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 acclaimed queer migrant poet, cultural organizer and activist from Harlem by way of Ecuador. Guiñansaca, a VONA/Voices and BOOAT Alumni, has performed at The Met, 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, and UKs Diva Magazine to name a few. She has presented keynotes, workshops, and panels at universities throughout the country. Her migration and cultural equity work has also taken her to London and Mexico to lead policy and arts 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.  She 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. She has also founded some of the first creative artistic projects by and for undocumented writers/artists. Now, leading cultural equity work as the Managing Director at CultureStrike.  


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, she joined the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC) the first and only undocumented youth led organization in NY where she 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. She 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 in, 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. 

 Currently, she is the new 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. She has 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 in residency opportunities, and by developing a partnership with VONA to increase support for these writers. She is editing the first undocumented poetry anthology, Home in Time of Displacement , and curating Undocumenting.com, the first and only online archive profiling undocumented artists. She continues to mentor emerging migrant writers, curating safe welcoming panels and open mic's for these artists. For the past 7 years she has advocated for migrant artists at different art institutions and funders, and currently is working with many to shift their institutional policies, staffing, opportunities, and programming. 

Graduate from Hunter College with a BA in Africana Puerto Rican Latino Studies, and Women & Gender Studies. She is 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, and Poetry Foundation to name a few. She has presented keynotes, workshops, panels at universities like Columbia University, Yale University, Brown University, and at conferences throughout the country.  She has been 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 recently announced as 1 of 3 U.S.A 's Future Leaders Delegate for the British Council.  

Guiñansaca’s range of work reflects on:  migration (especially her current identity shift from being undocumented to documented), climate justice, migrant rights, being a Queer/Femme women of color, and the role of artists in social movements. Extensive background on community organizing, social media, cultural equity, and cultural strategy. Right now, she is working on her first full length poetry collection. Her work is a deep look into deconstructing borders, and blowing up migration discourse so that tiny radical seeds can grow from that gravel. Witness her work and happenings online on Twitter & Instagram @TheSoniaG. 


Awards & Honors:

  • 2018 Poetry Incubator Fellow for the Poetry Foundation 
  • 2018 National Advisory for the Laundromat Project 
  • 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:

  • 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