W.J. Lofton is a Black, Queer, Southern, American poet, interdisciplinary artist and author of A Garden for Black Boys Between the Stages of Soil and Stardust. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines, and film festivals, including TIME, wildness, Rust & Moth, the Urbanworld Film Festival, Scalawag Magazine, Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, and No Justice, No Peace: From the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter and appeared in the documentary Poets for the Revolution. He was a finalist for the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics Book Prize. Lofton’s constant concern is freedom and the ways in which we access it, particularly through pain, love, grief, and pleasure. He was named a 2022 poet-in-residence at 100WEST in Corsicana, TX and an artist-in-residence at Paint Love, a nonprofit organization that brings transformational art programming to schools and nonprofits. Currently, he co-curates Rebellion: A Salon at For Keeps Books and hosts writing workshops for unhoused queer youth and patients at Grady Hospital’s Ponce De Leon clinic. His forthcoming memoir, Sue City, is set to be published in Fall 2024 by Beacon Press, exploring trauma situated in the body, landscapes, and the effects of family separation in America. Furthermore, he was awarded the LEAP Grant by acclaimed director Ava Duvernay, in which she describes his work as “…able to unite a very striking written voice with a visual voice”. He is a Cave Canem fellow. Atlanta, GA is his home, where he prioritizes community building, frolicking, and joy while never forgetting his Chicago roots and celebrating the innovativeness and pure audacity the South has instilled in him.