Kristen E. Nelson is a queer writer and performer, literary activist, LGBTQ+ activist, and community builder. She is the author of two chapbooks: sometimes I gets lost and is grateful for noises in the dark (Dancing Girl, 2017) and Write, Dad (Unthinkable Creatures, 2012). Kristen’s poem “After the Crotalus atrox” was anthologized in The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide and nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize by University of Arizona Press. She has published work in Bombay Gin, Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, Tarpaulin Sky Journal, Trickhouse, and Everyday Genius, among others. Kristen shares her work frequently at venues across the United States as a featured performer for events such as the Trickhouse Journal Launch at New York’s Bowery Poetry Club, as an opening act for singer/songwriter Dar Williams at Tucson’s Rialto Theater, and as a keynote performer at LA’s Open Press Conference.
Kristen is the founder of Casa Libre en la Solana, a non-profit writing center in Tucson, Arizona, where she worked as the Executive Director for 14 years. She now writes full-time and works part-time at The University of Arizona in Gender and Women’s Studies. She Earned her MFA in Creative Writing in 2011 from Goddard College, and her BA in English Literature with minors in Marine Science and Biology in 2000 from The University of Tampa. Kristen has been a creative writing instructor since 2010 at Naropa University, UA Poetry Center, STEP College Prep Program, Pima Community College, and The Central School Project. She specializes in teaching Personal Narrative Essay Writing, Text/Image Collaborations, and Divinatory Poetics.