WeHo Reads: Trans | Future | Poetics

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Meet the Poets

Ryka Aoki

Ryka Aoki’s first novel, He Mele a Hilo, was published by Topside Press in 2014. She is a two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist for her collections Seasonal Velocities, and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. Ryka’s work has appeared or been recognized in publications including Vogue, Elle, Bustle, Autostraddle, PopSugar, and Buzzfeed, as well as the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. Ryka has been honored by the California State Senate for “extraordinary commitment to the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.” She has an MFA in creative writing from Cornell University, and is currently a professor of English at Santa Monica College.

Find out more at: https://rykaryka.com/


Harry Josephine Giles

Harry Josephine Giles is a writer and performer from Orkney, living in Leith. Her verse novel Deep Wheel Orcadia was published by Picador in October 2021 and was a Poetry Book Society Winter Selection. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Stirling, her show Drone debuted in the Made in Scotland Showcase at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe and toured internationally, and her performance What We Owe was picked by the Guardian’s best-of-the-Fringe 2013 roundup – in the “But Is It Art?” category.

Find out more at: www.harryjosephine.com

Simba the Poet

Simba Alik, also known as Simba The Poet, is a Black, Queer, Trans, Spoken word artist, slam champion, and professional speaker from Nashville, TN. He has been performing for over a decade and will speak until everyone’s voices are heard. Forever sounds good. Simba’s greatest achievements are becoming a husband and father. He has a BS in Journalism and Sociology, a Masters in Organizational Leadership, and is pursuing a MS in Public Relations. Also, he hates writing bios.

Ava Dadvand

Ava Dadvand is an Iranian-American transgender poet originally hailing from Los Angeles but currently pursuing a B.A. in Classics at Yale University. Her work has been featured in the New Orleans Review and the Yale Literary Magazine among other publications. Ava writes for trans women above all else. One day she will write a modern-American trans epic with Homeric influences and her work will be inaugurated into the corpus of 21st century transfeminine literature. Until then, her raunchy and contemplative poetry about the trans experience should suffice.

Catch Up On The Road to Joy

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