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Rachel Pepper

Rachel Pepper is the author of several nonfiction books including the recently released anthology, Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children (Cleis, 2012). She is the long standing book editor of Curve magazine and an award winning, widely published journalist. Having recently gone back to school to get her Master’s degree in counseling, Rachel is also an MFT Intern practicing in the Bay Area, specializing in the mental health needs of the transgender, LGB, and transitional age youth communities. Rachel is currently working on her first young adult novel.

AJ Reyes was born and raised in Austin, Texas. As a music lover, bookworm and sexy beast, he enjoys all things awesome. When he’s not roller skating, playing his guitar or watching covers of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” on YouTube, you’ll find him sitting on his bedroom floor writing. His published works include— Oh, wait. He doesn’t have any. He does, however, have a large collection of other people’s published works. You’ll often find an AJ in a dark and cold climate. AJ’s often melt when left in direct sunlight.

JP Howard (Juliet P. Howard) is a poet, lawyer, Cave Canem fellow and native New Yorker. JP was a 2011 Cave Canem Fellow-in-Residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a finalist in the 2009-2010 Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund poetry category. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Muzzle Magazine’s “Best of the First Year” print edition, The Mom Egg 2012, Cave Canem Anthology XII: Poems 2008-2009, Connotation Press and OF FIRE, OF IRON by The Hot Poets Collective. She co-founded and runs Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS) and blog. WWBPS’ debut poetry Anthology is forthcoming. [Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffith.]

Kima Jones is a poet and writer. Born and raised in Harlem, she writes to honor her grandmothers. Kima is at work on a first collection that is poetry but also fiction, family history and geography. It is a matriarchal line and a witness. Kima is concerned with mother/daughter relationships, the black female body, the family as body, women as a united body, anatomical and spiritual bodies, the ability and disability of the corporeal body and how those bodies inform relationships. Kima is an Afrofuturist and is interested in the body on this planet, in the sea, out to space, other realms, the possibilities of the black female body on other Earths.

Bonnilee Kaufman is a Learning Disabilities Specialist for the California Community Colleges. Her poetry was included in two anthologies Ghosts of the Holocaust and, Milk and Honey, A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry. She looks forward to having more of her work published.

Abbie J. Leavens is a writer-poet-mother-lover-teacher-student-friend who lives in Los Angeles. She is currently wrapping up her MFA from UC-Irvine. While at UCI, she has taught classes such as composition & rhetoric and beginning poetry. She loves teaching as much as writing, so this has been very awesome. Her work has appeared in various journals including Barnstorm, BlazeVOX, BLOOM, Reed, and Xenith, among others. She grew up in Iowa and enjoys iced tea, sunshine, and good company.

Charan P. Morris is a poet/performer/educator transplanted from Chicago to New York. She has been teaching literature in the NY public schools for seven years. Poetry takes its rightful place in her life — neck and neck with teaching. She has performed as a feature poet at a number of festivals and venues, namely The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Nuyorican Poets Café, DC Poetry Festival. Charan has shared a stage with artists such as Gill Scott-Heron, Lemon Anderson, The Last Poets, Staceyann Chin, Ishle Park, Tara Betts and others. After completing the Cave Canem spring writing intensive, she has just finished her first chapbook, When A Locked Door Opens, which explores the shifting relationship between family and the self.

Robert Andrew Perez lives in Berkeley, California with two biologists in a regrettably, but predictably, platonic arrangement. Unlike most poets, he is, quite literally, rolling in the dough, working for a deep dish pizza company based in Oakland. In true post-recession fashion, he holds various other odd jobs: teaching ESL, mobile DJing for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, and working for the English departments of UC Berkeley and Saint Mary’s College (where he earned his BA and MFA, respectively) in a variety of academic capacities ranging from undergraduate paper scrubber to lecturer. He is also the blog manager for the Underpass Reading Series and—for the sake of alliterative music we’ll call—the “director of design” for speCt!, a chapbook project. His recent work can be found in publications such as The Cortland Review, Writing Without Walls, and The Offending Adam. He apologizes for his aggressively professional bio photo.

Bridget Birdsall (MFA Vermont College) author, teacher, queer-loving salad-bar spiritualist seeks to connect hearts with words and art. Bridget made a mid-life decision to overcome dyslexic challenges and pursue her passion for writing, especially Young Adult (YA) lit and poetry. Today, she is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. Her YA novel August Atlas, about the challenges facing an intersexed teen, is seeking a publisher under the representation of the Jonathan Lyon’s Literary Agency. Her debut novel, Ordinary Angels, a story about siblings surviving the death of a sibling is available at Amazon.com.

Jef Blocker works as a recruiter for a non-profit and as Store Manager at Bound To Be Read Books in East Atlanta Village. His short fiction, essays, and poetry have won several writing contests. Jef participated in the Perfect Pitch at the 2004 and 2006 Atlanta Film Festivals. He’s a graduate of Orson Scott Card’s 2011 Literary Boot Camp, and was a finalist in the 2012 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. Jef writes a humor blog at www.CultofJef.com. He’s the 17th biggest Bananarama fan in the world and frequently does his cat’s evil bidding.

Christina Clover is a femme writer from England. She is currently completing a MA degree at the prestigious Bath Spa University and hopes to embark on a PHD course next year. She is working on “Riding the Line,” a Young Adult novel which introduces a teenaged girl coming to terms with her sexuality, after experiencing a devastating crush on an older woman. Christina has a young daughter and a house filled with pets. She has travelled around Europe and Africa, and is looking forward to extending her lesbian arms to the United States.

Lydia Eato Harris, a diary/journal writer from the age of seven, draws on her eclectic life experiences to energize her fiction writing. Born on Long Island, she has written, sang, and worked her way through Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, and Florida where she lives with her husband and her partner. Lydia has a Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees. She particularly enjoyed her seventeen years in Alaska. She also enjoyed her time in Oregon’s high plateau desert as “Motorcycle Mama” working with veterans and children. She’s a reviewer of Young Adult fiction for Lambda Literary Online.

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