In this episode Trans writer and artist Cooper Lee Bombardier shares his multifaceted journey to becoming the writer and educator he is today. Cooper shares how in the 90's he found a radical community of queer artists, writers and musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area who invited him to participate in a safe and vibrant space, allowing him to really come into acknowledgment of his own creative practice. Cooper reflects on touring with Sister Spit, working in youth leadership with NMGSA youth empowerment workshops. He reflects on all the varying jobs of his survival, from digging trenches to working at the Santa Fe Opera scene shop. He also speaks about living, writing and performing in the Portland area and recently achieving two Masters degrees in writing before moving to Halifax, Novia Scotia where he presently resides. Cooper continues to write and educate, most recently hosting an online course titled Writing from your queer heart. The journey Cooper takes us on in this episode is full of heart and perseverance, and he offers incredible self care tips to move through the heavy societal pressures we all face, such as social media policing.
Here is the conversation with Cooper Lee Bombardier
More about the artist:
Cooper Lee Bombardier is a writer and visual artist originally from the South Shore of Boston. He has been a construction worker, a cook, a carpenter, a union stagehand, a bouncer, a welder, a shop steward, a dishwasher, a truck driver, and a housepainter, among other things, for a paycheck. His writing appears in many publications and anthologies, such as The Kenyon Review, CutBank, Nailed Magazine, and The Rumpus; and recently in the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology The Remedy–Essays on Queer Health Issues, (ed. Zena Sharman) and Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Speculative Fiction From Transgender Writers, (eds. Cat Fitzpatrick and Casey Plett). The Huffington Post named him as one of “10 Transgender Artists Who Are Changing The Landscape Of Contemporary Art.” His visual art was recently curated in an exhibition called “Intersectionality” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, andhung recently in shows at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM, the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco, and at Helltown Workshop in Provincetown, MA. His visual work has been recently published in the journals Faggot Dinosaur and CutBank. A veteran of the original Sister Spit tours, he's performed, lectured, and exhibited art across North America. He has received fellowships from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Lambda Literary Foundation, and RADAR Labs. Cooper Lee has taught writing at the University of Portland, Clark College, Portland State University, and at various Portland-area high schools as a writer-in-residence through Literary Art's program Writers in The Schools. He is a 2017-18 Writer-In-Residence at the Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Critical Studies graduate program.
Visit him at www.cooperleebombardier.com
More resource on Coopers projects:
https://litreactor.com/classes/writing-from-your-queer-heart (an online writing class I typically teach 2X per year, Fall and Spring)
http://www.arsenalpulp.com/bookinfo.php?index=451 (The link for the book The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health and Healthcare, a Lambda Literary award-winning anthology which includes an essay of mine)
http://topsidepress.com/ (where to purchase the anthology MEANWHILE, ELSEWHERE: SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY FROM TRANSGENDER WRITERS which features a short story of mine)
http://www.gertrudepress.org/submit.html (I'm the fiction editor at Gertrude Press and want to read your submissions!)