Search more than 3,000 biographies of contemporary and classic poets.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha was raised in Worcester, Massachusetts. They received an MFA from Mills College.

Piepzna-Samarasinha is the author of the poetry collections Tonguebreaker (Arsenal Pulp, 2019), Bodymap (Maenzi House, 2015), which was a finalist for Publishing Triangle's Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry; and Love Cake (TSAR Publications, 2011), which received a 2012 Lambda Award. The poet Cyree Jarelle Johnson writes that Piepzna-Samarasinha’s poetry “paints a portrait of crippled body sovereignty in a world that would rather isolate us until we disappear.”

They are also the author of the memoir Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home (Arsenal Pulp, 2015), which was a finalist for both a Lambda Award and for Publishing Triangle's Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction. With Ching-In Chen and Jai Dulani, they are a co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities (AK Press, 2016).

Piepzna-Samarasinha has received a fellowship from the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation, and in 2010 the Feminist Press named them one of 40 Feminists Under 40 Shaping the Future. They are a disability and transformative justice movement worker, educator, and lead artist with the disability justice performance collective Sins Invalid. They live in South Seattle, Duwamish territories, Washington.


Tonguebreaker (Arsenal Pulp, 2019)
Bodymap (Maenzi House, 2015)
Love Cake (TSAR Publications, 2011)

Consensual Genocide (TSAR Publications, 2006)

Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015)

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Photo credit: Jesse Manuel Graves