Finalist, Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry
In their fourth collection of poetry, Lambda Literary Award-winning poet and writer Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha continues her excavation of working-class queer brown femme survivorhood and desire.
Tonguebreaker is about surviving the unsurvivable: living through hate crimes, the suicides of queer kin, and the rise of fascism while falling in love and walking through your beloved's neighbourhood in Queens. Building on her groundbreaking work in Bodymap, Tonguebreaker is an unmitigated force of disabled queer-of-colour nature, narrating disabled femme-of-colour moments on the pulloff of the 80 in West Oakland, the street, and the bed. Tonguebreaker dreams unafraid femme futures where we live -- a ritual for our collective continued survival.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled femme writer and performer of Burgher/Tamil Sri Lankan and Irish/Roma ascent. Her most recent titles are the nonfiction book Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice (2018) and the poetry book Tonguebreaker (2019). Her memoir Dirty River was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and a Publishing Triangle Award (Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction). She is also author of the poetry books Bodymap and Love Cake (Lambda Literary Award winner) and Consensual Genocide, and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. She is the co-founder of Mangos With Chili, North America's touring queer and trans people of colour cabaret, and is a lead artist with the disability justice incubator Sins Invalid.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha dares a future to hold us, keep us, cherish our fallibilities as much as it covets efficiency. These poems are lanterns that float on water inside which one can live openhearted -- and safe. Leah's poems put safe's taste on my tongue, its song in my chest. Leah's poems are the homes in which we, the disabled, can 'recalibrate the world to our bodies,' where we're not just welcome, but crucial. -Tara Hardy, author of My, My, My, My, My
Leah is a passionate healing cry in the wilderness of interlocking oppressions. And in these pages you will find the love, from a brown queer disabled femme epicenter of fight and faith, to get us through. -Alexis Pauline Gumbs, author of Spill and M Archive: After the End of the World
With a great deal of skill and an unsinkable boat full of grace, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's newest collection is pissed off and loving, wise and lustful. These eulogies and lamentations are prayers, medicine, love. Leah moves towards the mess that is real life with these 'complex, liminal-ass' poems and performance writings, and the world is better for them. -Bao Phi, author of Thousand Star Hotel