Panelist Bios

BOOK IT! Poetry, fiction and the future of lgbt letters. 

Trebor Healey, Felice Picano, and Jerome Ellison Murphy in Conversation

Trebor Healey is the recipient of a Lambda Literary award, two Publishing Triangle awards and a Violet Quill award. He is the author of three novels, A Horse Named SorrowFaun and Through It Came Bright Colors; a book of poetry, Sweet Son of Pan; and two previous collections of stories, A Perfect Scar and Eros & Dust. He co-edited (with Marci Blackman) Beyond Definition: New Writing from Gay and Lesbian San Francisco and co-edited (with Amie M. Evans) Queer & Catholic.

Jerome Ellison Murphy currently serves as Undergraduate Programs Manager at the NYU Creative Writing Program, and reviews poetry for Publishers Weekly. His poetry appears in Narrative Magazine, Pleiades, Spunk Arts Journal, The Awl, and Bellevue Literary Review. His critical writing appears in LA Review of Books, Poets & Writers, The Brooklyn Rail, The Adroit Journal, and Lambda Literary, and is forthcoming in the Yale Review. He is a board member of the poetry organization Emotive Fruition, and previously served on the board of Lambda Literary, the world’s foremost non-profit supporting LGBTQ literature. 

Felice Picano’s stories, novellas and novels are translated into seventeen languages, and include national and international bestsellers. He’s received awards for poetry, drama, short stories, and novels. Recent publications are Nights At Rizzoli and his Hollywood novel, Justify My Sins. Three more titles are being reprinted in the UK and US. Picano  teaches writing workshops for the West Hollywood Public Library and lectures on Vintage Hollywood and screenwriting.

Queer Kids

Aimee Herman is a Brooklyn-based queer writer and educator, and author of the LGBTQ Young Adult novel, Everything Grows (Three Rooms Press), as well as two full length books of poems, meant to wake up feeling (great weather for MEDIA) and to go without blinking (BlazeVOX books) in addition to being widely published in journals and anthologies including BOMB, cream city review, and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books). Aimee is a founding member alongside David Lawton in the poetry band, Hydrogen Junkbox.

A witness at Stonewall, founding member of NY’s Gay Liberation Front, and founder of the nation’s first LGBT Youth organization, Mark Segal is the publisher of Philadelphia Gay News which in 2018 was named one of the nation’s best weekly newspapers by the National Newspaper Association.  Mark has served as president of both The National LGBT Press Association and The National Gay Newspaper Guild. In 2015 he published his memoir And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality. In 2015 The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association named it the best book of 2015.

S. Chris Shirley is an award-winning writer/director and former President of the Board of Lambda Literary. His debut novel, Playing by the Book, was the first coming out novel to win a National IPPY Medal in religious fiction. He directed Roger Kuhn’s music video, “What’s Your Name,” which aired nationally in the US and made the annual MTV-Logo Top 10.  He also wrote/directed “Plus,” an award-winning short film that played at film festivals internationally.

Chris graduated from Auburn University where he served as photo editor of The Auburn Plainsman. He later received a graduate degree from Columbia University and studied filmmaking at New York University. He was born and raised in Greenville, Alabama and now resides in Manhattan.


Queer Women Writers Bloom Now & In the Future

Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon  is a Literary Salon Series modeled after traveling Salons, popular during the Harlem Renaissance. Poet and author JP Howard has curated and nurtured the Salon for over eights years. We are a forum offering all writers, especially women, of all levels, a venue to come together in a positive and supportive space. WWBPS has a large LGBTQ POC membership and is open to all. Monthly Salons are usually held in New York; however Salons have also been held in California, Oregon and Washington state. JP has been awarded Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) grants for the Brooklyn-based portion of the Salon Series from 2014 through 2019 and was named a Split This Rock Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activsim Finalist for her literary activism. The Salon has an ever-expanding traveling poetry library which accepts donations of new poetry collections and a Salon documentary is currently in progress with videographer Francesca Savoy. The Salon has been featured in or partnered with Literary Hub, Poets & Writers Magazine, Bryant Park Word for Word Reading Series, CUNY TV’s Study With the Best cable tv show, PEN America and The Poetry Project.  Follow the Salon on Twitter and Instagram @WomenWriteBloom and on Facebook for ongoing resources for poets and writers.

r.erica doyle was born in Brooklyn to Trinidadian immigrant parents. Her debut collection, proxy (Belladonna* Books, 2013), won the 2014 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America and was a Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry. Erica received her MFA in Poetry from The New School, and lives in New York City, where she is an administrator in the NYC public schools and facilitates Tongues Afire: A Free Creative Writing Workshop for queer women and trans and gender non-conforming people of color.

María Fernanda (surname Chamorro) is an early-career poet whose poems and translations appear in Pa’lante a la luz, The Wide Shore, Kweli Journal, and elsewhere. Featuring at The Brooklyn Museum, The Ecuadorian American Cultural Center, MoMaPS1, Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, and more, María Fernanda has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Callaloo Writers Workshop, and VONA/Voices of Our Nation. She is the founder of Candela Writers Workshop, designed to support Black-Latinx poets through the preservation and the advancement of Black-Latinx literary work. María Fernanda is a Queerocracy (VOCAL-NY) leader advocating alongside and for the rights of LGBTQIATS homeless in New York State. As a transracial adoptee, María Fernanda is a Black Ecuadorian American with adopted ethnicity branching to Louisiana and Texas. She is a Washington D.C. native

JP Howard’s debut poetry collection, SAY/MIRROR (The Operating System)was a Lambda Literary finalist. She is also the author of bury your love poems here (Belladonna*) and co-editor of Sinister Wisdom Journal Black Lesbians–We Are the Revolution! JP is a 2019-2020 featured author in Lambda Literary’s LGBTQ Writers in Schools program. She was a Split this Rock Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism finalist and is featured in the Lesbian Poet Trading Card Series (Headmistress Press). JP has received fellowships and grants from Cave Canem, VONA, Lambda, and Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). JP curates Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon, a NY-based forum, with a large LGBTQ and POC membership, offering writers a monthly venue to collaborate. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Academy of American Poets, Anomaly, Apogee Journal, The Feminist Wire, Split this Rock, Muzzle Magazine, and The Best American Poetry Blog. Her poetry is widely anthologized. JP holds a BA from Barnard College and an MFA in Creative Writing from The City College of New York. Visit JP online at:

Nicole Shawan Junior (Smith College BA | Pace University MST | Temple University JD) was born & bred in the bass-heavy beat & scratch of Brooklyn, where the Bed-Stuy cool of beautiful inner-city life barely survived the cripplings caused by crack cocaine. She is a black, queer multi-genre counter-storyteller. Nicole’s writing has appeared in Gay Magazine, For Harriet, The Feminist Wire, Rigorous Magazine, and more. Nicole is a 2019 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, the 2019 NYFA Geri Ashur Fellow, a Bread Loafer, a Lambda Literary Fellow, and Sundress Academy of the Arts Fellow. Nicole is a 2019 NeON Arts Teaching Artist grant recipient and a 2018 finalist for The Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival’s Nonfiction Prize. Nicole’s currently completing Cracked Concrete: A Memoir of Crackheads, Cousins & Crime. She’s also the creator of both the Roots. Wounds. Words. Writing Workshop for Womynx and COUNTERpult – a reading series that centers the counter-narratives of LGBTQ+/BIPOC storytellers. Read more at

Richard Meyer in Conversation with Boris Torres and Marlene McCarty

Marlene McCarty has worked across various media since the 1980s. She was a member of the AIDS activist collective Gran Fury and was the co-founder of the transdisciplinary design studio Bureau. Using everyday materials such as graphite, ballpoint pen, and colored pencil, McCarty probes issues ranging from sexual and social formation to capitalist toxicity. At UB Galleries and Silo City Buffalo is a 2-part installation of her most recent work INTO THE WEEDS, an exploration of the wasteland and regrowth. A major survey exhibition of her drawings, HARD-KEEPERS, was presented at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin in 2013. Her work is in the collection of major institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Brooklyn Museum; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. McCarty lives and works in New York having studied at the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture and Art 1975-77 and Schule für Gestaltung, Basel Switzerland from 1978-83.

Richard Meyer is Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in Art History at Stanford University, where he teaches courses on twentieth-century American art, the history of photography, censorship and the first amendment, and gender and sexuality studies. Meyer is that author of Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art, the second edition of which was published last year with a new preface on censorship in Trump’s America.   He is currently writing The Master of the Two Left Feet: Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered, the first book-length study of a Brooklyn tailor and slipper-manufacturer who achieved fame in the 1940s as a self-taught painter but has been largely forgotten since.  Meyer is curating a retrospective of the artist’s career that will open in 2021 at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Over the last 15 years Boris Torres has been creating work that explores queer identity and history, and his personal experiences growing up as a queer immigrant in New York. He is currently making portraits from life of the people in his community- friends, artists and queer activists. Boris works in different mediums such as collage, drawings and painting. Boris Torres received his MFA from Brooklyn College.  He has exhibited his work internationally in Germany, Canada, Ecuador and in New York- at The Bronx Museum of Art and at The Leslie Lohman Museum of Art. His work has been featured in critically acclaimed films such as “Keep the Lights On” and “Love is Strange”. He is proud to have his work included in “Art & Queer Culture” written by Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer-  a historical survey of artwork about the culture of sexual identity from the last 125 years.

Queer and Trans Zines

JB Brager holds a PhD in Women’s & Gender Studies from Rutgers University New Brunswick and a B.A. in American Studies with a certificate in LGBT Studies from The University of Maryland College Park. They also draw comics. Their scholarship has appeared in the International Journal of Communication, The Holocaust in History and Memory, and The New Inquiry.  Their comics and work on comics appears in the Jewish Comix Anthology, The Black Warrior Review, Shareable Magazine, The LA Review of Books, GUTS Magazine and Apiary Magazine. JB currently teaches History at Ethical Culture Fieldston School, and also teaches university courses, facilitates workshops, and gives lectures on subjects that include comics and zines, social media and photography, and human rights and genocide studies.

J. Hansen writes zines and blogs about bike touring, addiction and recovery, herbal healing, and female-identified solo traveling.
Cassandra Leveille has room in her life for cats and not much else. She lives in Manhattan.

Quinn Milton is an artist & writer based in Philadelphia, PA. Originally from Berkeley, CA, Quinn received their undergraduate degree from Vassar College & inevitably landed in NYC. since 2012 they have primarily worked with subject matter emanating from dreams and fantasies, as well as queer culture . Quinn is interested in translations, mistranslations, phantoms, exoskeletons, makeup, alchemy, children’s art, utopias, trash, and monsters.

Quinn has created artwork for small publications, t-shirts, websites, murals, comics, & tattoos. ​Quinn is also one of the creators and owners of Event Horizon Larp.