31 Days 31 Trans Voices | Day 9: Rivers Solomon, Life in the Margins

Rivers Solomon is a dyke, an anarchist, a she-beast, an exile, a wound, a shiv, a wreck, and a refugee of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. They write about life in the margins, where they are much at home.

Solomon was born in 1989 and grew up in California, Indiana, Texas, and New York. They graduated from Stanford University with a degree in comparative studies in race and ethnicity and holds an MFA in fiction writing from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.

Solomon currently lives in Cambridge, England with their family.

“If I’m not feeling vulnerable, a little embarrassed, and deeply worried about how people will respond, then what I’ve written is probably not something that’s true to my experiences.”

In addition to appearing on the Stonewall Honor List and winning a Firecracker Award, Solomon’s debut novel An Unkindness of Ghosts was a finalist for Gaylactic Spectrum and Lambda Awards, and was selected for the James Tiptree, Jr. Memorial Award honor list. It was also included in numerous best-of-the-year lists, including in NPR, Publishers Weekly, and The Guardian (UK).

Their second novel The Deep (2019) is an expansion of the Hugo Award-nominated song “The Deep” (2017) by clipping. Their short fiction includes “Blood Is Another Word for Hunger” (2019) at Tor.com and “St. Juju” (2019) at The Verge. Solomon was twice nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, in 2018 and 2019.

Rivers Solomon | Photo Wasi Daniju

When asked by Pen America how writers can affect resistance movements; Solomon imparts,

“I’m not sure they can. Writers have influence, certainly, just like anyone does who speaks, but as far as sparking revolution? Each of us are bit players in a massive system, and even those books that enter the cultural zeitgeist, I hesitate to quantify the role they play in movements.

“I write to please my readers. I write to entertain them and move them.”

I write to please my readers. I write to entertain them and move them. I hope that at least on an individual scale, my work can be a balm to those suffering, as many works of writing have been to me. I hope that it might make one person survive that much longer by finding a kindred.

So, I suppose that is a kind of resistance. Our survival.”

More information about Solomon’s writing is at RiversSolomon.com.

For rights inquiries, solicitations for work, interviews, blurbs, creative projects, etc., please contact their agent Seth Fishman here: mailto:sfishman@thegernertco.com.

You can also find them on Twitter @cyborgyndroid.

Terry Willits

Trans Speak's Editor-in-Chief is an international mixed media artist, writer, LGBTQ advocate, coffee snob, dog dad, and FTM transgender - but not necessarily in that order, who practices what he posts. A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; he now does the writing thing from St. Louis, Missouri. You should check out his work - it's recommended by 4 out of 5 people that recommend stuff.

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