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|Georgia queer writer named Lambda Literary Fellow|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|June 22, 2012 00:00|
Sarah Fonseca of Atlanta is currently finishing up her BA in Creative Writing at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga. and writing a memoir on being a queer Latina working in a Mexican restaurant. Recently, she was selected as the only person from Georgia to be a Lambda Literary Fellow.
Being named a Fellow is a dream come true for the 23-year old student and she hopes to raise enough money to make the trip to Los Angeles for the emerging writer’s retreat — or “queer writers boot camp” — and study under the likes of LGBT authors such as Dorothy Allison.
“On the last day the Lambda Literary Fellow application could be postmarked, I pawned my computer to make the fee. There was no afterthought: The Lambda Literary Emerging Writer’s Retreat is where I need to be. Had I not been accepted this year and the world remained intact after 2012, I would’ve applied next year, and the one after that,” she writes in a bio for the foundation.
At the retreat, Fonseca says she will complete her memoir. She’ll also work on a semi-autobiographical work where she interviews eight high school classmates who now identify as LGBTQ.
She is asking for donations from individuals willing to help her achieve a major goal. People can donate by visiting this link. http://bit.ly/N9Onl3
What does it mean to be accepted as a Lambda Literary fellow?
I try very hard to not measure my worth in acceptance letters, but it was impossible to not do so with this fellowship. Lambda Literary Foundation has supported so many wonderful talents. Prior to applying, I would scroll through the bios of former fellows and just fawn over their portfolios. It’s so surreal to be one of them.
What kind of writing do you do and where can we find it?
I identify as an essayist. As a Southerner, reality is eccentric enough already. Factor in being queer, and the oddity is only amplified. Documenting that is irresistible.
I’ve written several essays on what it means to be queer and southern for Autostraddle and CherryGrrl, and I have poems in Off the Rocks 16 and Lavender Review. I have a full list of publication credits on my website, http://flavors.me/sarah.
Care to share the beginning of your memoir?
The first few lines: “I was the child in the passenger seat, playing a feminist version of The License Plate Game, relief playing across my face each time I saw a person of color in an automobile beside us at a red light. I was perpetually searching for foreign cars and foreign people.”
How do you make a living?
Along with various temporary gigs, I’ve worked as a server for the last three years. I’ve moved from an Italian restaurant to a Mexican restaurant, and then a Japanese restaurant. According to a friend, I’ve completed the trifecta of Americanized cuisine.
What does it mean to you to be a writer?
To be a writer is to hope to leave something permanent behind. Lambda Literary has given me a chance to hope a little more, all in the company of wonderful people.
What is Statesboro’s LGBT community like?
Statesboro has a decently sized gay community. It’s a bit more binary and a little less queer. Savannah is only a few miles down the road, making the Deep South much more bearable.
Top photo: Sarah Fonseca, a student at Georgia Southern University, is the only Lambda Literary Fellow from Georgia. (Photo via Facebook)
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