FAYLITA HICKS (she/they) is a queer Afro-Latinx activist, writer, performer, and interdisciplinary artist born in South Central CA and raised in Central Texas. They use their direct experience with pre-trial detention to advocate for the rights of LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC people forced into poverty-based incarceration and subjected to racially-charged police disruptions. Their experience in the Hays County Jail has been featured in the 2019 ITVS Independent Lens Documentary “45 Days in a Texas Jail” and the 2021 Brave New Films production “Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem,” which is narrated by Mahershala Ali.
They are the former Editor-in-Chief of the literary journal Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, a finalist for State Poet Laureate of Texas, a 2020-2022 Texas Touring Artist, and the author of HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), which was a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry, the 2019 Balcones Poetry Prize, and the 2019 Julie Suk Award. The winner of Palette Poetry’s 2020 Sappho Prize, they have been awarded fellowships and residencies from Tin House, Lambda Literary, Jack Jones Literary Arts, Broadway Advocacy, The Dots Between, and the Right of Return USA.
Their work is anthologized in What Tells You Ripeness: Black Writing on Nature (Pangyrus, 2021), The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood and When There Are Nine, and has been featured in or is forthcoming Adroit, American Poetry Review, the Cincinnati Review, Ecotone, F(r)iction, HuffPost, Kenyon Review, Longreads, Palette Poetry, Poetry Magazine, The Rumpus, Slate, Texas Monthly, Texas Observer, Vox, VIDA Review, Yale Review, and others. Hicks received a BA in English from Texas State University-San Marcos in 2010 and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada University in 2018.