Chavisa Woods - Biography


Chavisa Woods is a literary author based in New York City. Her first work of full-length fiction "Love Does Not Make Me Gentle or Kind," was released in 2009 by Fly By Night Press. The second edition was released in 2012 by Autonomedia Press under Unbearables imprint. This book is both a short fiction collection and a novel. The ‘chapters’ are interconnected short stories written in varying styles that follow two characters, a mother and daughter, throughout their childhoods into adulthood. The identities of the characters are sometimes abstracted within the contexts of the stories. The book explores the rural American landscape and the experiences of working class women in the U.S., addressing issues of lesbian identity, race relations, and cycles of abuse both domestic and societal. The book also explores psychological and metaphysical themes, combining realism with meta-fiction, creating what some have called ‘magical realism.’

Woods' second work of fiction, "The Albino Album," a novel, was released by Seven Stories Press in 2013. The Albino Album, a queer epic, follows the life of a little girl who accidentally feeds her mother to an albino tiger and grows up to become a domestic terrorist. Woods presents a technicolored vision of rural adolescence, the story of a girl with an unpronounceable name—a fiery, unhinged, growling, big-hearted country girl in a dirty black tutu and combat boots who travels along all the bizarre yet familiar byways of human desire from the cornfields of Indiana to the big brass sound of Mardi Gras, to the heights of the Empire State Building. In the tradition of the southern gothic novel, Woods presents a new land of contemporary misfits including fire-dancers, pseudo Nazis who breed albino animals, catholic workers, horse thieves, and the archangel Gabriel. A bold exploration of the intersections of race, class, and sexuality, The Albino Album is an exhilarating contemplation on the relationships between political action, art, and romance.

Woods was born and raised in Sandoval, Illinois. Her performance art, spoken word and poetry have been featured in multiple venues in New York City and abroad, including the Whitney Museum as part of Butch Morris' Chorus of Poets, the New York Vision Festival, Quimby's Bookstore Chicago, Hot Festival at the Dixon Place Theater NYC, The Howl festival NYC, The Brecht Forum, Pink Pony Reading Series, Blue Stockings Bookstore NYC, The Fresh Fruit Festival, Slam Poetry in St. Louis and the National Poetry Slam.

During 2008 she collaborated with a contemporary video artist and animator to produce abstract animations to accompany the stories from Love Does Not Make Me Gentle or Kind.

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