Reading Queer

Reading Queer invests in the LGBTQ literary community through 3 major programs: the RQ Writing Academy, RQ Literary Festival and the RQ Writers In Residence @ The Betsy Hotel – South Beach. Each program enriches queer literary culture in South Florida, advances the careers of South Florida based queer writers and ensures queer voices are heard regardless of the political environment. Learn more about what we do here:


“Reading Queer creates a platform for queer writers, artists and like-minded individuals that enriches our culture, advances our careers and ensures that our voices are never silenced. Growing up queer, I didn’t have a safe space to share my work with other queer writers, artists and mentors. It wasn’t until I started RQ that I felt a sense of community. On Give Miami Day (11/15/2018), help me raise $5,000 to continue RQ’s important mission to preserve and promote queer literary culture in South Florida.” —Neil de La Flor 

“Reading Queer has taught me that Queerness transcends race, gender, sexuality, and class— by which it is an umbrella term for many concepts, cultures, and the universal groups it affects. The organization has always allowed for my voice to be heard. Through the intimate workshops curated, I’ve encountered communities that tenderly brave the twilight of an exclusionary world— only to find the beauty in their inner and outer selves. I owe my self acceptance to Reading Queer and the writers that have come along because of it. Thank you.”Parvati Villaraba 

“After attending The Shadow Self writing workshop produced by Reading Queer, I felt as if a deep awakening had come from within. I left and I was not sure what the feelings were that I had exactly meant. I did know that a hunger to express myself had come to life again. I quickly remembered that habit trump goals, and I had gotten into the habit of not writing and ignoring that part of my expressive mind. However, Reading Queer reminded me to always embrace the feeling completely.”Carlos G.

“Reading Queer has been a unicorn’s breath of fresh air in the predominantly heteronormative world of Miami’s poetry scene. The best Book Fairs are always the ones where RQ contributes. It makes me proud to be from Miami, but most importantly, it’s given me beautiful friendships with other queer writers who I would not have known otherwise. Thanks for nurturing me, Reading Queer.” —Cathleen Chambless

“Growing up as a queer-gay man, I thought the only spaces to meet others like me were at bars or clubs. As time changes, it’s important to let future generations know that social media and hook up apps aren’t the only queer spaces. I take pride in planning events that brings all types of queer people together in a space where we can all experience our gorgeous-beautiful selves.” —F. Jouseph Sliba

“I’m grateful to the opportunity to gather in community with other Reading Queer poets and community who came out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to hear queer poetry at Lambda Litfest. While en route to Los Angeles after a rough week for me (and many in my communities), I felt stressed and wondered why I had signed up to leave home, travel and organize the reading. But when I arrived, we held space for our communities & for each other & I was reminded — this, this is why we gather — to listen to each other, to make and give space, to celebrate our stories.”  —Ching-In-Chen

“Teaching with Reading Queer has been one of the most positive experiences of my teaching career. No other group of writers I’ve worked with has blossomed as much as the participants I’ve had in Reading Queer workshops and through its mentorship program. It’s like watching flowers unfold as participants take power and ownership over their voices and identities and blossom into more fully actualized individuals with confidence and courage behind their words.” —Jan Becker

“I’ve had the pleasure and indeed the privilege of participating in several Reading Queer events since relocating to South Florida in 2012. I’ve read with talented writers from within and beyond the Miami area, including Jan Becker and Sandra Simonds. I’ve hosted two Queer Depots with Maureen Seaton, poet and teacher extraordinaire and the organization’s co-founder. I’ve also enjoyed the honor of leading a community poetry-writing workshop at the Hotel Gaythering. It seems to me the strength of this organization is two-fold: the diversity of its programming–truly something for everyone here!–and also the inclusivity of this deployment of the word queer. Rather than a synonym for non-heterosexual identities, the ‘queer’ in Reading Queer emphasizes queerness as practice, as paradigm-shifting creativity, as a power source that every person possesses and can cultivate toward the betterment of us all.”—Julie Marie Wade

“I had the great privilege of co-editing, with Neil de la Flor, the anthology, Reading Queer: Poetry in a Time of Chaos, a joint Reading Queer and Anhinga Press effort published in the winter of 2018. The volume collects poems and a smattering of prose by fifty living queer poets and writers and includes some of the most moving, subversive, gritty, and courageous writing to come out of the U.S. queer community in recent political times. When Neil and I started to solicit material for the anthology in 2015 we didn’t expect to compile a survival manual. Overnight, the work of these fifty poets became even more crucial. It became sacred. The anthology brings the LGBTQI community together in the spirit and solidarity of poetry at its finest and fiercest. It is our gift to all conscious citizens.”—Maureen Seaton, September 19, 2018

Support Reading Queer today and help keep our community strong