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 Cyrée 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.”

Piepzna-Samarasinha is 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 coeditor 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 (VONA) 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.