Reading Queer


Authors scheduled to appear during the 2015 RQ Literary Festival @ MBFI. For the full schedule of events, visit our festival page here.
AUTHOR: Y’señia Almaguer

Bio: Y’SEÑIA ALMAGUER, mentored by poet Jan Becker.  Y’señia is one of Miami’s newest emerging artists and an aspiring writer.  Her work has been described as “Bold & Honest.”  She began to nurture her writing ability at the RQ Academy, most recently attending Jan Becker’s Writing Boot Camp, where she wrote the piece “I’m not My Father’s Son.”

RickBarotAuthor: Rick Barot
Most Current Book: Chord
Publisher: Sarabande Books

Bio: Rick Barot was born in the Philippines and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has published three books of poetry with Sarabande Books: The Darker Fall (2002), Want (2008), which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and won the 2009 Grub Street Book Prize, and Chord (2015). He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Artist Trust of Washington, the Civitella Ranieri, and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace E. Stegner Fellow and a Jones Lecturer. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry, The Paris Review, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Tin House, The Kenyon Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Threepenny Review. He lives in Tacoma, Washington and teaches at Pacific Lutheran University. He is the poetry editor for New England Review. Books: The Darker Fall, Sarabande Books (2002); Want, Sarabande Books (2008); Chord, Sarabande Books (2015)

Author: Houston Cypress

Bio: HOUSTON CYPRESS – YAHALÉTKE, mentored by poet Maureen Seaton; learn more about Maureen at Houston grew up in the swamps of the Florida Everglades.  The endangered beauty of the natural environment made such an impression on him during his childhood – being a refuge for his ancestors and the source of traditional plant medicines – that today he articulates strategies for preserving this World Heritage Site.  Houston Cypress is a Two-Spirit Poet, Artist, and Activist from the Otter Clan of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.  He combines art, communications, and spirituality through an organization that he helped to create, known as the LOVE THE EVERGLADES MOVEMENT.


Author: Denise Duhamel

She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including: Blowout (University of Pittsburgh, 2013), Ka-Ching! (University of Pittsburgh, 2009), Two and Two(2005), and Mille et un sentiments (Firewheel Editions, 2005).

Her other books currently in print are Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (University of Pittsburgh, 2001), The Star-Spangled Banner, winner of the Crab Orchard Poetry Prize (1999); Kinky (1997);Girl Soldier (1996); and How the Sky Fell (1996). Duhamel has also collaborated with Maureen Seaton on three volumes: Little Novels (Pearl Editions, 2002),Oyl (2000), and Exquisite Politics (Tia Chucha Press, 1997).

In response to Duhamel’s collection Smile!, Edward Field says, “More than any other poet I know, Denise Duhamel, for all the witty, polished surface of her poems, communicates the ache of human existence.”

She has received grants and awards from numerous organizations, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She is also the guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2013.

Duhamel teaches creative writing and literature at Florida International University and lives in Hollywood, Florida.

JulieEnszerAuthor: Julie Enszer
Most Current Book:Sisterhood
Publisher: Sibling Rivalry Press

Bio: Julie R. Enszer is a Jewish lesbian feminist poet and scholar, whose most recent poetry collection is SISTERHOOD (Sibling Rivalry). In addition to her writing, she is the editor of Sinister Wisdom Magazine, the oldest continuously.publishing lesbian journal in the US. She also created and runs the Lesbian Poetry Archive and teaches in the women’s studies department at the University of Maryland. Her AMNP collection HANDMADE LOVE explores the interactions of generations of feminism as well as the intersections of Jewish and lesbian identity, a subject she explored in greater depth in the anthology MILK & HONEY: A CELEBRATION OF JEWISH LESBIAN POETRY, which she edited for AMNP and which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.

Author: Rigoberto Gonzalez
Most Current Book: Our Lady of the Sorrows
Publisher: A Midsummer’s Night Press

Bio: Rigoberto González is a chicano gay author of 16 books, including UNPEOPLED EDEN (Four Way Books), which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Leonore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. He has also won Guggenheim and NEA fellowships; the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America; the Poetry Center Book Award; and most recently the 2015 Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. He lives in NYC. His AMNP book OUR LADY OF THE SORROWS explores queer identity in Mexico, the US, and the borderland between the two countries.

Author: Caridad Moro-Fronlier

CARIDAD MORO-GRONILER, mentored by poet Julie Marie Wade; learn more about Julie at Caridad is the award winning author of Visionware (2009) published by Finishing Line Press as part of their New Women’s Voices Series. She is the recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant for Poetry and a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in poetry. Her work has appeared The Notre Dame Review, The Comstock Review, The Crab Orchard Review, MiPoesias, and others. She is Editor-In-Chief of Orange Island Review, as well as an English professor at Miami Dade College and a dual-enrollment English instructor for Miami Dade Public Schools in Miami, Florida where she resides with her wife and son.

RaymondLuczak-Headshot-300dpiAuthor: Raymond Luczak
Most Current Book: Mute
Publisher: A Midsummer’s Night Press
Most Current Anthology: QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology
Publisher: Squares & Rebels

Bio: Raymond Luczak is a deaf gay author and anthologist, who has published over a dozen books, including EYES OF DESIRE: A DEAF GLBT READER (Handtype Press) and MEN WITH THEIR HANDS (Rebel Sartori Press). He is also the editor of Jonathan, a quarterly journal of gay fiction. He lives in Minneapolis. His AMNP poetry collection MUTE explores being deaf and gay from myriad perspectives.

DAWN LUNDY MARTIN (1) (1)Author: Dawn Lundy Martin
Most Current Book: Life in a Box is a Pretty Life
Publisher: Nightboat Books

Bio: Dawn Lundy Martin is author of three books of poetry, and three chapbooks. Of her latest collection, Life in a Box is a Pretty Life (Nightboat Books 2015), Fred Moten says, “Imagine Holiday singing a Blind alley, or Brooks pricing hardpack dandelion, and then we’re seized and thrown into the festival of detonation we hope we’ve been waiting for.” Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Pittsburgh, Martin is a member of the three-person performance group, The Black Took Collective. She is also a member of the global artist collective, HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?, the group that withdrew its work from the 2014 Whitney Biennial to protest the museum’s biased curatorial practices. Martin is currently working on a hybrid memoir, a tiny bit of which appears as the essay, “The Long Road to Angela Davis’s Library,” published in the December 2014 New Yorker magazine.

DavidTomasMartinezAuthor: David Tomas Martinez
Most Current Book: Hustle
Publisher:  Sarabande Books

Bio: David Tomas Martinez’s work has been published or is forth coming in Poetry Magazine, Plough Shares, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Oxford American, Forklift; Ohio, Poetry International, Gulf Coast, Crab Orchard Review, Drunken Boat, Academy of American Poet’s Poem-A-Day, Poetry Foundation’s PoetryNow, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Spork Press, Split This Rock, RHINO, Ampersand Review, Caldera Review, Verse Junkies, California Journal of Poetics, Toe Good, and others. DTM has been featured or written about in Poets & Writers, Publishers Weekly, NPR’s All Things Considered, Poetry, NBC Latino, Buzzfeed, Houstonia Magazine, Houston Art & Culture, Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Bull City Press, Border Voices, and many others. Having earned his MFA at San Diego State University, he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Houston’s Creative Writing program with an emphasis in poetry, and he is the reviews and interviews editor for Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. He has been a Breadloaf and CantoMundo Fellow. His debut collection of poetry, Hustle, was released in 2014 by Sarabande Books, which won the New England Book Festival’s prize in poetry, the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, and honorable mention in the Antonio Cisneros Del Moral prize. He is the 2015 winner of the Verlaine Poetry Prize from Inprint.

StephenMillsAuthor: Stephen S. Mills
Most Current A History of the Unmarried
Publisher: Sibling Rivalry Press

Bio: Stephen S. Mills is the author of the Lambda Award-winning book He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2012) and A History of the Unmarried (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014). He earned his MFA from Florida State University. His work has appeared in The Antioch Review, PANK, The New York Quarterly, The Los Angeles Review, Knockout, Assaracus, The Rumpus, and others. He is also the winner of the 2008 Gival Press Oscar Wilde Poetry Award and the 2014 Christopher Hewitt Award for Fiction. He lives in New York City. Website:

Achy Author: Achy Obejas
Most Current Book: This is What Happened in Our Other Life
Publisher: A Midsummer’s Night Press

Bio: Achy Obejas is a Cuban lesbian poet, author, and translator. Her books include the novels MEMORY MAMBO (Cleis), RUINS (Akashic), and DAYS OF AWE (Ballantine), and the short story collection WE CAME ALL THE WAY FROM CUBA SO YOU COULD DRESS LIKE THIS? (Cleis). She is also the editor and translator of HAVANA NOIR (Akashic). She has won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism, the Lambda Literary Award for fiction twice, and an NEA Fellowship for poetry, among many other honors and awards. She is currently a visiting professor at Mills College in Oakland. Her only poetry collection, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED IN OUR OTHER LIFE, is published by AMNP.

Author: Justin Phillip Reed
Most Current Book: A History of Flamboyance
Publisher: Yes Yes Books

Bio: Justin Phillip Reed is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Washington University in St. Louis. His poetry appears in Anti-, Rattle, and Connotation Press, and is forthcoming in Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color. YesYes Books will release his first chapbook, A History of Flamboyance, in 2015. He hails from Florence, South Carolina.

LawrenceSchimelPublisher/Author: Lawrence Schimel
Most Current Book:
Publisher: A Midsummer Night’s Press

Bio: Hosted by Lawrence Schimel, author and anthologist of over 100 books, including PoMoSEXUALS: CHALLENGING ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT GENDER AND SEXUALITY (Cleis), FIRST PERSON QUEER (Arsenal Pulp), TWO HEARTS DESIRE (St. Martin’s Press), etc. He has won the Lambda Literary Award (twice), the Spectrum Award, the Independent Publisher Book Award, and other honors. He is the publisher of A Midsummer Night’s Press. He lives in Madrid, Spain, where he works as a Spanish-English literary translator.

Reading Queer Teacher Maureen Seaton. IMG_3940 - Version 3

Author: Maureen Seaton

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 onStealth (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.

DanezAuthor: Danez Smith
Most Current Book: [insert] Boy
Publisher: YesYesBooks

Bio: Danez Smith was born St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of [insert] Boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Lambda Literary Award, and the chapbook hands on ya knees (Penmanship Books, 2013). Smith is the recipient of fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, Cave Canem, Voices of Our Nation (VONA) and elsewhere. He is a founding member of the multigenre, multicultural Dark Noise Collective. His writing has appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Beloit Poetry Journal, Kinfolks and elsewhere. In poetry slam, he is a 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam finalist and the reigning two-time Rustbelt Individual Champion, and was on the 2014 championship team Sad Boy Supper Club. In 2014 he was the festival director for the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam, and he was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He earned a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was a First Wave Urban Arts Scholar.


Author: Valerie Wetlaufer
Most Current Book: Call Me by My Other Name
Publisher: Sibling Rivalry Press

Bio: Valerie Wetlaufer is a poet, editor, birth doula, and teacher. Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for her first poetry collection Mysterious Acts by My People (Sibling Rivalry Press 2014), Valerie holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah, an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida State University, an MA in Teaching & a BA in French from Bennington College. She is the editor of Adrienne: a poetry journal of queer women, and author of three chapbooks. Her second book, Call Me by My Other Name is forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press in March 2016. Books: Mysterious Acts by My People (Sibling Rivalry Press 2014) and Call Me by My Other Name (Sibling Rivalry Press 2016).

Author: Julie Marie Wade

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