“Rabiyah and Klonaris have compiled works that redefine sexuality and browness with a spirit that brings us back to the earth, and gives comfort in the atrocities of labels, lines and edges that have long confined, shamed and silenced our queer realities. Writing the Walls Down contains a cadre of troubadors who, with moxie and wisdom, redefine who we are with lyrical libation, beauty and vulnerability. Here is where an exciting mythology is born, the Genesis of a new queer fierceness in literature. These artists delve into the very canyons of their being to birth poetic truths and meditations of healing. Every piece in this anthology is packed with poignant self-reflection and gospel hymnals that inspire compassion in the cruelest times.”
Bravo, Amir Rabiyah and Helen Klonaris, for curating such an extraordinary community in the pages of Writing the Walls Down. What rises up is a chorus of poetry, story, and testimony that substantiates our varied queer experiences. Anyone who enters here will not feel isolated or alone because this book is an invitation into the heart of the powerful, life-saving word–a crucial place where many of us find our kindred spirit, our blessed haven, our tribe, our home.
Eugenics. Colonialism. Familial, religious, and state violence. These are not the stories about LGBTQ lives and struggles that we hear about in the mainstream media. Thankfully, the artists in Writing the Walls Down stitch together words and images to tell a different story, one that resists simple “equality” or “inclusion.” This collection brings together the full complexities and realities of our lives to topple the all of the walls that crisscross our homelands, bodies, and spirits.
The texts included in this fierce, beautiful weave of LGBTQ texts (groundbreaking in many ways, including in the rich inclusion of Arab and Indigenous contributors) speak, shout, and sing past the different kinds of walls that imprison, exclude, and alienate, whether personal, societal, economic, religious, geographical, or political. Challenging barricades ranging from class to homophobia to anti-queer violence to Israel’s apartheid wall to the US-Mexico exclusionary border, these writers celebrate bodies and spirits both broken and sacred, reclaim healing and wholeness, and map the way toward new definitions of home.
-Lisa Suhair Majaj, author of Geographies of Light
This collection of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and visual art crackles with urgency, emotion and intelligence. It bursts forth from the pressurized isolation created by assumptions and ignorance, ushering into the world transformative stories that are vital to our survival.
Writing the Walls Down is a multi-genre gathering of US and international voices in an effort to generate a cross cultural and nuanced dialogue that not only examines the power of walls to divide, but walls as sites of resistance, (re)connection, and community. Edited by Amir Rabiyah and Helen Klonaris, WtWD includes stories, poems and art that address the intersections of race, class, sexuality, gender, disability, mental health, spirituality, colonialism, immigration, displacement, exile, gentrification, and more. Forthcoming, Spring 2015. Click here for more information.