Friday, June 17, 2005

More Details Emerge

With articles today in Bookselling this Week and The New York Blade, a clearer picture is emerging on the potential restructuring of the Lambda Literary Foundation. Nomi Schwartz reported in BTW that the changes were due to "the pending sale of the building housing [the Foundation] offices, combined with the consistently precarious financial state of the Foundation throughout its history," according to a statement from the Foundation’s board. While the Lambda Book Report and the James White Review will suspend publication, the Board intends to continue its author reading series and the Lambda Literary Awards. A more detailed story in The Blade by Rhonda Smith reveals Jim Marks served as executive director of the Foundation since May 1996 except for an 18 month period from April 2001 to December 2002. Although the changes are precipitated by the Foundation’s finances, Marks was quoted in the article as saying that 2005 revenue was up about 25 percent for the first five months of the year. Marks told Smith that the organization is “a little bit over a $200,000-a-year business.” The Blade also reported that it is unclear whether the Lambda Literary Foundation’s headquarters will continue to be based in Washington, D.C.

On a personal note, I've always had a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Jim Marks because of the gargantuan tasks he has faced keeping the Foundation running and consider him a good friend and a huge supporter of gay literature at a time when those supporters seem to be diminishing. I've also enjoyed being a part of the LBR and working with Jonathan Harper and Lisa Moore and I look forward to working with all of them in possible future venues.