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Emanuel Xavier Biography
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Emanuel Xavier
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Emanuel Xavier 1971, is an openly gay American poet, spoken word artist, author, editor, events producer and actor born and raised in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn. He transitioned himself from a street hustler and drug dealer to become one of the most significant voices to emerge from the neo-Nuyorican spoken word poetry movement using political, sexual and religious themes throughout his work. His background heritage is Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian and he is considered a role model for queer youth, particularly queer youth of color.
He self-published his debut poetry collection, Pier Queen, in the fall of 1997. Signature poems such as "Bushwick Bohemia", "Deliverance", "Every Latino", "Nueva York" and "Tradiciones" helped him gain notoriety in New York City's underground arts scene.
In 1998, Emanuel founded the House of Xavier and created the annual Glam Slam competition. Held once a year, first at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and then at Bowery Poetry Club, the poetry slam competition featured four open categories such as Best Erotic Poem in Sexy Underwear or Lingerie and Best Love Poem in Fire Engine Red. Winners of each category received a trophy and went on to compete for the Grand Prize title of Glam Slam Champion. The event aspired to bring together poetry slams and ball culture in a unique and vibrant contribution to the downtown arts scene. In 2008, the last Glam Slam competition was held before taking up permanent residency in London.
Painted Leaf Press, published his debut novel, a semi-autobiographical book titled Christlike, in 1999. Christlike was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and established Emanuel Xavier as a central figure in the queer people of color literary arts movement.
Americano, published by Suspect Thoughts Press in 2002, helped further his career as a spoken word artist and poet with signature poems such as "Children of Magdalene", "Nearly God" and the title poem.
In 2005, Suspect Thoughts Press published Bullets & Butterflies: queer spoken word poetry, a collection Emanuel Xavier edited. The anthology featured the work of thirteen openly queer spoken word artists and new work by the editor himself including: "Legendary", "Outside" and "A Simple Poem." The collection earned him his second Lambda Literary Award nomination.
He has been featured on television on Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO (Seasons 3 & 5) and In The Life on PBS.
He was also invited to select finalists for Best Gay Erotica 2008.
His work has also appeared in many publications including The James White Review, Genre, Long Shot, Virgins, Guerrillas & Locas, and Queer & Catholic.
He is also editor of Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry.
Emanuel Xavier has received the Marsha A. Gomez Cultural Heritage Award, an "I Am A Legend" Award for his contributions to gay and Latino culture and a New York City Council Citation for his contribution to New York City arts.
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