Contributor Biographies

Judy Grahn, renowned poet, activist, scholar, is the author of works that fueled both the Feminist and Lesbian-Feminist movements in the US and abroad. Her mythic-history Another Mother Tongue (Beacon Press, 1984, 1991) was vital to the Gay movement during the 1980s and 1990s. Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World (Beacon Press, 1993) was the subject of a 55 minute film, Poomaram, by Indian filmmaker Vipin Vijay. She has published more than a dozen books, more recently the autobiography A Simple Revolution: The Making of an Activist Poet(Aunt Lute, 2012), and Hanging On Our Own Bones (Arktoi Books, 2017). The Judy Grahn Reader, a compendium of prose and poetry, was published by Aunt Lute in 2009.

Jewelle Gomez (Cape Verdean/Ioway/Wampanoag) is a writer, activist, and author of the double Lambda Award-winning novel The Gilda Stories (Firebrand Books). Her adaptation for the stage, Bones & Ashes: A Gilda Story, was performed by the Urban Bush Women company in 13 US cities. She is also author of Forty-Three Septembers, a book of personal political essays and Don’t Explain, a collection of short fiction (both Firebrand Books). A former Director of The Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State University, she has also worked in philanthropy for many years, recently as Director of Grants and Community Initiatives for Horizons Foundation, and is former President of the San Francisco Public Library Commission.

Avotcja, poet and multi-instrumentalist, is a Bay Area icon, has shared stages with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bobi & Luis Cespedes, John Handy, Sonia Sanchez, Piri Thomas, Diane di Prima, Michael Franti, Jayne Cortez, and Jose Montoya’s Royal Chicano Air Force. She was an on-air deejay with listener-supported FM radio stations KPOO, San Francisco, and KPFA, Berkeley for decades, and was the opening act for Pat Parker the last three years of the poet’s life. A former Artist in Residence at the Milestones Project and San Francisco Penal System, Avotcja is a proud member of DAMO (Disability Advocates of Minorities Organization), PEN Oakland, California Poets in the Schools, and the International Women’s Writing Guild.

Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow and the author of Perfect on Accident, You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, Black Pearl, Post Pardon, A Penny Saved, and Hurrah’s Nest. Her poetry has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, NAACP Image Award, California Book Award, and Wheatley Book Award. The chapbook “Fish Walking” & Other Bedtime Stories for My Wife won the inaugural Per Diem Poetry Prize. She’s the co-author of Biddy Mason Speaks Up, the second book in the Fighting for Justice series for young readers, and forthcoming in 2021 from Augury Books is her poetic memoir, Who’s Your Daddy? Arisa is a member of the Jack Jones Literary Arts’ speakers bureau and is an assistant professor of creative writing at Colby College.

Leila Weefur (She/They/He) is an artist, writer, and curator based in Oakland, CA. Through video, installation, writing, and lecture-performances they examine the performativity intrinsic to systems of belonging present in our lived experiences. Their work brings together concepts of the sensorial memory, the abject, hyper surveillance, and the erotic. Weefur is a recipient of the Hung Liu award, the Murphy & Cadogan award, and the Walter & Elise Haas Creative Work Fund. Weefur has worked with local and national institutions including SFMOMA, The Wattis Institute, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, New York. They are a member of The Black Aesthetic.

Angela Hume is a scholar at work on a book that historicizes the roles health activist poets have played in multiethnic women’s and LGBTQ+ health movements from the 1970s to present and that shows how these writings have laid crucial groundwork for today’s environmental poetry and politics. Drawing on archival research, a foundational section of the book explores Audre Lorde’s and Pat Parker’s critical contributions to black women’s health movements along with today’s environmental justice politics. Hume is also a poet; her full-length book is Middle Time (Omnidawn, 2016), with a second book to be published by Omnidawn in 2021. She is co-editor, with Gillian Osborne, of Ecopoetics: Essays in the Field (University of Iowa Press). Hume is an assistant professor of English at University of Minnesota, Morris.

Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta (they/them) is a Nicaraguan Jewish artist, cook, doula, poet, and food and reproductive justice activist. The youngest child of Vanessa Acosta, they grew up in Mexico and in Hahamongna, Tongva land. Tatiana is the author of The Easy Body (Timeless, Infinite Light, 2017), a book length poem that grew out of their research on the role of reproductive labor in Latin American revolutionary movements, their own matrilineal history, and their experiences navigating reproductive healthcare in the United States as a queer person of color. In 2018, they were the Mazza Writer in Residence at The Poetry Center. They live in Yelamu Ohlone territory, in a rent controlled apartment a few blocks away from where their mother entered this realm.