The Big Queer Poetry Class Spring 2022

The Big Queer Poetry Class
This page was from the second iteration of Big Queer Poetry Class. I anticipate offering another session in winter-spring 2023.

We’re back with more gay awesomeness and some new features:  2 visiting artist talks, and an every other week structure (plus one bonus Wednesday)!

In this workshop we will read and write all the brilliance and beauty of what we have survived and what we are building. Using prompts, free-writes, the magnificent muck of our lives, and the full wing-span of our imaginations, we will create new poems and bring them to life. Be prepared to dig deep. In our writing, we will make space for all the fierce, radiant, sexy, disastrous, sacred and profane facets of our truths as queer and gender-fabulous folks navigating a mad mad world. Let this class be your permission to play, work, and risk.

This 6 session online intensive, spread over 8 weeks, will focus on helping writers of all levels generate new work, build community, explore identity, and craft gorgeous poems. In each session we'll explore a variety of juicy writing prompts and read numerous queer, trans, and gender-expansive poets, with particular attention to QTBIPOC and/or disabled writers. Classes will be held live over Zoom with homework between sessions. The Zoom class format will include time for free-writing, peer workshopping in breakout rooms, fishbowl-format workshopping with the instructor, and Q&A. One Wednesday night special session and one Saturday session will feature a visiting artist talk. Recordings will be available if you miss a class. Each student will receive detailed written feedback from the instructor at least once per course. Click here to sign up now to get an announcement when the next session opens for registration or keep reading for more info about dates, cost, and visiting artists.

Visiting Artists

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

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 Romani ascent. A crip web weaver, couch and porch witch, they are the author and/or co-editor of nine books, including (with Ejeris Dixon) Beyond Survival, Tonguebreaker, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, and Bodymap.

LD Green

LD Green (they/them) is a non-binary writer, performer, college educator, and mental health advocate living in Richmond, California.  They co-edited and contributed to the anthology We’ve Been Too Patient: Voices from Radical Mental Health, with Kelechi Ubozoh, published by North Atlantic Books in 2019.  Their first solo book, Phoenix Song: Poetry and Prose, is forthcoming from Nomadic Press in February 2022. Their work has been published on Salon, The Body is Not an Apology, Sinister Wisdom, PULP, Foglifter, sPARKLE + bLINK, on and elsewhere.

Course Details/The Nitty Gritty:


  • Classes will be held for 2 hours every other Saturday at 11:30 pacific/12:30 mountain/2:30 eastern time.
  • Class dates: 5 Saturdays, February 26, March 12 & 26, April 9 and 23, plus one bonus Wednesday evening session with visiting poet Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha on April 13th.


  • Live classes will be held on Zoom. Students will have access to a private facebook group, and assignments and feedback will be delivered via an online learning platform.

How Much:

  • The full course fee is $200. If you can support another student, please purchase a $250 spot. If finances are challenging right now, a few sliding scale slots at $150 are available. 3 scholarship spaces are available for QTBIPOC writers - if you would like to apply for a more reduced course fee, a payment plan, or would like to subsidize a scholarship space for another student, please email

What Jacks's students have to say:

“The big queer poetry class I took with Jacks is everything that I want from a writing class/community of that name (or, truly, any name). The course was full of the ability to show up exactly as I was, at any given point, really interesting prompts and exercises, and discussions and feedback on one another's work that helped dive deep into poetry (and, through such, personally therapeutic work!). I would highly recommend the class to anyone with or without any experience writing poetry, who is interested in learning ways to express themselves or hone in on anything specific in their writing. Unsure? Take the class!! Do it!!!”  - Cedar Yelvington

"Jacks is a sensitive facilitator and teacher who always has thoughtful insights for people's poetry. They created a wonderfully safe and unpressured structure for the class that I was involved in. I'll be taking more workshops with them for sure!" - Emily M

About the Instructor

Jacks McNamara is a genderqueer, neurodivergent poet, artist, activist, educator, performer, and somatic healing practitioner based on the Tewa land called O’ga P’ogeh and also known today as Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2012 Jacks was selected as a Lambda literary fellow, and their first book of poetry, Inbetweenland, was released by Deviant Type Press in 2013. Co-author of Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness, Jacks has toured across the US and Canada offering readings and workshops. They have also worked as a writer/artist in residence in many community organizations and the Santa Fe Public Schools. Their writing has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, blogs, and zines. Jacks is the co-founder of The Icarus Project, now known as the Fireweed Collective, a project that offers mental health education and mutual aid through a Healing Justice lens. Jacks’s life and work are the subject of the poetic documentary film Crooked Beauty.

Registration is closed, but please sign up to be notified when registration opens for Fall 2022.

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