration, is currently available from Finishing Line Press. She lives in Nashville, TN with her partner, Laurie, and their two retired greyhounds.

Kate Lynn Hibbard’s poetry books include Sleeping Upside Down (Silverfish Press 2006), winner of the Gerald Cable Book Award, and Sweet Weight (Tiger Bark Press 2012).  She is the editor of When We Become Weavers: Queer Female Poets on the Midwestern Experience (Squares and Rebels 2012).  Other honors include the Aestrea Foundation’s Lesbian Writing Finalist Award, a McKnight Artist Fellowship in Poetry, two Minnesota State Arts Board Initiative Grants, a Jerome Foundation Travel Grant, and residencies at Hedgebrook and the Cornucopia Arts Council. She is working on a manuscript of historical poetry about women’s experiences in the Great Plains frontier.  A long time singer in One Voice Mixed Chorus and a professor of writing and women’s studies at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, she lives with many pets and her partner Jan in Saint Paul.

Leslie Lagerstrom is a proud mom of two children, who, after retiring from a 21-year corporate marketing career, is focusing her passion on being a writer and advocate. In 2011 she created the blog Transparenthood™, which chronicles her family’s experience raising a transgender child. Through Transparenthood, Leslie has been able to lend support to parents who find themselves on the same journey, while also helping spread awareness on the subject of gender variant/transgender children. Articles from Leslie's blog have been featured on the Huffington Post and MORE Magazine online.  Believing the time is now to change hearts and minds, she volunteers to speak on a national basis, most frequently appearing in front of medical and teaching professionals, and is also a volunteer for the Human Rights Campaign's 'Welcoming Schools' initiative. A graduate of Iowa State University, Leslie is at home in Minneapolis, where she enjoys downhill skiing with family and long walks with her faithful dog Molly.
www.transparenthood.net

Josina Manu Maltzman is a carpenter by trade, a writer by passion, and a rabble-rouser by everything else.  Jo has been writing short stories and essays for as long as memory provides, with the honor of being published in That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation in 2004.  Currently Josina is working on a mytho-biography spanning multiple generations of a Jewish family, which illustrates the internal and familial sagas of mental health, abuse, colonialism and genocide, and the quest for beauty and solace.

 

SEPTEMBER 2012: QUEER VOICES  

Patti Frazee is the author of two novels. Cirkus was published by Alyson Books in 2006 and re-released in Kindle version in December 2011.Cirkus was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and was a Minnesota Book Award Finalist. Patti's second novel, Out of Harmony, was released in January 2012. Patti is a professional copy editor, copywriter, proofreader, and publishing consultant. She also teaches at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

Rachel Gold is the author of Being Emily, the first young adult novel written from a transgender girl’s point of view. Currently, an award-winning marketing strategist and sought after public speaker, Rachel also spent a decade as a print reporter in the LGBT community. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Religious Studies from Macalester College, and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Hamline University. She is a self-described geek with a passion for all things technical and innovative; when she’s not teaching people how to express their brand or working on her novels, you can often find her playing online. Read about her novel at: www.beingemily.com.

"A Survival Guide to Death" is Bill Hunter's latest full length fiction manuscript. He received a  Bachelors of Arts in Biology/Psychology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and received Honors in English for writing his first musical, "We Are Not Alone."  He spent the next two years writing music and musicals at The Nat Horne School of Musical Theater in New York City, and later earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology from the City College of the City University of New York.  He then went to medical school at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed his residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He has been an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania until he left to complete his book in 2010. He gets his inspiration to write from David Sedaris, John Kennedy Toole, and Fran Lebowitz. Bill Hunter is presently represented by Literary Artists Representitives in New York.

Ellen Lansky was born in Minneapolis and grew up in Overland Park, Kansas Her scholarly work on addiction has appeared Dionysos, Literature and Medicine, and several anthologies. Her fiction has appeared in many local and national publications including Sugar Mule, Stiller’s Pond, and Evergreen Chronicles. Her first novel, Golden Jeep, was published in September, 2011.  She lives in Minneapolis with her family and teaches literature, composition, and creative writing at Inver Hills Community College.

Bronson Lemer grew up in North Dakota. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and mass communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Minnesota State University Mankato. His writing has appeared in Blue Earth Review, The Reykjavik Grapevine, and Twentysomething Essays from Twentysomething Writers. He is the author of The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twentysomething Survived a Year in Iraq. He teaches writing at the University of Minnesota Rochester.

 

MARCH 2012: QUEER VOICES


A former ‘city girl,’ CATHERINE FRIEND lives on a small farm in southeastern Minnesota, where she and her wife Melissa raise sheep and cattle. She writes adult nonfiction, fiction, and children’s books. The Compassionate Carnivore won the Minnesota Book Award in General Nonfiction. Her memoir, Hit by a Farm, was selected by the Minneapolis Star Tribune as one of the best books of 2006. Her children’s picture book, The Perfect Nest, was chosen by the Wall Street Journal as one of five best ‘read alouds,’ and was nominated for numerous state reading awards. She was awarded a Loft/McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers, and her adult adventure novels have won  awards from the Golden Crown Literary Society and the Independent Book Publishers Association. Friend has a M.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Economics and Spanish. She does chores, teaches writing workshops, and speaks at libraries, yarn shops and fiber festivals, professional organizations, and schools. She’s discovered that farm chores and snowshoes make Minnesota winters bearable, and is especially proud she’s learned how to take the wool from her sheeps’ backs and knit it into very cool socks.

SCOT "One T" MOORE is a graduate of The University of Wisconsin - River Falls Speech Communications and Theatre Arts Department. Since college, he's spent much of his time acting, directing, and designing for small theatre companies in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. He has also worked for a number of financial institutions in various specialties in the financial sector. He has been an advocate of LGBT rights for as long as he can remember. Gaymerica is a product of his desire to make an active statement about the Minnesota Legislature's unfortunate decision to promote an amendment that would permanently enshrine bigotry in the Minnesota constitution. Normally, his fiction writing steers clear of making a direct political statement, though. So, Gaymerica was instead designed as a satire to see what the world may look like through the eyes of someone raised in a fascist nation where only very specific expressions of sexuality are allowed.

JOSE LUIS NARANJO was born in Caibarien, Villa Clara province, Cuba, on February 11th, 1954. Self taught since chilhood, he was drawn to the world of Literature. He has written several  book of poetry and has won awards in Liteary competitions. He received the top awards in the following literary competitions: Juan Francisco Manzano, Aniversary of Regla Liceum, Aniversary  of Guines foundation, and Aniversary of San Jose de Las Lajas foundation. Furthermore he was honored at The Mozart Contest, sponsored por the Austrian Embassy in Cuba. His poems have been publishewd in magazines, newspapers and anthologies. Part of his poetry was published in London for Latonia Publishers. He lives in Habana where he writes scripts por radio and TV. In this moment he is finishing a book of poetry and planning on writing his biography.

ANN TWEEDY'S chapbook, Beleaguered Oases, was published by tcCreativePress in 2010, and her poetry has appeared in Clackamas Literary Review, Rattle, damselfly press, Harrington Lesbian Literary Quarterly,and elsewhere.   Her manuscripts have also been selected as finalists for the Bluelight Press Annual Chapbook Competition, the Robin Becker Chapbook Contest, and the New Sins Press Poetry Book Award, among others.   Nature, relationships, and bisexuality are some of the prominent themes in her poetry.  Originally from Massachusetts, she recently moved to Minnesota to teach at Hamline University School of Law after having spent most of her adult life on the West Coast.  Her poetry can be found at www.anntweedypoetry.com.
 



DECEMBER 2011: QUEER VOICES
 

MELANIE HOFFERT grew up on a farm near Wyndmere, North Dakota where she spent her childhood meandering gravel roads, listening to farmers at church potlucks, and daydreaming about impossible love. She has an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University. Her work has received the 2005 Creative Nonfiction Award from The Baltimore Review and the 2010 Creative Nonfiction Award from New Millennium Writings. Her memoir, Prairie Silence, is forthcoming from Beacon Press in 2012. Melanie lives in Minneapolis where—on a daily basis—she plots her escape from all actions that do not feed her soul. 

CHRISTINE STARK is an award-winning writer and visual artist. She is also a public speaker and advocate for the sexually abused. Her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have been published in a variety of periodicals and anthologies, including University of Pennsylvania Law Review; Poetry Motel; Feminist Studies; Birthed From Scorched Hearts: Women Respond to War; On The Issues: The Progressive Woman’s Magazine; Vermillion Literary Magazine; Hawk and Handsaw: the Journal of Creative Sustainability; To Plead Our Own Cause: Narratives of Modern Slavery; Prostitution, Trafficking and Traumatic Stress; Woman and Earth: An Almanac in Russian and English; and numerous others. She coauthored a peer-reviewed, academic article about domestic violence and trafficking, and she is a coauthor of the groundbreaking research titled “Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota.” She is also a coauthor (with Rebecca Whisnant) of Not for Sale, an international anthology about sexual violence. Her poem, “Momma’s Song”, was recorded by Fred Ho and the Afro Asian Ensemble and released as a double CD/manga titled Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon and Momma’s Song. Her novel, Nickels: A Tale of Dissociation, was released in fall 2011. Christine teaches writing at Metropolitan State University in the Twin Cities. 

OLGA TRUJILLO is an attorney, who after 12 years with the United States Department of Justice, left to work with communities on trauma, domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault as well as immigration and human trafficking issues. As a consultant she has worked with most national organizations addressing the issues of violence against women and children and, in particular, the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse. A nationally sought speaker, Olga has also appeared in several videos including Cut it Out, a training video on domestic violence for hair stylists, and A Survivor’s Story, a training video based on her personal experience and live presentations. Olga is a recipient of the Bud Cramer Leadership Award given by the National Children’s Alliance for her work to help professionals around the country better understand the impact of violence on children. Olga is also a recipient of a Sunshine Lady Foundation Peace Awards for her work for battered women and their children. Latina Magazine featured Olga in its August 2006 issue for her survival and her work on these issues. Olga lives on a small farm in Wisconsin with her partner and their dogs and cats.

ENRIQUE URUETA'S plays include The Johnson Administration, The Danger of Bleeding Brown, Learn To Be Latina, and Forever Never Comes. His plays have been developed or produced by The Queer Cultural Center, Playwrights Foundation, Lark Play Development Center, Impact Theatre, Golden Thread Productions, Crowded Fire Theater Company, and Stray Cat Theatre. He has received a Theatre Bay Area CASH grant, a Theatre Bay Area New Works Fund award for Forever Never Comes and was selected by Sir David Hare as a runner-up for the 2009 Yale Drama Series prize for The Danger of Bleeding Brown. Learn To Be Latina received Aurora Theatre Company's Global Age Project award, won the inaugural Great Gay Play contest sponsored by Pride Films & Plays, and was named Best Ensemble Comedy of 2010 by the SF Weekly, which also named him Best Up-And-Coming Playwright of 2010. Southern Theatre Magazine identified him as one of "40 Groundbreaking Playwrights" who are "changing the U.S. theatre." He is a proud member of NoPassport, an on-line collective of theatre artists who advocate for cross-cultural theatrical exchange, with an emphasis on US Latina/o and Latin American theatre. BA: The College of William & Mary; MFA: Brown University.


SEPTEMBER 2011: QUEER VOICES


ELLIE KRUG —writer, lawyer, human. Ellen Krug holds degrees from Coe College and Boston College Law School. She practiced law in Massachusetts and Iowa, and at one time founded and oversaw a law firm specializing in trial work. In 2009, Ellen transitioned from male to female. She then became the only Iowa attorney, and one of the few nationally, to try lawsuits in both genders. As a consequence of her transition, Ellen better appreciates how society treats women differently from men. She is a frequent speaker on the life lessons learned as she traveled on her gender journey. Ellen lives in Minneapolis, where she is a freelance writer for two publications, including Lavender Magazine.  She is presently completing her memoir, which will be published in 2012.

ELLEN LANKSY was born in Minneapolis and grew up in Overland Park, Kansas. Her short fiction has appeared in print and online journals, and her novella Harmonic Convergence was published in the first Evergreen Chronicles national novella contest. Golden Jeep is her first novel.     




EDMOND MANNING is the author of King Perry, a novel currently in submission to Dreamspinner Press. Within this real-world fairy tale,  a San Francisco investment, Perry Mangin, finds himself the recipient of an exotic invitation from a vacationing tourist:  spend one weekend with me and I will restore your kingship and help you remember the man you were always meant to be. Perry’s surreal, exhausting journey through beloved San Francisco bruises free his caged heart, forcing Perry to transform a devastating childhood grief into something raw and unexpected: primal, radiant love. To read the first four chapters, see Postcard Moments from the novel, or to sign up for notification of publication, visit www.kingperry.com.

KAROLYN REDOUTE has an MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University-Bloomington. Prayers of the Shaman is her first publication in book form, and the poems she will be reading come from that collection.  She grew up in Detroit, but currently lives in Minneapolis and works at the U of M as an advisor and teacher.

 
 


JUNE 2011: QUEER VOICES


KIMBERLY BROWN is a 2010 Loft Mentor Series winner. She has been a Loft Mentor Series finalist and received honorable mention in the “Dogs and the Women Who Love Them” essay contest in 2009. Her poetry has appeared in What Have You Lost? and Seeds from a Silent Tree. She has written bridge collapse advocacy pieces, which appeared in publications such as the Star Tribune, tcdailyplanet.net,and mn2020.org. A writer of both poetry and creative nonfiction, she is working on a memoir partially based on surviving the 35W bridge collapse. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a creative writing minor and currently works as a technical writer. She lives in Minneapolis with her wife, Rachel Anderson.

WENDY BROWN-BAEZ is a writer, teacher, performance poet and installation artist. She has facilitated writing groups since 1994. She has managed shelters for the homeless and visited incarcerated adults and teens. She is trained as a hospice volunteer and as a facilitator of Monologue Life Stories.She studied alternative healing, ceremony, and spiritual traditions with Earthwalks for Healthand is a member of a woman's Moon Lodge. Wendy is a performance poetwho has performed nationally and in Mexico, in cafes, bars, galleries, bookstores, schools, cultural centers, peace centers, writers groups, art festivals, women's retreats, and private homes, solo and in collaborations.She has published poetry andcreative non-fiction in numerous literary journals. In 2008, she received a McKnight grant to teach a bilingual writing workshop with at risk youth and in 2009, a McKnight grant to develop a writing workshop with impoverished youth into an art installation, both provided through COMPAS Community Art Program. She is the author of Ceremonies of the Spirit,a full-length collection of love poems published by Plain View Press in 2009 and chapbook transparencies of light, forthcoming from Finishing Line Press, 2011.

By day, TRISHA COLLOPY teaches journalism students how to avoid burying their ledes. By night, she scribbles furiously in her writing notebook. Collopy has worked with young writers through the Intermedia Arts Wings program and through The Lab (formerly The Poetry Lab) in the St. Paul Public Schools. She has written freelance Fringe reviews and stories about spoken word for the Pioneer Press. She is currently a student in the MFA program at Hamline University and a writing teacher at local colleges. She writes about nuns, the Jazz Age, nuns, Montana, nuns, the queer community and nuns.

LUCAS DE LIMA, born in Brazil and raised across the Americas, lives in Minneapolis.  He has poems and reviews published or forthcoming in Scrivener Creative Review, Mudfish, Rain Taxi, ABJECTIVE, and Action! Yes.  A graduate of McGill University and recipient of the Peterson Memorial Prize, he is writing a book about somatic memory while pursuing an MFA at the University of Minnesota.  You can read his thoughts on art, the body, and animality at the multi-author blog Montevidayo.com.


C.M. HARRIS



KRISTIN JOHNSON grew up Minnesota and received her bachelor’s from Gustavus Adolphus College and her master’s from Metroopolitan State University, where she now teaches. She writes for children and adults and has been published in several journals. Kristin has won the Loose-leaf Poetry Award, The Loft's Shabo Award for picture books, the Mystery Writers of America Helen McCloy Award, and she's been a finalist in the Loft's Mentor Series contest. She hopes to sell her most recent children’s novel currently titled The Secret of Cross Kennel. She says of the book: “I hope the book will draw attention to puppy mills and the war in Iraq and the need to help veterans of all of our wars.”

WILLIAM REICHARD is a writer, editor, and educator. His fourth collection of poems, Sin Eater, was published by Mid-List Press in April 2010. His previous collections include This Brightness (2007) and How To (2004) both from Mid-List Press, and An Alchemy in the Bones (1999) from New Rivers Press. Reichard has published a chapbook, To Be Quietly Spoken, with Frith Press, and he revised and edited the award-winning memoir, The Evening Crowd at Kirmser's: A Gay Life in the 1940's, by the late Ricardo Brown, published by the University of Minnesota Press. Reichard’s anthology, American Tensions: Literature of Social Justice, will be released by New Village Press in Spring 2011.

NICOLE SMITH is an artist, educator, community activist, youth advocate….. A native of Saint Paul, Nicole attributes her love of all things creative (theatre, writing, spoken word – just the ability to “express yo self!”) to her experience at Central High School. “I went into this building as a 14 year old traveling through the labyrinth of hallways, feeling like a car driving aimlessly along the educational system resembling tangled highways and byways. It wasn’t until I found myself parked in the classroom of Jan Mandell, when I realized that I had a voice that mattered…a voice that had power…a voice worth hearing…I walked out of that building 4 years later realizing that I was traveling a road that I didn’t want to get off of…” Nicole went on to study theatre at the University of Minnesota; she now works at Pillsbury House Theatre, serves on various Youth Serving and Arts Based Advisory Boards and teaches theatre arts, creative writing/poetry and arts literacy at Elementary, Middle and Senior level schools throughout the Metro Area.

CHRISTINE STARK is an award-winning writer and visual artist of European and American Indian ancestry whose work has been published in numerous periodicals and anthologies, including The Florida Review; Feminist Studies; Poetry Motel; Hawk and Handsaw: the Journal of Creative Sustainability; Birthed From Scorched Hearts; To Plead Our Own Cause: Narratives of Modern Slavery; and Primavera. She is a co-editor of Not for Sale, an international anthology on sexual violence.  Her poem, “Momma’s Song,” will be released as a CD in collaboration with musician Fred Ho in 2011. She is a 2009 Pushcart Prize nominee and a 2010 Loft Mentorship winner. Christine teaches writing at Metropolitan State University and lives in Minneapolis with her partner, April.

CHRISTINE TUHY is an emerging writer studying poetry and creative nonfiction at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. Her writing explores a variety of themes, including femininity, sexuality, culture, and violence. She is a member of the Loft Literary Center and the owner of Amigas Realty. She resides with her son in South Minneapolis.

 






MARCH 2011: QUEER VOICES
 

WENDY BROWN-BAEZ is a writer, teacher, performance poet and installation artist. She has facilitated writing groups since 1994. She has managed shelters for the homeless and visited incarcerated adults and teens. She is trained as a hospice volunteer and as a facilitator of Monologue Life Stories.She studied alternative healing, ceremony, and spiritual traditions with Earthwalks for Healthand is a member of a woman's Moon Lodge. Wendy is a performance poetwho has performed nationally and in Mexico, in cafes, bars, galleries, bookstores, schools, cultural centers, peace centers, writers groups, art festivals, women's retreats, and private homes, solo and in collaborations.She has published poetry andcreative non-fiction in numerous literary journals. In 2008, she received a McKnight grant to teach a bilingual writing workshop with at risk youth and in 2009, a McKnight grant to develop a writing workshop with impoverished youth into an art installation, both provided through COMPAS Community Art Program. She is the author of Ceremonies of the Spirit,a full-length collection of love poems published by Plain View Press in 2009 and chapbook transparencies of light, forthcoming from Finishing Line Press, 2011. 

KIMBERLY BROWN is a 2010 Loft Mentor Series winner. She has been a Loft Mentor Series finalist and received honorable mention in the “Dogs and the Women Who Love Them” essay contest in 2009. Her poetry has appeared in What Have You Lost? and Seeds from a Silent Tree. She has written bridge collapse advocacy pieces, which appeared in publications such as the Star Tribune, tcdailyplanet.net,and mn2020.org. A writer of both poetry and creative nonfiction, she is working on a memoir partially based on surviving the 35W bridge collapse. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a creative writing minor and currently works as a technical writer. She lives in Minneapolis with her wife, Rachel Anderson.

LUCAS DE LIMA, born in Brazil and raised across the Americas, lives in Minneapolis.  He has poems and reviews published or forthcoming in Scrivener Creative Review, Mudfish, Rain Taxi, ABJECTIVE, and Action! Yes.  A graduate of McGill University and recipient of the Peterson Memorial Prize, he is writing a book about somatic memory while pursuing an MFA at the University of Minnesota.  You can read his thoughts on art, the body, and animality at the multi-author blog Montevidayo.com.



STUART MERRILL


CHRISTINE TUHY is an emerging writer studying poetry and creative nonfiction at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. Her writing explores a variety of themes, including femininity, sexuality, culture, and violence. She is a member of the Loft Literary Center and the owner of Amigas Realty. She resides with her son in South Minneapolis.