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.
About the author
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (she/they) is a mixed-blood, middle-aged nonbinary femme disabled and autistic writer, disability and transformative justice cultural and movement worker of Burgher and Tamil Sri Lankan, Irish and Galician ascent. A crip web weaver, couch and porch witch, they are the author and/or co-editor of nine books, including Beyond Survival ((with Ejeris Dixon), Tonguebreaker, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, Dirty River, and Bodymap. A Lambda Literary Award winner who has been shortlisted for the Publishing Triangle five times, they are the winner of Lambda's 2020 Jean Cordova Award "honoring a lifetime of work documenting the complexities of queer of color/femme/disabled experience" and are a 2020 Disability Futures Fellow. Raised in rustbelt central Massachusetts and shaped by T'karonto and Oakland, they currently make home in South Seattle, Duwamish territories. They are an adaptive trike rider and a triple grand water trine. Their newest book, The Future Is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs, will be published in fall 2022.
- Short-listed, Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry (Publishing Triangle)
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
Other titles by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
The Future Is Disabled
Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs
Our Work Is Everywhere
An Illustrated Oral History of Queer and Trans Resistance
Bridge of Flowers
Dreaming Disability Justice
A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home