Prize-winning journalist and author of Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger, Kelly Cogswell set out from Kentucky armed only with an electric typewriter, a stack of poems, and willingness to scrape by as a maid, dishwasher, prep cook and temporary secretary.

In New York, following an unscheduled (and naked) performance that stunned the NYU Department of Performance Studies, she decided to put her Medusa-like powers to good use, first as a lesbian activist, and later, as an independent journalist and monger of extremely underground art.

Co-founder and co-editor of The Gully online magazine (2000-2006), her work has appeared in a range of venues including the International Herald Tribune, EatingWell, Louisville’s Courier-Journal, and THIS WAY OUT: the international lesbian & gay radio magazine. Her column in New York’s Gay City News has been recognized by the New York Press Association.

She was awarded the Joan Heller-Diane Bernard Fellowship for her project documenting the Lesbian Avengers. And her book, Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, a Publishing Triangle Award, and was also featured on The 2015 Over the Rainbow Project book list.

In 2018, she was awarded a Poynter fellowship in journalism at Yale University.

She is currently at work on a new memoir, A Word of Our Own, which explores the word lesbian in a narrative about her body and life.

In the fall of 2024, she will resume her substack, Kelly At Large, a newsletter offering occasional letters from Paris (and elsewhere).