I am a queer 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 stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Unlikely Story, and other places, and my poetry in Apex, Goblin Fruit, Uncanny, and elsewhere. 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 also won and placed in the Strange Horizons Readers’ Poll.
I am active on twitter as @roselemberg.
Personal things you might want to know about me are these:
I am parenting a child with moderate to severe autism. My kid has significant language delays, though he’s no longer minimally verbal (yay!). I am a firm advocate for neurodiversity.
I am queer (in terms of sexual orientation) and bigender. I often list my gender identity as genderqueer, but bigender is more accurate, as I strongly identify with both binary genders. I am comfortable with “woman” socially, but it is not the sum total of my identity. My pronouns are “she” and “they.” Please use whichever you prefer. I use “she” in most author bios. Though I identify as a woman, I do not participate in binarist projects (e.g. I will not submit to “stories by women” anthologies).
I had identified as Jewish Orthodox (Modern Orthodox) and been in a heterosexual marriage for over a decade, until late 2012. I stopped identifying as Orthodox some years before the divorce. Currently I keep a traditional level of observance, though I do not belong to a congregation. My ideal congregation would be LGBTQIA-welcoming and at the same time keenly focused on the study of Jewish texts in their various languages.
I am partnered to a wonderful non-binary person who would also like to find such a congregation.
My favorite fruit is quince. In 2008, I told the readers of Goblin Fruit that it’s the asian pear. Sorry about that!
Interviews with me:
- Uncanny with Michi Trota
- 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 tweet at me or leave me a comment on this website. Thanks!