Queer Literary Hoedown

The Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative, in partnership with EKY Mutual Aid, presents The Queer Literary Hoedown on Friday, July 28th, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

This is an opportunity to resist efforts to suppress the many, powerful voices of LGBTQTIA+ Kentucky writers and celebrate their work. The Hoedown will feature readings by renowned queer Kentucky authors, book giveaways, good vibes, and more. Prepare to hit the dance floor after the reading! Refreshments will be served. Bring a friend for a special night of words, music, and community



Tina Andry
Tina Andry is a writer/poet. She has had her work published in Bigger than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems. Her debut chapbook, Ransom Notes, was published by Accesnts Publishing. She is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana but currently resides in Lexington, KY with her two children. She is fond of spiders and secret pacts. She really enjoys being herself.

Willie Carver
Willie Edward Taylor Carver Jr. is an advisor, educator, public speaker, and author of Gay Poems for Red States (2023). Carver also serves as a board member of the Kentucky Youth Law Project (which helps LGBTQ youth in Kentucky with legal needs), the editorial advisory board of the Appalachian Futures Series of the University Press of Kentucky, and is a re-occurring co-host and contributing board member of Progress Kentucky. In 2022, Carver was named Kentucky Teacher of the Year and Ambassador to the Kentucky Department of Education. His work has been published in Kentucky Teacher, Education Week, and EdPost. 

Silas House
Silas House is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels (Clay's Quilt [2001], A Parchment of Leaves [2003], The Coal Tattoo [2005], Eli the Good [2009], Same Sun Here [2012], including his most recent, Lark Ascending, which was a Booklist Editors' Choice and is the winner of the 2023 Southern Book Prize and the 2023 Nautilus Book Award. Four of his plays have been produced. He is also the author of the 2009 book of creative nonfiction Something's Rising (with co-author Jason Kyle Howard). In 2022 he was the recipient of the Duggins Prize, the largest award for an LGBTQ writer in the nation. The same year he was named Appalachian of the Year in a nationwide poll. In 2023 he was inducted as the Poet Laureate of Kentucky for 2023-2025.

Samar Johnson
Samar Johnson is a classically trained singer turned scholar re-birthed as a writer who loves to nurture those around them to live the most authentically. They love to celebrate Blackness, queerness, and divine Femininity. They are in their last year of coursework for a PhD in Ethnomusicology and are compiling a book of poetry that explores their personal journey to reclamation of self and identity. Samar runs the day-to-day operations of the Lexington Writers Room. 


LeTonia Jones
LeTonia is a poet and death penalty abolitionist who lives in Lexington, KY. She uses her words as witness and testimony. LeTonia also loves her Boston terriers, Peggy and Mojo.  In 2009, she cocreated and co-facilitated SwallowTale Project, which entered correctional institutions. The project culminated in a book called SwallowTale Project, which featured writings from incarcerated women in Kentucky. In 2020, LeTonia co-founded Bloodroot Ink, a writing circle for Black, Indigenous, and Womyn of Color. LeTonia Jones lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her two dogs, Mojo and Peggy. Black Girl at the Intersection introduces her as a poet who believes acts of witnessing and acts of being witnessed are revolutionary.

Jay McCoy
Jay McCoy is a Lexington-based writer and visual artist with deep roots in Eastern Kentucky. Currently, he works as a contract writer/editor and medical credentialer/coder. Jay earned his MFA in creative writing from the Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University. Active in the writing community, he leads Q-munity (a queer writing series) at the Carnegie Center and co-founded the Teen Howl Poetry Series. Jay’s writing has appeared in several anthologies and journals. His chapbook, The Occupation, was published in 2015, and he edited the 2020 Lexington Poetry Month Anthology.

Ondine Quinn
Ondine (they/them) is a queer Latinx/e intersectional-feminist, artist, and rabble-rouser. They earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Studies from Ohio State University, a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Kentucky and completed the Sexual Health Certificate Program through the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. They have worked in the social movement/justice space for a long time, and is currently focused on expanding access to abortion in the south. In 2022 Ondine published their first book of Cuban recipes, and is in the process of getting enough poetry together for a book (fingers crossed!). In their freetime you can find them making electronic music, reading, playing video games and hanging out with their partner and their dog named Rabbit. Originally from Ohio, they've called Kentucky home since 2005.

Renée Rigdon
Renée Rigdon is a sober, nonbinary writer, artist, and mindful creativity coach learning to survive widowhood in Lexington, KY. They are passionate about human connection, philodendrons, and waffles. They are the mom to a wildly fantastic young adult and two perfect little squooshmonsters that the world perceives as tortoiseshell cats. Renée is the coauthor of AntiCraft: Knitting, Beading, and Stitching for the Slightly Sinister (2007).

Savannah Sipple
Savannah Sipple is the author of WWJD & Other Poems (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019), which was included on the American Library Association's Over the Rainbow Recommended LGBTQ Reading List. It explores what it is to be a queer woman in Appalachia and is rooted in its culture and in her body. A writer from east Kentucky, her writing has been published in Salon, Go Magazine, Southern Cultures, Split This Rock, and other places. She is also the recipient of grants from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. A professor, editor, and writing mentor, Savannah resides in Lexington with her wife.

July 28th, 2023
7:00pm - 10:00pm
Carnegie Center
251 West 2nd Street

We hope to see you soon at the Carnegie Center, home to writers, lifelong learners, & the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.

Join Us

251 West Second Street
Lexington, KY 40507

(859) 254-4175

Monday – Thursday: 10:00AM – 7:30PM
Friday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM
Saturday: 10:00AM – 2:00PM
Sunday: CLOSED

Monday – Friday: 10:00AM – 7:30PM

Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED