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We are the stories we tell ourselves.

— Aja Monet


Dakota R. Rottino-Garilli, MSW/HSV (she/they) is a queer educator and writer living in the

Observatory Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, on unceded and occupied Shawnee and Osage land.


She holds a MFA in creative writing from Chatham University and a MSW from the University of Pittsburgh. Dakota has taught writing to adults and youth at the Allegheny County Jail, Environmental Charter School, Allies for Health and Wellbeing (formerly PATF), University Prep at Margaret Milliones, and elsewhere. She has also worked as a social worker and mentor with teens in the public school, homelessness

services, and child welfare systems. Her current work focuses on creating affirming educational spaces for LGBTQ+ youth of color, and for Black trans youth in particular. She is a student of abolition who imagines a gender-liberated world.

A writer from an early age, Dakota's taste for storytelling began on her grandmother's couch in the early '90s while episodes of Passions played on TV. Her poems, book reviews, and travel writing have been featured in Homology Lit, Pretty Owl Poetry, Coal Hill Review, Fodor's Online, and elsewhere. She loves Nick Lachey, sushi buffets, and tarot, and hopes that you do, too.


This website was designed by A. Shy Marketer for Dakota Garilli (2018)

All photos taken by Ava Grace I IG: @xoavagrace

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