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Reading | Sex, Love & Distance

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Tommy Pico

Tommy Pico is an indigenous writer, poet, and podcast host. He is the author of the books IRL (Birds, LLC, 2016), winner of the 2017 Brooklyn Library Literary Prize and a finalist for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Nature Poem (Tin House Books, 2017), winner of a 2018 American Book Award and finalist for the 2018 Lambda Literary Award, Junk (Tin House Books, 2018), finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award, Feed (Tin House Books, 2019), and the zine series Hey, Teebs. He was the founder and editor in chief of birdsong, an antiracist/queer-positive collective, small press, and zine that published art and writing from 2008-2013. He was a Queer/Art/Mentors inaugural fellow, 2013 Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry, a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and is the recipient of the 2017 Friends of Literature prize from the Poetry Foundation and a 2018 Whiting Award in Poetry. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now splits his time between Los Angles and Brooklyn. He co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker at the Ace Hotel, co-hosts the podcasts Food 4 Thot and Scream, Queen! and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub.

Karla Brundage

Founder of West Oakland to West Africa Poetry Exchange

Miah Jeffra

Miah is the author of The First Church of What’s Happening (Nomadic 2017), The Fabulous Ekphrastic Fantastic! (Sibling Rivalry 2020), The Violence Almanac (Black Lawrence 2021), and co-editor, with Arisa White and Monique Mero, of the anthology Home is Where You Queer Your Heart (Foglifter 2020). Miah is also the founding editor of queer literary collaborative, Foglifter Press.

Cyril Wong

Cyril Wong is the author of poetry collections such as Unmarked Treasure (2012), Tilting Our Plates to Catch the Light (2012), The Dictator’s Eyebrow (2013), After You (2013), and The Lover's Inventory (2015). His most recent collection is Infinity Diary (2020), published with Seagull Books. A recipient of the 2005 National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award and the 2006 and 2016 Singapore Literature Prize, he studied at St. Patrick’s School and Temasek Junior College, and completed his doctoral degree in English Literature at the National University of Singapore in 2012. According to The Routledge Concise History of Southeast Asian Writing in English, “Wong has many styles, all of them limber, which combine the anecdotal and the confessional with the intuitive and the empathetic”. The Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry in English describes him thus: “[Wong] has been most often labelled a confessional poet on the basis of the brutally candid sexuality in his poetry, along with a barely submerged anxiety over the fragility of human connection and a relentless self-querying”. Wong served at various times as a creative-writing instructor for the Singapore Association for Mental Health and the Ministry of Education’s Creative Arts Programme, an arts manager at The Substation, as well as a book and performing arts reviewer for The Straits Times. Besides poetry, he also published two collections of short stories and two novels, most recently This Side of Heaven (2020). He appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Singapore Literature Festival in New York, the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, the Sydney, Melbourne and Byron Bay Writers Festivals, Vietnam’s first Asia-Pacific Poetry Festival, the Utan Kayu International Literary Biennale, and the Ubud Readers and Writers Festival. His poems were interpreted through dance at the 2004 Queensland Poetry Festival and his verse monologue, "Still Flight", was presented at the 2005 Magdalena International Festival of Women in Contemporary Theatre (USA). At the Seoul Fringe Festival, he performed as a renegade countertenor.

Charlie Vázquez

Charlie Vázquez is the director of the Bronx Writers Center at Bronx Council on the Arts, as well as the New York Coordinator for Puerto Rico’s Festival de la Palabra. He writes speculative fiction and is inspired by the crossroads where history meets spirituality.

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