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Raquel Gutiérrez & Karen Tongson

Raquel Gutiérrez writes personal essays, memoir, art criticism, and poetry. An adult child of Mexican and Salvadoran immigrants, she was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona where she just completed two MFAs in Poetry and Non-Fiction from the University of Arizona. Raquel is a 2017 recipient of the Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. Raquel also runs the tiny press, Econo Textual Objects (est. 2014), which publishes intimate works by QTPOC poets. Her poetry and essays have recently appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, Open Space, and The New Inquiry. Her first book, Brown Neon, will be published by Coffee House Press in the Spring of 2021.

Karen Tongson is the author of Why Karen Carpenter Matters (2019), and Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries (2011). In 2019, she received the Lambda Literary Jeanne Córdova Award for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction. She is associate professor of English, gender & sexuality studies, and American studies & ethnicity at USC, and co-editor of the award-winning book series, Postmillennial Pop (with Henry Jenkins) at NYU Press. Tongson has two books in progress: Empty Orchestra: Karaoke, Queer Aesthetics, Queer Theory (Duke University Press), and NORMPORN: Television and the Spectacle of Normalcy (NYU Press). Tongson cohosts the podcast, Waiting to X-hale with Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh. (Web:; Twitter @inlandemperor; Instagram @tongsonator)