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Rainbow Reading: It’s Queer Lit Awards Season!

illustration by A. Andrews

Hi team! I am, notably, not Yashwina! Don’t worry; they’ll be back next time. She’s just taking a short break this week, so I’m dropping in for a little guest host moment!

Fittingly, I’m currently at the annual AWP conference in Philly. Are you also at AWP or just in Philly? Well, guess WHAT! I’m going to do some shameless self-promotion! You can actually hear me read fiction out loud at my first big in-person reading EVER tonight! Check out the details and RSVP here. Later tonight, I’ll also be at a reading I helped plan in my editing role at TriQuarterly —it’s at Tattooed Mom, and it’s free! Come through! Both of those are offsite events, so they don’t require conference registration. But if you ARE officially attending AWP, tomorrow morning I’m on this very cool panel all about FICTION AND FOOD. Seriously, if you’re in Philly this week, I’d love to see you. You can probably catch Kristen and I at the hotel bar most nights.

Here we go! On this week’s Rainbow Reading, we’ve got:


Shelf Care: Reviews, Essays, and other Things of Note



“The process of writing all of my books was a process that integrated my spiritual practice, my relationships with other people, my desire to be a better person, to be a more awakened person, my practice of trying to sort of liberate my own mind from patriarchal white supremacists and homophobic social structures.”

Melissa Febos in her interview with Yashwina Canter about her new book Body Work


Autocorrect: Books content from the last couple weeks at Autostraddle!


Rainbow Reading Superlikes:

I’d like to shoutout Hunter aka @shelfbyshelf this week! In addition to having great takes on books, they’re also a super talented artist?! Check out this portrait they did of Akwaeke Emezi, whose entire body of work you should read, but you can start with the book highlighted below: The Death Of Vivek Oji.

And another portrait of Esmé Weijun Wang, whose The Collected Schizophrenias is a must-read!


That’s all she wrote, folks! If you’re a queer writer, particularly an early-career queer writer: I’d love to hear about the cool things you’re up to so that I can share links to your published essays, book reviews, short stories, poems, and longform features on LGBTQ+ topics! Please email me links for consideration at yashwina@autostraddle.com with the subject line “Rainbow Reading Submission” — I’m an avid browser-tab-collector, and I especially want to hear from you if you’ve just landed your first publication or first major byline.


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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Miami. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 458 articles for us.

4 Comments

  1. a QUEER NIGERIAN LIT AUTOSTRADDLE SERIES??

    so many words i love in one sentence you might have broken my brain

    AND vagabonds is ready for me to pick up at the library so the timing couldn’t be more perfect

  2. On the one hand, thrilled you’re in Philly! On the other, utterly dismayed that I’m out of town until the weekend and missing these very cool things you’ll be at ): Regardless, self promotion appreciated and hope all goes wonderfully!

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