I grew up a writer and a reader. My mother, who I emulate, is a writer, and, because I was home-schooled, she’d take me to her college classes when I couldn’t be watched elsewhere. I was an eight-year-old girl in the 10th percentile in size, meaning absolutely tiny, and was dwarfed by a giant, blue, book-filled backpack. I’d sit quietly at one of the desks in the back of college English classes with my mother. Once, I followed the class exercise, writing something about dance-polished kitchen floors, and handed it to the professor alongside my mother’s work, and the professor marked it up with pencil and smiley-faces. When she handed it back she told me to write every chance I got, fill the margins of my books with ideas, and never stop writing. I was starstruck by college classes, and the idea of getting taught how to write as well as I hoped to. My mother encouraged me to write, and I dreamed of following in her footsteps. By the time I reached the middle of high school I’d found a program that would let me start college early.
I started college before the end of high school and took writing seriously. So much of my identity was tied up in writing; I’d picked up reading easily and books had become my best friends since childhood; I’d greet my favorites at the library and keep them by my pillow like a baby blanket or an open window, letting in the breeze. And aren’t they windows?
I consciously realized I was bisexual because of a novel I read, and when I started writing my own novel it evolved to focus on the queer characters as I evolved to realize my sexuality. I started writing two separate novels, joined the honors program, maintained a 4.0, and got a few of my poems published. I’m now a guest reader at The Wardrobe for August 2022, am still an undergraduate, and now plan to continue to study writing through graduate school. I’m also planning to begin a literary journal to help publish other’s writing and bring more writing into the community, with the hope of bringing others as much joy and belonging as writing has brought me.
Solstice Black (she/they) is a queer poet and novelist living in the Pacific Northwest. They are currently undertaking a Bachelors degree in Creative Writing. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Chautauqua, The Fantastic Other, and A Forest of Words, among others. They hope to pursue an MFA in creative writing and a BFA in visual art in the next few years. Her cat is both her greatest joy and torment.