Sarah Tom Fonseca is a self-taught nonfiction writer from the Georgia foothills living in Brooklyn, New York. Known for thoughtful, historically-informed, and — at times — reactionary responses to literature and film, she enjoys devising new ways for cinema writings and criticisms to weather the death of print, digital overwhelm, and the monetized terrain of contemporary virtual media. These solutions include reviews that take the form of interviews or the epistolary, collaborations with visual artists and UI experts, and film community building on social media stalwarts like Instagram and Twitter.
Such experimentation is second nature to Sarah Tom, who is quick to categorize her practice under the much-maligned auspices of "folk art" in lieu of "criticism." Forever influenced by early homeschool lessons in reading and writing given by her Appalachian mother, she approaches other spheres of intrigue — experimental visual art, queer cinemas, LGBTQ history, Cuban diaspora, and Southern subcultures — through intimate, community-based encounters. In the past year alone, Sarah Tom has cold-called an Academy Award-winning director to ask a pressing question about his latest work, shared a cigarette with a severely jetlagged Czech actress, had diner food with the contemporary Norma Desmond, and solicited more screener links than she can count through Instagram DMs.
While such an informal approach is typically frowned upon, Sarah Tom recognizes that using the limited resources afforded her is innate to rural folklore and truth-telling. It is also innate, or once was, to New York City. Hence her big move with a single American Tourister in tow.
Sarah Tom has held nonfiction fellowships with Film at Lincoln Center, Lambda Literary Foundation, and People for the American Way. In addition to publications in Museum of the Moving Image’s Reverse Shot, Kenyon Review, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, her work has been recognized for its literary merit by Black Warrior Review, Sundress Publications' Best of the Net, and The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.
Additionally, she has moderated and presented work at Bluestockings Bookstore, Brooklyn Navy Yard, The Center, Georgia Museum of Agriculture, KGB Bar, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, Made in New York, NewFest, and New York Public Library.
© 2021 Sarah Fonseca