Hey there! Welcome to Trans/Space, a world that honors, celebrates, and lifts up Trans*, Non-binary, and/or Queer+ (TNBQ+) poets and poetry — a site intent on spreading the brilliant and necessary words of TNBQ+ folks and connecting us to each other’s work in Tucson, Arizona and beyond.

(Above art created for Trans Day of Resilience 2017 by Art Twink, in collaboration with poet xoài phạm. Hear the poem that goes with this image.)

Trans/Space was created by Tucson’s Poet Laureate, TC Tolbert, a trans and genderqueer poet and educator, and has been supported by a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets. During Fall 2019, TC will lead free TNBQ+ poetry workshops across Tucson. Participants will receive a free book of Trans*, Non-binary, and/or Queer poetry of their choice. In Winter 2019-2020, TC will audio record the poetry written in these workshops. In Spring 2020, these poems will fill the airwaves of Tucson (and more!) via audio installations across town and in virtual space. For full details about the project, please go to Details and Timeline under the About tab.

If you are Trans*, Non-binary, and/or Queer+ and live in Tucson (or nearby), we hope you’ll join us for a workshop and record a poem. Workshops are open to TNBQ+ and/or LGBTQ+ participants at every age and can be adapted to fit every writing level - no previous poetry experience necessary! If you are TNBQ+ but not nearby, we hope this site is a resource for you. If you are cisgender and straight, we hope you’ll read and share the work of TNBQ+ poets and writers and get active in making the world a safer, more spacious and celebratory place for TNBQ+ folx worldwide.

Imagine love-filled, abundant, sustainable TGNC (trans and gender non-conforming) futures. Artwork by Micah Bizant (click the image to go to more of Micah’s work). Please click    here    to go to Forward Together.

Imagine love-filled, abundant, sustainable TGNC (trans and gender non-conforming) futures. Artwork by Micah Bizant (click the image to go to more of Micah’s work). Please click here to go to Forward Together.

 

This project began…

with a “what-if” conversation way back in 2004 at a late-night diner with my friend and visual artist, Rae Strozzo. We were dreaming about infusing public spaces with trans* art and trans* voices - particularly bathroom spaces because we had been navigating those with trepidation for years. I don’t think either of us could have imagined that 15 years later it would still be necessary to make art for TNBQ+ access and safety. However, now that the trans-exclusionary bathroom bills of 2016 have caused moral panic and other hate-speech has increased, the likelihood and experiences of violence against trans*, non-binary, and queer+ folks in public space has also increased. With the help of many folks, it’s time to turn this artistic dream of filling intimate-public space with TNBQ+ voices into a reality.

Here are notes from 2008, after continuing to imagine the project and pitching it to a poetry press. Even though the project wasn’t picked up then, I couldn’t shake its hold on me and the need for it has only increased.

Here are notes from 2008, after continuing to imagine the project and pitching it to a poetry press. Even though the project wasn’t picked up then, I couldn’t shake its hold on me and the need for it has only increased.

 
What does the  * in Trans* stand for ? An info graphic by Sam Killermann.

What does the * in Trans* stand for? An info graphic by Sam Killermann.

 

A note about language

For the purpose of this project, I’ve chosen to use the acronym TNBQ+ which stands for Trans*, Non-binary, and/or Queer+, in an attempt to celebrate and highlight those identities that, even within the LGBTQ+ umbrella, often get overlooked or dismissed — including Trans, Transgender, Transsexual, Two-Spirit (2SQ), Genderqueer, Gender Nonconforming, Genderfluid, Intersex, Agender, Asexual, Questioning, and Pansexual folx. And of course, Lesbian folx, Gay folx, and Bisexual folx - we love and celebrate you and include you in the TNBQ+ umbrella, too! In other words: Workshops are open to TNBQ+ and/or LGBTQ+ participants at every age and can be adapted to fit every writing level - no previous poetry experience necessary! Ultimately, I want to stretch language and the possibilities of identity and community and radical celebration to include all who want to be here. I’m honored to share space with you and I’m so excited to write and read with you and witness what you create. Thank you for being!

Spanish translation of this website coming soon!