Megan Ellis’s essay “I Like My Body More When It Is Bruised” in Volume 4 Issue 2 was an honorable mention for Best American Essays 2020.
Foglifter Journal is honored to have won a Whiting Foundation Literary Magazine Prize thanks to our contributors’ powerful writing and readers’ generous support! This recognition of our dedication to uplifting the LGBTQ+ literary community’s essential, powerful voices and stories means so much—we’re tremendously grateful to The Whiting Foundation and thrilled to continue serving our community.
Foglifter was a finalist for the 2020 CLMP Firecracker Award for Magazines: General Excellence.
TC Tolbert won a 2021 Pushcart Prize for the poem “untitled” in Volume 4 issue 2.
Greg Marshall’s essay “Secksi” in Volume 3 Issue 1 was an honorable mention for Best American Essays 2019.
Foglifter was a 2019 Lambda Literary Award Best Anthology finalist for Volume 3 Issue 1.
Foglifter was a 2020 Lambda Literary Award Best Anthology finalist for Volume 4 Issue 2.
Damitri Martinez’s story “Bat Outta Hell” from Volume 4 Issue 1 won the 2020 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers.
Chen Chen won a 2020 Pushcart Prize for his poem, “four short essays personifying a future in which white supremacy has ended” in Volume 3 Issue 2.
Foglifter—created by and for LGBTQ+ writers and readers—continues the San Francisco Bay Area’s tradition of groundbreaking queer and trans writing, with an emphasis on publishing those multi-marginalized (BIPOC, youth, elders, and people with disabilities). Our biannual journal features the widest possible range of forms, with an emphasis on transgressive, risky, challenging subject matter, innovative formal choices, and work that pushes the boundaries of what writing can do. By putting extraordinary queer and trans writers into conversation, we uplift a growing community of LGBTQ+ readers and writers and carve out space in the larger literary community for voices that have historically been silenced.
What we do
We currently publish a biannual literary journal, chapbooks by dynamic emerging writers, and anthologies through partnerships with Bay Area QTBIPOC literary organizations like RADAR Productions, Still Here San Fransisco, and Queer Ancestors Project. We host free, accessible release parties for each journal issue at Strut, a community center in the Castro District of San Francisco, as well as other free readings around the Bay and beyond, in addition to events we co-produce with other community organizations. We actively promote authors by nominating their work for yearly Best Of anthologies, as well as providing opportunities for readings, interviews, and collaborative community discussions. The success of queer and trans writers is the driving force behind everything we do.
Why we do it
Our commitment to underserved queer and trans writers and readers is deeply rooted in the editorial staff and Board of Directors individual identities as marginalized LGBTQ+ writers and readers. Holding the space for freedom and possibility within the pages of our journal and at our events is a direct response to our ongoing experiences of minimization and tokenization within the broader writing community.
Michal "MJ" Jones
Michal ‘MJ’ Jones (they/him) is a Pushcart Prize–nominated poet & parent in Oakland, CA. Their poems have appeared in Anomaly, Kissing Dynamite, TriQuarterly Review, & wildness. Often addressing the troubling and haunting aspects of life, violence, and identity, MJ’s work blends the lyrical, documentary, and confessional modes. They have received fellowships from Hurston/Wright Foundation, VONA/Voices, & Kearny Street Workshop. They received their MFA in Creative Writing—Poetry from Mills College, where they received the distinguished Community Engagement Fellowship. They founded & currently facilitate Litany!, a monthly workshop for a cohort of Black queer poets. Their debut poetry collection HOOD VACATIONS is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in 2023, and they are hard at work on their second collection! http://michal-jones.com
Luiza Flynn-Goodlett (she/her) is the author of Look Alive—a finalist for numerous prizes, including The National Poetry Series, and winner of the 2019 Cowles Poetry Book Prize from Southeast Missouri State University Press—along with seven chapbooks, most recently The Undead, winner of Sixth Finch Books’ 2020 Chapbook Contest, and Shadow Box, winner of the 2019 Madhouse Press Editor’s Prize. Her poetry can be found in Five Points, TriQuarterly, Pleiades, and elsewhere. Learn more at luizaflynngoodlett.com
Reach Luiza at email@example.com
Managing Fiction Editor
Cofounder, Managing Nonfiction & Hybrid Editor
Miah Jeffra (they/them/he/him) is author of The Fabulous Ekphrastic Fantastic!, The Violence Almanac, The First Church of What’s Happening, the forthcoming novel American Gospel, and co-editor of the anthology Home is Where You Queer Your Heart. Most recent work can be seen in StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, The North American Review, The Pinch, The Greensboro Review, DIAGRAM, jubilat and Barrelhouse. Miah teaches writing and antiracist studies at Santa Clara University.
Reach Miah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dior J. Stephens
Managing Poetry Editor
Dior J. Stephens (he/they) is a Midwestern pisces poet. He is the author of the chapbooks SCREAMS & lavender, 001, and CANNON!. His debut full-length collection, CRUEL/CRUEL, is forthcoming from Nightboat Books in 2023. Their most recent work appears in Peach Mag, Platform Review, and Marías at Sampaguitas Mag. Dior holds an MFA in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts and is pursuing his doctoral studies at the University of Cincinnati. Dior hopes to be a dolphin in his next life. Dior tweets at @dolphinneptune and Instagrams at @dolphinphotos.
Cofounder, Finance Officer & Distribution Manager
Chad Koch (he/him) received his MFA from San Francisco State University, where he was editor-in-chief of Fourteen Hills. He’s the recipient of the 2010 Miriam Ylvisaker Fellowship and the Leo Litwak fiction award from Transfer Magazine. He was assistant editor on Lawfully Wedded Wives: Rethinking Marriage in 21st Century. He is a 2016 fellow at The Grotto in San Francisco. His most recent stories were published in The North American Review, The Madison Review, Eleven Eleven, The East Bay Review (for which he received a Pushcart nomination) and Into the Void.
Reach Chad at email@example.com
Jessie Galloway (she/her) is a queer San Francisco-based poet with an MFA from Pacific University. A 2014 Lambda Literary Fellow, she’s the author of the chapbook Liminal: A Life of Cleavage published by Lost Horse Press. She directs and teaches poetry for Litquake’s Elder Writing Project, and serves as a poetry editor and the Development Director for Foglifter Press. She works full-time for the Disability Communications Fund as a Grants Program Associate where she writes poetry on smoke breaks. In her spare time, she enjoys riveting conversations with her best editor, a wily orange cat, named Snacks.
Reach Jessie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Irwan (he/him) sporadically writes about being a gay agnostic muslim immigrant from Malaysia, dealing with issues of identity, memory and mothers who haunt their errant children regardless of where they go.
Misha Ponnuraju (she/her) is a Malaysian American writer from Loma Linda, California. She graduated from UC Irvine in 2019, where she studied literature, creative writing, and art history. Misha founded the Dirty Cowboys Café, an interdisciplinary writing workshop for writers of marginalized genders. During this workshop, Misha and her community of emerging memoirists and poets read and write their way towards a deeper understanding of desire, compassion, and rage. Misha is also the Finance, Operations, and Grants Assistant for Kundiman, a literary nonprofit that nurtures new generations of readers and writers of Asian American literature. Her writing explores conceptions of home, belonging, and love within the apocalypse.
Reach Misha at email@example.com
Jason Lipeles (he/him) is a writer, curator, and human-being-with-feelings. He co-founded the ee! with Marcella Green, a space for loving responses to zines and artbooks. He is an alumnus of Image Text Ithaca MFA; Reciprocity Artist Retreat; and Institute for Jewish Creativity. His chapbook, Letters to M., a finalist for the Chautauqua Janus Prize, was published by Pilot Press in 2021. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in English and Literary Arts with a concentration in Creative Writing at the University of Denver. jasonlipeles.com
Reach Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org for print production.
Accessibility Coordinator & Assistant Poetry Editor
Charlie Neer (they/them) is a nonbinary queer writer from the Bay Area. Their work is featured or forthcoming in “Show Me Your Papers” by Main Street Rag, The Swamp Literary Magazine, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Vital Sparks, and Bridge: The Bluffton University Literary Journal.
Reach Charlie at email@example.com
Assistant Poetry Editor
Rob Colgate (he/she/they) is a Filipino-American poet from Evanston, IL. He holds a degree in psychology from Yale University and an MFA in poetry from the New Writers Project at UT Austin. A Pushcart nominee, his work appears or is forthcoming in Best New Poets, Washington Square Review, Muzzle, Prairie Schooner, and The Margins, among others. He is the winner of the 2022 Andrew Julius Gutow Poetry Prize, selected by Oliver Baez Bendorf and sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. His first chapbook, So Dark the Gap, was published by Tammy in 2020. Currently, he is a Fulbright scholar conducting research and writing poetry at Toronto Metropolitan University’s School of Disability Studies.
Wesley Olivia Cohen
Assistant Fiction Editor
Wesley O. Cohen (she/her) is a writer and editor living in Davis, California. Her work has been featured by Joyland Magazine, Entropy, Sparkle & Blink, and others. She is a 2017 Writing By Writers fellow. Wesley’s work lives at wesleyocohen.com.
Assistant Fiction Editor
N/A Oparah (she/her) is a queer, first-generation Nigerian-American writer. Her other work has appeared in Madwomen in the Attic, QXotc, Fictional International, ANMLY and other journals. N/A has received residencies in writing, art, and narrative media from Can Serrat in El Bruc, Spain and Proyecto Lingüistico Quetzalteco in Xela, Guatemala. N/A holds an MFA in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts and a B.S. in Neuroscience & Philosophy from Duke University. She is the Director of Community Programs at StoryCenter, a digital storytelling non-profit in Berkeley, CA. She is studying towards a PhD at Loughborough University in Creative Arts and Design in the UK. Her novella, Thick Skin, is forthcoming with KERNPUNKT Press (April 2021). More on her here.
Assistant Fiction Editor
Milo Todd’s (he/him) fiction focuses on trans and queer history, with additional works on the trans experience and the trans body. His fiction has appeared in SLICE Magazine, Foglifter Journal, Home is Where You Queer Your Heart (Foglifter Press), and Emerge: The 2019 Lambda Fellows Anthology (Lambda Literary Press). He was kindly selected as a 2021 Tin House attendee, a 2021 Monson Arts resident, and a 2020 Pitch Wars mentee. He was also named a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction for his novel DOWNHEAD (formerly SNUFF) and received a fellowship to attend the Lambda Literary Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. He is an alum of GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator Program, where he received a Pechet Fellowship for his novel THE FALCON OF DOVES. Milo currently teaches writing at GrubStreet and he consults on fiction manuscripts and transgender inclusion in the classroom. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram @Todd_Milo. In fiction, he especially loves historical pieces, voice, and messy queers.
Judah Greenberg (they/them) is a queer Jewish writer and a 2021 graduate of Kenyon College. They are the 2021 winner of the Muriel C. Bradbrook Prize in prose. Judah is passionate about queer theory, Hamlet, and villains with tragic backstories (examples include but are not limited to Star Wars’ Kylo Ren, My Hero Academia’s Dabi, and The Monster from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein). They have recently uprooted from their hometown in Maryland and now reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Assistant Poetry Editor
Yunkyo Moon-Kim (they/them) is a Korean lesbian poet. They graduated from Northwestern University in 2022 and is now a community worker in Chicago. Their poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Margins, Cosmonauts Avenue, Porkbelly Press, and more. They are a 2021 Tin House Workshop attendee and a participant of the Guggenheim summer college workshop. Currently, they are writing their first chapbook, which conceptualizes post-apocalyptic queerness and nonbinary futures.
Matthew Clark Davison
Matthew Clark Davison (he/him) is the author of Doubting Thomas (Amble Press ’21). He is creator and teacher of The Lab :: Writing Classes with MCD, a non-academic school started in 2007 in a friend’s living room in San Francisco. The textbook version of The Lab, co-authored by bestselling writer Alice LaPlante, will be published by W.W. Norton. His prose has been in or on Lambda Literary, The Advocate, Literary Hub, Guernica, The Atlantic Monthly, Foglifter, Lumina Magazine, and others; and has been recognized with a Creative Work Grant, Cultural Equities Grant, Clark Gross Award for a Novel-in-Progress, and a Stonewall Alumni Award. Matthew earned a BA and MFA in Creative Writing from SFSU, where he now teaches full-time.
William Johnson (he/him) is the PEN Across America program director at PEN America. A longtime steward in the writing community, Johnson was the editor and publisher of Mary Literary, a literary magazine committed to showcasing work of artistic integrity. He also co-produced Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, the first major anthology for queer poets of color in the United States. In 2011, Johnson began his tenure at Lambda Literary, an organization dedicated to promoting LGBTQ literature. As the deputy director of Lambda Literary, Johnson oversaw many of the organization’s most dynamic programs and public events, including the Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices and Lambda’s web magazine, the Lambda Literary Review.
In 2021, Johnson was awarded The Publishing Triangle’s Leadership Award, an award recognizing contributions to LGBTQ literature by those who are not primarily writers, such as editors, agents, librarians, and institutions.
Alicia Mountain’s (she/her) debut collection, High Ground Coward (Iowa, 2018), was selected by Brenda Shaughnessy to win the Iowa Poetry Prize. She is also the author of Four in Hand (BOA Editions, forthcoming early 2023). Her chapbook, Thin Fire (BOAAT Press), was selected by Natalie Diaz. Dr. Mountain was a Clemens Doctoral Fellow at the University of Denver and the 2020-21 Artist in Residence at the University of Central Oklahoma. Mountain is a contributing editor at the Kenyon Review. She is a lesbian poet, based in New York City where she teaches at Columbia University and in the Writer’s Foundry MFA program at St. Joseph’s College. Keep up with her on twitter at @HiGroundCoward. Alicia uses she/her pronouns and her name is pronounced “a-lish-a,” the middle syllable rhyming with fish or dish.
Natalia M. Vigil (she/her) is a queer Xicana writer with native heritage, multimedia curator, and big sister of six, born and raised in San Francisco. She is an arts administrator passionate about community-driven creativity and cultural preservation through artist sustainability. She is the Executive Director of the Queer Cultural Center of San Francisco and the co-founder of Still Here San Francisco for which she was honored as a Local Hero by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
Arisa White (she/her) is an assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at Colby College. Most recently, she is the author of Who’s Your Daddy, co-editor of Home Is Where You Queer Your Heart, and co-author of Biddy Mason Speaks Up, the second book in the Fighting for Justice Series for young readers. Arisa’s work has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Book Award, California Book Award, and an NAACP Image Award. As the creator of the Beautiful Things Project, Arisa curates poetic collaborations that center queer BIPOC narratives. She is a Cave Canem fellow and serves on the board of directors for Foglifter and Nomadic Press and is a community advisory board member for MWPA. arisawhite.com
Rowena De Silva
Rowena De Silva (they/them) Birmingham, England; Sri Lankan; queer; brown; big, curly hair; can talk about decolonization any day of the week; afraid of cats; BA in art history (…in progress); San Francisco / Chicago
Guest Fiction Editor
Zak Salih (he/his) is the author of the novel Let’s Get Back to the Party, recommended by O, the Oprah Magazine; BuzzFeed; Cosmopolitan; The Millions; Electric Literature; Vanity Fair; the Advocate; Harper’s Bazaar; Kirkus Reviews; Lambda Literary; and other publications. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Foglifter, Epiphany, Crazyhorse, the Florida Review, the Chattahoochee Review, the Millions, Apogee Journal, Kenyon Review Online, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. He lives in Washington, DC.
Guest Poetry Editor
Mihee Kim (she/her) is a writer, visual artist, and cultural organizer. She works intuitively across disciplines and traditions, foraying between writing, multi-modal collage, painting, and craft forms. Her writing has been nominated for Best of the Net, a Pushcart Prize, and her manuscript Nomenclature was named a finalist for the Bergman Prize. Nomenclature is forthcoming from Kelsey Street Press in the Fall of 2022. She earned a BA from UC Berkeley and an MFA at California College of the Arts, where she was awarded the Leslie Scalapino Award. Mihee is also managing director of Kearny Street Workshop, a longstanding arts nonprofit for Asian Pacific Americans. She creates on Chochenyo Ohlone land, also known as beloved Oakland, California.
Guest Hybrid/Nonfiction Editor
Tauheed Zaman (he/him) is a Bengali-American writer and physician who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. His prose appears in Salon and Foglifter Press. His science writing has been published in several medical journals including the Journal of Addiction Medicine and Substance Abuse Journal. When not writing, you can find him kayaking the Pacific coast or singing with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.
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