Rachel Ellis Neyra is a poet-theorist and a teacher. A Cancer sun, Capricorn moon of Cuban descent, she was born in Memphis, Tennessee and grew up between the U.S. Deep South and southeastern Florida. Her writing has been published in BOMB, ARTFORUM, Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, Sargasso, La Gaceta de Cuba, Obsidian, Comparative Literature and Culture, La Habana Elegante, and El Diario de Beta-Local. Currently, she’s an Assistant Professor of English at Wesleyan University. In the past, she has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Stony Brook University, where she earned her Ph.D. in English and wrote her dissertation about a Poetics of the Americas. Her research and writing focus on: Latina/o/x, Caribbean, and Black Diasporic Poetics, Performance, and Music; Contemporary Puerto Rican and Cuban Art; Latina/o/x Studies; Third Cinema; Literary, Film, Queer, and Translation Theories.
Ren is based in New York, and was recently living in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and writing her academic book, Cry Bomba: Listening to Brown Poetics, in residency at Beta Local.
In her writing, teaching, listening, and meanderings, Ren is into thoughtful articulations and movements against a politics of assimilation, progress, straightening, and whitening. How many variations on funky, hoarse, and glittering radicalisms can we imagine in a world that makes bodies and words weary, but wanting to feel otherwise?