The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Pollentongue + Queer Poetry Salon with tanner menard, Jake Skeets, Elliot Winter

Date(s): Saturday, February 22, 2020, 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Front Lawn, Old Main, Arizona State University Tempe, 400 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Conversation, Panel, Reading, Talk
Genre and Form(s): American Indian, Community, Creative Practice, Indigenous, LGBTQIA, Poetry, Social Justice, Social Practice
Cost: Free

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About this Event

Pollentongue (organized by Jake Skeets) is a poetry salon and reading series based in the American Southwest that invites established and emerging Native writers to read on or near tribal homelands and reservations. ​Queer poetry salons (organized by tanner menard and Elliot Winter through local non-profit Equality Arizona) are safe spaces for queer writers to share ideas, present new work, and mobilize for full LGBTQ inclusion in the social, economic, and civil mechanisms of society.

Drawing from their experiences as writers, organizers, educators, and students, Jake Skeets, tanner menard, and Elliot Winter will explore how they use their work to create opportunities for others, center diverse voices, uplift individuals, and build community. Individuals of all orientations and identities are welcome and encouraged to attend.

About the Author

Photograph of tanner menard

tanner menard is a Q2S, non-binary poet & composer whose work embodies their Creole/Acadian/NDN lineage. Poems are their method of survival, a linguistic medicine of ambiguity which is certain that love prevails. As a composer of experimental music, menard has been published & anthologized internationally on labels such as Full Spectrum Records, Rural Colours, Tokyo Droning, Install, Slow Flow Rec, H.L.M., Archaic Horizon, Kafua Records & Milieu Music. Their recent album/chapbook collaboration with Andrew Weathers was published on Full Spectrum Records. menard’s poetry & essays have been published in The Squawkback, Rabbit & Rose, Cloudthroat, The University of Arizona Poetry Center Blog, Red Ink Magazine, The Mockingheart Review, American Indian Culture and Research Journal at UCLA & The Wire Magazine. Forthcoming poems will appear in Hunger Mountain, Beestung, Wend Poetry & Hayden’s Ferry Review. Their poems ‘see eye my memory my’ & ‘Excerpts from Preludes & Flux’ were nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Cloudthroat & Hayden’s Ferry Review. menard is a member of the Atakapa-Ishak Nation of Southwest Louisiana & Southeast Texas & resides in Tempe, AZ. They work as a community organizer for Equality Arizona.

Photograph of Jake Skeets

Jake Skeets is Black Streak Wood, born for Water's Edge. He is Diné from the Navajo Nation. A graduate of the Low-Rez IAIA MFA program, he currently resides in the Navajo Nation and works at Diné College. He is one of the winners of the 2018 "Discovery"/Boston Review Poetry Prize. His debut poetry collection, Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, was selected by Kathy Fagan as a winner for the 2018 National Poetry Series and is forthcoming from Milkweed in September 2019.

Photograph of Elliot Rose Winter

Elliot Rose Winter is a queer, trans, nonbinary poet originally from New Jersey, currently living in Tempe, AZ. They are an MFA candidate at Arizona State University, and a recipient of a Fellowship from the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. 

A Statement from the Piper Center about COVID-19

In an effort to reduce the spread of germs, this event will be ‘touch free,’ meaning that all authors, faculty, students, and other participants should avoid shaking hands, hugging, taking selfies, or otherwise engaging in physical contact. Additionally, we are encouraging all community members to wash their hands, avoid touch their face, use hand sanitizer, and otherwise follow the official guidelines from the Center for Disease Control. If you are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms of a virus, please stay home and seek medical treatment as necessary. Any individuals who are unable to attend due to illness will have refunds issued in full. While we are unable to provide livestreaming or other forms of remote access for this event, we are actively working to ensure this in the future. If you have any questions, please contact the Piper Center accordingly. To learn more, read our full statement on COVID-19 at

About the Literary Fair

Presented as a public extension of the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference in partnership with ASU Open Door, the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Literary Fair is a celebration of creative writing and literary arts in a local community. Enjoy free author talks, poetry readings, and other literary events and activities from authors, publishers, and other organizations from all over the Southwest on Saturday, February 22, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Arizona State University, Tempe Campus. All events are open to the public and free. You do not need to register for the conference in order to attend. To learn more about the fair, visit our website at

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