Philippine-born and LA-raised, Elsa Valmidiano is a writer and poet who calls Oakland home. For several years, Elsa was a women’s reproductive rights activist, and incorporates much of that activism into her writing these days. Her works have appeared in various literary journals such as Maganda Magazine, TAYO, make/shift, Burner, As/Us, Literature for Life, Bottlecap, Anti-Heroin Chic, Mud Season Review, Yes, Poetry, and Northridge Review, as well as various chapbooks and anthologies such as Field of Mirrors, Walang Hiya, Circe’s Lament, and forthcoming in Precipice. In 2016, she was a finalist for the Rita Dove Prize in Poetry. In 2017, she was a finalist for the Penelope Niven Prize in Creative Nonfiction. Elsa is an alum of the DISQUIET 2017 International Literary Program in Lisbon. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. She has performed numerous readings such as at Artists Against Rape, Kearny Street Workshop’s APATURE, Scriptorium, Litquake, Lark Poetry Series, and has been a poetry guest speaker and panelist at several NorCal colleges and universities. She serves as Fiction Editor of As/Us seeking stories by underrepresented writers of color. Last, but not least, she would really like it if you pronounced her last name as her ancestors intended: /väl-mĭ-jänō/.