Venus Selenite Announces 3rd (and Final) Leg of the 2016-17 trigger Tour

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Dear Family,

I have enjoyed the last seven months performing, reading, and traveling from my debut poetry collection, trigger. I’m greatly appreciative for your reception of this book and the opportunities presented and rewarded to me. trigger, since it’s publication in May 2016, has sold 188 copies and exists on bookshelves, tables, and sometimes backpacks in the United States, Canada, Australia, Honduras, and Europe. This important work has brought me to tour places such as the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, the Kennedy Center, the Baltimore Theater Project, and Princeton University. Immediately after its release, trigger is a part of the holy canon of literature by trans women of color, which includes very few poetry collections. I’m very happy to be at the forefront of my craft and field. It’s been a revolutionary delight in witnessing the curation and nuances of often erased experiences that breathe eternal life in their insertion into multiple literary mediums.

Next year, I will be publishing my first novella, Istrouma, an anthology of fiction by trans women of color I’m co-editing with Jamie Berrout and Ellyn Peña titled Nameless Woman, and my second poetry collection. I’m also looking forward to the third leg of my trigger Tour – also the final leg – which will begin in January and finally close in June. That being said, I’m hoping, speaking existence, and manifesting a fully booked leg. It’s time to embark on the creation of new work. After June, my wish is to be back in relationships with my notebook, my Mac, with discovery, and the documentation of endless truth.

To bring my work to your venue, please communicate through the information stated on the flyer. I’m excited to share what’s next.

Love, Venus

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News and Upcoming Projects – August 10, 2016

 

13941029_10153826741658225_1023931767_nI will be speaking at Trans*H4CK’s #iBuild4 Conference as their Media M4ker Spotlight on August 28. In my virtual talk, I will discuss my use of technology and the Internet to publish trigger, my justified retaliation from the mainstream publishing industry, experiences of economic violence, and will share excerpts from the book. Trans*H4CK was founded in 2013 by Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler. It’s mission is to shift the ways trans, gender non-conforming, agender and non binary people live by creating technology that economically empowers, improves access to social services, promotes gender safety and community sustainability, while bringing visibility to trans* tech innovators and entrepreneurs.

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I have accepted a staff position as an editor with the Trans Women Writer’s Collective. TWWC, co-founded by Ellyn Peña and Jamie Berrout, is an organization founded by trans women to support trans women and amab nonbinary writers by publishing them,  paying them for their writing, providing help with their individual fundraising efforts, and securing for them other opportunities and forms of material support. The Trans Women Writer’s Collective exists, above all, to improve conditions for the most marginalized writers in it’s community: black trans women, Indigenous trans women, disabled trans women, incarcerated and detained and undocumented trans women. My first project with my fellow editors, and designer Celeste, will be an expanded print edition of An Anthology of Fiction by Trans Women of Color, initially published this year as an e-book by Peña and Berrout. Submission period will be announced soon.

Starting this Sunday, I will be back on the trigger Tour, back in Brooklyn, New York for Topside Press’ Summer Trans Women Writers Workshop at Brooklyn College. During this week, work will recommence on my novella, Istrouma, which has been in creation since last November and I will be participating two readings.

I’ll be performing in Baltimore, MD for a 2-night engagement at the Charm City Kitty Club at the Baltimore Theater Project on October 21-22.

After a near 5-month absence, I’m returning to my post as a Culture Writer for The Tempest. Please be on the lookout for new work coming live.

NOW BOOKING

I’m open for bookings for the upcoming Fall and Spring semesters. To book me, please send inquiries for services and rates to venusselenite at gmail.com. stilettos is available for purchase in the CreateSpace store for $10.99 and for a limited time. It will be placed back into the vault on September 1, 2016.

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STILETTOS NOW AVAILABLE

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stilettos: b-poems is a smaller collection of poems, many of them intended for publication in ‪#‎trigger‬. The 12 poems span between 2007 and 2016 and includes “Radical Love Riot”, a regular of mine from the last few years of my involvement in the Baton Rouge poetry scene. Today I decided to share these 12 poems from the vault. #stilettos is available in the CreateSpace store for $10.99.

 

MESSAGE FROM VENUS

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Good morning loves.

I write this message with an abundance of gratitude, honor, and love towards the people, experiences, & connections made at this year’s Philadelphia Trans Health Conference. Thank you to Trans Women of Color Collective for curating a spectacular concert and assembling a lineup of some of the greatest Black trans and gender nonconforming artists in this country: Lucas Charlie Rose, Sidney Chase, Nila Nokizaru, Kavindu Jointe, Jordan Miller, Marco Monroe, and Cyree Jarelle Johnson. Blessings to you all & it is my wish that we have become more serious & grounded in the work we do. We were a small representation of Black trans artists at the largest trans conference in the world. Let’s continue to build & create in collective liberation.

I express the utmost gratitude to TWOCC, especially to Dane Edidi and Lourdes Ashley Hunter for creating opportunities non-stop, for bringing me with them into this sisterhood, & for pouring into my work continuously. It is my determination to do the same for as many trans women of color as possible.

I’m very grateful to have encountered and seen many friends at this conference, though I wasn’t able to experience it fully, but seeing so many people that I know really made up for it. A highlight of PTHC was meeting the friends I’ve made in North Carolina: Jonathan Green, Ashley S. Williams, Suquanna Butler, and Shane Hicks. Y’all are squadded downnnnnnnnnnnn! Blessings to you for what YOU do. This is all a collaborative effort: art, organizing, activism, change, etc. Because of what YOU do, just like many of my friends and acquaintances, it causes a ripple towards what I do. I look forward to seeing y’all again (wink, wink).

Max Young-Jones, it was incredible to see you, babe. I cherished our time, though it was not enough, but thank you for being a pillar. 🙂

Tristan Morton, thank you for giving me the biggest and gayest hug everrrrrrrrrrrrr. That was a long time coming. 🙂

Thanks to Reevs Fluctus O’Neal and Emem Obot for immediately taking action because there was a named rapist in the audience, someone I know very well, & his face was absolutely triggering to see. By the time I got through the first poem, he wasn’t on my mind. That’s all I will say on that.

And I have to say thanks to Lucas (again lol) for sharing his table so that I could sell books. Y’all should go buy his new album, Rouge. I’m telling ya.. the shit is amazing. My vernacular has taken over this little part of my message. It’s kk, though. It’s turn-up music. I was listening to dis shit yesterday & it was just the right juice I needed to be in my zone with these books!

And thanks to Vernon A. Jordan III to taking me to get my first cheesesteak & walking me to my bus!

#‎trigger‬ was published on May 24. Since then, I have sold 80 copies. 80 copies of “trigger” exist throughout the United States and Canada. When I clicked the “publish” button, that was my letting go & allowing this book to “do what it’s gonna do.” And bitch, there is more after “trigger”.. This is absolutely a success leading to the creation of more work.
Due to it’s publication, things have come out of my life. Personally, & I should have expected this. A former best friend, right after I announced this book, called & deadnamed me, but offered to “invest”. In addition to my sister cyberstalking me, I started an estrangement from my father, & many of my brothers & sisters on his side. My former partner messaged me a few days ago. We hadn’t spoken since November & my final (& only) message to him was: “Happy early birthday 🙂 …” & I linked him to “trigger”. I’ve let many people know my next move and why my tour is postponed for June. Once the rest of my vault (my enormous collection of journals) has arrived from Louisiana, sometime within the next two weeks, it is my intention to tell my immediate blood family that I’m a trans woman in the form of a letter. With that comes much prayer, preparation, & space. I don’t know what will happen, so I’m preparing for the worst. I’m in a position now where I have family & friends in DC. My life here is my own. This city feels like home. I accomplished that goal. A letter is best because I can’t be interrupted, shouted at, or listen to any bullshit. I’ve heard everything before because I come from a strong Baptist background. Whatever the outcome is of the letter, I’ll be fine.
Also, my thanks to Marco. We had really great bonding time over brunch & I really appreciated hearing your story. 🙂

I think that’s it. I think that’s all I wanted to share about what’s going on in my life & career. There’s more work to do, so I’m going to take a rest because I’m tired from all this travel. Thank you for reading.

 

Love, Venus Selenite
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo & Ashé

TRIGGER COMES TO THE PHILADELPHIA TRANS HEALTH CONFERENCE

I can officially announce on my own channels that I am the featured poet at the Ascension concert at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference on June 10! Ascension is hosted by Dane Edidi and Cyree Jarelle Johnson, and will be headlined by Lucas Charlie Rose.

Other artists performing are: Marco Monroe, Sidney Chase, Nika Nokizaru, Jordan HOPE Miller, and Kavindu Ade.

If you will be in Philadelphia, ‪#‎trigger‬ will be on sale with any available print copies. Cash or card will be accepted. If I do not have print copies, I will still take payment and personally order your book or direct you to my CreateSpace listing.

Can’t wait to slay Philly!

 

TRIGGER LAUNCHES AT 2016 CAPTURING FIRE INTERNATIONAL QUEER SLAM & SUMMIT IN WASHINGTON, DC

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My first book, trigger, will launch at the 2016 Capturing Fire Queer Slam & Summit in Washington, DC on June 3. I will be giving a featured reading at Alchemy: A Trans Performance Showcase at Coffy Cafe on my first stop of the trigger Tour. Alchemy is founded and hosted by literary, musical, and theatre artist Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi.

Capturing Fire was founded by Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Champion & the “Fairy Godmother of Spoken Word in DC” Regie Cabico and Beltway Poetry Slam Champion Natalie E. Illum. It is a poetry festival that includes panels, workshops, and performances from poets from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Capturing Fire promotes trans and queer artists of the poetry slam and encourages solidarity, risk, and artistic career growth as poets make invaluable professional and personal friendships so that a queer literally lineage is set in motion.

This will be my first featured performance at Capturing Fire and my third year of attending this festival.

trigger will be available May 31 via CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Stay tuned for more announcements on trigger and upcoming readings, performances, and engagements on the trigger Tour. To inquire/book, please see the following contact information below.

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First look at Istrouma, a novella set for fall 2016 release

As I prepare the final draft of trigger, I wanted to share the cover artwork to Istrouma, a novella I’ve been writing since last fall. Istrouma is a story about a Black trans girl named Zina who leaps through the systemic miseries of Baton Rouge, Louisiana despite personal tragedies in her life. During these obstacles, Zina recognizes her first and foremost responsibility of her and her small circle – to survive.

This project is currently on hiatus but I will devote my summer to crafting and continuing the narrative of this Southern trans character. By the fall, you will be able to read Istrouma.

 

Istrouma