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Alexis Smithers

Alexis Smithers is a black nonbinary writer who grew up and still lives in the DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia area) and creates mostly through poetry, personal essay, and fiction. A contributing editor for Words Dance Magazine, Alexis advised to Winter Tangerine Review’s workshop for writers of color, interned at a non-profit advocating for people with rare blood diseases, and attended Pink Door, a women of color writer’s retreat. Currently working in food service and trying to turn all the learning they’ve done in the past four years into a tangible degree, Alexis tweets at @DangerLove12.

Javier is a playwright, drag performer and producer. Javier’s performance work has been presented at colleges, clubs, theaters, and on city streets across the Southwest, on the East coast and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. His plays has been developed and presented at El Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista, Brava Theater Center in San Francisco and at AS220 in Providence, RI. His most recent works El Niño and Housewarming had concert readings at The Culver Center for the Arts as part of the Latina/o Play Project in Riverside earlier this year.

Kristian O’Hare’s plays have been produced or developed at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Ruckus Theatre, Ringwald Theatre, Ivy Theatre Company, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Sanguine Theatre Company, and Headlands Center of the Arts. His plays have been semifinalists at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and Seven Devils Playwrights Conference. His full-length play Like Poetry had a successful run in the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival. The New York Times called it “a highly promising production…beautifully structured, with an impressive blend of poignancy and humor.” Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of English at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN.

Azure D. Osborne-Lee is a theatre maker and arts administrator from South of the Mason-Dixon Line. He holds an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama as well as an MA in Women’s & Gender Studies and a BA in English & Spanish from The University of Texas at Austin. Azure is an inaugural Field Leadership Fund Arts Manager Fellow (2015-2017) as well as an alumnus of both Rising Circle Theater Collective’s INKtank (2014) and EMERGENYC, the Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program (2014). Azure has held playwriting residences with Brooklyn Community Pride Center (2015), New Shoes Theatre (2011), and Freedom Train Productions (2010), and he was recently awarded the 2015 Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Award for his first full-length play, “Mirrors.” He has performed at BRIC, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), HERE Arts Center, BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange.

Baruch Porras Hernandez is currently working on three full length plays, and a solo play. His solo play currently titled ¡Agárrate! is being developed for production by a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission for Individual Theatre Artists. His last solo play When I Was a Color Kid debuted at Marga Gomez’s PERFORMERAMA at Oasis SF-2015. His first solo show Reasons to Stay On The Ground was performed at the National Queer Arts Festival in 2010. His first children’s play Rosita y La Llorona was produced by Sonoma State University in 2003. His ten-page play, Apex of Friendzone was recently published by The Santa Ana River Review. He has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Sonoma State University and is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry-2014. Mr. Porras Hernandez’s poetry can be found in several anthologies and regularly hosts poetry shows in San Francisco where he lives.

Chris Puglisi is a playwright and poet from Phoenix, Arizona. He is a proud VONA/Voices alum. His work focuses on the intersections of blackness, queerness, and memory. He is in his fourth year at Oberlin College, where he majors in Africana Studies.

Charles Stephens is a writer and activist. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Counter Narrative Project and co-editor of the anthology Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call. His writings have appeared in the anthologies: Think Again, If We Have to Take Tomorrow, For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Still Not Enough and publications such as Georgia Voice, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lambda Literary Review, Creative Loafing, and RH Reality Check.

Writer-in-Residence Celeste Chan is a queer artist, activist, writer, and filmmaker, schooled by DIY and immigrant parents from Malaysia and the Bronx, NY. She makes experimental and hybrid genre work. Her recent writing can be found in AWAY, cream city review’s genrequeer folio, and the Glitter & Grit Anthology. In addition to her own practice, Chan curates, collaborates, and creates platforms to amplify fellow artists. Alongside KB Boyce, she directs Queer Rebels, a queer and trans people of color arts project. She’s a contributing editor to Foglifter, a new literary journal of queer form & content. Chan is thrilled to launch new projects in 2016. She is collaborating with Elliat Graney-Saucke to create ART Heart: Children of Riot Grrrl and Beyond, an experimental documentary (est. completion 2018). Her multimedia solo show, (Re)generation, debuts June 15 and 16 at SAFEhouse (Saving Art From Extinction) in San Francisco.

Writer-in-Residence Sarah Fonseca is a nonfictionist living in Brooklyn. Her work has been shared at the Queer Memoir Reading Series, SOLANUS, and in the digital pages of Autostraddle, Medium, and BuzzFeed. She is currently working on a collection of short essays on impostresses throughout history, both personally and culturally known. Fonseca regularly swaps her pen out for an olympic barbell. When she’s not writing for publication or tumblr, she competes in the USAPL.

Writer-in-Residence Sarah Jiménez is a fiction writer obsessed with the glory and growing pains of adolescence. The young adult trilogy she is currently working on centers around teen pregnancy, and three cousins’ mutual desire of leaving behind their small suburbia hometown. Sarah received her MFA in Fiction/Creative Writing from Mills College in 2015, and is thrilled to return to Lambda as a Writer in Residence.

Writer-in-Residence C. Kevin Smith was a Lambda Fellow in 2007 and 2013 and is thrilled to return in 2016 as a Writer in Residence. In May, he will receive an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he is an Iowa Arts Fellow. His work has appeared in The Sun, Alimentum, and the Redwood Coast Review, and has won awards from the Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation, the Carl Cherry Center, and the Templeton Foundation. When he is not in Iowa, he lives with his husband Jeff and their cat Joshua in Big Sur, California. Kevin is also a certified instructor of Tai Chi and Qigong.

Peyton Thomas is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto’s political science and sexual diversity studies program. They are a recipient of the Norma Epstein Foundation Award in Creative Writing, and their proposal on Weezer’s Pinkerton was recently shortlisted for publication in Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series. They are presently writing their first novel, and they aspire to give young queer and trans readers the happy endings they deserve.

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