Levi J. Mericle is a queer and disabled poet/spoken-word artist and award winning songwriter Tucumcari, NM. His work has appeared in over 30 anthologies, lit magazines, and journals in over half a dozen countries. His song “Whiskey Deep” has won several awards including 3rd place in the 2017 International Songwriting Competition Lyrics-only category. It won a demo in the 2019 International Songwriting Competition, and best traditional country song in the summer 2021 World Songwriting Awards. He is an advocate for the mentally ill and the anti-bullying movement, as well as an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.