I am a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe. I haven’t written seriously until my early thirties, when I finally chose the language for my poetry and prose: English, which is either my third, fourth, or fifth (quasi)native tongue. I was born in Ukraine, and lived in subarctic Russia and Israel before coming to the US for graduate school at UC Berkeley. I now live and teach in the Midwestern US.
The struggle for language, for voice, and the often uneasy melding of cultures and viewpoints inform my life and my writing. I am passionate about diversity in SFF and elsewhere, and I often advocate for diversity through my essays and editorial work.
My lived experience as a twice- immigrant informs every aspect of my life. Most of my life until recently I lived in constant fear and felt the pressure to pass to survive. I still feel this pressure, but I am now in a position to push against it.
I am a self-diagnosed Aspie parenting a child with moderate to severe autism. My partner is also autistic. We are a neurodiverse family, also known as the Plonky family 🙂 I am a firm advocate for neurodiversity.
I have a variety of physical chronic conditions which impair my daily functioning to various degrees. I have been outspoken about disability and access from #ownvoices perspective.
I am a trauma survivor and have depression and anxiety.
I am queer (in terms of sexual orientation) and a non-binary trans person. I often list my gender identity as bigender (sometimes as genderqueer). I strongly identify with both binary genders. My preferred pronoun is they. She is also fine. Though I do identify as a woman as well, I do not participate in binarist projects (e.g. I will not submit to “stories by women” anthologies).
I am a traditionally observant unOrthodox Jew with a keen interest in Jewish texts, languages, and histories.
My stories have appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Unlikely Story, and other places, and my poetry in Apex, Goblin Fruit, Interfictions, and elsewhere. My Birdverse novelette “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds” has been nominated for the Nebula award in 2016. My poems have been nominated for the Rhysling award every year since I began publishing, and in 2014, my poem “I will show you a single treasure from the treasures of Shah Niyaz” has taken 3rd place in the long poetry category. I have won the Rannu competition with “In the Third Cycle“, an epic poem in the Journeymaker cycle. My poems have won (2012, 2013, 2015) and placed (2013, 2014, 2015) in the Strange Horizons Readers’ Poll. In 2016, one of my poems made the Locus Recommended Reading List.
I am active on twitter as @roselemberg.
Interviews with me:
- Queers Destroy Science Fiction Author Spotlight, with Sandra Odell (print)
- Uncanny with Michi Trota
- Goldfish Grimm
- Strange Horizons: “Noticing Language,” with Julia Rios
- Outer Alliance Spotlight
- Fantastique Unfettered 2 (print)
- at the Interstitial Arts foundation, with Mike Allen
- Mythpunk roundtable at Strange Horizons, with JoSelle Vanderhooft
- at Fantasy Magazine, about my story Geddarien
If you’d like to get in touch, please leave me a comment anywhere on this website. Thanks!
My favorite fruit is the quince. In 2008, I told the readers of Goblin Fruit that it’s the Asian pear. Sorry about that!