Queering Kansas: LGBTQ+ Writers in the Heartland

Room 2102A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Thursday, February 8, 2024
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Five Kansas LGBTQ writers of memoir and poetry discuss how Kansas influences their writing in both representation and resistance. How do LGBTQ+ poets and writers draw on the landscape of Kansas, from the Tallgrass Prairie to the Flint Hills? How is memoir and poetry shaped by writing as survival? How has prose and poetry played a role in coming out? How does community play a role in subject matter and support in LGBTQ+ writing? This panel will be a lively conversation about Kansas queer writing.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: 24AWP-T113-Outline.pdf



Dennis Etzel, Jr. (he/they) is a neuroqueer writer who lives in Topeka, Kansas and teaches at Washburn University. His poetry books include The Sum of Two Mothers, My Secret Wars of 1984, and This Removed Utopia. They have won awards for diversity and inclusion, and lead Kansas writing workshops.

Laura Lee Washburn, director of creative writing at PittState Kansas, author of The Book of Stolen Images, This Good Warm Place, Watching the Contortionists, is EIC of The Coop: Poetry Co-Op. Harbor Review's Washburn Prize is named in honor of her dedication to her students throughout their writing careers.

Jericho Hockett is a psychologist-poet at Washburn University (KS). She interdisciplinarily explores strange beliefs, trauma, and embodied social group membership. Her chapbook Rituals for Dissolution (Port Yonder Press) and full-length poetry book In the Bodies (Unsolicited Press) are forthcoming.

Fable J. Briggs (they/he/she) is a poet and activist from Kansas, writing often about mental illness, neurodiversity, queer and trans experiences, grief, and trauma survival. They released his first book of poems In Orbit: and Other Poems in 2021.

Allison Blevins


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center