bio + contact

jo reyes-boitel is a poet, essayist, and playwright. jo is also a queer, mixed-Latinx parent working in community. Somehow born in Minnesota, their family calls Texas, Florida, Mexico, and Cuba home.

Recent and forthcoming publications include Huizache, OyeDrum, Scalawag Journal, The Ice Colony, Windward Review, La Voz de Esperanza, Chachalaca Review, Borderlands, The Americas Review, and Your Impossible Voice.

jo’s chapbook mouth (Neon Hemlock, 2021) addressed the struggle of working through others’ views and dominant culture’s impact on the body and the self – toward liberation.

Their first book, Michael + Josephine, a novel in verse (FlowerSong Press, 2019), reimagined St. Michael the Archangel as a queer woman who begins a love relationship with Josephine, a disaster relief worker.

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. she wears bells was named a finalist for Guerilla Opera’s annual virtual opera festival, and featured in May 2022.

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 now at work on a second poetry manuscript, and a novella.

jo is a VONA alum and a member of The Watering Hole and Macondo. They are a VONA/Voices of Our Nations fellow. 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.


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.

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