“I know what I am & will always be— something that can & will survive the hunt.”
Gardena City, Ca
Texas State University-San Marcos
Master of Fine Arts
Sierra Nevada College
Faylita Hicks (pronouns: she/her/they) is a queer writer, mobile photographer, and performance artist.
The author of HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), their poetry and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming in Slate, Huffington Post, Texas Observer, POETRY magazine, Color Bloq, Adroit, The Rumpus, Foundry, Prairie Schooner, Kweli Journal, Tahoma Literary Review, Glass Poetry Press, and others. They have recently received 2019 Best of Net Nominations for poems in the Cincinnati Review and The Matador.
They are the Managing Editor of the Austin-based literary journal Borderlands:Texas Poetry Review. They work to educate the public on issues related to criminal justice reform as an organizer and writer with social justice nonprofit Mano Amiga, a group supported in part by the Vera Institute of Justice, the Four Freedoms Fund, Detention Watch Network, and the Immigrant Legal Resources Center.
They are a 2019 Lambda Literary Writing Retreat Emerging LGBTQ Voices Nonfiction Fellow, a 2019 Jack Jones Literary Arts “Culture, Too” Gender/Sexuality Fellow, a finalist for Palette Poetry’s 2019 Spotlight Award, winner of Catapult's Inaugural 2019 Black History Month Workshop Scholarship, and recently offered a Vermont Studio Residency.
They served as a mentor for the 2019 L.A. Review of Books Publishing Workshop and was a finalist for the 2018 PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship, and the 2018 Cosmonauts Avenue Annual Poetry Prize.
A participant in the 2018 Open Mouth Readings Retreat and the 2018 Speakeasy Nonfiction Workshop, they were recognized and presented as a State Poet at the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival.
In June 2019, they released ONYX, their spoken word companion EP for their debut poetry collection, HoodWitch.
The Founder/Creative Director of Arrondi Creative Productions, Hicks is an artist on the roster for hip-hop collective Grid Squid Entertainment. In 2017, she was awarded the San Marcos Arts Commission Grant for her monthly event series, SMTX Ripple Market, which provided performance and exhibit opportunities to women, POC, and those identified as LGBTQ-IA over the course of 36+ local and regional events.
The 2009 Grand Slam Champion of the Austin Poetry Slam, she was a member of the 2008 Neo Soul Poetry Slam Team and won several individual regional competitions. Her visual art has been exhibited in the Texas State University Gallery of the Common Experience, Insomnia Gallery in Houston, Dahlia’s Gallery in San Marcos, Patio Dolcetto in San Marcos, and featured in Five:2:One print magazine.
She received her MFA in creative writing from Sierra Nevada College’s low-residency program and lives in San Marcos, Texas. She is currently at work on a memoir.
Workshop Themes Available
Gender/Sexuality, Racial Equality, Immigration Rights, LGBTIA+ Rights, Criminal Justice Reform, Social Media, Higher Education, Publishing (Poetry), DIY Tours
Criminal Justice Reform, Personal Transformation, Sexuality, Literature
critique services available
Chapbook-Length (Poetry), Full-Length (Poetry), Performance, Essay
“As a queer black artist, I ask myself—what are the key elements currently missing in the global conversation about gender, sexuality, race, spirituality, and economics? How can I make these issues more tangible for those around me? My internal investigations often lead to poetry but have also found their way into my mobile photography, music, multimedia projects and now—my nonfiction work.
By combining two or more art forms, I often find something wholly new and exciting that I can share with audiences from all socio-economic backgrounds. Several of my projects combine spoken word with creative videos, while my photography is often paired with additional textures, modified frames and technology to create new experiences. All pieces are used to speak on issues that I deem important including human trafficking, black spirituality, queer rhetoric, body positivity, education in underserved communities, social justice issues and artist sustainability.
Coming from a low-income background, I have had to find ways to use my limited resources to create and innovate in a field that many associate with the middle and upper class. Even after receiving a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, I was unable to find suitable employment and currently work for a social justice group while writing and developing literary projects at night. The experience has taught me that art is about more than prestige—it is about finding new ways to communicate crucial thoughts and ideas with a larger community in the hopes that we can influence each other to make wiser decisions and find meaning or purpose in our continued existence.
My hope is to one day build a community that provides critical development to creatives who lack traditional resources or access to higher education opportunities due to income restrictions or other life events. By providing access to the truly dedicated art-minded individuals, whose life may have taken them down a non-traditional path, we embrace the voices of those whose perspectives provide crucial critiques of where we are as a society.”