Ivan Coyote

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Ivan E. Coyote
Ivan Coyote.jpg
Born (1969-08-11) August 11, 1969 (age 53)
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
OccupationSpoken word performer,

Ivan E. Coyote (born August 11, 1969) is a Canadian spoken word performer, writer, and LGBT advocate. Coyote has won many accolades for their collections of short stories, novels, and films. They also visit schools to tell stories and give writing workshops.[1] The CBC has called Coyote a "gender-bending author who loves telling stories and performing in front of a live audience."[2] Coyote is non-binary and uses singular they pronouns.[3] Many of Coyote's stories are about gender, identity, and social justice. Coyote currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Coyote started performing spoken word in 1992, and their work deals with contemporary issues of family, class gender, identity and social justice. In 1996, Coyote co-founded "Taste This", a queer performance troupe with Anna Camilleri, Zoe Eakle, and Lyndell Montgomery.[4] "Taste This" incorporates live music, poetry and story-telling into their performance repertoire.[5] The group disbanded in 2000. In 2001, Coyote briefly taught short fiction at Capilano University in North Vancouver.[5] In 2010 Coyote, Camilleri and Montgomery regrouped as "Swell", and premiered at the 2010 Vancouver Pride in Art Festival.[6]

They joined Arsenal Pulp Press in 2000 and have published 10 books with them.[7] Coyote regularly combines storytelling and music and has worked with a number of musicians including Veda Hille, Dan Mangan and Rae Spoon.[8] Coyote has been a columnist for the gay magazines Xtra! and Xtra! West[9] for a number of years and regularly contributes to The Georgia Straight and CBC Radio.[10]

Coyote has been writer-in-residence of a number of organisations, including Carleton University in 2007, Vancouver Public Library in 2009,[11] the University of Winnipeg in 2011,[6] and the University of Western Ontario in 2012.[12] They also served on the jury of the 2012 Dayne Ogilvie Prize, a literary award for emerging LGBT writers in Canada, selecting Amber Dawn as that year's winner.[13]

In 2009,You Are Here was originally scheduled for a cabaret run at Hysteria: A Festival of Women at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, but was cancelled in January of that year.[14]

In 2008 they performed spoken word at Montreal's Edgy Women festival and taught a writing workshop.[15]

In 2012, Coyote and Spoon collaborated on Gender Failure, a touring multimedia show in which they performed music and spoken word pieces about their failed attempts at fitting into the gender binary.[16] A performance of Gender Failure, as performed at the 27th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, is also available on YouTube.[17] A book based on the show was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2014.[18]

On November 14, 2015 Coyote did a TED talk in Vancouver entitled "We all need a safe place to pee," where they discuss the need to have gender neutral bathrooms in all public places.[19]

In 2016, they delivered the Florence Bird Lecture at Carleton University.[20] Their lecture was titled "Neither, Nor: How to Circumnavigate the Gender Binary in Seven Thousand Easy Steps".[20]

In 2020, Coyote performed as part of CBC Gem's Queer Pride Inside special.[21]


Coyote has written eleven books: one with Press Gang Publishers and ten with Arsenal Pulp Press. Common themes in their work involve identity, gender, community, and class.

Coyote's first book, Boys Like Her (Press Gang Publishers, 1998), was adapted from a live show that was performed by their theater troop, Taste This.[22]

Close to Spiderman (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2000) and One Man's Trash (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2002) are both collections of stories told by Coyote's grandmother and written by Coyote.[23]

Missed Her (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2010) is another book of compiled short stories. The works were first published in columns with Xtra Vancouver.[24]

One in Every Crowd (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012) is an anthology of Coyote's work that was put together by the request of high school teachers and librarians who wanted to share Coyote's writing with students. Without more mature parts of their writing, their works could be accepted by school administration and parents. It was specifically composed for queer youth.[6]

Tomboy Survival Guide (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016), has won the Stonewall Book Award Honor[25]—an award given to outstanding LGBT literature—and has been long-listed for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction in 2017.[26]

Rebent Sinner (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019) is a collection of stories and personal essays that has been favourably received.[27] Coyote toured in 2019 with musician Sarah MacDougall, performing selections from the book along with music.[28]

Care Of (Penguin Random House, 2021) is a collection of communications Coyote has received from audience members and the responses they have written in return.[29]


Coyote has made significant contributions to the representation of queerness in Canadian literature.[30] Their first collection of short stories, Close to Spider Man, was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for short fiction,[31] and it received widespread acclaim across the Canadian critical community for its semi-autobiographical depiction of young, queer women growing up in the Yukon.[32] Although their short stories received no awards recognition until their collection The Slow Fix was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award in 2008,[33] and their collections One Man's Trash and Loose End received similar recognition as their debut, with outlets such as Herizons and the Lambda Book Report which praised the brevity and directness of Coyote's writing as it relates to depictions of the complexities of gender, sexuality, and identity.[34]

Bow Grip, Coyote's only full-length novel, was the winner of the 2007 ReLit Award for Best Fiction[35] and the Stonewall Honor Book Award,[25] as well as being shortlisted for the Ferro Grumley Award.[36] Their 2016 autobiography Tomboy Survival Guide also garnered numerous accolades, having been long-listed for the British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction[26] and winning the 2017 Stonewall Book Award.[37]


Title Year published Notes
Boys Like Her 1998
Close to Spider Man 2000 finalist, Danuta Gleed Award for short fiction 2000
One Man's Trash 2002
Loose End 2004
Bow Grip 2006 winner of 2007 ReLit Award; Stonewall Book Award Honor Book
The Slow Fix 2008 shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction
Missed Her 2010
Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme 2011 co-edited with Zena Sharman; Stonewall Book Award Honor Book
One in Every Crowd 2012
Gender Failure 2014 co-written with Rae Spoon; based on their 2012 live show
Tomboy Survival Guide 2016
Rebent Sinner 2019 finalist, 2020 Governor General's Award for English-language non-fiction[38]
Care Of 2021


  1. ^ "Featured Stories: 2015 Words on Water School Presenter". Campbell River School District. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  2. ^ "10 Canadian women you need to read: Ivan E. Coyote". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  3. ^ Black, Eleanor (August 20, 2016). "Ivan Coyote: 'I always knew I was not the same as other little girls'". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  4. ^ "Taste This rekindles project 10 years later | Daily Xtra". Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  5. ^ a b Coyote, Ivan. "Ivan Coyote | Speaker | TED.com". Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  6. ^ a b "Queer icons Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon step "out of the box" for Gender Failure Show". Montreal Gazette. 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  7. ^ "Books & CDs | Ivan Coyote". www.ivancoyote.com. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  8. ^ "Book Ivan E. Coyote – Vancouver's Premier Live Music and Entertainment Booking – The Jeff Turner Entertainment Group". www.turnerentertainmentgroup.com. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  9. ^ "Arsenal Pulp Press Contributor Info Page". www.arsenalpulp.com. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  10. ^ "Writers' Rooms: Ivan E. Coyote | Vancouver Writers Fest". writersfest.bc.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  11. ^ "Coyote, Ivan E." ABC BookWorld. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  12. ^ "Arsenal Pulp Press Event Info Page". www.arsenalpulp.com. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  13. ^ "Vancouver's Amber Dawn wins LGBT literary award". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  14. ^ Levin, Laura (2011). "Foster Children of Buddies: Queer Women at 12 Alexander / Moynan King". Theatre and performance in Toronto. Toronto : Playwrights Canada Press.
  15. ^ Samuel-s303-18. "Archives / Edgy Women". Studio 303. Retrieved 2022-07-10.
  16. ^ "Queer icons Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon step "out of the box" for Gender Failure Show". Montreal Gazette. 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  17. ^ BFIFestivals (2013-03-21), Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon perform Gender Failure | BFI, retrieved 2017-03-21
  18. ^ "Rae Spoon and Ivan E. Coyote share personal stories in Gender Failure | Quill and Quire". Quill and Quire. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  19. ^ TED (2016-03-18), Why we need gender-neutral bathrooms | Ivan Coyote, retrieved 2017-03-23
  20. ^ a b "Florence Bird Lecture – Women's and Gender Studies, The Pauline Jewett Institute". carleton.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  21. ^ Peter Knegt, "This Pride, come inside for a digital queer cabaret unlike anything else". CBC Arts, June 22, 2020.
  22. ^ "Boys Like Her: Transfictions | Quill and Quire". Quill and Quire. 2004-02-19. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  23. ^ "Straying from the Gender Pack | Herizons Magazine". www.herizons.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  24. ^ "Missed Her, by Ivan E. Coyote". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  25. ^ a b admin (2009-09-09). "Stonewall Book Awards List". Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT). Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  26. ^ a b "British Columbia Achievement Foundation". bcachievement.com. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  27. ^ Grubisic, Brett Josef (November 22, 2019). "Book review: Coyote chews through complexities of everyday life". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  28. ^ "Renowned Canadian author and storyteller Ivan Coyote begins new position at SFU". The Peak. September 30, 2018. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  29. ^ "Care Of by Ivan Coyote". Penguin Random House Canada. Retrieved 2021-07-03.
  30. ^ "Ivan E. Coyote". Gale, Literature Resource Centre. 2012. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  31. ^ "Arsenal Pulp Press Title Info Page". www.arsenalpulp.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  32. ^ "Ivan E. Coyote". Gale, Literature Resource Center. 2012. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  33. ^ Cerna, Antonio Gonzalez (2010-02-18). "21st Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  34. ^ "Ivan E. Coyote". Gale, Literature Resource Centre. 2012. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  35. ^ "The ReLit Awards". relitawards.com. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  36. ^ "Arsenal Pulp Press Title Info Page". www.arsenalpulp.com. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  37. ^ JAMUNDSEN (2017-01-24). "2017 Stonewall Book Awards Announced". News and Press Center. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  38. ^ "The finalists for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction". cbc.ca. May 4, 2021. Retrieved August 22, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)