Faylita Hicks is a queer nonbinary femme Afro-Latinx activist, writer, and interdisciplinary artist. They use their direct experience with pre-trial detention to advocate for the rights of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ people forced into poverty-based incarceration and subjected to racially-charged police disruptions to their lives.
They are the Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly digital anthology Black Femme Collective, the former EIC of the literary journal Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, a voting member of the Recording Academy, 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. They are the winner of Palette Poetry’s 2020 Sappho Prize, and have been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Tony Award-winning Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Civil Rights Corps, The Dots Between, Jack Jones Literary Arts, Lambda Literary, Texas After Violence Project, Tin House, and the Right of Return USA, the first fellowship designed exclusively for previously incarcerated artists.
Their work is anthologized in The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood, What Tells You Ripeness: Black Writing on Nature (Pangyrus, 2021), and When There Are Nine. Their other work has been featured in American Poetry Review, HuffPost, Kenyon Review, Longreads, Poetry Magazine, The Rumpus, Slate, Texas Monthly, and Yale Review, amongst others. Their digital art has been shown in juried exhibitions at Texas State University’s Gallery of the Common Experience and Insomnia Gallery in Houston, as well as being featured in the print magazines of Five:2:One and Ecotone. In May 2021, they debuted Bar for Bar: After Party, their docu-poem about a world without police developed as part of their fellowship with Broadway Advocacy Coalition, followed by the release of their fifth independent spoken word album A NAME FOR MY LOVE in September 2021 with the support of Civil Rights Corps.
They are a member of the Statewide Leadership Council, established by the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, and Detention Watch Network, both of whom advocate for policy changes related to pretrial incarceration in rural counties, immigrant detention, and the use of cash bail in rural Texas counties. As an organizer with Mano Amiga, they helped to successfully advocate for the “Cite and Release” Ordinance in the city of San Marcos, in 2020. This legislation, which limits police discretion and lowers the potential for escalation, is the first of its kind in the state of Texas. Their incarceration story was featured in PBS’s Independent Lens Documentary Series “45 Days,” and is featured in “Racially Charged,” a new Brave New Films project released February 2021 and narrated by Mahershala Ali.
- MFA in Creative Writing, Sierra Nevada University
- B.A. in English, Texas State University-San Marcos