Books the House Down: Writers Who Drag

Sat, May 18, 2024
Van Dyke Performance Space
Greensboro Cultural Center

If art is resistance, nothing exemplifies that better than the infusion of drag and the written word. Poet WO CHAN (Togetherness) writes of their immigrant childhood, a deportation battle against the State, and drag as formalism in their campy, tender, and queer collection. In his debut novel, DAN CLAY (Becoming A Queen) introduces us to Mark Davis, a young boy fresh on the heels of heartbreak who finds solace and connection in dresses. And in a magical novel by SIRIUS (Blackjack + Moonshine), a young man named Jessie Livingston makes a deal with a crossroads devil to become the man he always wanted to be—but at great cost.


WO CHAN who performs as The Illustrious Pearl is a poet and drag artist. They are a winner of the Nightboat Poetry Prize and the author of Togetherness. Wo has received fellowships from MacDowell, New York Foundation of the Arts, Kundiman, The Asian American Writers Workshop, Poets House, and Lambda Literary. Their poems appear in POETRY, WUSSY, Mass Review, No Tokens, The Margins, and elsewhere. As a member of the Brooklyn-based drag/burlesque collective Switch N’ Play, Wo has performed at venues including The Whitney Museum of American Art, National Sawdust, New York Live Arts, and the Architectural Digest Expo. LEARN MORE

DAN CLAY is a writer and drag queen thrilled to be making his debut as a novelist with Becoming a Queen. Until now, he focused on spreading love and positivity online through his drag persona, “Carrie Dragshaw.” His writing as Carrie has been featured in hundreds of magazines, newspapers, and television shows–from Cosmo to People to Watch What Happens Live–and his TED Talk on being your “whole self” details his first-hand experience with the healing power of drag. Dan graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Philosophy and went on to get an MBA from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania. When he’s not writing, he works for a climate change nonprofit and a New York-based branding agency. He lives in New York. LEARN MORE

SIRIUS is a lover of glory, gore, and monsters. They are a queer, nonbinary artist living in the hot and bothered South; currently residing in a little spot that has been dubbed ‘Halloweentown’, North Carolina. They are the writer of The Draonir Saga, the first book of which is Uncrowned (The Laughing Man House), The Dread South Series, the first book of which is Blackjack + Moonshine; and The Gentleman Demon Series, the first book of which is Swallow you Whole. When they are not writing, they work as a professional drag performer, weaving the characters from their stories into visual art for the stage. LEARN MORE


NATHAN CRABTREEE (he/him) is the Development Manager at Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center. In this role he works to create and sustain partnerships with businesses and organizations who share GGF's mission of advancing equality and inclusion. He also oversees the GGF events: Green Queen Bingo, The Green Party, and Come OUT & Celebrate. Nathan comes to this work after a first career in music education, and he loves singing and acting.