Writing the Walls Down is a multi-genre gathering of US and international voices in a cross cultural and nuanced dialogue that not only examines the power of walls to divide, but walls as sites of resistance, (re)connection, and community. The Anthology is edited by Amir Rabiyah and Helen Klonaris, alums of Writing and Consciousness.
Helen Klonaris is a writer, performer and educator who lives between Berkeley, California, and Nassau, Bahamas. Her nonfiction and fiction have been published in a number of North American journals including Calyx, So to Speak, and HLFQ, and in Caribbean journals, including The Caribbean Writer, Poui, Proud Flesh, Small Axe Salon, Anthurium, Tongues of the Ocean, Yinna, and Lucayos. My work also appears in three anthologies: Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writings, edited by Thomas Glave, Caribbean Erotic, edited by Opal Palmer Adisa and Donna Weir, and A Sudden and Violent Change, edited by Sonia Farmer.
In addition to Writing the Walls Down, she co-curated with Amir Rabiyah The Walls Project, a 2010 National Queer Arts Festival performance, and collaborated on and performed in Mixed, Blended & Whole in the 2011 National Queer Arts Festival.
Klonaris is also the co-founder and co-director of the Bahamas Writers Summer Institute and the director of The Gaulin Project, a migratory creative inquiry program that believes in imagination as a source of power, and stories as a place of radical transformation and possibility.
Amir Rabiyah is a queer, trans, mixed race, disabled, poet and educator currently living in San Diego, California. Amir's work has been published in Mizna, 580 Split, Flicker and Spark: A Contemporary Queer Anthology of Spoken Word and Poetry, Enizagam, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, the Asian American Literary Review, Kweli Journal, Sukoon, Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion and Spirituality and more. Amir is a three time VONA (Voices of our Nations) fellow. They were a finalist in the 2008 Joy Harjo Poetry contest, the 2012 Enizagam poetry contest, and the Atlanta Review's 2013 poetry contest. Amir has travelled extensively all over the United States leading workshops, and sharing their stories and poems. In 2009, Amir had the privilege of being an STP with June Jordan's Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley where they supported emerging poets develop their craft and deepen their voice. Amir has participated in residencies at the Kimmel Nelson Harding Center in Nebraska, The Guapamacátaro Center for Art and Ecology in Michoacán, Mexico and more. Amir is the co-editor of Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices published by Trans-Genre Press in October of 2015.
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