About Me

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I am a poet, writer, & bookseller with a PhD in queer young adult literature.

I was born in a city near San Francisco & grew up in rural Siskiyou County, California. One of the first in my family to go to university, I attended UC Santa Cruz where I studied Feminist Studies & Literature - Creative Writing (Poetry). At UCSC, I resurrected the Kresge Town Krier, a college magazine, wrote and edited for City on the Hill Press, and was Poetry Editor for Matchbox Magazine and Turnstile. During that period, I studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, where continued my focus in poetry and travelled in Europe for the first time.

 

It was at UCSC that I met Alex, the woman who would become my wife, and it was to be with her that I moved to London in 2009. Shortly thereafter, I completed my MA in Children's Literature at the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature at the University of Roehampton, with a focus in picture books about LGBTQ+ families. I returned to Roehampton for my doctoral research, working under the supervision of Dr Alison Waller and Professor Nicola Humble. My thesis examined lesbian love stories in young adult literature across genre and form. It was completed in 2017; I passed my examination without corrections.

Alongside my writing and research, I consider myself a maker who works with textiles. Most often, I am quilting -- or, with the limited space in my flat, dreaming up a quilt -- but I also sew, cross-stitch, and embroider. In the spring months of 2020, I made 60+ face masks for friends and family during the coronavirus pandemic, some which are shown in the photo above. I am deeply moved by colour and pattern (I may have cried in the Anni Albers exhibition at the Tate Modern in 2018) and I am continually inspired by contemporary abstract quilters and textile artists.

© 2020 by Erica Gillingham. Professional Queer.