Events this weekend!

24 Mar

Hello all!

Get this weekend started right with amazing performances at Friday night’s (3/25/11) Ruckus! We’re starting at 7pm at Bluestockings. There’s a $5 suggested donation, but no one will ever be turned away. We’ve got an amazing line-up and a helluva show planned for you this month. Get more details about the show and performers and a link to RSVP here.

After the reading, we’re headed over to celebrate with our peers at the bklyn boihood Spring Loft Party, and we can’t wait to see you there. The party is on Friday night, starting at 10:30 at the McKibben lofts in Williamsburg. Click on the link above for more details and to RSVP. And if you don’t already know about bklyn boihood, this is their mission statement: bklyn boihood is a collective that provides visibility and promotes the empowerment of masculine of center* bois, lesbians, queers, trans-identified studs, doms, butches and AGs of color. And now you know!

We’re are also really looking forward to learning more about what’s going on in the world of Queer Lit and publishing at the Rainbow Book Fair. The event is the only LGBT book expo in the U.S. and will be taking place pretty much all day Saturday 3/26 at the LGBT Community Center. Event details can be found here.

Also, on Saturday we’re extremely excited to get to check out this month’s Queer Memoir event. This month’s topic is home, and the lineup is fantastic. The event is this Saturday at 8pm at the LGBT Community Center. Get all the info you need and RSVP on their facebook!

Thanks for reading, and see you tomorrow night at Ruckus.


March 25th Ruckus Details!

20 Mar

Hello friends and family!

I’m thrilled and excited to announce the lineup and details for this month’s Ruckus. Please make sure to RSVP here:

Ruckus is a reading and performance series that features the work of Queer and Trans artists of color.  This month’s event is this coming FRIDAY, March 25th (*please note that unlike previous months, the event is now on Friday night).

Details: Friday, March 25th, 7pm. Ruckus takes place at Bluestockings Bookstore, located at 172 Allen Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan (F to 2nd Ave). There’s a $5 suggested donation, but no one will be turned away.

This month’s lineup brings a fantastic array of literary performance and includes: Saida Agostini,  Melanie Brown , Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene, Amir Rabiyah, and Ashley Young.  A truly amazing lineup for what promises to be a truly amazing event; see below for all of the performers’ bios and pics. As always, I can’t wait to see you in the audience. You all keep us going, so please keep coming!

Saida Agostini

M. Saida Agostini is a Black queer love centered poet, social worker and activist. A featured performer at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Philly Queer Lit Festival, More than Words and GenderCrash, her work bridges worlds all at once joyfully erotic, raw and unapologetically present. Wild Witness, her first chapbook was released in 2007, and will release her second chapbook Hunger in 2011.

Melanie Brown

Melanie has been writing for as long as she can remember. She writes for release, for therapy, and for those who don’t have a voice. The greatest compliment she ever received was from an audience member who approached her and said “you say what people want to say- but can’t.” Heavily influenced by the grace and sincerity of Suheir Hammad’s love poems: Melanie’s work has been called raw, passionate, and brutally honest. She grew up in the suburbs just outside of NYC and has been living in Manhattan since 2001.

Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene

Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene is an Ijaw and Urhobo Nigerian dyke performance activist, poet, dancer, essayist, playwright and actress who was born with a mouth full of dynamite and sugarcane. She uses her poetry to chisel a verbal sculpture of her soul for listeners while addressing issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, war, imperialism, love, self-esteem and family. Etaghene has self-published three collections of poetry, toured nationally and performed in over 30 u.s. cities. She was interviewed by and is a Contributing Writer to None on Record: Stories of Queer Africa, a sound documentary project that collects the stories of QLGBT Africans from the African Continent and the Diaspora. Her one woman show, Volcano’s Birthright{s}, debuted in May 2009 in New York City. Etaghene is a mixed-media visual artist who produced 3 solo art exhibitions in last year.  For more information about her work & future performances please visit Her performative work can be found at:

Amir Rabiyah

Amir Rabiyah lives in Oakland, California. He has performed and read his poetry, fiction and non-fiction all over the US. Amir has been published in Mizna, Riffrag, Tea Party Magazine, the Kearny Street Workshop’s anthology: I Saw My Ex at a Party, Left Turn Magazine and Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation.  He was a finalist in Cutthroat Magazine’s 2008 Joy Harjo Poetry Contest. He featured with the Men’s Story Project at UC Berkeley, a performance and dialogue performance project which explores and deconstructs social ideas about masculinity.

Ashley Young

Ashley is a black poly kinky feminist queer dyke; poet, playwright, non-fiction writer and teaching artist. She earned a BA in Multicultural Education and Theater from Hampshire College, a hippy school in Amherst, Massachusetts. There she wrote and produced her first play “The Hair Project: Our Hair Stories”, a collection of performance poems and monologues about African American women’s hair. Since she graduated in ’09, she has taught creative writing, art and poetry workshops in public schools in Massachusetts, South Africa and Washington, DC. Under the name Indigo, Ashley writes a column on Polyamory for Fearless Press, an online magazine about relationships and sexuality, and will be a featured writer in “Perverts of Color” alongside her partner Sara Vibes. She writes a blog called Indigo’s Theory about her journey through sexuality, Polyamory and womanhood. She works as the Education Program Assistant at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and assists with the Junior Scholar Program, a black studies program for students ages 11 to 18. She is currently working on her memoir and an online writing project called “brown girl love”. She lives in the Village with her partner and their four cats.

A weekend full of events including this month’s Ruckus!

24 Feb

Wow! This last weekend in February is one for the books.

We’d love to remind everyone about a set of events starting tomorrow night and through Sunday that bring Queer art to the forefront in our very own New York City. All of these events feature powerhouse artists and take unique looks at several forms of Queer art being born right now.  We’re happy to be in such good company this weekend.

If you’re here for details about this month’s Ruckus, please click here for all of the relevant info (Ruckus is this Saturday at 7pm at Bluestockings). And you can RSVP on the facebook invite by clicking here.

Here’s a quick list of other events going on this weekend that you might want to check out:

– Friday 2/25 at 7pm @ Bluestockings: Queer Span(gl)ish Art/Arte Queer en Span(gl)ish

– Saturday 2/26 at 8pm @ The LGBT Center: Queer Memoir (This event is concurrent with Ruckus this month and we’re fully supporting the event and wishing we could also be there. If you can make one or both, don’t miss out. We send our love to the Queer Memoir family).

– Sunday 2/27 at 4pm @ Verlaine: Bough Breaks Launch and Gender Outlaws Reading Party!

So if you want to take yourself or a sweetie on a thought-provoking, community-filled, and inspiring date, check out one of these events. And if you have questions about Ruckus or any other goings-on in the Queer art/lit scene this weekend, feel free to contact us!

February 26th Ruckus update!

11 Feb

Hi everyone,

I have been getting so many fantastic emails and inquiries about Ruckus, and your response has been amazing and inspiring.

I can’t wait to see you all at Ruckus this month, below you’ll find details about the event followed by the amazing photos and bios for this month’s lineup. Read on, write on, and see you on the 26th!

Ruckus: a Queer and Trans people of color reading and performance series

Saturday, February 26th


Bluestockings Bookstore, Cafe and Activist Center (172 Allen Street, NYC)

$5 suggested, and no one will ever be turned away.

This month’s lineup:

Elisha Lim

Elisha Lim is the author of 100 Butches which is a genderbending comic with a cult following including queer luminaries like Allison Bechdel (Fun Home, Dykes to Watch Out For) and Michelle Tea (Rent Girl, Rose of No Man’s Land). Elisha’s work was voted best lesbian’s lesbian art on the authoritative queer site, and has been praised in Diva UK, Curve US, LOTL Australia, Xtra Canada, and nomorepotlucks. The 100 Butches toured in 2010 with the legendary Sister Spit caravan through 28 North American cities and join the Concordia University women’s studies syllabus. In 2011 Elisha will be collaborating on a new graphic novel with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, and feature as the first exhibit at Allyson Mitchell’s Feminist Art Gallery, or FAG.

Praise from Bitch Magazine Blog

Elisha Lim’s shy approach to a discussion of the various butches she’s met, loved, lost and held so dearly is one of the highlights of the Sister Spit show. Her book, 100 Butches, is complete with hand-written tales accompanied by an authentic Lim drawing of each of her memorialized muses. Each butch is canonized, numbered, yes, but celebrated. From admiring androgyny to loving the way someone can lean (in that “I could watch this for hours” way conveyed ever so eloquently by Angela Chase on obsession Jordan Catalano), Lim’s re-imaginings of the perfections and flaws of those she’s desired and been changed by can make an audience go “uhhhhhhh.”

honourable mention on,11

Cristy C. Road

Cristy C. Road is a 28 year old Cuban-American Artist and Writer. Blending the inevitable existence of socialprinciples, sexual curiosity, mental inadequacies, and dirty thoughts- Road thrives to testify the beauty of the imperfect.Her endeavors in illustrating and publishing began when writing a punk rock zine, Greenzine, for ten years. She resumedto illustrate countless record album covers, book covers, political organizations, magazine articles, and more. Road hasalso published an illustrated novel entitled INDESTRUCTIBLE [Microcosm Publishing], a memoir on being queer, Latina,and punk rock during adolescence; DISTANCE MAKES THE HEART GROW SICK, a postcard collection of work from2001-2007 [Microcosm Publishing]; and BAD HABITS [Soft Skull], an Illustrated love story about a faltering human heart’stelepathic connections to the destruction of New York City. Roads work has also been featured in the Baby Remember MyName: New Queer Girl Writing Anthology, Live Through This Anthology, Reproduce and Revolt, and countless otherpublished works. Road just concluded a National tour with SISTER SPIT, an all-girl spoken-word road-show and iscurrently working on SPIT AND PASSION, a new graphic novel about coming out, religion, culture, and chronic bandobsessions. She hibernates in Brooklyn, NY. Cristy can be found online at

Toi Scott

Toi is a native Texan (read: an Austinite) best described as a multi-racial, multi-lingual, genderqueer philosophactivist, health advocate, queer activist, grassroots organizer, a womanist, and a reluctant academic and willing educator. They are an anti-oppression facilitator for health care professionals and social service workers, committed to helping bridge the gap and create understanding between patients and providers and helping the two come to an understanding that will hopefully someday obliterate negative health outcomes and health disparities based on unconscious and conscious biases, racism, homo/transphobia, sexism, and ableism. Toi is  a screenwriter/playwright/poet/academic writer—i.e. “just hand them a pen so they can write ANYTHING.” Toi is also a compassionmonger and peacemonger who believes in the power of dialogue and the perils of “Othering” or not seeing others as an extension of oneself. And most importantly, Toi is an ordinary superhero full of the utmost wanderlust. Toi is in the last year of being held hostage in the ivory tower (unless they go on for more school) and is working on a few projects: an interactive, multimedia  autobiography-type-whatchamacallit that they call “Saturn Return” and a book of their original works.  Their academicwork includes papers on the failures of modern medicine to address pain,  Fibromyalgia and Lupus in women of color, a paper on the ethics of Transgender Medicine, and a paper entitled “African and African American Healing Traditions in the South: A Differing View in the Importance of Spirituality and Women’s Roles in Medicine, and a look at Traditional Medicine’s Influence on Modern medicine in the United States” which focuses on native American and African/American healers and more specifically, enslaved women healers and healing as a resistance to the institution of slavery. Toi is also writing for and helping edit the upcoming book Trans Bodies Trans Selves and organizing a statewide forum in Austin, TX to get the less heard in the genderqueer community heard throughout the book.

Kit Yan

Recently Featured in the HBO Documentary Asians Aloud, Kit Yan tell stories through slam poetry from the lens of a transgender Asian American from Hawaii now lost in the big city of New York. Through touching love poems, dirty sex accounts(optional), and comedic tales of his childhood –Kit takes you on a journey that is raw, real, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable.

Kit’s work has been taught at universities coast to coast,from San Francisco State to Harvard. He spoke to over 200,000 from the stage of the 2009 National Equality March, performed on the San Francisco Pride main stage, and is a nationally ranking slam poet. Kit Yan is first ever and reigning Mr. Transman 2010.

Visit Kit online at

Victor Tobar

(yes, I am doing a full set this month, and this month only).

Victor Tobar is a Queer Latino andro transguy freak, writer, performer, activist, and arts educator. Born and raised in the Bronx, he now resides in Brooklyn, from where he composes letters to the ghosts of yearning and nostalgia ( He’s been part of the NYC writing and performance scene for the past 12 years. In 2000 he repped New York as part of the Brave New Voices Youth Slam team. He helped developed and mentor QQ&A, a creative writing workshop for Queer and Questioning youth with Urban Word NYC. As part of Mangos with Chili, he’s toured the northeast and Canada. His pieces weave tangible images, fantasy, and raw emotional footage in an attempt to portray life from the underneath of the city.  He is currently proud and humbled to curate “Ruckus”, a monthly reading and performance series that features Queer and Trans artists of color, seeking to create community and visibility in the New York art scene.

February Ruckus and other announcements from the Ruckus fam!

9 Feb

Hello all,

January’s Ruckus (opening night) was off the hook; photos have been uploaded, see below. We had a standing-room only crowd and all of the performers shared innovative, thought-provoking and seriously groundbreaking work. Thank you to all of last month’s performers and the fabulous audience members who brought so much heart to the event.

I’m excited to share the news about an upcoming event brought to us by J Mase III, who opened last month’s show in stellar fashion (See January Ruckus performer bios for more on J Mase III). The event, Cupid Ain’t @#!%: An Anti-Valentines Day Poetry Movement, will be hosted at Bluestockings Bookstore, Cafe, and Activist Center (our home- and heart-base) on Saturday, February 12th, from 8:00-10:00pm. With a fantastic lineup of writers bringing raw poetry to NYC’s broken-hearted and lovelorn from Philly, this is an event you shouldn’t miss. I’m definitely going to be there and hope to see you among the many in the crowd.

And consider this an official save-the-date for February’s Ruckus, which will take place on Saturday, February 26th at 7:00pm at Bluestockings. The official Facebook invite along with lineup announcement and photos and bios will be up in the next couple of days, so don’t forget to check back for details. There is still one performer slot open for the show this month, so hit me up as soon as possible if you’d like to perform. You can send work samples in the body of an email to lettersfrombklyn at gmail.

Thanks for reading and coming back to look at the site. It’s fantastic to witness the positive feedback and excitement Ruckus has been receiving in just one month of being around. Feel free to leave your comments below. We’re definitely interested in hearing what you have to say!

Photos from January 2011 Ruckus: Opening night!

9 Feb

Just a handful of photos from opening night at Ruckus. Special thanks to J Mase III, Ignacio Rivera, kay ulanday barrett, Shomi Noise, and Franky and the MoMos for sharing your many talents. Also a huge thank you to Bluestockings Bookstore, Cafe and Activist Center, and especially Lee Naught at Bluestockings for being such an avid supporter of the event. And thank you to Ashley Evens for being our on-the-spot photographer. And a big hug to each and every audience member for showing up and being such a fine crowd. We hope to see you again on February 26th!


29 Jan

Opening night of Ruckus is tonight!

Saturday, January 29th, at 7pm. The show is at Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan (F train to 2nd Ave).  $5 suggested donation, but no one will ever be turned away.

Try to arrive on time, we’re expecting a full house. We’ve got an incredible night planned for you, this is something you really don’t want to miss!

See previous post for performer bios.