LTB illustration by Eero Hagen and portrait of Julia by Catherine Hunsburger.

Julia Steele Allen is a writer, performer, community organizer and activist born and raised in NYC.

Julia with parents in the Bronx / Decade of Fire trailer thumbnail.

In 2001 she began working as a community organizer and educator in the South Bronx. For the last seven years she has been co-creating and producing a documentary film on the burning of the Bronx in the 1970’s, titled “Decade of Fire,” scheduled to be released in 2017. She currently serves as the co-chair of the Solidarity Board for South Bronx tenant’s rights organization CASA (Community Action for Safe Apartments).


Julia has written and performed several award-winning plays, performing in theaters and festivals across the country. In 2013 she published a book of poems called The Good Left In Us, and for the last three years has been editing a science-fiction/fantasy trilogy she wrote on her subway commute.

Greetings from My Gay Banjo (photo and text by Sara Taylor).

She is one-half of the queer-country band My Gay Banjo, which has recorded three albums and tours nationally. She plays guitar, ukulele and sings.

Since 1997, she has done ongoing activist and solidarity work with youth and adults in prison, including taking human rights abuse testimonies for a class action lawsuit, teaching classes, doing research and editing for the book “Through the Eyes of the Judged: Autobiographical Sketches by Incarcerated Young Men” (published by Evergreen State College, 2001), and volunteering with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP).

In 2005, through CCWP, she met Sara (Mariposa) Fonseca. In 2012 they began collaborating to write the play: Mariposa & the Saint, which Julia is now performing and touring nationally as an outreach and educational tool to end long-term solitary confinement in U.S. prisons.


 Photo credits (left to right): first row – illustration by Eero Hagen, Catherine Hunsburgersecond row – Transportation Alternatives, Decade of Fire; third row – Dwayne Calizo, Catherine Hunsburger, Mariette Pathy Allen, Sara Taylor; fourth rowSyd London, Sara Taylor, Erwin Caluya; fifth row – Stephanie Guilloud, Noelle Ghoussaini (Mariposa & the Saint workshop with the NY Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC) at BAX, Dec. 2014), illustration by Evan Bissell.