jo reyes-boitel is a poet, essayist, and playwright. jo is also a queer, mixed-Latina working in community. Somehow born in Minnesota, their family calls Texas, Florida, Mexico, and Cuba home.
Recent and forthcoming publications include Scalawag Journal, Windward Review, La Voz de Esperanza, Chachalaca Review, Borderlands, The Americas Review, and Your Impossible Voice.
jo’s most recent theater work is she wears bells, a hybrid operetta rooted in the Aztec story of Coyoxauhqui, which imagines her after her dismemberment and exile on the moon within a feminist and queer aesthetic. The piece combines original music, text, and choreography blending into a challenging final work. It was featured under the INKubator project supported by Jump-Start Performance Co. and will be performed in Fall 2020 through the Teatro Palo Alto by students.
A working performance art piece, this body, was presented as part of W-I-P (Work in Progress) at Jump-Start Performance Co. and Palo Alto Theater. Prior, jo’s directorial and writing debut of Nahual, a one-woman play, was presented at Palo Alto Community College in celebration of world Theater Day.
jo is a VONA alum and a member of The Watering Hole. They were the recipient of the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation Award, granted by Sandra Cisneros, a long time ago.
jo serves as an advisory editor for FlowerSong Press, supporting the press’ mission in lifting voices from, about, and throughout the borderlands. They were also recently named a co-editor for Poets Responding, created by poets to respond to Arizona SB 1070, a law targeting immigrants and which legalizes racial profiling, and also to respond to the continuing dire situation along our southern border.
You can find jo leading community-based writing workshops or co-curating This City Is A Poem, which highlights local and regional poets and provides writing prompts daily as part of National Poetry Month.
Their first book, Michael + Josephine, a novel in verse, reimagines St. Michael the Archangel as a queer woman who begins a love relationship with Josephine, a disaster relief worker. jo is now at work on a second book, and a chapbook and maybe a novella.
Key themes: Latinx, queer, LGBTQIA+, family, sexuality, narrative, storytelling, community engagement, poetry, writing, alternative religion, spirituality, queering gender, feminist theory, autohistoria, Cuba, Mexico, love, BDSM, working class, workshops, opera, journaling, novel in verse.