It's human nature to look for validation of oneself in the art we consume, and It Came From the Closet is a collection of essays by queer and trans authors on their interpretations and interactions with horror films. Edited by Joe Vallese, these essays are tender and funny, vulnerable and courageous. It Came From the Closet will make you see movies you've watched numerous times in a different light and that is a spectacular point of view.
— Rachel Watkins
Through the lens of horror--from Halloween to Hereditary--queer and trans writers consider the films that deepened, amplified, and illuminated their own experiences.Horror movies hold a complicated space in the hearts of the queer community: historically misogynist, and often homo- and transphobic, the genre has also been inadvertently feminist and open to subversive readings. Common tropes--such as the circumspect and resilient "final girl," body possession, costumed villains, secret identities, and things that lurk in the closet--spark moments of eerie familiarity and affective connection. Still, viewers often remain tasked with reading themselves into beloved films, seeking out characters and set pieces that speak to, mirror, and parallel the unique ways queerness encounters the world.It Came from the Closet features twenty-five essays by writers speaking to this relationship, through connections both empowering and oppressive. From Carmen Maria Machado on Jennifer's Body, Jude Ellison S. Doyle on In My Skin, Addie Tsai on Dead Ringers, and many more, these conversations convey the rich reciprocity between queerness and horror.
About the Author
Joe Vallese is coeditor of the anthology What's Your Exit? A Literary Detour Through New Jersey. His creative and pop culture writing appears in Bomb, VICE, Backstage, PopMatters, Southeast Review, North American Review, Narrative Northeast, VIA: Voices in Italian-Americana, among others. He has been a Pushcart Prize nominee and a notable in Best American Essays for his essay "Blood, Brothers." He is currently clinical associate professor in the Expository Writing Program at New York University, and previously served as site director and faculty for the Bard Prison Initiative. Joe holds an MFA New York University, and MAT and BA degrees from Bard College.Carmen Maria Machado is the author of the short story collection Her Body and Other Parties, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the bestselling memoir In the Dream House. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and the Abrams Artist-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania.Bruce Owens Grimm is a Pushcart-nominated, queer ghost-nerd based in Chicago. He is a coeditor of Fat and Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives. His essays and reviews have appeared in The Rumpus, Brevity's Nonfiction Blog, Sweet: A Literary Confection, Entropy, AWP's Writer's Notebook, and elsewhere. He attended the 2021 Tin House Winter Workshop as well as residencies and workshops at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) among others.Zefyr Lisowski is a trans and queer writer, artist, three-time Pushcart nominee, and North Carolinian currently living in New York City. She is the author of Blood Box, winner of the Black River Editor's Choice Award, and the microchap Wolf Inventory. She is the poetry coeditor for Apogee and was a 2019 Tin House Summer Workshop Fellow. Lisowski's work has appeared in Literary Hub, Nat. Brut., Muzzle Magazine, and DIAGRAM, among others. She has received support from Sundress Academy for the Arts, McGill University, the New York Live Ideas Fest, the Blue Mountain Center for the Arts, and the 2019 CUNY Graduate Center Adjunct Incubator Grant.Richard Scott Larson earned his MFA from New York University, and he is the recent recipient of fellowships from MacDowell and the New York Foundation for the Arts. His creative and critical work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Chicago Review of Books, Harvard Review, Colorado Review, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. His writing has also been listed as notable in The Best American Essays, and he is an active member of the National Book Critics Circle.Sarah Fonseca is a self-taught writer from the Georgia foothills who lives in New York City. Her fiction and cinema writing have appeared in Bosie, Evergreen Review, Leste Magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Museum of the Moving Image's Reverse Shot, and others. She is a coeditor of The New Lesbian Pulp (Feminist Press 2023).