In Love Cake, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha explores how queer people of colour resist and transform violence through love and desire. Refusing to forget the traumas of post 9/11 Islamophobia, and Sri Lanka's civil war, Love Cake documents the persistence of survival and beauty—especially the dangerous beauty found in queer people of colour's lives. Piepzna-Samarasinha maps the complicated, luscious joy of reclaiming the body and sexuality after abuse, examines a family history of violence with compassion, and celebrates the beautiful resistance of queer people of colour in love and home-making.
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Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Poetry
Honourable Mention, San Francisco Book Festival
Praise for Love Cake:
"Only Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha could concoct the secret recipe for Love Cake. One layer of escaped working class girl from Worcester, MA; one layer of long lost Tamil woman returning to her Sri Lankan roots; sweet cream of sexy queer femme on top; unexpected bite into her bittersweet love & trouble triumph healing rebellion. No one knows quite how she makes it; just that we can’t get
–Aya de Leon, Director June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, UC Berkeley
"Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's Love Cake is a book I want to carry with me when I need to remember my body, to remember our ancestors, to rebuild home. Leah's poems are rebel songs and love songs that bear witness and fight back. Love Cake is as miraculous, as mean, as stunning as every queer brown girl who survives."
–Qwo-Li Driskill, author of Walking with Ghosts: Poems
"Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's Love Cake is a book of poems chronicling the steady kind of love, the grown-up guide to visioning yourself whole with our homemade stories on one arm and our slutty brown femme sister on the other. Love Cake is a necessary book that will heal our communities after heartbreak and push us towards creating our own dreams of liberation."
"If you haven't read any of Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarsinha's incredible feminist essays, you're missing out. Her poetry is as unflinchingly political as her non fiction, but it also touches on the more personal territory of her life as a queer disabled femme Sri Lankan artist."
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a Worcester raised, Toronto matured, Oakland-based queer Sri Lankan writer, performer and teacher. She teaches at UC Berkeley’s June Jordan’s Poetry for the People and is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Mangos With Chili, North America’s only touring cabaret of queer and trans people of color performing artists. She is a commissioned performer with Sins Invalid, the performance organization of queer people with disabilities. Her one woman show, Grown Woman Show, has toured throughout North America, including performances at the National Queer Arts Festival, Swarthmore College, Yale University, Reed College and McGill University. She is a co founder of Toronto's Asian Arts Freedom School.
The author of Consensual Genocide, her writing has appeared in the anthologies Persistence: Still Butch and Femme, Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands, Colonize This, We Don’t Need Another Wave, Bitchfest, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Brazen Femme, Femme and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over The World. She writes regularly for Bitch, Colorlines, Hyphen, Left Turn and Make/Shift magazines. The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities, which she co-edited with Ching-In Chen and Jai Dulani, was published by South End Press in May 2011. She is a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee and of the the Feminist Press' 40 Feminists Under 40 Shaping the Future.
She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, focusing on creative nonfiction and community-based teaching by writers of color. In 2009 she was honored as the Bent Writing Institute's 2009 Bent Mentor. She is a track coordinator for the Growing Safer Communities track of the 2011 Allied Media Conference and an advisor on the Disability Justice track. She frequently travels the country teaching and performing. She comes from a long line of crips, queers, border jumpers, fat scholarship winners, storytellers and survivors.