Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

2020 YBCA 100 Honoree

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer, disabled, autistic, nonbinary femme writer and disability/transformative justice worker of Burgher/Tamil Sri Lankan and Irish/Roma ascent, a descendent of gardeners, psychics, teachers, border-jumpers, people with a hustle, queer cousins, and weirdo/neurodivergent people. Raised in Worcester, MA, they’ve lived in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Toronto, and currently reside in South Seattle, Duwamish territories. They’ve authored or co-edited nine books, including Beyond Survival, Stories and Strategies from the Transformative Justice Movement, Tonguebreaker, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, and Dirty River. Short-listed for the Publishing Triangle four times, they won the 2020 Jeanne Córdova Prize in Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction. A 2020 US Artists Disability Futures Fellow, they perform with Sins Invalid and co-created Performance/Disability/Art, Mangos With Chili, and Toronto’s Asian Arts Freedom School. They believe in the power of storytelling, witnessing, being an everyday-ass human being, crip, Crazy-Person brilliance, and the unpredictable future.