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About this poet

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha was raised in Worcester, Massachusetts. She received an MFA from Mills College.

Piepzna-Samarasinha is the author of the poetry collections Bodymap (Maenzi House, 2015), which was a finalist for Publishing Triangle's Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry; Love Cake (TSAR Publications, 2011), which received a 2012 Lambda Award; and Consensual Genocide (TSAR Publications, 2006). The poet Cyree Jarelle Johnson writes that Piepzna-Samarasinha’s poetry “paints a portrait of crippled body sovereignty in a world that would rather isolate us until we disappear.”

She is also the author of the memoir Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015), which was a finalist for both a Lambda Award and for Publishing Triangle's Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction. With Ching-In Chen and Jai Dulani, she is a coeditor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities (AK Press, 2016).

Piepzna-Samarasinha has received a fellowship from the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation, and in 2010 the Feminist Press named her one of 40 Feminists Under 40 Shaping the Future. She is also a lead artist with the disability justice performance collective Sins Invalid. She divides her time between Toronto, Canada, and South Seattle, Washington.


Bibliography

Poetry
Bodymap (Maenzi House, 2015)
Love Cake (TSAR Publications, 2011)

Consensual Genocide (TSAR Publications, 2006)

Prose
Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015)

I know crips live here

I know crips live here. So many couches and blanket throws.

I know crips live here. A bathroom filled with coconut oil, unscented conditioner and black soap.

I know crips live here. Your Humira and T on the bottom shelf of the fridge.

I know crips live here. Only house on the block with a homemade ramp, property standards so mad. 


I know crips live here. Big exhale at the shower chair, the slip pads and the air purifier.


I know crips live here. I see all the things in reach around your mattress of glory, the vibrator, the library books, the TV, the stuffed animals.

I know crips live here. Straws and Poise pads and crosswords and weighted blankets and stim toys.

I know crips live here. You've been home for a couple days. A week. That's the imprint of your ass in the couch surrounded by empty bags of food and plates and the Advil and the heating pad.

I know crips live here. 50 pounds of epsom salts, from the farm store, your painkiller display like an altar.


I know crips live here. I see your EBT card and your fought for DSHS care attendant.

I know crips live here. How you taught yourself to be an herbalist so you could afford to manage your pain.


I know crips live here. Everybody late.

I know crips live here. Your dogs, cats and stuffed animals are part of your family.

I know crips live here. Your disabled parking placard a candle in the window.

I know crips live here.

Welcome
You are home. 

Copyright © 2018 Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2018 Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. Used with permission of the author.

Leah Lakshmi  Piepzna-Samarasinha

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha was raised in Worcester, Massachusetts. She received an MFA from Mills College.

by this poet

poem
Where does the future live in your body?
Touch it

1

Sri Lankan radical women never come alone.
We have a tradition of coming in groups of three or four.
The Thiranagama sisters may be the most beloved and famous,
but in the 20s my appamma and great aunties were the Wild Alvis Girls.
Then there is your sister,