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Our Staff

Staff

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Cleopatra Jach Acquaye, Interim Co-Executive Director

Cleopatra Jach aka Cleopatra From The Bronx (Sir/Her) is Black Multi-Gender Queer who was born, raised, and lived in The Bronx, New York for 28 years. As a first-generation-born child of Ghanaian immigrants, education and access has always been a huge focus for Cleopatra life and she aims to make both priority issues in all areas of her life.

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Samiya Bashir, Executive Director

Samiya Bashir is a prolific poet, artist, writer, performer, educator, and advocate. A long-time communications professional focused on editorial, arts, and social justice movement building, Samiya was a founding organizer and longtime Board member of Fire & Ink, a nonprofit devoted to increasing the understanding, visibility, and awareness of the works of LGBTQ+ writers of African descent and heritage.

Samiya is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Field Theories, winner of the 2018 Oregon Book Award’s Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry. Her first book was published by Third World Press, the oldest independent publisher of Black literature, and she was later one of the first poets to be published by RedBone Press, where publisher Lisa C. Moore has been dedicated to raising the voices of Black LGBTQ+ authors for 25 years. Samiya herself is also a two-time Lambda Literary Awards finalist.

Samiya’s honors include the Rome Prize in Literature, the Pushcart Prize, Oregon’s Arts & Culture Council Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature, and two Michigan’s Hopwood Poetry Awards among numerous other awards, grants, fellowships, and residencies. In addition to her books, Samiya has served as editor to national magazines and anthologies of literature and artwork.

As an Associate Professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Bashir worked to create, employ, and teach—within and without traditional academic setting—a restorative poetics which can acknowledge the despair often bred by isolation and turn it toward a poetics of light and its potential for witness, for healing, and for change.

Bashir lives in Harlem.

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Monica Carter, LGBTQ Writers in Schools Manager

Monica Carter (she/her) is a writer, poet and reviewer. She was a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow, a Lambda Literary Foundation LGBT Emerging Voices Fellow and a fiction graduate of the prestigious PEN Center’s MARK program. Her fiction has appeared in literary journals including The Rattling Wall, Black Clock, Cactus Heart, Bloom and the anthology Strange Cargo. Her nonfiction has appeared in publications including Black Clock, World Literature Today and Foreword Reviews. She served as a judge for the Best Translated Book Award in poetry and fiction from 2008-2015. Monica currently manages Lambda Literary’s LGBTQ Writers in Schools. She is currently finishing her first novel.

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Chloe Feffer, Retreat Manager

Chloe Feffer (she/they) is an educator, poet, and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Their poetry and fiction have appeared in or is forthcoming in The B’K, Sledgehammer Literary, Stone Fruit, FEED Literary Magazine, JADEN, and elsewhere. Prior to joining Lambda Literary, Chloe worked as an early childhood educator, as an educational program coordinator, and as a facilitator for memoir writing workshops with incarcerated women. She holds a BA from Stonybrook University and an MA in Education from CUNY Hunter.

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Suzi Garcia, Review Manager

Suzi F. Garcia is the author of the chapbook, A Homegrown Fairytale, Bone Bouquet 2020. She is a co-publisher at Noemi Press and a Poetry Editor for Haymarket Books. Suzi is a Macondonista, a CantoMundo fellow, and a Lambda Literary fellow. Her writing has been featured or is forthcoming from POETRY Magazine, The Offing, Vinyl, Fence Magazine, and more. She has presented at PCA/ACA, AWP, and Console-ing Passions, among other national conferences.
Find her on Twitter at @SuziG or at www.suzifgarcia.com.

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Noa Isabella, Operations Manager

Noa Isabella (they/them) is a genderfluid, neuroliberated Virgo with a knack for creating efficient, Just & care-full systems. They’re a writer, map-makerbook artist, and musician; a multi-media shapeshifter and time traveler; a this-world-resistor. Their work is grounded in offering trauma-informed social justice healing & support to folks who are navigating racist capitalism and white supremacy in their workplace, relationships, operations systems, and in themselves. Their creative nonfiction work investigates magic, disability, multi-racial identity, genderfamily, memory, survivorhood, inner child play, and surviving the ‘pocalypse (past, & present). They have stubborn survivor parts and believe in the big brilliant visionary new world that comes after this one. They hold a B.A in Creative Writing and Social Justice Education from Hampshire College. They are writing a hybrid memoir.

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L. D. Lewis, Awards Manager

L. D. Lewis (she/her) is an award-winning SF/F writer and editor, and serves as a founding creator, Art Director, and Project Manager for the World Fantasy- and Hugo Award-winning FIYAH Literary Magazine. Other hats include service on the board of Diverse Voices, Inc., FIYAHCON Director, Chair of the 56th Annual Nebulas Conference, and researcher for the LeVar Burton Reads podcast. She is the author of A Ruin of Shadows as well as a number of pieces of lauded and long-listed short fiction and poetry. She lives in Georgia with her coffee habit and an impressive Funko Pop! collection.

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Maxwell Scales, Interim Co-Executive Director

Born and raised in the US South, Maxwell Scales (he/they) has been living/learning/working in NYC for over 18 years. He most recently served as the Audre Lorde Project’s Co-Director, focusing on resource organizing and financial sustainability, and at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, as the Director of Development and Finance, managing institutional funding and daily financial operations. Maxwell has nearly 15 years of experience as a professional fundraiser, including development work at Lambda Legal, the Brennan Center for Justice, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), focusing on events, planned giving, direct mail, and major gifts. He is a Certified Non-Profit Accounting Professional. Maxwell is into intersectional lenses, wealth redistribution, and spreadsheet shortcuts. He identifies as a black queer non-binary butch.

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