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2021 Writer’s Retreat Reading Series

A Weeklong Celebration of LGBTQIA+ Literary Artistry
August 8-14, 2021

The Lambda Literary Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices presents for the first time a week-long public Reading Series that celebrates the emerged and emerging queer, trans, and nonbinary Faculty, Fellows, and Writers-in-Residence to attend our 2021 virtual retreat. Join over 60 LGBTQIA+ writers as they perform excerpts of their literary art. Each Reading Series event includes ASL interpretation and is closed captioned. FREE.

The 2021 Lambda Literary Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices Reading Series is sponsored by Books Are Magic.

featuring Robin Talley, Saeed Jones, Samuel Ace, Nicole Dennis-Benn, & Monica Palacios

Sunday, August 8th at 5:00 pm PT / 8:00 pm ET
Sponsored by Books Are Magic

Robin Talley is the New York Times-bestselling author of seven novels for teen readers, including The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre, Music From Another World, Pulp, and As I Descended. Her books have been short-listed for the Lambda Literary Award and the CILIP Carnegie Medal, and have appeared on the Junior Library Guild and more.

Saeed Jones is the author of How We Fight for Our Lives, winner of the 2019 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction, the 2020 Stonewall Book Award/Israel Fishman Non-fiction Award, a 2020 Publishing Triangle Award, and a 2020 Lambda Literary Award. He is also the author of the poetry collection Prelude to Bruise.

Samuel Ace is a trans and genderqueer poet and sound artist. He’s the author of several books, including Our Weather O­ur Sea (Black Radish Books, 2019) and Meet Me There: Normal Sex & Home in three days. Don’t wash. (Belladonna* Germinal Texts, 2019).

Nicole Dennis-Benn is the author of the acclaimed novel, Patsy, (Norton/Liveright, June 2019), which Time Magazine called “stunning,” and the debut novel, Here Comes the Sun (Norton/Liveright, July 2016). She is a Lambda Literary Award winner and a recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Grant.

Monica Palacios is a Los Angeles based playwright, comedian, and activist. For over 30 years, Monica Palacios has created performances and plays featuring the LGBTQ Latinx experience. Palacios won the Nancy Dean Lesbian Playwriting Award 2021. Monica Palacios Day was declared by LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Oct 12, 2012. 

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featuring Arielle Burgdorf, Celeste Chan, C. Julian Jiménez, Natalie A. Martínez, Erica Frederick, David Paul,
Stephan Nance, Megan Xotchilt, Camille Washington, Nik Traxler, Rose Himber Howse, Rukmini Girish, & Court Stroud

Monday, August 9th at 5:30 pm PT / 8:30 pm ET
Sponsored by Books Are Magic

Arielle Burgdorf is a writer originally from Washington, D.C. currently pursuing their PhD in Literature at UC Santa Cruz. Their writing has appeared in Tasteful Rude, Maximum Rocknroll, Crab Fat Magazine, and elsewhere.

Celeste Chan is a writer & filmmaker, schooled by Do-It-Yourself culture and immigrant parents from Malaysia & the Bronx. She founded & directed Queer Rebels and curated experimental film programs for MIX NYC.

C. Julian Jiménez (he/him) Queer, Latine writer. MFA/New School. LaGuardia LGBTQ History Grant award. Co-writer: Bulk-The Series. Assoc. Professor at Queensborough Community. Twitter @JulianChristo

Natalie A. Martínez is a queer Chicanx poet, Aries, twin, scholar & curator residing in the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish Peoples. She received her PhD from Arizona State University.

Erica Frederick (she/her) is a queer, Haitian-American writer and an MFA candidate in fiction at Syracuse University. You can find her on Twitter @ericafrederick

David Paul (he/him) is a Bay Area writer. An alumnus of the Community of Writers, his work explores sexual identity, displacement and family drama. He is currently working on a novel. His fiction has appeared in ZYZZYVA.

Stephan Nance (@HelloStephan) is a singer-songwriter and writer whose music has been featured by the National Audubon Society and Birding Magazine. They are currently working on a young adult novel set in Eastern Oregon.

Megan Xotchilt (they/she/ella), a queer Xicana from South L.A. who loves exploring intergenerational memory and healing through prose and playwriting. You can find her on Instagram @me6gy

Camille Washington is a playwright and arts administrator. She co-directs Good Company Theatre, Utah’s only Black-owned theatre, and was the 2019 David Ross Fetzer Foundation Emerging Playwright.

Nik Traxler is a queer nonbinary writer who lives in Seattle. A former high school teacher, Nik writes about messy queers & the people who love them. Nik’s first published short story will appear in a YA anthology.

Rose Himber Howse is a queer writer from North Carolina. She’s currently a Wallace Stegner fellow in fiction at Stanford University and a Steinbeck fellow in fiction at San Jose State University. Find her @rosehimber.

Rukmini Girish (she/her) grew up in Chennai, India and lives in Chicago, Illinois. Nonfiction: Essay Daily and Litro Magazine. Solo work: ABCD, Piven Theatre’s Lab Series. Perfect morning: tea, book, sun. @rukmini_girish

Court Stroud has worked at Univision, Telemundo, TV Azteca and CBS. His writing appears in the New York Times, Washington Post and Forbes. In 2019, he received a NY Press Association 1st Place Award. TW: @CourtStroudNYC

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featuring Erik Brown, Elliot Joyce, Isaiah Holbrook, Kayla Upadhyaya, andie millares, Cherri Buijk,
Celeste Yim, Jesús I. Valles, Danielle Buckingham, Lane Stanley, D. Nolan Jefferson, Chad Morgan, & Craig Willse

Tuesday, August 10th at 5:30 pm PT / 8:30 pm ET
Sponsored by Books Are Magic

Erik J. Brown (he/him) is a Young Adult writer based in Philadelphia. His debut novel, ALL THAT’S LEFT IN THE WORLD, will be published by Harpercollins/Balzer+Bray in March 2022. Twitter @WriterikJB

Elliot Joyce is an avid fan of exploring his own complex relationship with gender, family, and culture through his writing. He enjoys playing D&D on the weekend and getting caught in the rain. Catch him on Twitter @eleldelmots

Isaiah Holbrook holds a BA in English from Saint Francis University & an MFA in Creative Writing from Oregon State University. His work appears in The Rumpus, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Harvard Review, and more.

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya (@KaylaKumari) is a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Miami. She is a fiction editor at TriQuarterly and a writer for Autostraddle.

andie millares is a writer and earring maker with work published in Catapult, Foglifter Journal, Underblong, and elsewhere. She is a Kundiman Poetry Fellow. For her erratic thoughts, follow @andiemillares on Twitter.

Cherri Buijk finished her MFA at Florida Atlantic University (2020), where she wrote her first collection of short stories. She has been published in Catamaran Literary Reader, Shirley Magazine, & Foglifter (forthcoming)

Celeste Yim (they/them) is a writer for Saturday Night Live. Celeste was the 2019 recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Canadian Women Artists’ Award. MFA: NYU Tisch 20′. Follow them @celestrogen.

Jesús I. Valles (they/them) is a queer Mexican immigrant, writer-performer from Cd. Juarez/El Paso. Their work has been featured in The New Republic, Palabritas, The Adroit Journal, PANK, NPR’s Code Switch, and more.

Danielle Buckingham, aka Dani Bee, is a Chicago-born, Mississippi-raised writer based in Oxford, Mississippi. Dani’s work has been published in Midnight & Indigo, New Orleans Review, Raising Mothers, and elsewhere.

Lane Michael Stanley is a trans filmmaker and playwright. Their first feature film ADDICT NAMED HAL premiered at the Santa Barbara FF. Their plays have been produced by 19 theaters in 8 states.

D. Nolan Jefferson aka D. aka Derrick aka @geekandahalf (he/him) is a writer, a librarian, a fan of tacos, golden age hip-hop, coffee, and thought provoking, boundary pushing art. He loves to twirl on his haters because life is too short and thinks you should also.”

Chad Morgan’s work has appeared in The Adroit Journal, Court Green, Columbia Poetry Review, and elsewhere. A graduate of Indiana University South Bend and Columbia College Chicago, he lives in Chicago.

Craig Willse is an editor, writing coach, & teacher living between LA & NYC. He’s the author of The Value of Homelessness. Craig’s working on a few TV pilots and a novel about an unhappy college professor.

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featuring Mimi Tempestt, Jack Kaulfus, JET Toomer, Trystan Reese, Jubi Arriola-Headley, Doctora Xingona Diana Alvarez,
Jaime Estepa, Dior Stephens, Katie Jean Shinkle, Dionne Richardson, Dale Corvino, & Elizabeth Evers

Wednesday, August 11th at 5:30 pm PT / 8:30 pm ET
Sponsored by Books Are Magic

Mimi Tempestt is a multidisciplinary artist, poet, & daughter of California. She has a MA in Literature from Mills College & is currently a doctoral student in the Creative/Critical PhD in Literature at UC Santa Cruz.

Jack Kaulfus is the author of the short story collection Tomorrow or Forever (Transgress Press, 2018). Their work has been published in A cappella Zoo, Heavy Feather Review, Barrelhouse, and more.

JET straddles multiple consciousnesses, piecing together prose & playwriting. A Columbia University MFA candidate, she experiments with Non-Fiction forms & capturing her humor on the page, JET’s from the LES of Manhattan

Trystan Reese (he/him) is an established thought leader, educator, and speaker, focusing on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. He is a professionally trained anti-racism facilitator and curriculum designer.

Jubi Arriola-Headley (he/they) is a Blacqueer poet and author of original kink: poems (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2020). Black Lives Matter. Trans Lives Matter. Stop Asian Hate. Art is Labor. Eat the Rich. Free Palestine.

An expansive multimedia artist and educator, Doctora Xingona’s music, poetry, performances, films, and gatherings center transcendence, kinship, and the co-liberation and nourishment of queer and trans artists of color.

Jaime Estepa (@_jaimest) is a queer, Filipino American spoken word artist, playwright, aspiring TV writer, and graduate of UC San Diego. He grew up on unceded Southern Paiute land (Las Vegas, NV).

Dior J. Stephens is a proud Midwestern (pisces) poet. He is the author of SCREAMS & lavender, 001, and CANNON!, all with Ghost City Press. He tweets at @dolphinneptune and Instagrams at @dolphinphotos. 

Katie Jean Shinkle (she/her) is the author of three novellas and six chapbooks, most recently Ruination (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018) and Will You Kiss Me Goodnight? (The Offending Adam, forthcoming).

Dionne Richardson is a researcher in Virginia. She’s published a short story called “Heart” in a literary magazine. She enjoys hiking and concocting herbal remedies in her kitchen. Her Instagram handle is _deerichardson_

Dale Corvino won the Gertrude Press Fiction contest for Worker Names. He’s written about Marilyn Monroe, kink, and Pedro Lemebel. “You’ve Got Male” appears in the Matt Keegan project 1996. He thrives in NYC. @dalecorvino

Elizabeth Evers (she/her, @EMEvers_writer)) is writer & nerd surviving in Atlanta, GA. She’s an aspiring superhero focused on writing sci-fic, fantasy & contemporary stories highlighting LGBT+ characters of color.

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featuring Michael Chang, H. Melt, Leah Johnson, Maria Isabelle Carlos, storäe michele,
Marrion Johnson, Elaine H. Kim, Nahshon Dion, Mary Maxfield, A.M. Rosales, & A.J. McClenon

Thursday, August 12th at 5:30 pm PT / 8:30 pm ET
Sponsored by Books Are Magic

Michael Chang is author of poetry collections DRAKKAR NOIR (won Bateau Press BOOM Chapbook Contest), BOYFRIEND PERSPECTIVE (Really Serious Literature 2021), and CHINATOWN ROMEO (Ursus Americanus Press, forthcoming).

H. Melt is the author of The Plural, The Blurring and editor of Subject to Change: Trans Poetry & Conversation. Their next book, There Are Trans People Here, is forthcoming from Haymarket Books (fall 2021).

Leah Johnson is author of award-winning books for children & young adults including her bestselling debut YA novel YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN. Her sophomore novel RISE TO THE SUN (Scholastic) is forthcoming in 2021.

Maria Isabelle Carlos is a writer and editor from Missouri. Her work has appeared in Passages North, Hyphen Magazine, and elsewhere. Follow her @mariacarlospoet and find her work at

storäe michele (she/they) is a black queer, shape-shifting, non-binary femme, afro-futurist performer + storäe-teller. their creative practice builds a present + embodied archive of black femme futures + aliveness.

Marrion Johnson is a Black, queer writer based out of Oakland, CA. Born & raised on the South Side of Chicago, Marrion utilizes fiction to examine complex realities facing Black communities including memory, lineage, & freedom.

Elaine H. Kim is a queer Korean American fiction writer born & raised in the Midwest. When not worrying about her novel & stories, she can be found working in the labor movement or keeping up w her 10-year-old twins.

Nahshon Dion is a teaching artist from California. Her literature in anthologies and journals and forthcoming memoir Shootn’ Range shows how youth can reach their full potential and shine when their rainbow is blurred.

Mary Maxfield strives to bridge arts, academics, and social change. A current Dissertation Fellow at St. Louis University, her work explores queer identity and community formation. Find Mary online at

A.M. Rosales is a writer, artist, and translator originally from Cochabamba, Bolivia. They hold a literature degree from George Mason University and their favorite rodent is the capybara.

Born and raised in “DC proper,” A.J. McClenon is passionate about teaching and the art of words & making, with the goal that all the memories and histories that are said to have “too many Black people,” are told and retold again.

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featuring Anthony Green, Ariel Estrella, Lulu Duffy-Tumasz, Hannah Suchor, Trevor Ketner, Guthrie Blechman,
Octavio R. González, A. Light Zachary, Benjamin Garcia, Anna Dorn, Aroh Akunth, & Joni Whitworth

Friday, August 13th at 5:30 pm PT / 8:30 pm ET
Sponsored by Books Are Magic

Anthony Green is an award-winning writer/director from Memphis, TN residing in Ward 7. His writing includes a short stories collection #BlackGayStoriesMatter, stage play When Boys Exhale, & film The Souls of Black Pebbles

Ariel Estrella (they/them) is a queer Latinx/e scholar hailing from Queens, NYC. Ariel is pursuing a PhD in Literatures in English specializing in queer of color lyricism and art. @arielmestrella

Lulu Duffy-Tumasz is a playwright based in Philly. Lulu studied playwriting and queer theory at Bard College, and is currently in graduate school to be a psychotherapist. They can be found ranting on twitter: @queerwhosneers.

Hannah Suchor (@hannahsuchor) is a writer from Wisconsin, an educational consultant in Shanghai, and a UMN Twin Cities fiction MFA. Their writing has appeared in Lunch Ticket, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, and elsewhere.

Trevor Ketner, author of 2020 National Poetry Series-winner [WHITE] (UGA Press), has been a fellow for Poets House, The Poetry Project, and Saltonstall Foundation. They hold an MFA from the University of Minnesota.

Guthrie Blechman uses fiction to illuminate the joy and trauma, marginalization, power, and complexity of their queer and trans community. They live in Chicago with their partner and 3 cats.Twitter: @guthrieblechman.

Octavio R. González teaches at Wellesley College. His chapbook The Book of Ours was a selection of Letras Latinas at Notre Dame. He’s revising his new collection, “Limerence: The Wingless Hour.” Twitter: @TaviRGonzalez

A. Light Zachary (@yyzachary) is an autistic, bigender writer in Canada. Also a poetry editor with @thepuritan, their chapbook “I build it better” will be published by @rahilasghost later this year.

Benjamin Garcia’s first collection, THROWN IN THE THROAT was selected for the 2019 National Poetry Series. A CantoMundo & Lambda Literary fellow, he serves as faculty at Alma College’s low-residency MFA program.

Anna Dorn is a writer and former attorney living in Los Angeles. She has published two books and has one forthcoming. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @___adorn.

Aroh Akunth (They/Them) is Dalit Queer Writer-Curator interested in building worlds that center the lived experience of their peoples. They are the current curator of Dalit Queer Project and Dalit Art Archive.

Joni Renee Whitworth (they/them) is a poet, producer, and curator from rural Oregon. Their work has appeared in Tin House, Proximity Magazine, SWWIM, Smeuse, Superstition Review, and elsewhere.

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