Born and raised in various parts of South Los Angeles, Hiram Sims is a poet, author and Creative Writing Professor teaching at The Los Angeles Film School, USC, and here with The Community Literature Initiative. He graduated from University of Southern California and received a B.A. in English: Creative Writing and a Masters of Professional Writing in Poetry. He has published three collections of poetry, including Poems of a Young, Troubled Mind (2007), Write or Die: An Anthology of Poetry from the Urban Poet's Workshop (2008), and PHOTOETRY: Poetry and Photography from South Central (2013).
Andres Sanchez Montoya
Andrés Sanchez was born in Nezahualcoyotl, a neighborhood of Mexico City, Mexico. They migrated with their family to the United States at the age of five. They grew up in parts of Southern California and finally settled with their family in Las Vegas, NV. Growing up in a somewhat religious household and in a very conservative city, it was difficult for them to come out. By definition, Andrés was a late bloomer, but eventually came out as queer at the age of 21. As time passed, it was difficult to come to terms with their comfortability in their own skin and a year ago at the age of 36, Andrés began their journey to transition.
Healing Inbeween Crushes, Lovers, and Heartbreak is my personal coming out journey as a transgender person while simultaniously revisiting my relationships with love. This compilation of poems tell a story about coming to terms with my own gender and sexual identity while processing my experiences with romantic relationships, familial connections, religious beliefs, and how the social constructs of femininity and masculinity affected these relationships.