Queer Icons by Gabriel Garcia Roman.2015

Queer Icons by Gabriel Garcia Roman.2015

Queer Icons by Gabriel Garcia Roman.2015

Queer Icons by Gabriel Garcia Roman.2015

Queer Icons by Gabriel Garcia Roman.2015

Queer Icons by Gabriel Garcia Roman.2015

Writing Residencies: 

Sonia Guiñansaca

Internationally award winning queer migrant multi-disciplinary artist (poet), cultural organizer (strategist), and social justice activist from Harlem by way of Ecuador. Guiñansaca has emerged as a national leader in the undocumented/migrant artistic and political communities. Co-founded and help build some of the largest undocumented organizations in the country, coordinating and participating in groundbreaking civil disobedience actions in the immigrant rights movement. They have also founded some of the first creative artistic projects by and for undocumented writers/artists. They believe that for there to be any social change we must shift culture. They believe artists and cultural workers of color from front line communities can best tell the stories from their communities. They believe in the ability of artists and cultural workers to change public imagination and hearts. Thus, for the past 6 years they led national cultural equity work as the Managing Director at CultureStrike, and now they are building a national sustainable ecosystem and pipeline for artists and cultural workers of color as the Senior Manager of Artist Engagement at The Center for Cultural Power. Guiñansaca, is VONA/Voices, Poetry Foundation, and BOOAT Fellow, has performed at The Met, Brooklyn Museum, The Highline, Joe Pubs, El Museo Del Barrio, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Galleria de La Raza, and featured on NBC, PBS, Latina Magazine, Pen American, the Poetry Foundation, Interview Magazine, and UK’s Diva Magazine to name a few. They presented keynotes, workshops, and panels at universities throughout the country. Their migration and cultural equity work has also taken them to London and Mexico to advice on migrant policy and art projects. Named as 1 of 10 Up and Coming Latinx Poets You Need to Know by Remezcla, 1 of 13 Coolest Queers on the Internet by Teen Vogue, the 2017 and 2018 Artist in Residence at NYU's Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, and 1 of 3 U.S.A Future Leaders Delegates for the British Council in 2018.  Sonia self published their first mini poetry chapbook in December 2016 called Nostalgia and Borders. In Fall 2019 they will be releasing their 2nd mini self published chapbook called #PapiFemme. They are a contributor for the new edition of Colonize This! Anthology due July 2019 through Seal Press. Now, represented by Writers House Agency , Sonia is also working on their first memoir. In 2020 are launching Alegria Press, a publishing house for undocumented (formerly undocumented) writers.


Long Bio: Born in Ecuador, at the age of 5, Sonia Guiñansaca migrated to the United States to reunite with her parents in New York City. Since 2007, Guiñansaca has been public about her experience as an undocumented immigrant. In 2008, they joined the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC) the first and only undocumented youth led organization in NY where she served was core- organizer, Arts and Expression program founder, and then served as a Board Member. Guiñansaca has since participated in: the second recorded civil disobedience action done by undocumented youth where they took over the D.C Senate Building (2010), and a 10- day hunger strike. They organized NY undocumented youth communities, direct actions, and has advocated for educational bills for migrant students. During this time, the poet and activist also attempted to infiltrate an Alabama detention center, and coordinated campaigns to end the deportation of undocumented people (2011), among other actions in the immigrant rights movement.

In 2011, Guiñansaca launched the Dreaming in Ink creative writing workshop for undocumented youth and performance spaces known as UndocuMic’s. This would become the first writing and performance initiatives by and for undocumented emerging writers and artists.  Since then, Dreaming in Ink and the UndocuMic's have become structures replicated throughout the country. 

 They formerly served as the Managing Director at Culture/Strike . Since coming to CultureStrike in 2013, Sonia has led national projects on racial and migrant justice, continuously fought for cultural equity, supported artists of color especially  migrant, queer, trans, and women of color emerging artist, and shifted conversation around migrant narratives. They have collaborated with social justice movement groups to shift and increase the understanding of the roles of arts and culture in movement spaces. In 2013, along with Kemi Bello, a fellow undocumented writer staff at CultureStrike, they created and put together the first national UndocuWriting retreat in North California for undocumented writers of different genres, with Staceyann Chin as one of the guest faculty. This became a groundbreaking moment bringing together for the first time 11 undocumented writers from across the nation , representing over 9 countries. Since then, Sonia has continually supported emerging undocumented writers through residency opportunities, and by developing a partnership with VONA to increase support for these writers. They edited the first undocumented poetry anthology, Home in Time of Displacement (still seeking publisher), and co-founded/curated Undocumenting.com, the first and only online archive profiling undocumented artists. They continue to mentor emerging migrant writers, curating safe welcoming panels and open mic's for these artists. For the past 7 years they have advocated for leadership and opportunities for migrant artists at different art institutions and funders, and currently is working with many organizations to shift their institutional policies, staffing, opportunities, and programming. 

Graduate from Hunter College, they hold a BA in Africana Puerto Rican Latino Studies, and Women & Gender Studies. They are a VONA/Voices alumni who has performed at El Museo del Barrio, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, La Mama Gallery, NY Poetry Festival, The Met,  Galleria de La Raza and featured on NBC, PBS, Latina Magazine, Pen American, Uk’s Diva Magazine, Interview Magazine, and Poetry Foundation to name a few. They have presented keynotes, workshops, panels at universities like Columbia University, Yale University, Brown University, and at conferences throughout the country.  They were named as 1 of 10 Up and Coming Latinx Poets You Need to Know by Remezcla, as well as one of 13 Coolest Queers on the Internet by Teen Vogue, the 2017 and 2018 Artist in Residency at NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, and 1 of 3 U.S.A 's Future Leaders Delegate for the British Council in 2018.  

Guiñansaca’s range of work touches on migration, climate-ecological justice, Queer liberation, being a Queer/Femme gender-non conforming artist and cultural worker of color, and the role of artists in social movements. Their work is a deep look into deconstructing borders, and blowing up migration discourse so that tiny radical seeds can grow from that gravel and help us imagine a world without borders. Extensive background on community organizing, social media, cultural equity, and cultural strategy. Their first mini chapbook Nostalgia and Borders was self-published in November 2016. The chapbook emcompass her early collection of poetry touching on their undocumented experience growing up in the United States, and family trauma. Chapbook was designed by (un)documented artist Rommy Torrico, and edited by undocumented writer Emilia Fiallo. In July 2017 , Guiñansaca collaborated with artist Jess X Snow to release a mini documentary to accompany #NostalgiaAndBorders, which premiered at the Brooklyn Museum as part of a performance for Radical Women: Latin American Art 1960-1985. Right now, they are working on their 2nd chapbook called Papifemme, after #Papifemme, which is a term (and hashtag) they coined in Spring 2015 to give language to their gender fluidity at the intersection of their Latinx, Femme, and gender nonconformity after noticing that majority of non binary language and mainstream dialogue on gender fluidity centered white American bodies. PapiFemme is a term for Latinx of color who are both gender non-conforming and Femme. *Through their experience navigating the inaccessible and white-leaning literary and publishing world, they have begun to form the first publishing house for undocumented( and formerly undocumented) writers called Alegria with fellow poet and scholar, Alan Pelaez. Launches in 2020.

Guiñansaca is now Represented by Writers House Agency and working on their first memoir. 

Witness their work and happenings online on Twitter & Instagram @TheSoniaG. 


Awards & Honors:

  • 2019 Represented by Writers House Agency

  • 2019 Second Edition Contributor to “Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism” Edited by Daisy Hernandez, and Bushra Rehman through Seal Press

  • 2018 & 2019 National Advisory for the Laundromat Project

  • 2018 & 2019 Creative Capital’s Cycle Application Reader

  • 2019 Judge for California’s Poetry Out Loud State Final for the California Endowment of the Arts

  • 2019 Master of Ceremony of “Rise Up: Defend Democracy Remember Tiananmen” for Pen America World Voices Festival at Cathedral of St.John the Divine

  • 2019 Featured Spread on Bitch Magazine about Nostalgia and Borders

  • 2018 Featured on Rewire.News “Migrants Share Their Vision for a World That Honors and Respects Them”

  • 2018 Featured on Autostraddle “An Ode to Fat Tomboy Femmes: Effortlessly Cool Plus-Size Outfits”

  • 2018 Featured Performer for “Cuerpxs Radicales: Radical Bodies in Performance” for Brooklyn Museum’s Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985 Exhibition

  • 2018 Poetry Incubator Fellow for the Poetry Foundation

  • 2018 Artist Residence at NYU's Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics

  • 2018 U.S.A British Council Representative for Immigration Policy Incubation (Mexico)

  • 2018 Featured on Univision Noticia's "Asi son los 'Dreamers' que luchan por los derechos de los indocumentados" photo timeline

  • 2017 U.S.A Future Leaders Delegate for the British Council (London)

  • 2017 Featured and interviewed on LAMBDA Literary

  • 2017 Named as 1 of "9 Latina Poets You Should be Reading Right Now" by Mitu!

  • 2017 Guest Speaker at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC)

  • 2017 Artist Residence at NYU's Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics 

  • 2017 Featured Poet at the annual  the "Poetry in Motion" event of the Poetry Society of America (Grand Central NYC) 

  • 2017 Chapbook "Nostalgia & Borders" officially housed at the Ethnic Studies Library in UC Berkeley

  • 2016 Innovative Cultural Advocacy (ICA) Fellow of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute

  • 2016 Featured on Univision's Portraits of Latinx Generation

  • 2016 Named as "13 Coolest Queers on the Internet" by Teen Vogue

  • 2016 Featured Interview on NBC Latino Poetry Series

  • 2016 Poetry featured on Third Women Press's new online journal: TWPulse

  • 2015 Featured on PEN American Ten

  • 2015 Featured poet on the Poetry Foundation

  • 2015 Selected by Remezcla as one of “10 Latinx Poets You Need to Know”

  • 2015 Featured Poet on Feministing Five

  • 2015 Featured poet on PBS.org

  • 2015 Selected by Medium.com NAT. BRUT as one of “3 Artists & Cultural Workers of Color You Need to Know About”

  • 2015 Honored and Profiled as a Queer Icon by  artists Gabriel Garcia

  • 2013’s El Museo Del Barrio Madrina Award

  • 2012 Campus Progress Activist/Campaign of the Year Award

  • 2012 Profiled on the Emmy Nominated CUNY TV: Nueva York Episode on the Dream Act

  • 2011 Recipient of 40 Under 40 Rising NY Stars by the  Hispanic Coalition

  • 2010 Recipient of the Courageous Advocacy Award from NYSYLC

  • 2010 Latina Magazine’s 100 Latinos of the Year


Selected Performances & Appearances:

  • 2019 Guest Speaker for the Yerba Buena Arts Center’s Artist Fellows

  • 2019 Curator of “You See Me?!?” A Pop-Up Art Exhibition at Park Avenue Armory. Featuring Undocu Art Featuring Undocu-Artists Emulsify and Julio Salgado

  • 2019 Guest Speaker for “A Conversation ABout Collaboration” at The Greene Space’s curated by June Canedo alongside artists Lizania Cruz, and Den Quinsay

  • 2019 Guest Lecturer for Diverse Works in Houston Texas

  • 2019 Guest artist for “Re-Stating the Union” at NY’s International Center of Photography. Performance alongside Dread Scott, Ken Chen, Demian DinéYazhi

  • 2019 Feature Reader at “Colonize This! Book Launch” at Miami University, Ohio

  • 2019 Guest Moderator for Dance NYC Symposium at Hunter College

  • 2019 Guest Performer for “#KeepAleFree NYC Fundraiser” at The People’s Forum

  • 2018 Guest Performer for “Alternative Migrant Futures Through Poetry” at UC Berkeley

  • 2018 Keynote Speaker for Latinx Heritage Month Closing Banquet at Ramapo College

  • 2018 Guest Performer & Panelist for Artist Thanushka Yakupitiyage/Ushka Artist in Residence Launch Event by A/P/ Institute at NYU

  • 2018 Invitee and Presenter for the Whitman Institute’s “Re-imagining Our Future” Convening

  • 2018 Curator, Performer, and host of “Me Quedo: A Reading of #PapiFemme & #NostalgiaAndBorders” at Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics

  • 2018 Guest Speaker and Panelist for "Untold Stories” at the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (Houston, TX) alongside Rick Lowe and Deana Haggag

  • 2018 Guest Speaker for “Creating Art & Media” at San Francisco Museum of African Diaspora. Hosted by Bryant Terry

  • 2018 Guest Performer for La Mama Theater

  • 2018 Guest Poet for “Civil Salon” for Joe Pub’s

  • 2018 Feature Performer for The Highlines’ “CultureShift” Season Opener

  • 2018 Featured Reader for “Radical Visionaries” at NY Live Arts

  • 2018 Featured Panelist for “Crossing Borders” & “Shifting & Showing Culture” at Split This Rock Poetry Festival in Washington D.C

  • 2018 Featured performer and presenter at Harvard University

  • 2018 Host & Curator of Mouth 2 Mouth Open Mic at the Asian American Writer's Workshop

  • 2018 Guest Speaker and Performer at Dickinson College

  • 2017 Guest Lecture "Nostalgia & Borders" A Conversation" at Sonoma State University

  • 2017 Guest artist for South & Central America Project @ San Cristobal de Las Casa, Mexico with Hemispheric Institute

  • 2017 Participant of annual Creative Change @ Sundance

  • 2017 Host & Curator of Mouth 2 Mouth Open Mic at the Asian American Writer's Workshop

  • 2017 Featured Artist at Lehmann Maupin Gallery for Teresita Fernandez's "Fire(America)" exhibition event in NYC

  • 2017 Guest Speaker at Sarah Lawrence College 

  • 2017 Guest Teacher at the EmergeNYC Program

  • 2017 Curator & Moderator of "Re-Imagining Existence: Migrant Artists in Conversation" Panel at the Hemispheric Institute 

  • 2017 Guest Speaker  at Jr. High School 22 Jordan L.Mott in the BX

  • 2017 Curator & Performer of "Artists Dismantling: A Night of Resistance" event at the Asian American Writers Workshop 

  • 2017 Featured Poet for "Unearthing Another World" at Florentine Music School

  • 2016 Guest Performer for "Uplifting Our Rights-International Human Rights Day" at Perl's Poetry Shop

  • 2016 Guest Performer at Latina/o Theatre Commons (LTC) New York City Convening

  • 2016 Featured Performer of  Undocumented Immigrant Alliance Event at Mount Holyoke College's  

  • 2016 Keynote Speaker at Contra-Cuentos:Nuestra Historia Annual Latinx Heritage Event at NYU 

  • 2016 Keynote Speaker at the 13th Annual Gay Straight Alliance Forum

  • 2016 Latinx & Queer Heritage Month Featured Performer at Williams College 

  • 2016 Latinx Heritage Month Featured Performer at Colgate University 

  • 2016 Co-Host of Mouth to Mouth Open Mic at the Asian American Writers Workshop

  • 2016 Guest Performer at #Access4All NYC Planned Parenthood Open Mic Event 

  • 2016 Queer Legacy Keynote speaker at Brown University's LGBTQ Center

  • 2016 Featured Artists & Facilitator at NYC Governor's Island Writing On It All Project  

  • 2016 Guest Workshop at University of California Riverside for PODER's Immigrant Awareness Week

  • 2015 Host of Mouth to Mouth Open Mic at the Asian American Writers Workshop

  • 2015 Speaker at Decolonizing Borders at  Chicano Studies & Cultural Center California State University

  • 2015 Keynote speaker at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-Forward Grantee Convening

  • 2015 Public Lecture at the Museum of the City of New York

  • 2014 Speaker at the Sadie Nash Summer Institute

  • 2014 Keynote speaker at the Sisters In Strength Banquet at Barnard College

  • 2014 Featured performer at Eugenics & Migration: Asian Pacific Institute NYU

  • 2014 Host and performer at “Home in Time of Displacement” Book Reading at Galeria de la Raza

  • 2014 Poetry on display at Second Helping Visual Art Exhibit in San Francisco's SOMARTS's Gallery 

  • 2014 Who We Be, Jeff Chang's NY Book Launch at Nuyorican Poets Cafe

  • 2014 Featured Speaker at the BLK Projek Conference

  • 2014-2015 Host of Grow Fierce Women Reading Series at Blue Stocking Bookstore

  • 2014 Featured poet at the NY Poetry Festival

  • 2014 Performer at  La Mama Gallery’s Grow Fierce Show

  • 2013 Featured Artist for Funder’s Committee for Civic Participation Gala in Washington DC

  • 2013 Art workshop presenter at Page Turner Festival in NY

  • 2013 Opening Speaker at CLPP From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom (Hampshire College)

  • 2012 Performer at the Dreaming Without Borders Nuyorican Poets Cafe

  • 2012 Host & Performer at Youth Council Open Mic event a El Museo Del Barrio

  • 2008-2017 Workshops/panels/keynotes at: Columbia University, Cornell University, Barnard College, NYU, US Social Forum, Race Forward Conference, Hunter College, Queens College, Temple University, Yale University, Harverford College, CUNY Law, Allied Media Conference, Wooden Shoe Books and Records, Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop, Allied Media Conference , Creating Change Conference, BlueStockings