BookSwell Intersections Episode 12
Lambda LitFest 2019 Spotlight: Intentional Intersectionality Debrief

The BookSwell Crew has been hard at work producing our Intentional Intersectionality reading and discussion as a part of the 2019 Lambda LitFest.

This week, we’re doing a debrief and recap on the somewhat stressful but deeply rewarding process of putting together a live literary event.

We’ve also included excerpts from the talented artists that Managing Editor Cody Sisco, Intersections Co-Host Rachelle Yousuf and BookSwell Advisor Sakae Manning gathered together at the Armory Arts Complex. Enjoy the poetry and prose of these vital voices.

Finally, Shannon Eagen rounds out the episode with recommendations for literary events in the next two weeks, including a star studded event you should buy your ticket for ASAP!

Listen Now:

Link to BookSwell Intersections Podcast on Spotify

Listen on Google Play Music

Events Mentioned:

  • October 22: Jake Brennan Discusses and Signs “Disgraceland”
  • October 24: Arthur Dong Discusses and Signs “Hollywood Chinese”
  • October 29: Saeed Jones and Roxanne Gay Discuss and Sign “How We Fight For Our Lives”

Writers Featured:

B.A. Williams 

B.A. Williams is a queer writer and performer from East Long Beach, CA. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is currently working on a novel-length manuscript and poetry collection. When she isn’t writing or performing she is developing a platform which seeks to uplift communities of color, redefine “otherness,” and distribute intersectionality with various modes of art. B.A. co-curates and hosts un::fade::able – the requiem of Sandra Bland and is the content manager for lovedby.her, a digital storytelling platform that showcases and celebrates Black queer love. Her poetry and prose focus on all things “other” with a heavy emphasis on Blackness, womanhood, and queerness. Her work is featured in Rigorous Magazine, Every-Other Broadsides, The Rumpus and The New York Times Parenting

Evan Kleekamp 

Evan Kleekamp lives in Los Angeles, where they founded NOR Research Studio. With Kim Calder, they directed Les Figues Press from September October until July 2019. Their writing has been featured in X-TRA Online, Open Space (SFMOMA), the Los Angeles Review of Books, Fence, and Tripwire: A Journal of Poetics. Evan has performed, lectured, and given talks at CalArts, Otis College, the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, the Poetic Research Bureau, and Columbia College Chicago. They are the author of two chapbooks, 13 THESES ON STATE-SPONSORED BLACK DEATH IN AMERICA (Kastle Editions, 2016) and Once Upon a Time I Was Michael Thomas Taren (Ghost City Press, 2017). Evan is currently editing an artist monograph and writing a novel. 

Reuben Hayslett 

Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett is a queer activist, writer, and storyteller and current resident of Long Beach, CA. His first fiction short-story collection Dark Corners debuted in 2019 through Running Wild press. Dark Corners received a star rating by Kirkus and was recently included in the swag bag for George Lopez’s Celebrity Golf Tournament. Tihi currently works at Demand Progress, leading online campaigns against the overreach of government surveillance, and is a Lead Training Associate with the Oakland-based Center for Story-Based Strategy. Before relocating from Brooklyn to Southern California, Tihi produced Rustik Storytellers, a monthly oral storytelling live show in 2013. In 2016 he co-produced PRACTICE, a safe-space live storytelling show designed to encourage new-comers to take up the oral storytelling tradition. As a fluent speaker of Dothraki, one of the languages created for HBO’s Game of Thrones, Tihi recently worked on the upcoming Netflix series Daybreak as a Dothraki Language Consultant. 

Roxana Preciado 

Roxana Preciado is an indie author and artist recognized for her work as a poet and activist. Born in Jalisco, Mexico, she migrated to the US at four-years-old and has been writing poetry since the age of twelve. She has released three books of poetry with the most recent being Hood Educated. In this work, Preciado explores evolution and healing, connecting the disparate parts of her past self into a unified whole. 

Preciado uses poetry and her story to support community engagement and activism around DACA and, as a survivor, to raise awareness about violence against women. She often speaks to Latinx and LGBTQ+ youth to help them find their own voice and tell their stories. Preciado is completing her graduate degree while continuing advocacy work for her various communities. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California with her wife and son.

BookSwell Intersections Episode 11
Tori Eldridge brings a martial arts spin to contemporary LA Noir, the ever-appealing world of YA, and a spotlight on Lambda LitFest LA 2019

As temperatures are dropping and kids are going back to school, BookSwell Intersections co-hosts Cody, Dan, and Rachelle journeyed to the Central Library to take advantage of the wonderful facilities in the Octavia Lab. They catch up on recent literary events, the books they’ve been gravitating towards lately, and the exciting event that Cody and Rachelle have been hard at work planning, alongside Sakae Manning. They also discuss the legacy of Toni Morrison, and the silver lining of resurgent interest in the works of recently departed authors.

After that, Cody chats with Tori Eldridge as she prepares for her first published novel, The Ninja Daughter. She examines how her heritage and cultural legacy informed her contemporary LA Noir, and the circuitous route she took to becoming a novelist after being an actress, dancer, and fifth-degree black belt in To Shin Do Ninjutsu.

Finally, Shannon gives a rundown of some of the events we’re most excited about in the upcoming 3rd Annual Lambda LitFest.

Listen Now:

Link to BookSwell Intersections Podcast on Spotify

Event Spotlight: Lambda LitFest

Books Mentioned:

Black Card by Chris L. Terry

Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke

The Obama Inheritance by Gary Phillips

Exhalation by Ted Chiang

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

Half Magic by Edward Eager

Fence by C.S. Pacat

Bloom by Kevin Panetta

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

BookSwell Intersections Episode 10
Sehba Sarwar discusses her writing, activism and performance art, quick takes from LITLIT in DTLA and August events for authors and creators

Summer is winding down in LA, but BookSwell has been keeping busy with a full literary calendar, and we have a jam-packed episode for you.  First up, BookSwell was on the scene at the Inaugural Little Literary Fair, or LITLIT. Managing Editor Cody Sisco was joined by co-host Rachelle Yousuf for this “pop-up book fair” at Hauser and Wirth in DTLA, where they chat about what they’ve been reading lately. Cody also conducted a series of flash interviews with Rachel Wills, Candysse Miller, and Katelyn Keating at LITLIT, that are short, sweet and packed with information. Rachel Wills recently launched her online Queer Femme Literary Magazine, Gayettes. Follow them on Instagram @gayettesmag for updates, and of course, niche queer memes. Candysse Miller gives us the rundown on Interlude Press, an award-winning boutique press with a focus on LGBTQ fiction, but a firm belief that “a good book is a good book.” Interlude has an amazing slate of upcoming new releases that you won’t want to miss. Finally, Cody gets to chat with Katelyn Keating, BookSwell Contributor and Book Event Organizer extraordinaire, who was critical to bringing the first ever Little Literary Fair to life.

After that, Cody sits down for a longer conversation with author, activist and artist Sehba Sarwar. Sehba’s novel, Black Wings was finally released in the US earlier this year, after originally being published in Pakistan in 2004. Keep up with all of Sehba’s readings, art performances and publications on her website, or by checking our very own Events Navigator.

Rounding out the episode, Shannon Eagen discusses some upcoming literary events that will be particularly appealing to writers and creators of their own content.

Listen Now:

Link to BookSwell Intersections Podcast on Spotify
Listen on Google Play Music

Events Mentioned:

Books Mentioned:

Black Wings by Sehba Sarwar

Pride Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

The Patternist Series by Octavia Butler

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

How to Be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters

The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic by F.T. Lukens

Monster of the Week by F.T. Lukens

Shine of the Ever by Claire Rudy Foster

Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken





BookSwell Intersections Episode 09
My Lit Box’s Sanura Williams on putting new writers in front of her customers, our co-hosts debate what makes a good reading, and hyperlocal LA events in July

We are at the height of Summer Reading Season, and this episode is jam-packed with book recommendations from our co-hosts Cody Sisco, Sarah LaBrie, Rachelle Yousuf, and Dan Lopez. They chat what they love and what they hate in bookish events, how the setting of a story can be a character of its own, and revelations (or lack thereof) in celebrity memoirs. They’re joined by Sanura Williams, from My Lit Box, who is dedicated to promoting the work of authors of color through her literary subscription box. My LitBox would be a perfect gift for the indecisive book lover in your life–Sanura picks hot new releases and mails them straight to your door (along with some other literary goodies!). Finally, if you’ve been out of town on a summer vacation, why not hit up some literary events that celebrate LA while you’re home? Shannon Eagen has event recommendations for the next two weeks of July that are all about Los Angeles locals.

Listen Now:

Also Available Here:

Link to BookSwell Intersections Podcast on Spotify
Listen on Google Play Music

Events Mentioned:


Books Mentioned:

Mind of My Mind by Octavia E. Butler

Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn

Lot by Bryan Washington

Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime by Alex Espinoza

Bluebird Bluebird by Attica Locke

The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

Corazón by Yesika Salgado

Jello Girls by Allie Rowbottom

**Netflix Recommendation!**

“When They See Us” dir. by Ava DuVernay

BookSwell Intersections Episode 08
Poet, author, and editor Shonda Buchanan shares her story with Cody Sisco, Dan Lopez’s current favs in LGBTQ YA, and events for bookworms seeking the “Anti-Beach Read”

Summer has finally arrived in sunny Los Angeles, and we hope you all had a wonderful Pride Weekend! Dan Lopez and Cody Sisco are here to dig deep into Michelle Obama’s runaway hit, Becoming, and Dan recommends books that fill his very particular current obsessions — LGBTQ YA and Sci-Fi! After that, enjoy Cody’s conversation with Shonda Buchanan that covers the history of World Stage Press, Leimert Park, and Shonda’s own imprint at Tsehai Books — Harriet Tubman Press. You won’t want to miss Buchanan detail her moving journey of self-discovery and owning her identity, and the cherry on top of this interview is a truly phenomenal reading of one of her poems. You can find out more about Shonda on her website, and while you’re exploring, be sure to check out World Stage Press and Eso Won Books. And finally, are you looking for events that don’t feature the typical glossy beach reads of the summer season? Shannon Eagen has you covered with some June book signings (and a book club!) celebrating slightly less mainstream genres. Enjoy!

Listen Now:

Also Available Here:

Link to BookSwell Intersections Podcast on Spotify
Listen on Google Play Music


Events Mentioned:


Books Mentioned:

American Lion by Jon Meacham

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

No Ashes in the Fire by Darnell Moore

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach\

The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara