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Reading Queer


Reading Queer has awarded the following local writers an RQ Teaching Stipend to teach workshops for the RQ Writing Academy. Every workshop is organized around a particular theme of relevance to the lives of the communities they serve. The focus of our public workshops will be to engage queer writers and artists of any level of experience in the development of their craft. View the Reading Queer Curriculum. Registration opens soon. Sign up for our subscriber list to receive notification when registration opens.

JAN BECKER is from a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania. She didn’t stay there very long. She grew up in a Marine Corps family, on military bases all over the United States. She is currently an MFA candidate at Florida International University and has taught courses there in composition, technical writing, creative writing and poetry. Her work has appeared in Emerge, Brevity Poetry Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, and The Florida Book Review. She is a regular contributor to the online journal Selfies in Ink and has read for Lipservice: True Stories Out Loud.

Reading Queer teacher Jan Becker.

Reading Queer teacher Jan Becker.

APRIL DOBBINS is a photographer, writer, and filmmaker. She was one of four filmmakers selected to screen her work at Sundance’s 2016 Documentary Film Rough Cuts Lab in Miami, and she is also a 2017 Sundance Institute Knight Fellow. Her films have screened at festivals across the U.S. An alumna of the prestigious Rittenhouse Writers Group, she did a TED talk on her work as a photographer and filmmaker for TEDxGrinnell in 2015, and she has been tapped to do a second TED talk for TEDxUMiami in 2017. Her documentary film project, Alabamaland, is an ongoing exploration of African-American culture in the rural South. She is a recipient of the S. J. Weiler Fund Award, which is made in recognition of exemplary artistic achievement and creativity in the visual arts as well as significant contributions to the arts community, and Cannonball Miami’s 2016 WaveMaker Grant.

VANESSA GARCIA is a multi-media and cross-genre artist, writer, journalist, and playwright. She’s written and reported for various publications including The New York Times; The LA Times; The Miami Herald; HowlRound; The Southern Humanities Review; and The Art Basel Magazine, along with numerous other journals, magazines, newspapers, and online media. She is also a Huffington Post Blogger. In 2010, she was named one of Miami’s 20 under 40 by The Miami Herald. That same year she was named one of Miami’s 100 Creatives by the Miami New Times. In 2008, she was one of four Literature Finalists, worldwide, in the Rolex Mentor & Protégé Arts Initiative. She’s also the Founding Artistic Director of Krane, Inc — a multidisciplinary arts company also known as The Krane (www.thekrane.com). Her complete CV can be found: www.vanessagarcia.org/about.php.

Reading Queer Teacher Vanessa Garcia.

Reading Queer Teacher Vanessa Garcia.

CARO HERNANDEZ was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She studied acting at New World School of the Arts High School, and went on to pursue the comedic field of gender studies in college. After years of people telling her “you’re funny”, she decided to take her gender studies degree to the stage (at the coffee shop that has an open mic once a month). She has worked with the Have-Not’s comedy company, Performing Arts Exchange, and hosted a weekly open-mic at the Open Stage Club in Coral Gables.

Reading Queer Teacher Caro Hernandez.

Reading Queer Teacher Caro Hernandez.

NATALIA LASSALLE (b. 1991, San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a theatre maker and filmmaker whose work integrates the disciplines of film, choreography and performance. She received her BFA from the Experimental Theatre Wing at New York University. She has been an Artist-in Residence at Inkub8 Open Space in Miami, FL, as well as the Fonderie Darling in Montréal and Lake Studios in Berlin, Germany. Her work has been shown in galleries and venues in Miami, Berlin, New York and Puerto Rico.

SHOOG McDANIEL is a southern, queer, non-binary, fat photographer and artist living in Gainesville, florida. I have been taking photos since high school, when a friend of mine dumpster dove 200 disposable cameras from behind a Walgreens. I became obsessed, and began documenting everything. I now shoot with a canon rebel t3i, and have yet to take a break from capturing intimate moments and beautiful people in my everyday life. My work is about highlighting bodies and lives that are often overlooked by popular society. I enjoy photographing fat bodies, trans bodies, and queer bodies. People`with gap-toothed smiles and missing buttons. I capture images of my friends. With little exceptions, I have a connection with the humans in my photos and I intend to show that through the intimacy of my portraits. I strive to connect the viewer of each photo to beauty within themselves, through understanding the brilliancy of diversity, by showing them that there are many ways to be beautiful.

LAURA McDERMOTT MATHERIC has been serving as the Festival Coordinator of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival since 2005. She studied creative writing at Florida State University and received her Masters of Fine Arts from Florida International University while concentrating on poetry in her studies. Currently, Laura is an Assistant Professor of English at Broward College – South Campus. Laura received recognition as a 2008 Conference on College Composition and Communication Professional Equity Project Grant Recipient, was awarded the 2012 Paragon Award by the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, and is currently a finalist for an Endowed Teaching Chair by the Broward Foundation. As a member of the Miami Poetry Collective, her poetry is regularly featured in its Cent Journal Series: A Modern Anthology of Miami Poets, and her poems can also be found in various publications such as Screw Iowa!, the Virginia Key website, and The Selected Collective: Volume VIII of Tigertail, a South Florida Poetry Annual. She also won honorable mention in the 2013 Virginia Poetry Society poetry contest.

Reading Queer Teacher Laura McDermott Matheric.

Reading Queer Teacher Laura McDermott Matheric.

CHRISTINE MORANDO was born and raised in Fort Myers, Florida, the Midwest of the South. She teaches composition classes at the University of Miami, and is currently working on her MFA in fiction at Florida International University. She can usually help you figure out who that actor was who was in that thing, and she really loves tacos.

Reading Queer Teacher Christine Morando.

Reading Queer Teacher Christine Morando.

CONNIE MAE OLIVER is a graduate of CUNY Brooklyn’s poetry MFA and founding editor of the sensation feelings journal. She is an English Adjunct Lecturer at Brooklyn College, and has served as a volunteer English instructor for The Prison University Project at San Quentin. Poems have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, CutBank Magazine, Anamesa, Jai-Alai, and Midway Journal. Work from a poem series titled Jesus The Beautiful Girl is forthcoming in La Vague Journal, and a painting titled Mädchen hält ein Handtuch und laufen neben einer Nonne mit einem Haufen von Blumen auf Ordensgewand will appear on the cover of Denver Quarterly. Her paintings and photographs are at: sensationfeelings.tumblr.com. She was born in Valencia, Venezuela.

Reading Queer Teacher Connie Mae Oliver.

Reading Queer Teacher Connie Mae Oliver.

E. PARKER PHILLIPS is a teacher, writer and performer who works across the genres of writing, kink and performance. Parker received their BA in Chinese from Yale and an MFA in Creative Writing from FIU, teaching at FIU and Broward College before opening a BDSM and fetish studio in Miami in 2014 where Parker produced over 100 events ranging from fetish theater to educational classes on the technical and mental aspects of BDSM. Parker’s poems have appeared in Hinchas de Poesia and Tigertail’s Miami Poetry Collective. Parker has also performed at the Miami Book Fair and BFI’s Weird Miami Bus Tour.

E. Parker Phillips

MAUREEN SEATON Poet Maureen Seaton earned an MFA from Vermont College in 1996. She is the author of the poetry collections Fear of Subways (1991), winner of the Eighth Mountain Poetry Prize; The Sea Among the Cupboards (1992); Furious Cooking (1996), winner of both the Iowa Poetry Prize and a Lambda Literary Award; Little Ice Age (2001);Venus Examines Her Breast (2004), winner of the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award; and Cave of the Yellow Volkswagen (2009).

Using collage techniques to create delight and dissonance, Seaton’s poetry has been described as unusual, compressed, and surrealistic. Seaton has explored the possibilities of collaboration throughout her career, writing poetry with Denise Duhamel in such collections as Exquisite Politics (1997), Oyl (2000), and Little Novels(2002). She also collaborated with Samuel Ace on Stealth (2011) and with Neil de la Flor on Sinead O’Connor and Her Coat of a Thousand Bluebirds (2011). Seaton, Duhamel, and David Trinidad edited an anthology titled Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry (2007).

Seaton is author of the Lambda Literary Award–winning memoir Sex Talks to Girls(2008), in which she addresses motherhood, sobriety, and sexuality. She teaches at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.

Reading Queer Teacher Maureen Seaton. IMG_3940 - Version 3

Reading Queer Teacher Maureen Seaton.

LUTZE B. SEGU is a native of Miami and a first-generation Haitian-American. She is an alum of Florida Memorial University the only historical Black college in Miami. She majored in English Literature and credits FMU for politicizing and fostering her #BlackGirlMagic. Lutze holds a Masters in Social Work from Barry University, but she is #notyouraveragesocialworker. For the past five years she has been practicing social work that is rooted in Black Feminism, Queer Theory, and Critical Race Theory. She is also an activist, writer, curator of sociopolitical spaces, organizer, and social justice practioner.  In the fall Lutze is moving to Vancouver, Canada to attend the University of British Columbia to pursue a doctoral degree in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice.

RQ teacher Lutze Segu

CAROL TODARO’s artists’ books and prints have been collected by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the National Museum for Women in the Arts, the Library of Congress and the Jaffe Collection at Florida Atlantic University, among other public institutions. Her poetry chapbook Moonviewing (Floating Wolf Quarterly # 7) was released in 2011. She teaches at New World School of the Arts in Miami.

Carol Todaro leads workshop at University of Miami.

Reading Queer teacher Carol Todaro.


Born in Seattle in 1979, Julie Marie Wade completed undergraduate degrees in English and Psychology at Pacific Lutheran University and graduate degrees in Creative Writing and Literature at Western Washington University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Louisville.  She is the author of four collections of poetry, including the forthcoming SIX (Red Hen Press, 2016) and When I Was Straight (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2014), and four collections of lyric nonfiction, including the forthcoming Catechism: A Love Story (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures (Bywater Books, 2014; Colgate University Press, 2010).  A recipient of an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council, a grant for feminist nonfiction from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir, Wade teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University.  She is married to Angie Griffin and lives in Dania Beach.  Find her at www.juliemariewade.net.

Julie Marie Wade

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