**VIRTUAL EVENT: This event will be offered as a Zoom Webinar and live streamed on the Asian American Writers’ Facebook page.*** If you wish to join the Zoom webinar, please register through Eventbrite and we will send a link the day before the event.
Join us on THURSDAY June 18, 2020 at 7 PM EDT for a Book launch & PRIDE Celebration of Kay Ulanday Barrett‘s second book, More Than Organs published by Sibling Rivalry Press. What better way to usher Kay’s new arrival than to celebrate the dynamic and beautiful work of Queer, Non-Binary, and Transgender poets! For this event we are highlighting & fundraising for the TRANSgrediendo Intercultural Collective a nationally recognized bilingual and multicultural movement that defends and promotes the human rights of the diverse Trans* and gender-diversity identity populations in the United States.
A love letter to Brown, Queer, and Trans futures, Kay Ulanday Barrett’s More Than Organs questions “whatever wholeness means” for bodies always in transit, for the safeties and dangers they silo. These poems remix people of color as earthbenders, replay “the choreography of loss” after the 2015 Pulse shooting, and till joy from the cosmic sweetness of a family’s culinary history. Barrett works “to build / a shelter // of / everyone / [they] meet,” from aunties to the legendary Princess Urduja to their favorite air sign. More Than Organs tattoos grief across the knuckles of its left hand and love across the knuckles of its right, leaving the reader physically changed by the intensity of experience, longing, strength, desire, and the need, above all else, to survive. Kay will be joined by Ashna Ali, Jimena Lucero, Cyrée Jarelle Johnson, Rajiv Mohabir, Oliver Baez Bendorf, Natalie Sharp, Eddie Maisonet, & Jubi Arriola-Headley with ASL by Brandon Kazen-Maddox.
Named one of 9 Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Writers You Should Know by VOGUE, KAY ULANDAY BARRETT aka @Brownroundboi is a poet, performer, and cultural strategist. K. has featured at The Lincoln Center, The U.N., Symphony Space, Princeton University, Tucson Poetry Festival, NY Poetry Festival, The Dodge Poetry Foundation, The Hemispheric Institute, & Brooklyn Museum. They are a 2x Pushcart Prize nominee, Best of the Net Split This Rock 2019 nominee, and 2019 Queeroes Literary Honoree by Them.+ Condé Nast. Their contributions are found in Academy of American Poets, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Asian American Literary Review, Them, F(r)iction, PBS News Hour, Race Forward, NYLON, The Huffington Post, Bitch Magazine, The Advocate, & more. More Than Organs, published by Sibling Rivalry Press (2020) is their second collection. Currently, Kay lives outside of NYC area with his jowly dog and remixes their mama’s recipes whenever possible. https://www.kaybarrett.net/
Ashna Ali is a queer Bangladeshi poet raised in Italy and based in Brooklyn. Their poetry has been published in several independent journals including Nat. Brut., HeART Online, The Felt, No Dear, Ginger Mag, femmescapes, and Bone Bouquet. They serve as assistant professor of literature at Bard High School Early College. They are currently working on their first book manuscript. IG and Twitter: @doctordushtu
Cyree Jarelle Johnson is a writer and librarian living in New York City. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Boston Review, and Rewire News. He has given speeches and lectures at The White House, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The University of Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, Tufts University, and Mother Bethel AME Church, among other venues. His work has been profiled on PBS Newshour, Rooted in Rights, and Mashable. Cyree Jarelle has received fellowships and grants from Culture/Strike, Leeway Foundation, Astraea Foundation, Rewire.News/Disabled Writers, Columbia University, and the Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund. His first book of poetry SLINGSHOT is available from Nightboat Books. Find Cyree Jarelle on the internet @cyreejarelle http://www.cyreejarellejohnson.com
Jimena Lucero is a poet from Queens. She is currently an Emerge-Surface-Be fellow at the Poetry Project. You can find her writing in EOAGH, Colorbloq.org, and more. Jimena is currently working on her first poetry manuscript. Social media: Instagram: @jimena__lu
Oliver Baez Bendorf is the author of two books of poetry, Advantages of Being Evergreen (CSU Poetry Center 2019), which Gabrielle Calvocoressi called “an essential book for our time and for all time,” and The Spectral Wilderness (Kent State U. 2015), selected by Mark Doty for the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize. He was awarded the 2020 Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from Publishing Triangle, and he is a fellow of the CantoMundo Poetry Workshop. His poems can be found in recent and forthcoming issues of American Poetry Review, Poetry, BOMB, and New England Review, and were anthologized in Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. Oliver was born and raised in Iowa and he is currently an assistant professor of poetry at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. https://www.oliverbaezbendorf.com/
Rajiv Mohabir is an Indo-Caribbean American author of two acclaimed poetry collections and four chapbooks. His award-winning debut collection, The Taxidermist’s Cut (2016)—an exploration of sexuality and culture—was selected by Brenda Shaughnessy for the 2014 Intro Prize in Poetry by Four Way Books and a finalist for the 2017 Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry. Mohabir’s second collection, The Cowherd’s Son (2017), won the 2015 Kundiman Prize. Winner of the inaugural chapbook prize by Ghostbird Press for Acoustic Trauma, he is the author of three other multilingual chapbooks: Thunder in the Courtyard: Kajari Poems, A Veil You’ll Cast Aside, and na mash me bone, and na bad-eye me. Rajiv holds a PhD in English from the University of Hawai`i. Rajiv is currently on staff at Auburn University in Alabama, GA. https://blueflowerarts.com/artist/rajiv-mohabir
Natalie Sharp is a Black queer writer, dancer, and educator hailing from Savannah, GA and based in Denver, CO. She completed her MFA in poetry at the University of Colorado Boulder. Natalie is the CNF fellow for the Lighthouse Writers Workshop LitFest. She was a 2019-20 Fulbright Student (Armenia), a 2017 Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fellow in poetry, and a finalist for the 2017 Frontier Poetry Award for New Poets. Her poetry and nonfiction have previously appeared or are forthcoming in Foglifter, Cosmonauts Avenue, Puerto del Sol, BOAAT Press, The Shade Journal, and elsewhere. If you propose to her in a Waffle House, she will probably say yes. You can follow her on Instagram @short_sharp_shock.
Eddie Maisonet is an interdisciplinary storyteller, teaching artist, and performer who was born, raised, and based in Boston, MA. Eddie is a Black boricua, chronically ill, queer, nonbinary boi who balances writing with a love of dogs and his dog training certification studies. An emerging artist, he does a whole range of events and gigs from poetry features, community, college and conference workshops, keynotes, readings at variety shows, and gallery openings. He has been awarded two artist residencies at the Theater Offensive for the 2017 and 2019 seasons. The most recent project, “Narratives of Home,” based on interviews of those disproportionately affected by Boston’s gentrification-fueled housing crisis. Unfortunately the project is postponed due to the pandemic, but he is figuring out what the future his artistic community engagement will be after this crucial moment.
Jubi Arriola-Headley (he/him) is a black queer poet, storyteller, & first-generation United Statesian whose work explores themes of manhood, vulnerability, rage, tenderness & joy. He’s a 2018 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow & his work has been published or is forthcoming in Ambit, Beloit Poetry Journal, Nimrod International Journal, People’s World, & Southern Humanities Review. Jubi & his husband split their time between South Florida & Guatemala, and his first collection of poems, entitled original kink, drops this fall (October 2020) from Sibling Rivalry Press.
Brandon Kazen-Maddox is a Grandchild of Deaf Adults (GODA) and third-generation native signer of American Sign Language (ASL). Having grown up in Washington State, he moved to San Francisco, CA in 2010 to work as a professional circus acrobat for seven years. Brandon moved to New York City in 2017 and in May 2019, graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Master of Fine Arts in Dance and New Technology. Brandon currently works as a professional ASL interpreter and choreographer in New York City as well as remotely. Through his multimedia ASL production company Body Language Productions, Inc., Brandon collaborates with and provides opportunities for Deaf artists who share his passion for bringing artistic works of American Sign Language Dance Theater to the stage, screen and beyond. For more information, follow his Instagram/Twitter accounts @bkazenmaddox, his facebook page @facebook.com/brandonkazenmaddox or visit his website, www.brandonkazenmaddox.com.
The TRANSgrediendo Intercultural Collective‘s Overall Objective (from their website): “To strengthen and consolidate the social activity of the Trans and gender-diversity identity populations in the United States through social integration, information, education and political advocacy which allow us to visualize the reality that the Trans* population live and influence the creation of policies, plans, programs, projects and studies where this community can be seen and included.”