Upstairs @ Local 61
WO CHAN is a queer Fujianese immigrant, poet, and drag performer. Wo is the recipient of honors from Poets House, Kundiman, Asian American Writers Workshop, and Lambda Literary, and is published in The Margins, Cortlandt Review, No Tokens, and others. Wo is also a member of the Brooklyn based drag alliance Switch N' Play, and has performed at various venues, including weddings, municipal Pride festivals, Ivy League institutions, and the Architectural Digest Expo. You can find their digital persona on Facebook or Instagram (@theillustriouspearl).
CYNTHIA CRUZ is the author of four collections of poetry: Ruin, The Glimmering Room, and Wunderkammer. Her fourth collection, How the End Begins, was published in March of 2016. Her essays, interviews and art writing have been published in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, and Hyperallergic. Cruz has received fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony as well as a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. She has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College in writing and an MFA in Art Criticism & Writing from the School of Visual Arts.
JESSICA HAGEDORN is the author of Toxicology, Dream Jungle, The Gangster Of Love, and Dogeaters, which won the American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction. Other publications include Danger And Beauty, a collection of poetry and prose, and Burning Heart: A Portrait Of The Philippines. Hagedorn edited both volumes of Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction, and Manila Noir, a crime fiction anthology. Her plays include Most Wanted, Stairway To Heaven, Fe In The Desert, and the stage adaptation of Dogeaters. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fiction Fellowship, a Gerbode Playwriting Fellowship, and fellowships from the Sundance Theatre & Screenwriting Labs. Upcoming projects include the stage adaptations of Lysley Tenorio’s short story, Felix Starro, and Hagedorn’s own The Gangster Of Love. www.jessicahagedorn.net
MELISSA HUNTER GURNEY is a Brooklyn based independent writer and the founder of GAMBAZine – a literary magazine dedicated to the generation of authentic momentary, boundless art outside the politics of mainstream publication. Melissa is connected to the artist life as seen throughout South America and writes for La Gente Descalza (The Barefoot People). You can see more of her work at www-brokenbraids.tumblr.comand http://gambazine.com/
PAMELA SNEED is a New York based poet, writer and actress. She has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Time Out, BOMB,VIBE, and on the cover of New York Magazine. In 2015, she appeared in Art Forum and The Huffington Post. She hosted Queer Art Film at the IFC in New York City. She is author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery, published by Henry Holt in April 1998, KONG & Other Works, published by Vintage Entity Press (2009) and a chapbook Lincoln (2014). In 2015, she published the chaplet Gift with Belladonna. She appears in Nikki Giovanni’s The 100 Best African American Poems. She has performed original works for sold out houses at Lincoln Center, P.S. 122, Ex-Teresa in Mexico City, The ICA London, The CCA in Glasgow Scotland, The Green Room in Manchester England, BAM Cafe, Central Park Summer Stage and recently Columbia University's Tribute to James Baldwin, The Whitney Museum, and BRIC. Currently, she teaches in the department of Journalism and Communication at LIU and is an online professor at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute teaching Human Rights and Writing Art.