Online Writing Intensive Class via LitReactor!

Writing From Your Queer Heart with writer and performer Cooper Lee Bombardier

Poet Stanley Kunitz wrote that “the empty ones are those who do not suffer their selfhood.”

Writing From Your Queer Heart is geared toward writers of all levels and identities who want to explore ways of rendering marginalized experiences into razor-sharp creative writing. This four-week course—led by writer, artist, performer, and teacher Cooper Lee Bombardier—will provide you with ample opportunity to generate new writing wrung from the hard-won knowledges of your own life.

You will dig down through the basalt into the heart of your unique life experience, uncover the unsayable, journey toward your personal hinterlands, tickle the uncomfortable edges, and render this raw treasure into a short work of fiction or creative nonfiction.

Along the way, you'll examine ways to uncover the “so what” of our your stories, as well as ways to avoid cliché language and representation. You'll explore ways of rendering your own philosophical and ethical “truths,” while avoiding sounding didactic.

You'll consider audience and its effects on your writing, and you will engage in energetic, supportive, vigorous, and compassionate discussion with fellow students on topics such as writing issues, craft points, and cultivating a writing practice.

Finally, you'll discuss the ethical and personal considerations of using material from one's own life, talk about writing from marginalized experiences that are not our own, and how to delve past our own limitations while expanding our comfort zones.

AWP 2016 Appearances

I will be presenting on two panels at AWP 2016 in Los Angeles.

Cooper Lee Bombardier moderating  The Collection  author Panel, Portland, OR.

Cooper Lee Bombardier moderating The Collection author Panel, Portland, OR.

I will be presenting on two panels at AWP 2016 in Los Angeles, and rejuicing my closet-introvert batteries at the tables of Lambda Literary and Literary Arts! And I am really looking forward to all of the other incredible panels featuring queer and trans authors.

Trans Memoir - Resisting Literary Tropes and Narrative Narcissism

Thursday March 31 at 4:30 PM - 5:45 PM  

Room 405, LA Convention Center,

Meeting Room Level

Contemporary memoir is often dismissed, presumed to be the project of self-absorbed authors, prone to unreliable memory, or overly prescriptive in their approach rather than literary. Likewise culture tends to understand the transgender subject as excessively self-interested, inauthentic, and essentializing. Our panel will discuss the pressures on trans memoir and writing in resistance to these expectations—pushing against the form of memoir, notions of readership, and authorship itself.                                                                                       Presenters: Cooper Lee Bombardier, Joy Ladin, Everett Maroon, and Eliot DeLine

AWP Panel Two Sides of the Mirror: Writing About Body Image Across Gender

Friday, April 1, 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM                                     

Room 405, LA Convention Center,

Meeting Room Level

External cultural demands to stay thin, young, attractive, and sexy is a struggle synonymous with womanhood. What are often overlooked—in both our culture at large and in nonfiction writing—are the challenges men face with similarly impossible demands on ideal size, shape, and appearance. This discussion brings together writers working against gender expectation to expand the conversation on body image.

Tabitha Blankenbiller is an essayist and regular column contributor to Barrelhouse, Hobart, PDXX Collective, and other publications. She is a graduate of the Pacific University MFA program. Her debut collection, "Eats of Eden: A Year of Food and Fiction," is forthcoming from Alternating Current Press in Fall 2017.

Jim Warner's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals including the North American Review, PANK, and the Minnesota Review, and he is the author of two collections. Jim is the managing editor of Quiddity and writes the weekly column "Best Worst Year" for SunDog Lit.

Ray Shea is an essayist and poet. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Southeast Review, The Austin Review, Split Lip, Hobart, Phoebe, and elsewhere, and he is a regular contributor to The Rumpus. A native of Boston and New Orleans, he lives in Austin.

Brian Oliu is an instructor at the University of Alabama and director of the Slash Pine Press Internship. He is the author of four books of nonfiction and two chapbooks, ranging from Craigslist Missed Connections, to computer viruses, to Google Maps, to 8-bit video games, to the arcade game NBA Jam.

Cooper Lee Bombardier is a writer and visual artist based in Portland, Oregon. His work appears in many publications and anthologies, most recently in CutBank, Nailed Magazine, Original Plumbing, and is forthcoming in The Kenyon Review as well as the anthology The Remedy--Essays on Queer Health Issues from Arsenal Pulp Press. He teaches writing at Portland State University, the University of Portland, at Grant High School through Writers in the Schools, and online at LitReactor.

Cooper reading at The Apple House, Olympia, WA. Photo by A.M. O'Malley

Cooper reading at The Apple House, Olympia, WA. Photo by A.M. O'Malley