University of Wisconsin Press colophon



University of Wisconsin Madison crest that links to main university site

Association of University Presses member logo that links to main AUPresses site



Catalog Archive / Fall 2024

Wolf Act

Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies
David Bergman, Joan Larkin, and Raphael Kadushin, Founding Editors

Wolf Act moves in the way a body does, an evocative intertwining of memories through the complexities of deep familial love, the alienating potential of religious orthodoxy, the thrilling and shameful experiences of adolescence, and the search for love (including self-love) in a homophobic culture that narrowly defines lovability.”
—Elissa Washuta, author of White Magic

Growing up queer and neurodivergent in the Mormon Church

As a child, AJ Romriell strove to obey his Mormon leaders’ every rule. If he was faithful enough, he was taught, God would remove temptations. But at nineteen, returning home early from his mission after admitting his attraction to men, he was forced to make a decision: either stay the course or work to accept himself fully and risk losing family, community, and the Church he’d devoted his life to. His decision to pursue radical acceptance would turn out to be just one step toward reclaiming his life.

Through linked personal essays crafted in lyric, fabulist, and fragmented forms, Wolf Act charts a young man’s transformation. Weaving together wolfish fairy tales and mythology, Mormon theology and practice, piercings and tattoos, cave explorations, ghost stories, and more, Romriell explores a childhood of hiding, a familial reckoning, a religious exodus, and an effort to understand one’s life as worth saving—even when the meaning of the word “saving” must be reimagined.


AJ Romriell. Photo credit, Terrence O'Brian Henderson. AJ Romriell is a writer, photographer, and educator, who has published work in Black Warrior Review, Brevity, Great River Review, and elsewhere. Originally from Sandy, Utah, he currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his partner and their feline companion, Sokka the Wildercat.

Author's Website -


Download Cover: color | b/w

Download Author Photo: color | b/w

Request Review Copy

Request Exam Copy


Table of Contents

The Wolf Boy Overture

Names & Other Prophecies
Mormon Lessons on Modesty
Gracious Ruin
A Wolf Boy Interlude

Showerhead Reflections
Wolf Act
A Dictionary of the Voiceless
The Magic Kingdom: Part 1, Forced Perspective
The Magic Kingdom: Part 2, Unicorns and Broken Things
A Wolf Boy Interlude

Ghost Boys: A Bricolage
Searching for Spirits in Quarantine



Of Related Interest

The Long Hallway: cover depicting a door, ever so slightly open, flooded with light. The edges of the page are red, the light fading quickly to darkness, with the title text written in a scratchy black font.

The Long Hallway
Richard Scott Larson

Autobiography of My Hungers: cover art of an illustration of a shirtless man holding a flower against his face, a cut over his right eyebrow, bleeding down the side of his face.

Autobiography of My Hungers
Rigoberto González

Wolf Act: cover depicting an illustration of a red cloak hanging on a wall with the hide of a wolf hanging beside it. The title text is written in bold font above the two hanging items. The top half and left side of the image, including the red cloak, are in shadow, while the wolf hide is in bright light.

Larger images

February 2025
168 pp. 6 x 9

Book icon
Paper $19.95
ISBN 9780299349943
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
Review Cart