Book Buzz: Feb 2010
Author: John Morgan Wilson
February 1, 2010
The American Library Association has announced its 2010 Stonewall Book Awards, given annually to English-language LGBT books of exceptional merit: fiction, Stray Dog Winter (MacAdam/Cage) by David Francis; non-fiction,Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America (St. Martin’s Press) by Nathanial Frank; and children’s and young adult literature, The Vast Fields of Ordinary (Penguin Group) by Nick Burd. Details on the books and all nominees here.
Nominee Lesléa Newman’s Mommy, Mama, and Me and Daddy, Papa, and Me (both from Tricycle Press, illustrated by Carol Thompson)were named ALA Stonewall Honor Books and included on its Rainbow Reading list (http://rainbowlist.wordpress.com/rl-2010/). Mommy, Mama, and Me was also named an ALA Notable Book for Children.
D. A. Powell’s poetry collection, Chronic (Graywolf Press), is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, to be announced March 11. Chronic was also selected as a best book of the year byPublishers Weekly and the Kansas City Star.
Author Christopher Rice has donated $25,000 to the city of West Hollywood to help with the construction of Library Park, a major new civic centerpiece and cultural landmark, which has already broken ground. Included in the new library will be a special collection of LGBT literature and another devoted to HIV/AIDS. Vital fund-raising continues (www.weholibraryfund.org) and every dollar helps. (For those blessed with cushy bank accounts, please see my related overture further down.)
Looking for a literary alternative to the Super Bowl on February 7? You might log on to www.shadowunit.org, which starts its third season on Super Bowl Sunday, offering character blogs, serial narrative, and innovative, storytelling interactivity. Among those involved: Elizabeth Bear, Emma Bull, Amanda Downum, and Sarah Monette. (Elizabeth is also our Book Buzz Interview this month, anchoring this column.)
February is Queer Horror Month at Dark Scribe (www.DarkScribeMagazine.com), featuring interviews with Tom Cardamone, Jameson Currier, and Lee Thomas, plus a roundtable discussion on the state of queer horror.
Meanwhile, Dark Scribe Press has premiered a snazzy trailer for its newest title, In the Closet, Under the Bed, by Lambda Literary Award and Bram Stoker Award-winner Lee Thomas.
The Robert Chesley Foundation, established by Victor Bumbalo in 1993 in playwright Robert Chesley’s honor to support playwrights of gay and lesbian theatre, has a new website:www.chesleyfoundation.org.
Chip Livingston, a widely-published and award-winning gay poet of mixed Creek heritage, has collected much of his best work into a debut collection, Museum of False Starts. It’s out next month from Gival Press (www.givalpress.com).
Genia Stevens interviewed Mikaya Heart, author of My Sweet Wild Dance, on Sisters Talk Radio, the online queer talk radio show. My Sweet Wild Danceis the true story of Mikaya’s turbulent life growing up lesbian in Scotland in the ‘50s. Tune in here.
Submissions for the winter issue of Mary (www.maryliterary.com), “a cute homo version of Reader’s Digest,” need to reach editor William Johnson by February 30. The LGBT literary quarterly made its debut last fall with several author interviews and contributions from eighteen writers. Mary pays small honorariums and welcomes submissions for both its print and web publications in prose, poetry, or essay format.
El Museo del Barrio’s Speak Up! Speak Out! chapbook, featuring the poetry of Edwin Torres,Mahina Movement, Caridad De La Luz, and Emanuel Xavier (who also edited), with art byJuan Betancurth, is downloadable as a free PDF file by clicking “More.”
Click to hear Jee Leong Koh reading from Equal to the Earth, his first full-length collection.
It’s been a decade since Kensington published the Lammy-winning, ‘70s coming-of-age novel The World of Normal Boys, by K.M. Soehnlein. Now comes a sequel, Robin and Ruby, for release in early April. It follows Robin from Normal Boys and his sister Ruby over the course of a life-changing weekend in the mid-‘80s. For Karl’s readings on both coasts, check his website: www.kmsoehnlein.com.
TnT Classic Books (www.tntclassicbooks.com), dedicated to post-Stonewall playwrights, has collected twenty-seven plays in Short Plays To Long Remember, due out March 28. Among the queer authors represented are Jane Chambers, Perry Brass, David Johnston, David Mauriello, Sidney Morris, and Doric Wilson.
Bold Strokes Books has acquired Paul Faraday’s new mystery satire, The Straight Shooter: A Nate Dainty Manhunt!, scheduled for release later this year.
The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation, which awards yearly, $1,000 grants to selected writers of “full-length plays, screenplays, musicals or operas that present the gay and lesbian lifestyle in a positive manner,” is again open to new submissions. To be considered, work must be based on, or inspired by, a historic person, culture, event, or work of art. Grants are also awarded to filmmakers and production companies who meet similar criteria. Details here.
Tim Miller has begun touring with his new performance piece, “Lay of the Land.” Here’s a YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYrH-PKJPnA.
Last month, in partnership with the Houston Public Library, the Houston GLBT Community Center began a new, free, monthly literary series featuring LGBT writers. (The inaugural author wasRev. Rick Elliott, reading from his inspirational book, Faith Journeys of the Heart.) For upcoming programs, go to www.hglbtcc.org.
NLA: International, dedicated to the pansexual leather community, has expanded its annual writing awards for excellence in SM/leather/fetish writing. Nominations are now being accepted for non-fiction books, articles, novels, short fiction, and anthologies first published between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009. The deadline for submission is February 29. Details at http://www.nla-i.com.
Partners in life for twelve years, poets William Reichard and James Cihlar will also be reading partners this spring at various locations to celebrate William’s fourth collection, Sin Eater, and James’s first, Undoing. To find out where and when, use this link: http://www.williamreichard.com. James has also been busy reviewing for the poetry site Coldfront (http://coldfrontmag.com), with recent reviews of Louise Glück’s A Village Life and Mary Jo Bang’s The Bride of E.
Vice London editor Bruno Bayley interviews Jack Fritscher about gay literature and censorship athttp://www.viceland.com/int/v17n1/htdocs/erotic-fiction-puritan-censorship-314.php.
New Town Writers, Chicago’s LGBT writing and performance group, is accepting submissions from writers and artists in the Midwest for Swell, NTW’s online zine, and Off the Rocks, its print magazine. The submission deadline for both publications is March 15. For more details, go tohttp://www.newtownwriters.org
”The Lord of the Orchards,” a comprehensive online feature from Jeffrey Beam and Richard Owenson the life and work of gay Black Mountain poet, publisher, and photographer Jonathan Williams, can be read at John Tranter’s literary magazine, Jacket. Here’s the link:http://jacketmagazine.com/38/index.shtml#jw.
Facebook has reportedly banned advertising for Perry Brass’s The Manly Art of Seduction and Sam Martino, news editor of Out in Jersey, has written about it here.
Adam Lowe’s science fiction novel Troglodyte Rose (Crossing Chaos/Enigmatic Ink), due out April 1, has been earning positive early reviews, including this from Leeds Guide: “Strange, creepy, hilarious, disgusting and simply fantastic… Not for the faint hearted but a must for any fan of sci-fi, strong, modern writing or pure originality.”
Raymond Luczak has a new PDF sampler and a book trailer for his deaf gay novel, Men with Their Hands.
“Tenochtitlan,” a story by James Magruder (www.jamesmagruder.com), first published inSubtropics, has been selected for the anthology New Stories from the Midwest, due out from Ohio University Press in the winter of 2010/11.
Patricia Nell Warren is working on My West, an anthology collecting the best of her many short nonfiction pieces about the American West written over more than half a century, including a section of her writings on LGBT people in the West. Look for it from her own Wildcat Press, tentatively this fall.
Rick R. Reed’s novel, Deadly Vision, is now available as an e-book from Bristlecone Pine Press. Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/l/06cbb;tinyurl.com/y8epaep.
Finally: Regarding West Hollywood’s $64 million Library Park project, which will reflect the city’s unique identity and provide much needed resources and services, including a safe place for gay youth to privately read LGBT literature: I’m on the host committee for a gala February 22 reception and silent auction to be held for select individuals who are in a position to donate $5,000 to $10,000 to help reach the Library Fund’s $10 million private philanthropy goal (we’re more than halfway there). If this is you, and you feel the cause is worthy, please contact me soon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, here’s the link for more information: http://weholibraryfund.org/.
Book Buzz is a monthly column of news and noteworthy tidbits from the LGBT writing and publishing community. Book release announcements (pub dates) will continue to be covered elsewhere while Book Buzz looks for a different “angle” – an award, milestone, notable reissue, film deal, rave review, event of national interest, etc. Submit your brief item to John Morgan Wilson at email@example.com. No attachments please.