The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

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Photograph of Gabby Rivera
Photograph by Julieta Salgado

Writing with Heart: When Love is Your Muse with Gabby Rivera

Date(s): Saturday, October 19, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Burton Barr Central Library, Pulliam Auditorium, 1221 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004 (view map)
Conversation, Generative Workshop, Lecture, Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Creative Practice, Essays, Fiction, Hybrid, Social Justice, Writing Process
Cost: $89 Regular, $69 Student

About the Class

This generative workshop is designed to engage writers with the core of their ideas, the true source of their passion—their heart. Gabby Rivera found looking to love as her muse to be transformative: learning to capture that wonder and imagination, and distill it to the truth of what she was writing. How does love—for family, for community, for yourself—inform your work? How does drawing inspiration from love imbue the written word with a different kind of power and meaning? Gabby explores the myriad of ways having love as your muse can radically change your words—and your world.

The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series will also be presenting Inspiring Radical Creativity, a talk with Gabby Rivera on Friday, October 18, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Burton Barr Central Library in the Pulliam Auditorium (1221 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004). To learn more about the reading, visit our website at

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Meet Your Instructor

Photograph of Gabby Rivera

Gabby Rivera is an outgoing, outspoken creator invested in fostering better dialogue, inspiring radical creativity, and improving our most vulnerable communities. The author of Juliet Takes a Breath, she’s also the writer of the new Marvel series America—featuring the first queer, Latinx teen-girl superhero, ever—that’s catching headlines from The New York Times, CNN, Vogue, and beyond. Gabby Rivera is a young, charming speaker dedicated to empowering women and improving our marginalized communities. She’s currently making major waves for her new Marvel series starring America Chavez: a queer, Latinx superhero who’s been written and designed, crucially, by a queer Latinx. And while the series is “definitely going to tackle America’s ancestry and ethnicity,” Rivera tells The Washington Post, it’s also a comic book aimed at wide appeal: committed to snappy one-liners, blowing stuff up, and beating up the bad guys, naturally. Rivera is also the author of Juliet Takes a Breath, a YA novel listed by Mic as one of the 25 essential books to read for women’s history month. It’s a critically acclaimed coming-of-age story starring a queer puertorriqueña who leaves her native Bronx behind to intern, over one transformative summer, with one of her literary heroes: the feminist author Harlow Brisbane. “I strongly encourage you to read Juliet Takes a Breath,” writes Roxane Gay. “It’s quite dazzling, funny as hell, poignant, all the things.” Witty, authentic, and humming with the full complexities of modern life and radical politics, the book was called the “dopest LGBTQA YA book ever” by Latina magazine. As an activist, Rivera also gives back. She’s the Youth Programs Manager at GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”): a leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students. That means fewer incidents of bullying and harassment, and more students treated with respect. She’s also worked with for over five years as the QTPOC Speakeasy editor and A-Camp staff. As a film and multi-media teaching artist, she’s worked with social justice organizations like DreamYard Project, Inc. And she’s appeared as a featured panelist and counselor at the annual Autostraddle Queer Women’s Conference, and has presented at the Allied Media and Digital Media and Learning Conferences.

About the Piper Writers Studio

The Piper Writers Studio is committed to supporting writers in every stage of their development by providing challenging, diverse, and accessible educational opportunities. All classes are not-for-credit, and are intended for an open to the public. You do not need to be an ASU student to attend. Writers of all backgrounds, genres, and experience levels are welcome. Discounts for students, senior citizens, individuals experiencing economic challenges, and other groups are available for every class. To learn more about the Piper Writer Studio, visit our website at