Tommy Pico and Brontez Purnell
Tommy “Teebs” Pico won a 2018 Whiting Award for his poetry collection Junk (Tin House Books, 2018). He also won the 2017 Friends of Literature prize from the Poetry Foundation. Pico’s other works include Nature Poem (Tin House Books, 2017), a finalist for the 2018 Lambda Literary Award; IRL (Birds, LLC, 2016), winner of the 2017 Brooklyn Library Literary Prize and finalist for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award; the zine series Hey, Teebs; and the chapbook app absentMINDR (VerbalVisual, 2014).
Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, Pico now lives in Brooklyn where he co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub.
Brontez Purnell has been publishing, performing and curating in the Bay Area for more than 10 years. He won a 2018 Whiting Award for his novel Since I Laid My Burden Down (Amethyst Editions). He is author of the cult zine Fag School, frontman for his band The Younger Lovers and founder and choreographer of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company. Formerly a dancer with Gravy Train!!!, a queer electro indie band that gained national prominence in the mid-2000s, Purnell held a supporting role in the the 2012 queer independent feature film I Want Your Love.
Purnell was a guest curator for the Berkeley Art Museum’s L@TE program in 2012, received a 2012 Radar Lab queer arts summer residency, honored by Out Magazine’s 2012 Hot 100 List and 2013 Most Eligible Bachelors List and won the 2014 SF Bay Guardian's Goldie for Performance/Music.
Photo of Tommy Pico by Niqui Carter. Photo of Brontez Purnell by Beowulf Sheehan.