F143. The Coast Is Queer: LGBTQ+ Voices from the Pacific Northwest

Portland Ballroom 255, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
Friday, March 29, 2019
9:00 am to 10:15 am


How does a sense of place influence the work of LGBTQ+ writers? The Pacific Northwest, a.k.a. the queer-friendly “left coast,” is home to a growing community of LGBTQ+ writers, including transplants from farther east. Join multi-genre queer writers from Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia as they read and discuss what draws them to Cascadia, how locale informs their work, and what it means to write in the Northwest, outside major LGBTQ+ hubs of New York City, San Francisco, and Toronto.



Sara Graefe writes plays, films, TV, and creative nonfiction. She is contributing editor of the new creative nonfiction collection, Swelling with Pride: Queer Conception and Adoption Stories. Her ten produced plays include Dreamspyre and Yellow on Thursdays. She teaches in the Creative Writing program at UBC, Vancouver campus.

Ramón Esquivel teaches playwriting and theatre education Central Washington University. Recent premieres include The Hero Twins: Blood Race  and Above Between Below. Published plays include: LunaNasty, and Nocturnal.

Kate Gray’s novel-in-progress smashes Sylvia Plath against Maryanne Buckley, a fictional sister of William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1953. Kate’s first novel, Carry the Sky, stares at bullying without blinking. She is the author of three poetry collections. Her passion comes from coaching writers in PDX.

Michael V. Smith teaches in the interdisciplinary dept of Creative Studies at University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus. He is the author of six books: two novels, three poetry books, and the Lammy-nominated memoir My Body Is Yours. His short films have toured international festivals, including the BFI and Lincoln Center.

Carol Guess is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry and prose, including Tinderbox Lawn, Darling Endangered, and Doll Studies: Forensics. She is Professor of English at Western Washington University, where she teaches Creative Writing and Queer Studies.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center