Sunday, April 17, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Steven Reigns

Name: Steven Reigns

Contact info: and

Birthplace: St. Louis, MO

Zodiac sign: Scorpio

Your medium/genre: Poetry

Describe what you do: I write poetry and teach poetry workshops. For the past 5 years I’ve also been involved in a durational performance art piece under the mentorship of Linda Montano.

Turn on’s: original thinkers, kindness, and dedication to the community.

Turn off’s: selfishness, laziness, and the shaving of body hair.

Describe your perfect date: I abhor dinner and a movie dates. I like life and dates to be an adventure.

1st crush: I haven’t really ever thought about my first crush. I had a swim instructor when I was very young, he must have been in high school. I remember being fascinated by his small swimsuit which I had never seen was a Speedo.

Fave music: I love a good lyric.

Reading List: I have a large “To Be Read” stack of books. Almost all of them are poetry.

One of your obsessions: Soap.

Fave queer Artist(s): Frank O’Hara was rocking my world a couple of years ago. My obsession with him has now calmed into just an intense crush.

Fave queer from history: This is a hard one. Sophie had an easier choice. I can’t decide between the queens who started the Stonewall riots and the ACT UP activists stopping traffic and chaining themselves to buildings. All of those people get my props.

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc: Books have opened my world more than performances. I love performance art but wasn’t exposed to it when I was young. Seeing Morrissey for his Your Arsenal tour in 1992, when I was 16, was quite amazing. He was so gay, sensual, and sexy. I also met one of my best friends that night.

Fave performance experience: I’ve had great experiences at public reading. About 8 years ago I was asked to be the keynote speaker at an annual American Library Association (a group of glbt librarians and allies) gathering. I was honored to speak to such a group. I kept looking at the crowd and thinking, “You are the people that helped shape my life.”

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from The University of South Florida, Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University.

Awards/Grants/Honors: I’m pleased to have received 2 Los Angeles County Department of Cultural Affairs grants and several grants from Poets & Writers.

What do you (does your art) stand for: I want my work to give voice to the overlooked, under represented, and under appreciated.

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene: I love LA and I’m pleased to be surrounded by so much queer art. There is Ian MacKinnon’s Queer Mondays, Hank Henderson’s HomoCentric, Noel Alumit’s Promising Series, Eloise Klein Healy’s lesbian press Arktoi Books, Lambda Literary is here, Charles Flower’s Bloom is headquartered in West Hollywood. We’ve got the One Institute and the June Mazer Library. I love being surrounded by so much queer artistic activity.

What do you see as the future for queer art: As our community evolves so will the stories that come from our community. I look forward to witnessing both. In terms of queer cinema, I really hope there is a move away from the hustler narrative. I’m so tired of that storyline.

What are your upcoming events: I’m teaching a free workshop on April 19th in honor of National Poetry Month at the West Hollywood Library at 6:00 PM
West Hollywood Library
715 San Vicente Blvd
West Hollywood, CA

I'm collecting rubbings from GLBT historical markers. It's a participatory project and I'd love to have more people submit some:

My book Inheritance was also recently rereleased by Sibling Rivalry Press and can be purchased here:

Sample of Work:

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