Location: “Touring the U.S.”
Notable works: His most recent self-published book, IF U DONT LOVE THE MOON YOUR AN ASS HOLE: POEMS AND SELFIES, is full of odd free verse like, “im not totaly sure how to ‘double dog dare’ but im hangin out with 2 dogs right now im thinkin of goin for it.” Equally compelling are high-energy, motivational YouTube videos like “make something beautiful before you are dead,” channeling Walt Whitman and Lil B. This year, he’ll open Boost House, an activism/art collective and publisher based in Maine.
Writing style: “I make poetry in the forms of the internet. My poems are short, video or image-based and filled with poor grammar. My style is playful and energetic.”
Feeling he hopes his work evokes: “I want my audience to feel appreciative of their life, out of breath from laughter and empowered to try hard at improving the world.”
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Notable works: Penney’s debut album and debut novel, both entitled Window, came out in 2013. The book is a vignetted, out-of-order memoir of Penney’s punk teen years and prolific nightlife—in and out of drag—in San Francisco and New York throughout his 20s, candidly recalling a whole lot of hookups (“Joshua and I had what was kind of my second three-way with a homeless dude…”). Interspersed between the short chapters are Penney’s photographic snapshots of friends.
Writing style: “I kind of just call it like I see it, though my point of view is a lot more theatrical than most people’s. I don’t like to sensationalize the crazy parts, I just like the whole story to be sensational.”
Feeling he hopes his work evokes: “Life is so strange and funny and beautiful and fucked up. I want to cover the whole scope of that with everything I do.”
Location: Kansas City, MO
Notable works: Online, there’s her devastatingly frank poem-gone-viral “The Rape Joke,” and the umpteen absurd sexts posted to her Twitter (example: “‘I’m so wet,’ you murmur. Marmaduke raises his glistening face. ‘That’s because I’m famous for drool,’ he laughs”). In June, Penguin will release Lockwood’s second book of poetry, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals.
Writing style: “Vladimir Nabokov ate only hot dogs his whole life, and now he is in a coma. But someone puts a pen in his hand, and he uses it.”
Feeling she hopes her work evokes: “Feeling of a poodle getting a haircut for the first time, and realizing he can be sculpted into whatever he wants.”