[Photo Description: a brown round queer person wears glasses and a fedora hat with purple bowtie. they look forward with a brick wall behind them.]
*Photo credit: Jess X. Chen.
Kay Ulanday Barrett
A Campus Pride Hot List artist, Trans Justice Funding Project Panelist, and Trans 100 Honoree, KAY ULANDAY BARRETT is a poet, performer, and educator, navigating life as a disabled pin@y-amerikan transgender queer in the U.S. with struggle, resistance, and laughter. Kay has featured on colleges & stages globally; Princeton University, U Penn, UC Berkeley, Musee Pour Rire in Montreal, The Chicago Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum, and even an invitation to The White House. Kay’s bold work continues to excite and challenge audiences. A seasoned speaker, Kay has facilitated workshops, presented keynotes, and contributed to panels with various social justice communities. Kay’s ideas have featured in PBS News Hour, Colorlines, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, KPFA Radio, and WBAI Radio.
As a fellow of both The Home School and Drunken Boat Literary Retreat, honors include: 18 Million Rising Filipino American History Month Hero, Chicago’s LGBTQ 30 under 30 Awards, Finalist for The Gwendolyn Brooks Open-Mic Award, Windy City Times Pride Literary Poetry Prize. Their contributions are found in Poor Magazine, Plentitude, The Margins, Kicked Out Anthology, Trans Bodies/Trans Selves, Windy City Queer: Dispatches from the Third Coast, Make/Shift, Filipino American Psychology, Asian Americans For Progress, The Advocate, Fusion.net, and Bitch Magazine. Kay turns art into action and is dedicated to remixing recipes.
Recent publications include contributions in the upcoming anthologies, Outside the XY: Queer Black & Brown Masculinity (Magnus Books) and Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices (Trans-genre Press). Their first book of poetry, When The Chant Comes, came out from Topside Press in summer 2016. See their online wobble on twitter/tumblr/instagram as brownroundboi and on his website, kaybarrett.net
[Image description: A smiling middle-aged white woman with shoulder-length wavy silver hair in a purple top sits, arms crossed, against magenta bougainvillea flowers in her garden.]
Photo credit: Lauren Del Santoro França.
Andrea Carter Brown
Andrea Carter Brown is the author of The Disheveled Bed and Brook & Rainbow, an award-winning chapbook. Her work about 9/11 won the James Dickey Prize from Five Points, the River Styx International Poetry Prize and is cited in the Library of Congress Online Research Guide to the Poetry of 9/11. Her poetry has appeared in Southwest Review, The Gettysburg Review, and Ploughshares. A founding editor of Barrow Street, she has been Managing Editor of The Emily Dickinson Journal and Visiting Poet at Pomona College. She lives in Hollywood, where she grows oranges, lemons, tangerines, and limes in her backyard.
[Image description: Erin poses like a fashion icon in yellow high heels, a black thong, and a unicorn-decorated bra. Her hair is flaming red, and she sits on a minimalistic black wheelchair. High key lights and shadows create a dramatic horizontal V shape across the image, drawing the viewer's attention to Erin's figure and the sans-serif type reading "Selfie.]
Erin Clark is a Canadian living in Spain. Creator of Sex Icon magazine (www.howtobeasexicon.com) a lifestyle and travel magazine where she does all the photography, modeling, and writing. She recently began including short films to her list of forms of self-expression. Erin travels extensively, preferring adventures in wild nature. Most of her work is about her body, connection and progression of movement - between locations and states of being.
[Image Description: A white woman with shoulder-length red hair and a white shirt looks directly at the viewer against the background of a solid maroon wall.]
Eileen Cronin’s memoir, Mermaid, which is on O Magazine’s Best Memoirs of 2014, was translated into three languages. She is published in Washington Post, Daily Beast, and in literary reviews. She won the Washington Writing Prize in fiction. She teaches writing, psychology, and performs in The Moth.
[Image description: The photo is a close-up of a mid-twenties femme-presenting person with pale skin, dark eyebrows, hazel eyes, and a close-lipped smile. Her hair is brown and pulled back with bangs that go to the side on her forehead. She is wearing large glasses with a pink rim on bottom and brown rim on top. She has hot pink earbud headphones in her ears and is a wearing a large, two-tone grey scarf that covers her shoulders and most of her neck.]
Chelsea Grimmer lives in Seattle, WA, where she is attempting a Ph.D. in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Washington. Previously, she lived in Portland, OR, where she did her MFA in Poetry and MA in English, but before that, she grew up and stayed for a while in the Metro-Detroit area of Michigan. Her poems have appeared in a variety of publications, such as The Portland Review, Otis Nebula, and Drunken Boat.
[Image Description: This highly processed photo of Hilary shows a figure with swooping dark hair and paper-toned skin. Her features are obscured by the imaginings of the filter, lost in the play between noise and form, shadow and tone. Yet her dark eyes retain a sense of life through the machinations.]
Much of my art and writing these days seeks to tell stories about trauma, sexuality, life with Autism, intersectionality, and the attempts at navigating (and sometimes rebelling against) a mainstream, neurotypical society. My work’s been published by my father Tom Kryss (1960’s Cleveland Beat and “outlaw” poet) with Black Rabbit Press, Alan Horvath with Kirpan Press, Bill Roberts with Bottle of Smoke Press, Richard Robert Hansen with Poems for All Series in Sacramento CA, Bree Bodnar with Green Panda Press, David Flexer with Sojourners Tent Press, Siegal Lifelong Learning Center at Case Western Reserve University, Bree Bodnar with Least Bittern Books, Squat Birth Journal, and the Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy. I’ve had work on exhibit at Standing Rock Cultural Arts, “In the Workplace”; Mandel JCC, “Slavery and Freedom”; Negative Space Gallery “Art Of The People” Political Art Showcase; Gallery 1299 “Somewhere Eye Belong”; and online at PainExhibit.org.
My present life calling is to not only be the storyteller, but an artist advocate, creating writing and art representative of the diversity of life experiences of those of us in the ID/DD community and those of us with chronic pain and health. I want to bring the hidden and the oppressed to light, and to create a safe space for dialogue in the visual and literary arts. Suffering, alternate realities, parenthood, unconditional love, and a desire for social change fuels my mojo.
[Image Description: A young, white woman with hazel eyes, light brown hair, and glasses, smiling and wearing a dress with a blue, floral print.]
Grace Lapointe's fiction has recently been published in Mobius: The Journal of Social Change and is forthcoming in Kaleidoscope. She has cerebral palsy. She graduated from Stonehill College with a B. A. in English in 2011. In 2013, she interned at Beacon Press, where she wrote a readers' guide for A Disability History of the United States by Kim Nielsen. She works for a nonprofit organization in the Boston area.
Carolyn Lazard is a writer, film curator, and artist working in media and performance. Her work engages collective practice to address the ethics of care, dependency, and wellness. Lazard has presented work in various spaces including Light Industry, the Poetry Project, Recess, Anthology Film Archives, the Arnolfini, and the New Museum. She’s published writing in the Brooklyn Rail and Mousse Magazine. She is a founding member of the art collective Canaries and is a 2015 recipient of the Wynn Newhouse Award. Lazard holds a B.A. from Bard college and she lives between New York and Philadelphia.
[Image Description: The B&W photo of Raymond Luczak, who is a white, bearded middle-aged man, was taken by Andrew Bertke and shows the author wearing a dark-colored velour shirt and standing to the side against a white background; he gives a slight smile as he glances back at something out of the frame.]
Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of 18 books. Latest titles are The Kiss of Walt Whitman Still on My Lips and QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology. A playwright, he lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and online at raymondluczak.com.
[Image description: A close-up of a smiling white woman with blonde hair, a black v-neck top, a grey blazer, and silver hoop earrings.]
A former Chicagolander, Eileen Murphy lives near Tampa, surrounded by the wild animals of Central Florida, most of them mosquitoes. She teaches literature/English at Polk State College and has recently published poetry in Tinderbox (forthcoming), The American Journal of Poetry (forthcoming), Pittsburgh Poetry Houses, Thank You for Swallowing, Thirteen Myna Birds, Uppagus, quarterday, Right Hand Pointing, The Thought Erotic, Rogue Agent, and a number of other journals.
[Image description: A teenage non-binary girl looks at the viewer from the corner of her dark brown eye, through glasses with curved rectangular frames, only one side of her face visible. A gray shirt allows her collarbone and the area below her throat to be shown. Her curly hair, which is also dark brown, is in a bun with the ends being a shade of blue-green cobalt, and an undercut going from the middle of her head down. Multiple hairs stick up all over the place, seemingly unwilling to be held back by any elastic. The young girl is obviously not white, her skin an almost-golden tan with more yellow tones.]
Isis Nelson (she/they) is a 15-year-old student and part-time revolutionary in Pennsylvania. She is a disabled, queer, multiracial (black/white/?) girl. She's passionate about activism, human rights, intersectional feminism, and politics. Currently, she contributes to Affinity Magazine and Moviejawn, while editing for Siblíní Literary and Art Magazine. Isis has two blogs – one on Wordpress (isisnelson.wordpress.com), and the other on Tumblr (thelastfangirl.tumblr.com). She also blabs on Twitter @thelastfangirl (twitter.com/thelastfangirl) about nothing and everything.
Shannon O'Connor holds an MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College. She has been published in The Wilderness House Literary Review, Oddball Magazine, Wordgathering, and others. She writes in the morning and at night works for the corporate grind. She lives in the Boston area, and enjoys reading while taking public transportation.
[Image description: A large, white woman with glasses and very, very long, very dark brown hair that fades into black and bangs that are also black. She is wearing a black coat over a black and white stitched sweater with a pocket on the front and black pants and boots. She is using a pair of forearm crutches that are decorated with purple outer-space patterned tape. She is standing outside in front of trees with green and orange leaves and the ground is covered in orange and brown leaves.]
Michaela Oteri is a Freelance Digital Artist and Comic Artist. She is a queer, chronically ill cripple who suffers from several disabilities and finds joy in using her artwork to give confidence to others with physical and/or mental disabilities. She and her autistic spouse are currently based out of West Florida but are in the process of moving to Stockholm, Sweden. You can see her work @ https://ogrefairy.artstation.com
[Image Description: At the edge of an ocean, a young woman with windswept hair looks out over the waves. She is silhouetted by a bright sunrise, rendering most her features indistinguishable—except for a coffee cup she has raised to her lips.]
M. E. Perkins
M. E. Perkins is a creative nonfiction reader for Gingerbread House, an online literary journal. She currently teaches at Stephen F. Austin State University, where she received a Master’s degree for English and creative writing. Her poetry and nonfiction has previously appeared in The Piney Dark Horror collections (2015, 2016), Hothouse literary journal, and elsewhere. She was born with Usher’s Syndrome—a genetic condition affecting hearing and eyesight—and, as such, has long been fascinated with studying disability in both her creative and critical work.
[Image description: A non-binary femme of Sri Lankan and Irish/ Roma heritage in her early 40s and a mixture of dark brown curly hair with fuchsia pink and gray streaks wears a leaf green dress, bright pink lipstick, and a silver nose ring in a Brooklyn park. She smiles in delight with her eyes closed as she reaches towards a cascade of light purple wisteria blossoms. Her upper arm bears a tattoo of three cosmos flowers and Tamil lettering, which translates to "in my blood a million stories."]
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer, sick, and disabled nonbinary femme writer and cultural worker of Burger/ Tamil Sri Lankan and Irish/ Roma ascent. The author of Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home (Publisher's Triangle and Lambda Award 2016 finalist, American Library Association Stonewall Award winner 2016), Bodymap, Love Cake (Lambda Award 2012) and Consensual Genocide. She is also co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. Her work has been widely anthologized, most recently in Glitter and Grit and Octavia's Brood. From 2006-2016, she co-founded and co-directed Mangos With Chili, North America's longest running QTPOC performance art tour. She is a lead artist with the disability justice performance collective Sins Invalid, and is a weirdo who writes about survivorhood, disability justice, queer femme of color bodies and lives in Sri Lankan diaspora sitting in her room. brownstargirl.org has more.
[Image description: A white woman crouches with her Labrador/husky mix dog on the far shores of Cook Inlet in Alaska. The Chugach Mountain range rises in the background.]
Cinthia Ritchie is an Alaska freelance writer, novelist and poet who struggles with a long-distance running addiction. She’s a two time Pushcart Prize nominee and recipient of a Best American Essay 2013 Notable Mention. Find her work at Evening Street Review, New York Times Magazine, Under the Sun, Water-Stone Review, damfino Press, The Boiler Journal, Panoplyzine, Barking Sycamores, Postcard Poems and Prose, Poetic Medicine, Clementine Unbound, Into the Void, Theories of HER anthology, with upcoming work in GNU and Grayson Books Forgotten Women anthology. Her first novel, Dolls Behaving Badly, released from Hachette Book Group. She blogs about writing and Alaska life at www.cinthiaritchie.com.
[Image description: Approximately two thirds of Barbara Ruth’s face appears. She has grey hair, which is in her face, over her red glasses. Her eyes are brown and a tree trunk appears behind her. Her mouth and left eye are not visible.] Photo Credit: Barbara Ruth.
Barbara Ruth is a 70 year old physically disabled and neurodivergent lesbian who is Ashkenazi Jewish, Potowatomee, and Welsh. She performed with Mothertongue Readers Theater in San Francisco and with Wry Crips Disabled Women’s Theater Project in Berkeley from its inception in 1985 until 2001. Her poetry, photography, reviews, memoirs, and fiction have appeared in disability, feminist, literary, and queer journals and anthologies from Australia, Canada, India, UK and US. She is a daughter of Yemaya, Orisha of the ocean.
Candy Waters is an autistic, nonverbal 16-year-old artist. Her first published art book, Unspoken Gift, has received praise from notable artists such as director David Lynch who described the book as an example of "remarkable talent and accomplishments." More information about Candy's work can be found on her artist page at http://facebook.com/candywatersautismartist.
[Image Description: Close-up photograph of smiling woman with brown hair and eye crinkles on a small-town street in summer.]
Avra Wing is the author of the young adult novel After Isaac, praised in Publishers Weekly as a “complex story of life, love, grief, and recovery.” Her first novel, Angie, I Says, was made into a film: "Angie," starring Geena Davis and James Gandolfini. Avra’s poetry has been published in numerous journals, including Hanging Loose and Michigan Quarterly Review, and her collection, Recurring Dream, won the 2011 Pecan Grove Press Chapbook Competition. For many years, she has lead a creative writing workshop through the NY Writers Coalition at the Center for the Independence of the Disabled, New York. Find her at www.avrawing.com.