Lambda Litfest 2019 : Foglifter Press Celebrates Radical Queer Joy
In a world that bashes, discriminates against, and bombards queer folks with negative messages, there’s nothing more radical than reveling in the joy of queer life, love, and community. Foglifter authors Celeste Chan, Yuska Lutfi Tuanakotta, Lizzie Tran, Claudia Rodriguez, and Cheryl Klein read work that explores what queer joy means to them, where they locate it, and how they enlarge the space it occupies in their life and their writing.
Celeste Chan is a writer, filmmaker, and teaching artist, schooled by DIY and immigrant parents from Malaysia and the Bronx. She creates, collaborates, and curates to amplify voices within marginalized communities. From 2008-2018, she co-directed Queer Rebels, a queer and trans people of color arts project. She has screened films in Austin, New York, San Francisco, Montreal, Tijuana, Paris, Berlin, and beyond. Her work has been supported with residencies and fellowships from Hedgebrook, Hypatia, Lambda Literary Retreat, Mesa Refuge, SAFEHouse, Soaring Gardens, and VONA. Most recently, Celeste was awarded a Rona Jaffe Foundation scholarship to attend Bread Loaf.
Celeste’s writing can be found in several journals, including Ada, AWAY, Citron Review, cream city review’s genrequeer folio, Feminist Wire, Gertrude, Hyphen, Mixed Race/Queer and Feminist, and The Rumpus. She also has work in the anthologies, Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBT Voices, and Glitter & Grit: Queer Performance from Heels on Wheels. Celeste is a contributing editor for Foglifter Journal, serves as a Teaching Artist for the Queer Ancestors Project, and coordinates QTPOC FREE School. She is currently working to complete an experimental documentary titled: Artists of a Riot (formerly ART Heart: Children of Riot Grrrl and Queercore).
Yuska Lutfi Tuanakotta was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia and came to the US in 2011 to pursue dance and creative writing. He graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with two MFAs in fiction and nonfiction writing. He was a Lambda Literary Foundations 2014 fellow in nonfiction. Gentlemen Prefer Asians: Tales of Gay Indonesians and Green Card Marriages is Yuska’s debut nonfiction book and has been described as “graceful and sensitive, yet pleasingly acerbic when necessary,” by OUT magazine and “raw, vulnerable, and dynamic,” by East Bay Review. He lives in Los Angeles with his husband and their two cats: Taco and Tuna.
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Tran is a Kundiman fiction fellow, a Lambda fiction fellow, and the recipient of the Jeanne Cordova scholarship for Lambda fellows in 2017. She holds a B.A. from Rollins College, an M.Ed. from the University of California, San Diego, and an MFA in fiction from San Diego State University. Her book reviews, fiction, poetry, and essays have most recently appeared in Brickroad, Vien Dong, Little Saigon, Tayo Literary Magazine, Diacritics, and Foglifter. She is a high school and middle school English teacher, and a mother of two magical little boys. She lives on the shores of southern California, spending most of her days near the ocean she can’t breathe without.
Claudia Rodriguez is a co-founder of the queer Latinx performance group Butchlalis de Panochtitlan, and author of a collection of poetry titled Everybody’s Bread (nominated as a Lambda Literary finalist). She is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in Chicana/o Studies at UCLA.
Cheryl Klein is the author of a story collection, The Commuters (City Works Press); a novel, Lilac Mines (Manic D Press); and a monthly column for MUTHA called Hold it Lightly. Cheryl’s stories and essays have appeared in The Normal School, Foglifter, Blunderbuss, and several anthologies. Her work has been honored by the MacDowell Colony and the Center for Cultural Innovation. By day she works as Development and Communications Manager for the youth writing organization 826LA. She blogs about the intersection of art, life, and carbohydrates at breadandbread.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter: @meadowbat.
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