Laura Vena is a writer, teacher, translator, artist, animal activist, editor, photographer and curator whose work has appeared in Bombay Gin, Super Arrow, Tarpaulin Sky, In Posse Review, The Dirty Fabulous, Antennae and elsewhere. She is the recent winner of the 1913 Press First Book Prize by John Keene for her manuscript, x/she: stardraped, for which she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Debra Di Blasi. Laura holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Critical Studies from CalArts and is interested in works of a fantastic nature and those that investigate the ethical and aesthetic considerations of representation. Laura is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Two If By Sea literary and art journal (twoifbyseapress.org), Fiction Editor at Entropy Magazine (entropymag.org), and Founder and Creative Director of Blockhead Brigade, an organization that seeks to help Pit Bull type dogs & their families in need (www.blockheadbrigade.org).
In my work, I am primarily interested in narratives of resistance against systems of oppression in the present and throughout history. Maps are always and forever an essential part of my work. Currently, I’m preoccupied with: speculative & out-dated science; the psychology of pain; the L.A. and San Gabriel Rivers—what they were, are, and could be; failed / stalled / imaginary inventions; bestiaries; salvage ethnography & ethnography in general; danse macabre; ghost hunters, the fantastic and the macabre and work that is tethered in some form to fieldwork and / or documentary materials.