Laura Vena is a writer, teacher, translator, artist, animal activist, editor, and curator whose work has appeared in Bombay Gin, Super Arrow, Tarpaulin Sky, In Posse Review, The Dirty Fabulous, Antennae and elsewhere. She is the recent winner of the 1913 Press First Book Prize by John Keene for her book, x/she: stardraped and is a Pushcart Prize nominee by Debra di Blase. Laura holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Critical Studies from CalArts and is interested in works of a fantastic nature and those that investigate the ethical and aesthetic considerations of representation. Laura is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the journal, Two If By Sea Press, and Founder and Executive Director of dog advocacy organization Blockhead Brigade,
In my work, I am primarily interested in narratives of resistance against systems of oppression in the present and throughout history. Influences include the Negritude Poets, Latin American writers such as Cortázar and Borges, and, more broadly: the fantastic, the macabre, and the gothic, issues of representation and work that is tethered in some form to fieldwork and / or documentary materials. Maps are always and forever an essential part of my work. Currently, I’m digging: speculative & out-dated science; the psychology of pain; the L.A. and San Gabriel Rivers—what they were, are, and could be; failed / stalled / imaginary inventions; bestiaries; salvage ethnography & ethnography in general; danse macabre; ghost hunters, and a bunch of other stuff.