Literary Lesbians

Fifteen exceptional wordsmiths we love.

Ivan E. Coyote

Since her first performance in seventh grade as “Sax Offender,” Ivan E. Coyote knew she was a natural-born, crowd-hushing storyteller (and also a great saxophonist). Performing for over 15 years, Coyote still feels challenged to constantly expand her eclectic collages of storytelling, music, poetry, and spoken word. She doesn’t mind making people think, or throwing them for a loop, and relishes being the odd woman out. She was thrilled when Ottawa X Press said, “Coyote is to CanLit what k.d. lang is to country music: a beautifully odd fixture.”

Coyote’s published several collections of short stories from multiple LGBT perspectives, but the central character in her first novel, Bow Grip (released in 2006), is a straight man. “I’ve spoken with a lot of trans guys, drag queens, homos from small towns in America, who grew up like me, read my books and knew they had a family out there somewhere,” says Coyote. “But I don’t just work in the LGBT community; my work is extending, crossing over into the human world as opposed to the LGBT or straight worlds. We’ve come a long way baby, and as a queer artist I want us to become mainstream, not just queer.”

When she’s not on the road writing and performing, Coyote loves to camp, fish, knit and hang out in Vancouver, B.C. with her significant others, Goliath (a 7-year-old Pekingese Pomeranian) and Déjà (a 14-year-old husky/coyote/shepherd mix with a Southern accent). According to Coyote, “Nothing’s better than sitting by the campfire knitting, watching your bob and waiting for a bite.” Not that she’s had much extra time; her latest projects are due to hit soon: a graphic novel, (working title Almost Twelve,) and Lucky Me, a CD of live stories set to music by some of her favorite songwriters and performers. –Dulci Pitagora

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