Overview of My Work

I am a teacher, widely published essayist and poet, literary scholar, and nationally known speaker on transgender issues. (My TEDx talk, “Ain’t I a Woman?”, can be viewed here.)

I am the author of ten books, including Through the Door of Life, a memoir of gender transition that was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award and winner of a Forward Fives Award, and nine books of poetry, including including Forward Fives award winner Coming to Life, Lambda Literary Award finalist Transmigration, and 2015’s Impersonation, also finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. Two collections, Fireworks in the Graveyard (Headmistress Press) and The Future is Trying to Tell Us Something: New and Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press), were published late in 2017. (You can hear a poetry reading I did to high school students at Westminster School in Simsbury, CT here – my part starts around minute 6.) I have been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts writing fellowship and a Hadassah Brandeis Institute Research fellowship. 

I hold a Ph.D. in American Literature from Princeton University, where I was awarded the Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship as top graduate student in the Humanities, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), and a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. Since 2003, I have held the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Stern College of Yeshiva University. My scholarly work has been supported by a Fulbright Scholarship and an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship.

Since coming out as transgender in 2008, I have become a nationally recognized speaker on transgender issues. I have been featured in many National Public Radio interviews, as well as numerous interviews and profiles in numerous publications. I have given invited talks and readings at many universities and colleges, including Harvard, Columbia, Princeton , Boston University, George Washington University, the University of Arizona, the University of Connecticut, the University of San Francisco, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College. I have also been a featured speaker outside academia, including delivering keynote talks at the 21st World Congress of LGBT Jews, and the 2015 Asanbe Diversity Symposium at Austin Peay State University. I have spoken to dozens of Jewish communities around the country, and served as scholar-in-residence at a number of synagogues. I am a member of the Board of Keshet, a national organization devoted to full inclusion of LGBTQ Jews in the Jewish world.

Please contact me at joyladin@gmail.com if you are interested in engaging me as a speaker. For details about and examples of my work, please click on the relevant tabs.




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