ROUGH CUT PRESS – Myriam Gurba is a writer and artist. She is the author of the true crime memoir Mean, a New York Times Editors’ Choice. O, The Oprah Magazine, ranked Mean as one of the best LGBTQ books of all time. Publishers Weekly describes Gurba as having a voice like no other. Her essays and criticism have appeared in The Paris Review, Time, and 4Columns.
THE WASHINGTON POST – Today, I am alive because a pink-haired stranger stopped me for a picture
WHERE DID YOU COME FROM, WHERE ARE YOU GOING? Billy Lezra joins Alex Schecter on this podcast episode for a heart-to-heart about addiction, radical honesty, and battling inner demons.
ROUGH CUT PRESS – Born and raised in Los Angeles, Raquel Gutiérrez is a critic, essayist, poet, performer, and educator. Gutiérrez’s first book Brown Neon (Coffee House Press) was named as one of the best books of 2022 by The New Yorker and listed in The Best Art Books of 2022 by Hyperallergic. Brown Neon was a Finalist for the Lambda Literary Prize for Best Lesbian Biography/Memoir, a Finalist for the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses’ Firework Award in Creative Nonfiction and Recipient of The Publishing Triangle Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction. A 2021 recipient of the Rabkin Prize in Arts Journalism, as well as a 2017 recipient of The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, Gutiérrez teaches in the Oregon State University-Cascades Low Residency Creative Writing MFA Program, as well as for The Institute of American Indian Arts’s (IAIA) Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing program. Gutiérrez gets to call Tucson, Arizona home.
ROUGH CUT PRESS – Silas House is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, one book of creative nonfiction, and three plays. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Time, the New York Times, the Advocate, Garden & Gun, and other publications. A former commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered, House is the winner of two Nautilus Awards, the Storylines Prize from the NAV/New York Public Library, an E. B. White Award, and the Southern Book Prize. He has been appointed as the poet laureate of Kentucky for the years 2023-2025.
INSIDER – When I was 13, my spleen was removed, leaving me immunocompromised. When I was 29, I was accepted to grad school, so I had to choose between my health and education. I’m entering my second year of grad school and hoping more people will wear masks.
TODAY.COM – I’ve never been comfortable with romantic date nights. So I came up with a solution: the anti-date.
LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS PUBLAB – “Cleanse, tone, apply serum, moisturizer, rosehip oil—these were the five steps of my mother’s skincare routine. If you do this every day, you’ll look good as you age, she said.”
ROUGH CUT PRESS – Jeffrey Marsh is a bestselling author, viral TikTok and Instagram star, nonbinary activist, and LGBTQ keynote speaker. Jeffrey is the first nonbinary author to sign a book deal with any “Big 5” publisher worldwide, for Penguin Random House. Jeffrey’s #1 bestseller, How to Be You, topped Oprah’s Gratitude Meter and was named Excellent Book of the Year by TED-Ed. Jeffrey’s second book, Take Your Own Advice, was a #1 Amazon Best Seller, outselling all Self-Esteem books upon its release. Jeffrey has spoken at the U.N. and for global brands like Target and BNP, and has reported on LGBTQ topics for Good Morning America, The New York Times, Variety, TIME, and the BBC. In addition, Jeffrey was an LGBTQ consultant for Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign and has consulted for New York University, GLAAD, MTV, Condé Nast’s Them, and Teen Vogue.
CNN – “Part of what fueled my addiction was a deep sense of isolation rooted in an estrangement from my nuclear family – my queerness directly informed this estrangement. I cannot meaningfully discuss this reality with people who may have never faced rejection based on their intrinsic identity. It is like trying to explain the sensation of water to someone who has never gone swimming: You have to feel it to know it.”
HUFFPOST PERSONAL – “For as long as I could remember, people told me I would look and feel better if I lost weight. … By the time I was 10, I ritually put myself on weird diets.”
HUFFPOST PERSONAL – “We had sex in three different bathrooms the day we got married in San Francisco City Hall, and I drank so much tequila, the bars turned to fluorescent red pulp.”
ROUGH CUT PRESS – Alok Vaid-Menon (they/them/theirs) is an internationally acclaimed writer, performer, and public speaker. As a mixed-media artist their work explores themes of trauma, belonging, and the human condition. They are the author of Femme in Public (2017), Beyond the Gender Binary (2020), and Your Wound/My Garden (2021). They are the creator of #DeGenderFashion: a movement to degender fashion and beauty industries and have been honored as one of HuffPo’s Culture Shifters, NBC’s Pride 50, and Business Insider’s Doers. Over the past decade they have presented at more than 600 venues in 40 countries.
ROUGH CUT PRESS – Andrea Gibson (they/them/theirs) is a queer author of five full-length collections of poetry, including Lord of the Butterflies (Button Poetry 2018) which sold over 20,000 copies worldwide. Winner of The Independent Publishers Award in 2019, Andrea is also a three-time Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist. In 2017, Penguin Books published Take Me With You, an illustrated collection of Gibson’s most beloved quotes, and in 2019, Chronicle Books published their first non-fiction endeavor, How Poetry Can Change Your Heart. The winner of the first Women’s World Poetry Slam, Gibson has gone on to be featured on BBC, Air America, CSpan, and regularly sells out large capacity venues all over the world. Gibson has also released seven full-length albums of spoken word. Their most recent book, You Better Be Lightning, is now available.
ROUGH CUT PRESS – Krys Malcolm Belc is the author of the flash nonfiction chapbook In Transit (The Cupboard Pamphlet) and the memoir The Natural Mother of the Child (Counterpoint). His work has appeared in Granta, Black Warrior Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere and has been anthologized in Best of the Net 2018 and Wigleaf Top 50. Krys has won contests at Redivider and Pigeon Pages and his work has been supported by the Sustainable Arts Foundation. He received his BA from Swarthmore College, his M.Ed in Special Education from Arcadia University, and his MFA in Creative Writing at Northern Michigan University. Krys lives in Philadelphia with his partner and their three young children.
THE INDEPENDENT – “On Mother’s Day, most of my logical family avoids social media the way people with migraines avoid concerts with strobe lights. In some ways, all Mother’s Day posts are identical: sweet-looking people smile in pretty places. They almost always touch. Some people post collages of multiple images. In the collages, the children become adults. The mothers soar into middle and golden years. The posts showcase continuity.”
ROUGH CUT PRESS – Nnadi Samuel (he/him/his) holds a B.A. in English & literature from the University of Benin. His works have been previously published in Suburban Review, Seventh Wave Magazine, North Dakota Quarterly, Quarterly West, Blood Orange Review, Uncanny Magazine, PORT Magazine, The Cordite Poetry Review, Gordon Square Review, Trampset, Beestung Magazine, Rigorous Magazine, Blue Nib journal, Kaleidoscope Magazine, Stonecrop Review, The Elephant Magazine, Birmingham Arts Journal, Lunaris Review, Inverse Journal, Canyon Voices, Journal Nine, Liquid Imagination, Silver Blade Journal, Star*Line Science Fiction & Poetry, Zoetic Press, Subterranean blue poetry, The Quills, Eunoia Review & elsewhere. Winner of the Miracle Monocle Award for Ambitious Student Writers 2021, and Canadian Open Drawer contest 2020. He won the Splendor of Dawn Poetry Contest April 2020, won the Bkpw Poetry Workshop Contest 2021, got shortlisted in the annual Poet’s Choice award & was the second-prize winner of the EOPP 2019 contest. A finalist of the Lumiere Contest 2021, Quarterly West’s Inaugural Contest 2020, NSPP 2020 prize, Hollins University Literary Festival Awards, Zocalo Poetry Competition 2021 & Pushcart Nominee. He is the author of “Reopening of Wounds” & “Subject Lessons” (forthcoming). He reads for U-Right Magazine. He tweets @Samuelsamba10.
ROUGH CUT PRESS – Susan Stryker, who received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed her postdoctoral research at Stanford, is a pioneer in the field of transgender studies. Before her appointment at Mills, Professor Stryker held appointments at Harvard, Yale, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Simon Fraser University. Susan Stryker is Professor Emerita of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona, and Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women’s Leadership at Mills College. According to Inside Higher Ed, she is “a driving force” in expanding academic programs and faculty hiring for transgender studies.
ROUGH CUT PRESS – Jen Richards is a writer and actress, as well as a consultant and advocate. She can currently be seen in the independent feature Gossamer Folds. Prior to that, she played opposite Kathryn Hahn in the HBO series Mrs. Fletcher. She also played the lead in a critically acclaimed episode of Netflix’s revival of Tales of the City, which looks back at a young Anna Madrigal (played by Olympia Dukakis) arriving in 1960’s San Francisco.
ROUGH CUT PRESS – Denice Frohman is a poet, performer, and educator from New York City. A CantoMundo Fellow, she’s received residencies and awards from the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures, Leeway Foundation, Blue Mountain Center, and Millay Colony. Her work has appeared in The BreakBeat Poets: LatiNext, Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color, The New York Times, ESPNW and garnered over 10 million views online. A former Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion, she’s featured on national and international stages from The White House to The Apollo, and over 200 colleges and universities. She co-organized #PoetsforPuertoRico and lives in Philadelphia.
ROUGH CUT PRESS – Diannely Antigua is a Dominican American poet and educator, born and raised in Massachusetts. Her debut collection Ugly Music (YesYes Books, 2019) was the winner of the Pamet River Prize and a 2020 Whiting Award. She received her BA in English from the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she won the Jack Kerouac Creative Writing Scholarship; and received her MFA at NYU where she was awarded a Global Research Initiative Fellowship to Florence, Italy. She is the recipient of additional fellowships from CantoMundo, Community of Writers, and the Fine Arts Work Center Summer Program. Her work has been nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her poems can be found in Washington Square Review, Bennington Review, The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. Her heart is in Brooklyn.
ROUGH CUT PRESS – “I was stuck in a bus during a decimating New Jersey winter the first time Andrea Gibson spoke to me through my right headphone (the left one was broken). The poem was grief and glory in the same breath; it was called ‘Dive.’”