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.
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. This story was also on the Hugo Longlist, and the Tiptree Longlist. 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.
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.
In the last few years I have been coming out continuously, in various parts of my life. Right now I am in the process of coming out at work, so if you are here from that part of my life, hello 🙂
I am queer (in terms of sexual orientation) and a non-binary trans person. I usually list my gender identity as bigender (sometimes as genderqueer). My pronoun is “they.” I do not participate in binarist projects (e.g. I will not submit to “stories by women” anthologies).
My partner and now spouse is Bogi Takács, a fellow queer, trans, and Eastern European Jew. Yay for us! (Really, yay for us!) For those keeping tabs, our marriage is not valid in our countries of origin.
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 live with chronic pain and a variety of invisible illnesses which affect my daily functioning to various degrees. I am a trauma survivor and have depression and anxiety. I have been outspoken about disability and access from #ownvoices perspective.
I am a Jew with a keen interest in Jewish texts, languages, and histories. I used to describe my observance as “traditional,” but it is not accurate right now as my observance is in flux. I left Jewish Orthodoxy in the process of coming out as queer and trans. I keep kosher, so if you kindly want to feed me, vegan meals are the answer 🙂 for anything else, please ask!
Recent Interviews with me:
- SFWA Bulletin Nebula Spotlight, with Neil Clarke (print)
- Queers Destroy Science Fiction Author Spotlight, with Sandra Odell (print)
- An Unlikely Interview with Rose Lemberg (Unlikely Story)
- Uncanny with Michi Trota
- Goldfish Grimm
- Strange Horizons: “Noticing Language,” with Julia Rios
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!