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Inside and Out

LGBTQ Storytelling: Mental Health, Joy, and Intersecting Identities with Las Musas

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Monday, 4:00 pm EDT June 22, 2020

4pm ET / 1pm PT

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We are proud to partner with Las Musas, a collective of women and non-binary (identifying on the female spectrum) Latinx Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult debut authors. Members Michelle Ruiz Keil (All of Us with Wings), Tehlor Kay Majia (We Unleash the Merciless Storm), NoNieqa Ramos (The Truth Is), and Alexandra Villasante (The Grief Keeper) will read from their work and offer insights on literature as a place of discovery, community, refuge, and celebration for young people.


This program is part of our Inside and Out Pride 2020 series, which offers solace and affirmation to the LGBTQ community during a time of isolation from trusted social groups and support networks.

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Panelists

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    Michelle Ruiz Keil

    Michelle Ruiz Keil

    Michelle Ruiz Keil is a writer and tarot reader with an eye for the enchanted and a way with animals. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, All of Us With Wings, called “…a transcendent journey” by the New York Times and “…a fantastical ode the Golden City’s post-punk era” by Entertainment Weekly, was released from Soho Teen in 2019. She is the recipient of a 2020 Literary Lions Award and a 2020 Hedgebrook residency. Her short fiction can be found in the Buckman Journal, Cosmonauts Avenue, and the anthologies Color Outside The Lines and Dispatches From Anarres. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Michelle has lived in Portland Oregon for many years. She curates the fairytale reading series All Kinds of Fur and lives with her family in a cottage where the forest meets the city. Her next book, Summer in The City of Roses, is forthcoming from Soho Teen in June 2021.

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    Tehlor Kay Mejia

    Tehlor Kay Mejia

    Tehlor Kay Mejia is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult fantasy novel We Set the Dark on Fire, as well as several forthcoming young adult and middle grade novels (We Unleash the Merciless Storm – Katherine Tegen Books, Miss Meteor (co-written with National Book Award nominee Anna-Marie McLemore) – HarperTeen, Paolo Santiago and the River of Tears and Paolo Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares – Rick Riordan Presents/Disney-Hyperion).

    Her debut novel received six starred reviews, and was chosen as an Indie’s Next Pick and a Junior Library Guild selection, as well as being an Indiebound bestseller in the Pacific Northwest region. It was featured in Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, and O by Oprah Magazine’s best books of 2019 lists, as well as being a book of the year selection by Kirkus and School Library Journal.

    Tehlor lives in Oregon with her daughter, two very small dogs, and several rescued houseplants.

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    NoNieqa Ramos

    NoNieqa Ramos

    NoNieqa Ramos wrote The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary, a 2018 New York Public Library Best Book for Teens, a 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection, and a 2019 In the Margins Award Top Ten pick.

    Hip Latina named The Truth Is “10 of the Best Latinx Young Adult Books of 2019.” Remezcla included TTI in the “15 Best Books by Latino and Latin American Authors of 2019.”

    Versify will publish her debut picture book Beauty Woke and Your Mama in 2021. Lerner will publish Hair Story in 2021. For more information about NoNieqa, check out https://www.lasmusasbooks.com/nonieqa-ramos.html and https://www.soaring20spb.com/nonieqa-ramos.

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    Alexandra Villasante

    Alexandra Villasante

    Alexandra Villasante has always loved telling stories—though not always with words. She has a BFA in Painting and an MA in Combined Media (that’s art school speak for making work out of anything). Born in New Jersey to immigrant parents, Alex has the privilegio of dreaming in both English and Spanish.

    When she’s not writing or painting, Alexandra plans conferences and fundraisers for non-profits. She lives with her family in the semi-wilds of Pennsylvania. Her debut Young Adult novel, The Grief Keeper, was an Indies Next, Indies Introduce and Fall 2019 Junior Library Guild Selection. The Grief Keeper is on ALA’s Rainbow Book List 2020 and is the winner of the 2020 Lambda Literary Award  for LGBTQ Children’s Literature/Young Adult Fiction.

Las Musas

Las Musas is the first collective of women and non-binary (identifying on the female spectrum) Latinx middle-grade (MG), picture book (PB), and young adult (YA) authors to come together in an effort to support and amplify each other’s debut or sophomore novels in US children’s literature. Titles by Las Musas are published by major houses including Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic), Charlesbridge, Disney-Hyperion, Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins), Knopf, Lee & Low, Page Street, Scholastic, Tor Teen and Walden Pond Press (Harper Collins), and Simon & Schuster. The Latinx community is an incredibly vast and diverse group of people that includes Afro-Latinx, Indigenous Latinx, Asian Latinx, white Latinx, and any and all combinations of race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. Latinx is not tied to any specific race, but is rather a classification term referring to people with cultural ties to Latin America. Las Musas represent Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay.

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