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Tommy Pico’s first novel, “IRL,” is an epic poem that takes the form of an extended text message.

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Anne Powers for The New York Times

Age 34

Hometown The Viejas Indian Reservation.

Now Lives In a four-bedroom apartment in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn that he shares with three roommates.

Claim to Fame In 2016, Tommy Pico released his first novel, “IRL,” an epic poem in the form of an extended text message that was awarded the Brooklyn Public Library’s Fiction & Poetry Prize. Inspired by A. R. Ammons’s “Tape for the Turn of the Year” and Beyoncé’s self-titled album, the 98-page book was written over the course of three and a half months in 2014, and encompasses topics as broad as the oppression of Native Americans, pop culture and the dating rituals of gay men. ”I found a way to not only sew those ideas together but also show that they were never separate in the first place,” Mr. Pico said.

Big Break A lifelong book lover, Mr. Pico published his first title, a comic, when he was 5, eventually graduating to zines and books. Some of these came through Birdsong, his Brooklyn-based anti-racist, queer-positive collective and micropress. In 2011 Mr. Pico became an inaugural fellow with Queer/Art/Mentors, an organization founded by the filmmaker Ira Sachs, and was paired with Pamela Sneed, a performance poet and activist. “She really helped me ferry the work from what had been mostly zines into something more polished,” Mr. Pico said. “She also directly influenced my performance acumen.”

Latest Project In 2017, Mr. Pico started Food 4 Thot, a boisterous, intellectual and sometimes profane round-table podcast with three other gay writers: Fran Tirado, Joseph Osmundson and Dennis Norris II. The episodes, which often tackle sex, race and relationships, are now streaming on Grindr.

Next Project Mr. Pico’s third novel, “Junk,” is scheduled for release in May, followed by his fourth book, “Food.” He also finished a screenplay for Cinereach, a nonprofit film foundation in New York.

Becoming a Character Many of Mr. Pico’s poems are centered on a character called Teebs, a queer Native American poet born on a reservation who left his home for school, much like the author himself. “I wasn’t raised in a world that necessarily uplifts queer indigenous perspectives,” Mr. Pico said. “So in order to get people to pay attention, I knew that I was going to have to be very loud and very funny or sharp or something.”

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