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Going Under


Letisia Cruz is a Cuban-American writer and artist. She is the author of Bigwig's Illustrated Guide To Birds (Tolsun Books, 2024), written and illustrated from the perspective of her cat, Bigwig Smallfry. Her collection Migrations & Other Exiles was selected by Dzvinia Orlowsky as the winner of the 2022 Idaho Prize for Poetry and published by Lost Horse Press in 2023. Her first book, The Lost Girls Book of Divination, an illustrated narrative poem loosely inspired by the Tarot's Major Arcana, was published by Tolsun Books in 2018. She is the recipient of a 2022 artist grant from the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance and was selected as a 2022 Dali Dozen Emerging Artist for her project Rituales: An Exploration of Faith in the Caribbean. Her writing and artwork have appeared in [PANK], Ninth Letter, The Acentos Review, Gulf Stream, Saw Palm, Third Coast, Duende, Moko, 300 Days of Sun, and Black Fox Literary Magazine, among others. She is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s MFA program and lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida with her partner, writer and all-around creative Bob Beaird, their three cats, and several dozen plants.

Artist Statement

My illustrations are rendered primarily in pen and ink on paper. I am inspired by strong, trailblazing women who push boundaries, forge their own paths, and define for themselves what it means to achieve success. I am also inspired by the take-no-shit attitude of the 1990s and transformative self-expression made possible through art, poetry, and music. ​My work often depicts tattooed women straddling light and dark, gazing into their own abyss, and defining their sense of self. Much of my work is infused with elements of nature and centers around the seasons, the passing of time, the theme of rebirth, and cats. Always cats.

Bigwig's Guide To Birds

Bigwig's Illustrated Guide To Birds

“Bigwig's Illustrated Guide to Birds is a poignant, life-affirming look at the marvels of nature, love, and flight featuring gorgeous drawings and written from the perspective of a very wise and observant cat. I loved this gorgeous book and its message to humans of all ages.." 

—Martha Joy RoseArtist, activist, and founder of

The Museum of Motherhood

"Put down your Sibley and slowly back away. Bigwig has a guide that will not help you distinguish a House Finch from a Cassin's Finch, but will help you remember that "Birds are transformative by nature, / connected to the infinite." In that way, Letisia Cruz's love-lush graphic poem Bigwig's Illustrated Guide to Birds resembles the birds that populate it: Cruz's book, too, is transformative and connected to the infinite."

—H. L. Hix

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