Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer femme mixed Sri Lankan (Burgher/Tamil)-Ukranian/Irish writer, poet, educator and cultural worker. Named one of the Feminist Press' “40 Feminists Under 40 Who Are Shaping the Future," Leah's written work spans the genres of essays to poetry and non-fiction. Her 2012 Lambda award-winning collection of poetry, Love Cake, was ecstatically received by the LGBTQ community for its powerful prose. Leah's work has appeared in countless anthologies, including Dear Sister, Undoing Border Imperialism, Stay Solid, Persistence: Still Butch and Femme, Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands and Colonize This, just to name a few.
In Leah's contribution to Letters Lived: Radical Reflections, Revolutionary Paths, she speaks frankly about her shaky roots. A queer survivor through and through, Leah writes about escaping abusive relationships and a blood family that didn't give her enough room to explore her surroundings. She is a major proponent of the endless possibilities that come from community support, a belief strongly reflected in her work as an artist, co-founding Mangos with Chili, North America's performance hub for Two Spirit, queer and trans people of colour performance artists.
"The queer and trans, feminist of colour, anti-colonial, disability-loving, broke ass genius movement you are a part of has saved your life over and over again."
Leah has taught, performed and given lectures across North America, Sri Lanka and Australia, and in Toronto she co-founded the Asian Arts Freedom School. As an emerging artist, Leah relied on writing art spaces that were difficult to come by in her community. Through the Asian Arts Freedom School, she hopes to bolster the confidence of marginalized writers of colour who are going through similar issues.
At the moment, Leah is prepping her first memoir, Dirty River. She is also currently completing her third book of poetry, Bodymap, and a writers manual, Writing the World. You can find out a lot more about Leah and her work on her website brownstargirl.org
You can catch Leah tonight at a very special Letters Lived event with fellow contributor, Dr. Rozena Maart! These two women will be joining Letters Lived editor Sheila Sampath for a reading and some coversation. We hope to see you there!
An Evening of Letters Lived with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Rozena Maart!
Monday, December 16 5:30-7:30
Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W.
Details about Venue, Lula Lounge's, accessibility (from their website):
While Lula Lounge isn't 100% wheelchair accessible we are quite successful at accommodating most people's special needs.Lula Lounge is located at street level and there are no steps to the front door.There is one step down into the main room, past the foyer and VIP lounge and we do have a portable ramp for this step.We have 4 dining areas at Lula Lounge - the VIP lounge, the east wing, the west wing and the dancefloor (on non-dance music nights). The VIP lounge is street level with no steps to enter. The east wing has one step up, and our portable ramp fits this step. The west wing has 2 steps up and we do not have a ramp for these steps. And there is one step down to access the dancefloor, and our ramp fits this step.The ladies' restroom is located off the foyer and has no steps. Unfortuantely, our stalls are not large enough to be deemed accessible, so a helping hand may be required.The men's room is located on the second floor and a stairwell of approx. 20 steps leads up to it.Our staff is always available to help those who have difficulty accessing any areas of the building upon request.Service animals, with valid identification, are allowed into Lula Lounge.