Wednesday, December 31, 2008

January 2009 Publishing Notes

The buzz: Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish Alex Ross’s new book, Listen to This, based on his New Yorker essays, discussing basic musical concepts in a conversation about classical and pop music, in 2010, along with Wagnerism: How a Composer Shaped the Modern World.

Spiegel & Grau will publish A Place to Come Home To by Margaret Robison, Augusten Burroughs’ mother, drawing on years of her journals and diaries about her early life in southern Georgia, her marriage; raising two boys whose own memoirs would become publishing phenomena; and her descent into psychosis, followed by a massive stroke; and now a hard-won ability to speak, write, and reflect on her life.

Riverhead will publish Sarah Waters new novel, The Little Stranger, a ghost story set in 1940s Great Britain, in Hundreds Hall, a centuries-old house of declining health and fortune, in the spring of 2009.

Running Press is releasing a line of gay historical romances written for straight women. The series will launch in April with Transgressions by Erastes and False Colors by Alex Beecroft. Two more titles are set for fall 2009.

Samhain Publishing (http://www.samhainpublishing.com/) has purchased Linden Bay Romance (http://lindenbayromance.com/).

Vanity Fair magazine has a blog dedicated just to gays and cars called Stick Shift, written by Brett Berk (The Gay Uncle’s Guide to Parenting).

Publishers Weekly reported that Pat Holt, San Francisco book reviewer and publishing journalist, is back online at her popular blog Holt Uncensored after a three-year hiatus. Holt stopped the blog when her partner, the writer Terry Ryan, became seriously ill. Ryan died in 2007. At the time that Holt Uncensored went on hiatus in late 2005, Holt was posting twice a week and had 5,000 loyal readers. Holt’s intention now is to write one, or occasionally two weekly essays for her blog.

Barnes & Noble will publish There’s No Place Like Oz in 2009, a large-format illustrated book, licensed by Warner Bros. Consumer Products, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the release of the film The Wizard of Oz, with never-before-seen pictures and memorabilia that explore the creation of the movie.

A TV movie adaptation of Prayers for Bobby, based on the best-selling 1998 book, airs on Lifetime in January. Sigourney Weaver stars as Mary Griffith, whose gay son Bobby committed suicide because of her religious intolerance.

A Million Little Pieces author James Frey has decided he will write the third book of the Bible, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, in which his version of Jesus will perform gay marriages.

New Mexico-based Revision Studios will publish The Princess Diana Bible in the spring of 2009, a gay version of the Bible, in which God says it is better to be gay than straight. A preview of Genesis is available at princessdianabible.com. The film studio said it would also adapt and direct the revised Bible as a two-part mini-series, The Gay Old Testament and The Gay New Testament, once it is completed.

Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, a classic from 1969 that takes the reader to the world of Winter and its inhabitants the Gethenians, whose society is not based on gender roles, has been optioned for feature film by screenwriter/director Will Phillips.

Italian state television RAI TV cut a gay sex scene from Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, as well as a sequence showing the lead characters kissing when it aired the movie, drawing allegations of censorship from gay rights groups. RAI said in a statement the film had arrived from the distributor already cut so that it could be shown in prime time. Massimo Gramellini, a top commentator for the daily newspaper La Stampa wrote in a front-page editorial: “I would like to understand why a kiss between two gays ... should offend our sensibilities more than scenes of heterosexual sex or bloodthirsty violence.”

Showtime is developing a reality series, Way Out, documenting gay people coming out to friends and family. In each episode, a closeted individual reveals their true sexual orientation during a group meeting.

Choreographer-director Gisèle Vienne has been collaborating with Dennis Cooper to create theatrical piece based on his story, “Jerk.”

The 59E59 Theaters will present the New York premiere of Terre Haute, by Edmund White, from Jan. 13 to Feb. 15, 2009. The two-character drama is about an imagined meeting between the writer Gore Vidal and the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. The play, first seen at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006, was performed in various locations in England last year.

The Golden Crown Literary Society has set its 2009 event: July 23-26 at the Hilton Disney Hotel in Orlando Florida. More details at http://www.goldencrown.org/site/index.php/conference-conference/conderence-news

In response to the news that Britain is counting gays, lesbians and bisexuals in a survey by the Office for National Statistics, author Larry Kramer called for U.S. gay organizations to do the same in an email that wound up posted on Eric Leven’s Knucklecrack blog.

After 14 years of effort, the New York City AIDS Monument was dedicated in Hudson River Park in December. From 1985 to 2002, over 81,000 AIDS deaths were reported in New York City and the monument is a 42-foot long, 2-foot tall, 12-inch deep curved granite bench. An inscription on the side facing the river says, “I can sail without wind, I can row without oars, but I cannot part from my friend without tears.”

A collection of letters between Oscar Wilde and Bernulf Clegg, an Oxford University student, are to go on display at the Morgan Library and Museum. The collection’s whereabouts were unknown to scholars for half a century. The letters of Wilde and Clegg, along with some 50 handwritten pages, including nine manuscripts of Wilde’s poems and the earliest surviving letter from Wilde to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, are contained in a red leatherbound volume that was recently given to the Morgan by Lucia Moreira Salles, a Brazilian philanthropist who had owned it for more than two decades. The Morgan also owns the earliest manuscript of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Kudos: Benjamin Taylor’s novel, The Book of Getting Even, was selected as one of the favorite titles of 2008 by the editors of the Los Angeles Times. The novel is about a young gay Southerner’s attachments to a family of Eastern European intellectuals. ** David Sedaris was nominated for a Grammy for Best Spoken Word for When You Are Engulfed in Flames. ** Alex Ross, author of The Rest Is Noise, a history of classical music in the 20th century, received the Guardian First Book Award. ** Sarah Schulman has been made Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.

Dark Scribe magazine has announced the second annual Black Quill Award nominees. Among them are: Dark Genre Novel of the Year: We Disappear by Scott Heim. Full set of nominations can be found at http://www.darkscribemagazine.com/.

Personal Favorites of 2008: Favorite reads: The Alcoholic by Jonathan Ames, The Vitner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox, Philistines at the Hedgerow by Steven Gaines. (I re-read this and particularly loved the Alfonso Ossorio and Ted Dragon chapters. I even re-watched the movie Pollock to see how they were depicted -- that was a disappointment, they are barely in it.) Favorite movies: The Orphange, Affinity (adapted from the novel by Sarah Waters), Colma: The Musical, Once, Atonement. Favorite discovery: the gay and lesbian line of local history books published by Arcadia. I read Gay and Lesbian San Francisco by William Lipsky (and loved it) and then discovered Gay and Lesbian Atlanta by Wesley Chenault and Stacy Brankham (and could not put it down because I grew up in Atlanta).

Open Calls: Cleis will publish a new book on gay and lesbian couples to raise awareness in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8 titled My Gay Marriage, a collection of personal reflections by married gays and lesbians -- regardless of whether those marriages are legally recognized. The proceeds from My Gay Marriage will go to activist organizations, such as Marriage Equality USA and Join the Impact. Brief personal essays (3000 to 5000 words) about your experience of same-sex marriage should be sent to Brenda Knight at Cleis Press at bknight@cleispress.com.

Also in the wake of Proposition 8, Kelly & Kamille of the band Karmina and the song “The Kiss” are looking for people to share their “forbidden love” stories at http://www.iwishtheworldcouldhear.com/. The sisters will select stories for a video interview and media appearances with the band. For more details write kellyandkamille@gmail.com.

The e-zine Limp Wrist is seeking an Artistic Editor. The AE is responsible for soliciting and selecting art, pictures, and short videos to be featured in LW. For more information contact me at dustinvbrookshire@gmail.com.

Passages: Australian lesbian poet Dorothy Porter has died from complications due to cancer. She was 54, and had been suffering from breast cancer for four years before her death, The Age newspaper reported. Porter was best known for The Monkey’s Mask, a crime thriller in verse about a lesbian detective. Published in 1994, the book won the Age Poetry Book of the Year.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

December Publishing Notes

The buzz: Abrams will publish Gore Vidal’s illustrated memoir in the Fall of 2009. The memoir will combine personal reflections with a social history of the twentieth century, and never-before-seen images of political and cultural icons from Vidal’s personal collection. ** World Parade Books will release Edward Field’s memoir Kabuli Days, Travels in Old Afghanistan this month.

Touchstone Fireside will publish Gyles Brandreth’s next three mysteries featuring Oscar Wilde as a sleuth aided by his real-life friend Arthur Conan Doyle. ** Sphere will publish mystery writer Val McDermid’s next two books, including a new Tony Hill for publication in 2009. ** Holt will publish Louis Bayard’s next two literary suspense novels.

In 2009, Arsenal Pulp Press will publish Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire, edited by Amber Dawn. ** Da Capo will publish Catherine Friend’s The Last Farm Standing, a look at the state of small, sustainable farms, and how sheep may be the answer to our environmental woes.

Author Stephen McCauley is working with on a film adaptation of his novel The Easy Way Out. Filming is set to begin in March in Paris. ** Showtime announced that it is developing Perry Moore’s book Hero, the story of a young gay superhero, into a hour-long series for the network. Moore will be writing the script and will executive-produce the series along with his partner, Hunter Hill. The two are also collaborating with comic book legend Stan Lee and his Pow! Entertainment partner Gill Champion. ** Nicole Kidman will star in and produce the film version of The Danish Girl, based on the novel by David Ebershoff, about the world’s first post-op transsexual, Einar Wegener. Charlize Theron will also star. ** John Hurt will star in the film An Englishman in New York, about Quentin Crisp’s later years. ** John Boorman is attached to direct the $25 million, CG-animated pic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, adapted from L. Frank Baum’s original novel. Unlike the MGM classic, it will not be a musical.

Jane Fonda returns to Broadway after a 46-year absence, in 33 Variations, a new play by Moisés Kaufman, scheduled to open in the winter of 2009. ** South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are working with Avenue Q co-writer Robert Lopez to on a new musical, Mormon Musical, which will star Cheyenne Jackson. ** Playwright Michael Yawney’s play, 1,000 Homosexuals, about Anita Bryant’s 1977 campaign to repeal Miami-Dade County’s first gay-rights ordinance, recently opened in Miami. The play was commissioned by the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts. Miami’s Camposition is producing the play. ** The Milwaukee Gay Arts Center is suing the city for shutting down its production of the popular musical revue, Naked Boys Singing. ** This month the Thorny Theater in Palm Springs is presenting Michael Holmes in Judy’s Old Fashioned Christmas Show, a comic tribute to the old Garland holiday specials.

Variety reported that due to the recent departure of City Opera Artistic Director Gerard Mortier, some upcoming opera projects will be shelved. Among them, the musical adaptation of the film Brokeback Mountain. ** The Fort Worth Opera has announced it will stage the world premiere of Before Night Falls, a new opera by Cuban American composer Jorge Martin, based on the memoir by Cuban dissident poet Reinaldo Arenas, as the centerpiece of its 2010 Opera Festival.

Don Weise has been named the new publisher of Alyson Books. ** In November poet, novelist and playwright Jewelle Gomez married Dr. Diane Abbe Sabin at the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library. The wedding was written up in the Style section of The New York Times.

In Atlanta in November, Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse in Atlanta celebrated its 15th year and Charis Books & More its 34th.

The Atlanta Queer Literary Festival has set their 2009 dates: November 4 through 7, 2009. More details forthcoming at http://atlqueerlitfest.blogspot.com/.

Gay rights activist Cleve Jones and Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black published a manifesto calling for LGBT civil disobedience and government intervention against Proposition 8 in the San Francisco Chronicle. Jones and Black have urged President-elect Barack Obama, House speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate majority leader Harry Reid to push legislation that protects LGBT people in areas of hate crimes, marriage, military service, adoption, Social Security, taxation, immigration, employment, housing, and access to health care, social services, and education. ** Louis-Georges Tin, editor of the recently published Dictionary of Homophobia and president of the International Day Against Homophobia Committee, will address the United Nations General Assembly in December to urge a world-wide end to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. ** Dustin Brookshire of limpwristmag.com has started the Not In My Georgia Project in response to the rumored legislation to ban adoption by LGBT Georgians.

Kudos: Mark Doty won the National Book Award for Fire to Fire: New and Collected Poems. ** Hudson Booksellers named When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris as its Book of the Year. ** On the IMPAC Dublin longlist for the 2009 award, which honors book-length fiction published in English during 2007, were Alan Bennett for The Uncommon Reader, David Leavitt for The Indian Clerk, Ali Smith for Girl Meets Boy, Jeanette Winterson for The Stone Gods, Andre Aciman for Call Me By Your Name, Jonathan Coe for The Rain Before It Falls, and Marianne Wiggins for The Shadow Catcher. The shortlist will be announced April 2, 2009. ** Michael Cunningham won the sixth annual Fairfax Prize given by the Fairfax County Public Library Foundation. ** Chris & Don: A Love Story was nominated for best documentary for the Gotham Independent Film Awards.

Marc Andreyko was among the recent Out magazine 100. He is the author of the graphic novel, Torso, based on the true story of Eliot Ness and a serial killer in 1930s Cleveland, now in development as a Paramount film. Other works of note include co-creating and writing a modern update of the Peter Pan universe, The Lost, and work on the DC comic book series Manhunter, which features the son of the original Green Lantern, a superhero named Obsidian, in a happy and healthy gay relationship.

In November, The Black Cat, a bar in Silver Lake, California that was home to the gay rights movement in Los Angeles, was named a historic-cultural monument. The bar was the site of a police raid and subsequent protests in 1967, predating the Stonewall riots in New York City by two years. Today, the bar at Sunset Junction is known as Le Barcito, a small stucco building with a purple facade that still bears the original sign of a black and white smiling cat.

Open Calls: Editors Richard Labonté and Lawrence Schimel are seeking short essays and memoirs for the anthology I Like It Like That: True Tales of Gay Desire, to be published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2009. Submissions should be between 1000-3000 words and sent to truetalesofgaydesire@gmail.com. Deadline is Feb 1, 2009. ** Labonté is also seeking short stories and erotica for Best Gay Erotica 2010. Blair Mastbaum is this year’s guest judge. Original work, or reprints of work published or scheduled to be published between July 2008 and July 2009, are eligible. Deadline is April 1, 2009. Queries and submissions to: bge2010@gmail.com in .doc format.

Passages: Irish poet James Liddy died in November, 2008. Born in Dublin in 1934, Liddy is best known for his early collections In A Blue Smoke (1964) and Blue Mountain (1968). The first volume of his memoir, The Doctor’s House: An Autobiography, was published in 2004.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Bookstore Tourist

This October I took a cruise to the Mediterranean, visiting Venice, Dubrovnik, Santorini, Corfu, and Ephesus (in Turkey). The weather was gorgeous, as was the scenery, and the overall experience was very interesting and relaxing (and which was what I needed). The highlight of my trip, however, was my final day in Paris because of a stopover flight — a bright, sunny Sunday afternoon crowded with Parisians strolling arm and arm through the streets. I walked through the Marais till I found Rue Ste Croix de la Bretonnerie, where I was relieved to discover that Les Mots à la Bouche, the gay bookstore was open. I was tired from the flights and my stamina isn’t what it used to be, and I wedged my way through the aisles looking at titles, searching for books that might be familiar to me in their English editions. And there, face out on the shelves with the other works, was Les Fantômes, the French translation of my AIDS stories by Anne-Laure Hubert that French publisher Cylibris had published in late 2005. I’d seen the edition before; I have several copies and have given many as gifts to friends. But I had never seen the book in a bookstore.

It’s hard to explain this sort of thrill to someone who hasn’t had the experience of seeing their writing displayed in a bookstore. It’s immensely gratifying and awesome and exhilarating, probably like what an architect might feel standing in front of his completed building, particularly if you have spent years and years, as I do, writing a book, struggling with the plots and characters and themes and then trying to find a publisher who was willing to release it out into the world. I remember the first time I saw a book of mine in a bookstore — it was the winter of 1993, late February, and I was temping at a job on Park Avenue in Manhattan. My first collection of short stories had been accepted more than two years before by Viking, but because of a recession and a company freeze on signing contracts with new authors, the book was not slated for publication until that spring. The store was a small Barnes and Noble outlet, situated on a corner of one of the high-rising glass skyscrapers on Park Avenue near Grand Central Station. I hadn’t expected to find my book so soon in a store. I was on a lunch break, escaping my desk where I had eaten a sandwich because I was too poor to afford the neighborhood restaurants. It was a winter I could barely even afford to take the subway. I had stepped out of the cold into the bookstore, thinking I might look at a magazine or find a title I might later be able to get from the public library, before I headed back to my dismal job, where, at the time, I was typing up the license plates of cars and trucks that had been abandoned and were sitting in a lot in Queens. And there, in the store on a shelf with the rest of the fiction, were five copies of Dancing on the Moon. The first sight of them remains one of the happiest moments of my life, particularly when I correlate it with the unfortunate experiences and deaths from AIDS of the friends who inspired those stories.

That spring and the following one were full of similar thrills. My book found its way into the windows of Brentano’s on Fifth Avenue and B. Dalton’s in the West Village on Eighth Street. I did readings and signings for the first time — including at Lambda Rising in Washington, D.C and Glad Day in Boston, among other stores. I’m not a widely bought or distributed author and the press runs of my books haven’t been the kind to impress any kind of bestseller list, but I’ve now seen my books in an airport bookshop (in New Orleans), in foreign bookstores (also at Word is Out, the gay bookstore in the Bloomsbury district of London, where I was on the shelves with many of my friends’ books), and part of a suggested reading list posted at a university bookstore. And even now, fifteen or so years later, I still get a thrill discovering something I have written in a store, even if it is a used copy of my novel, Where the Rainbow Ends, in the second-hand bookstore in my hometown, north of Atlanta.

Hopefully as you get older and wiser, you discover things about yourself that keep you happy. I have been fortunate to have taken some amazing trips during the last two decades — many due to the generosity of friends — and I’ve learned that I find great joy in being a bookstore tourist. Some people go to museums or sporting events or concerts or restaurants when they travel. I love to hunt for books — and, for the record, not for just my own. I search out local ghost story anthologies, local gay history books, local literary journals and magazines, unusual translations, and all sorts of novels and fiction by both mainstream publishers and small presses. Of all the bookstores I've been to, some other memorable experiences stand out — a deja-vous experience at the Haunted Bookshop in Cambridge (realizing I had already been there decades before with a friend who was now deceased), a boulevard in Pisa, Italy, lined with bookstores, store after store after store, with bins of books outside in the bright sun, the same with Galway, Ireland and the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. I remember the first time I walked into City Lights bookstore in San Francisco and didn’t want to leave because the friend I was with wanted to go elsewhere. I can still spend hours wandering along Charing Cross while many of my other friends are out at the theater. And I’ve often thought I might one day retire to Napa, California — on my last visit there a few years ago I counted more than four bookstores within blocks of each other. I'm not ready for that yet, though. (I still have a few more years left...) And first I'd like to find that town in Wales where there's nothing but bookstores.

Friday, October 31, 2008

November Publishing Notes

The buzz: Charles Busch’s new play, The Third Story, will debut off-Broadway January 14, 2009 at the Lucille Lortel Theater in the West Village. ** The inaugural production of the Shameless Theater Company, a new theater company in London which will focus on works with gay themes, will be American Briefs, a series of short works by US-based playwrights, followed by Busted Jesus Comix, based on the real-life story of a Florida minor prosecuted on obscenity charges for writing a comic book, and The Choir by Australian playwright Errol Bray, about the castration of young boys.

Giovanni's Room bookstore in Philadelphia, Pa. celebrated its 35th anniversary in October. Ed Hermance is the store’s co-owner. Giovanni's has 12,000 titles in its active inventory. It holds 50 readings a year and a photograph of the author James Baldwin, who once visited the store, hangs behind the front counter. Giovanni's is the second-oldest gay-and-lesbian bookstore in the country, behind only New York's Oscar Wilde Bookshop. ** The 38-year-old feminist bookstore Amazon Bookstore Coop is changing its name to True Colors Bookstore. Ruta Skujins is the store’s new owner. According to the terms of an out-of-court settlement reached in a 1999 trademark infringement lawsuit brought against online retailer Amazon.com by the feminist bookstore, rights to the Amazon name reverted to the Internet retailer if ownership of the 2,800-square-foot bricks-and-mortar store in south Minneapolis changed hands.

A Missoula, Montana, library board voted to keep The Joy of Gay Sex on its shelves after a resident requested that it be removed. ** Towleroad reported that the Time Out Gay and Lesbian London guide book was refused for sale at the Historic Royal Palace bookshops, including the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Gardens and the Banqueting House, bookshops. A list of books was 'censored' by management at Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charity which manages the sites on behalf of the Queen.

The city of West Hollywood donated a former storage garage to the ONE Archives for a museum of gay history, which opened in October. The inaugural exhibit looks at Los Angeles' gay pride parades from its inception. The president of the board and curator of the collection is Joseph Hawkins, a professor of gender studies and anthropology at USC. Future exhibits will be devoted to lesbian pulp fiction and photographs of nude musclemen. Starting small, the space is 600 square feet and is open for four hours three days a week, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and is located at 626 N. Robertson Blvd. Admission is free.

Viking will publish Colm Toibin's new novel, Brooklyn, about a young woman who emigrates from a small Irish town to Brooklyn in the 1950s, in May 2009. Arsenal Pulp Press will publish Sarah Schulman’s novel The Mere Future in October 2009. Fourth Estate has acquired Michael Cunningham's new novel, set in New York. Ecco will publish designer, artist, and actress Gloria Vanderbilt’s OBSESSION: An Erotic Tale, in July 2009. Chronicle will publish Jack Kerouac's You’re a Genius All the Time: Belief and Technique for Modern Prose, comprised of the thirty maxims Kerouac penned to define his spontaneous prose style, providing inspiration for all creative types. Norton will release a paperback edition of Luc Montagnier's 1999 book VIRUS: The Co-discoverer of HIV Tracks its Rampage and Charts the Future. Montagnier received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of the virus that causes AIDS, and the book provides his first-hand account of that discovery process.

Author Gore Vidal was injured in a fall and cancelled an appearance at an Ohio library, and is recuperating at home. The 83-year-old author told the AP he's working on a new novel about the U.S.-Mexican war in the 1840s.

There will be a fundraiser for Stuart Timmons, author of The Trouble With Harry and Gay LA, who suffered a stroke in January, on Saturday, November 15, 3 to 5 p.m. at the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at 909 West Adams Blvd. in Los Angeles. There will be readings by Malcolm Boyd, Chris Freeman, Trebor Healey, Michael Kearns, Felice Picano, Derek Ringold, Terry Wolverton, and others. There is a $25 suggested contribution.

Australian writer Geoff Knight has launched a GayWriters Web site as a ning community at http://gaywriters.ning.com/.

AfterElton is sponsoring a Vote for the Best Gay Books at http://www.afterelton.com/print/2008/10/booksurvey_voting).

Kudos: Till Kleinert's Cowboy, a 35-minute film about a city dweller and a country lad's terrible price for love, won the £25,000 first prize at the Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff, which the organizers call the world's biggest gay and lesbian film festival. The German director’s film also won him a £500 travel award to help him return to the UK to make his next film. James Bolton and Dream Boy, a love story between teenagers in the American South in the 1970s, won the festival’s award for best feature film. The feature film is selected by the Friends of Iris, individuals who open their homes to the makers of films shortlisted for the festival. ** Among the finalists for the National Book Awards were: Frank Bidart for Watching the Spring Festival, Mark Dotyfor Fire to Fire: New and Collected Poems, Reginald Gibbons for Creatures of a Day, Richard Howard for Without Saying, and Patricia Smith for Blood Dazzler. ** The winners of the 2008 Gaylactic Spectrum Awards are: Best Novel: Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale. Best Short Fiction: "Ever So Much More than Thirty" by Joshua Lewis from the anthology So Fey. ** Manuel Muñoz was one of the 10 recipients of the 2008 Whiting Writers' Awards.

And the Nominees Will Be: The Publishing Triangle is now accepting submissions for its 2009 debut fiction, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry awards, given for books published in 2008. Details and forms can be found at the Web site http://www.publishingtriangle.org/. ** Submissions for the next cycle of the Lambda Literary Awards are now being accepted, for books published during 2008. Awards are given in twenty-two (22) categories. For more details visit the Lambda Literary Foundation at http://www.lambdaliterary.org/.

Open Calls: Editor Stephen Soucy is looking for short stories for the anthology ART from ART, about stories that are connected directly to—or inspired by—a work of art, to be published by Modernist Press. Deadline is 12/01/08. Submit your story and a brief bio via email to shsoucy@modernistpress.com. ** Queerphilosophy is looking for essays and pieces of creative non-fiction for an anthology slotted for 2009. Pieces should explore how individuals navigate through current ideas of sexuality and gender identity when faced with traditional philosophies and religions. Submit work that is at least 1000 words to queerphilosophy@gmail.com . For more details visit the Web site at http://www.queerphilosophy.com/. ** Knockout Literary Magazine is sponsoring a 2009 International Reginald Shepherd Memorial Poetry Prize. Three prizes will be awarded: $300, $50, and $25 gift certificates to Powell's Books and publication of prize-winning poems in Knockout. Submission deadline: 8/1/09. Details and entry guidelines: www.knockoutlit.org/rsprize.htm. ** The Eric Rofes Center for Multi-cultural Queer Studies plans to house the largest collection of LGBT/Queer/SGL chapbooks. Submissions can be sent to: HSU- Multicultural Center, c/o Eric Rofes Center Chapbook Archive, 1 Harpst Street, Arcata, CA 95521.

Passages: Ron Hanby, director of gay and lesbian sales at Bookazine, died in October. Shelf Awareness reported that the company called him "a passionate bookseller and an advocate for each and every one of his accounts. He worked hard to make sure that our booksellers had a level of personal service unparalleled in this industry." Before joining Bookazine, Hanby worked at Waldenbooks, B. Dalton Bookseller and Encore Books. In 1997 Hanby received a Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

October Publishing Notes

The buzz: The Associated Press reported that Federico Garcia Lorca's family won't oppose a petition to open a mass grave where his body is believed to have been dumped after Franco supporters allegedly executed the poet and playwright at the outbreak of Spain's Civil War. Garcia Lorca was 38 when he was killed. Investigations indicate the poet, who was open about his homosexuality, was shot along with a school teacher named Dioscoro Galindo Gonzalez and two labor union activists -- Francisco Galadi and Juan Arcolla -- on Aug. 18, 1936, near the Viznar mountain gorge in southern Spain. The bodies are believed to lie in a site near a designated a memorial park. Several thousand others are believed to have been shot and dumped at the gorge. The Telegraph reported that British author Alexander McCall Smith will include more gay characters in his popular The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. The Advocate reported that Sir Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono are both reported to be unhappy with the book John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman that claims John Lennon longed to be in a relationship with McCartney. Author and illustrator Maurice Sendak came out at the age of 80 in the pages of The New York Times. Rachel Maddow's book on how the United States has departed from its constitutional ideals and historical traditions to become a militarist nation will be published by Crown. In Spring 2010 Little Brown will publish Cris Beam's J, about a female-to-male transgender teen as he begins to live as a boy and comes to terms with what it means to be trans and Puerto Rican in New York City. Lethe Press is launching a new imprint of “bear” titles -- Bear Bones Books. The reissue of Jeff Mann’s memoir Edge will be the first book in the series. Ron Suresha will helm the imprint. Blind Eye books will publish Josh Lanyon's novel The White Mountains in September 2009. Circle of Seven productions has produced a video trailer for Dark Scribe Press’s upcoming book of queer horror: Unspeakable Horror. The trailer can be viewed on the press’s blog site: http://darkscribepress.blogspot.com/2008/09/unspeakable-book-trailer.html. Velvet Mafia is now posting new content weekly. Among the recent items are poems by Andy Quan and Brian Brown, and fiction from Jeff Leavell, John Stewart, Drew Gummerson and Sean Meriwether. The Tectonic Theater Project has added an epilogue to The Laramie Project, their play about the murder of college student Matthew Shepard. The troupe revisited Laramie to interview residents about changes since the murder ten years ago. The epilogue will be added to the published piece and included in future performances. Plans for a new gay-and-lesbian theater festival in Orlando ran aground after accusations that the chief organizer took money from an AIDS fundraiser. The GLBT theater festival was originally planned to include three plays, a series of new-play readings, and the presentation of awards honoring two deceased gay and lesbian theater artists. Q-Notes reported that a casting call ad for auditions of a South Carolina production of the off-Broadway hit Naked Boys Singing was canceled by The State, a daily newspaper in Columbia, “because of the nature of the content.” Also in the Carolinas, Q-Notes reported that C3 Entertainment in North Carolina produced a play asserting people could not only pray being gay away, but also pray away AIDS. Arch Brown’s Thorny Theater in Palm Springs, California has launched its new season with Brown’s play Sex Symbols. DVD distributor Wolfe Video has acquired Were the World Mine, directed by Tom Gustafson, an original musical about a gay high school student who is cast in his school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The film has won several awards at film festivals. Variety reported that director Steven Soderbergh is working on a biopic of Liberace, with Michael Douglas playing the flamboyant pianist. Matt Damon is in talks to play Scott Thorson, Liberace's alleged companion of five years. Designer Tom Ford has acquired the rights to Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel A Single Man, about a middle-aged gay professor. Actor Colin Firth is said to be in discussions for the role, with Julianne Moore play a friend and a former student. Jamie Bell is also said to be part of the cast, with the movie beginning shooting in November. New York magazine reported that Barack Obama supporter and openly gay actor and author Alan Cumming is hoping to become a U.S. citizen in time to register to vote in the upcoming presidential election. OutWeek, the former GLBTQ New York City-based magazine published from June 1989 to July 1991, is now available in an online archive, thanks to sponsorship by The Gill Foundation, Larry Kramer, and Gabriel Rotello, with help from the One Foundation and Tectonic Theater Project. The magazine was noted for its “outings” of national figures and its coverage of AIDS activism. Boston Edge reported that an archive of historical gay video footage belonging to Gay Cable Network pioneer and sex club entrepreneur Lou Maletta -- much of it in VHS format -- sits uncatalogued and deteriorating in a Manhattan storage room. The video and DAT tapes includes footage from the Continental Baths in the ‘70s of Bette Midler and Barry Manilow, a comment made by Dick Cheney about gay marriage back in 1984, and some of the earliest coverage of AIDS within the gay community of New York. Gay Cable News was the first news show of any kind to broadcast a picture of a Karposi's sarcoma lesion, and that clip is now preserved by the Museum of Broadcasting. A library in Helena, Montana, wants to ban the book The Joy of Gay Sex. The library board of directors is expected to make a decision on the matter at its Oct. 21 meeting. According to several press reports, sources in Wasilla, Alaska, noted that Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin tried to use her sway as mayor to censor the local library, and now New York literary agent Holly Bemiss and her partner Erin Bried are throwing a “Sarah Palin Book Club” fundraiser for the Lambda Literary Foundation October 2 at 7 pm at Cattyshack in Brooklyn. A special prize will be given to the best Sarah Palin lookalike. Christopher and Anne Rice are opening up their home in Rancho Mirage, California for “Written in the Sand 2008,” another fundraiser for Lambda Literary Foundation on Saturday, November 8. Admission is $65 and $40 for students.

Kudos: Un Altro Pianeta, a drama from Stefano Tummolini, won the second Queer Lion Award from the Venice Film Festival for the best feature with a gay theme. James Lear was named Writer of the Year for his novel The Palace of Varieties at the Erotic Awards in London. Alex Ross of The New Yorker and author of The Rest Is Noise, was one of the 25 recipients of the 2008 MacArthur Foundation Genius Fellowships. Tony Kushner received the first Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. Greg Wrenn’s book of poems Off the Fire Road received The Laurel Review/GreenTower Press Midwest Chapbook Series Award and will be published in the spring of 2009.

Open Calls: The online magazine Limp Wrist is offering a $150 scholarship to a LGBT high school senior via a poetry contest. The recipient also receives a spot at the 2009 Juniper Summer Writers Institute. There is no entry fee, but students must identify as a member of the LGBT community. Deadline is December 15, 2008. Further details may be found at editor Dustin Brookshire’s blog: http://dbrookshire.blogspot.com/. ** Starbooks Press is seeking submissions of historically-based erotic novels or anthologies until March 2009. The publisher also has open calls for several erotica anthologies, including Pretty Boys and Roughnecks (deadline February 15,2009) and Unmasked II: More Erotic Tales of Gay Superheroes (deadline March 15, 2009). ** A reminder that the deadline for The White Crane/James White Poetry Prize for a book-length poetry collection is October 30. More details can be found at: http://www.jameswhitepoetryprize.org/.

Passages: Poet Reginald Shepherd died September 11, 2008 from cancer. He was 45. Shepherd was the editor of The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries (University of Iowa Press, 2004) and of Lyric Postmodernisms (Counterpath Press, 2008). He is the author of: Fata Morgana (2007), winner of the Silver Medal of the 2007 Florida Book Awards, Otherhood (2003), a finalist for the 2004 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, Wrong (1999), Angel, Interrupted (1996), and Some Are Drowning (1994), winner of the 1993 Associated Writing Programs’ Award in Poetry (all University of Pittsburgh Press). Shepherd's work has appeared in four editions of The Best American Poetry and two Pushcart Prize anthologies, as well as in such journals as American Poetry Review, Conjunctions, The Kenyon Review, The Nation, The New York Times Book Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and The Yale Review. He is also the author of Orpheus in the Bronx: Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry (Poets on Poetry Series, University of Michigan Press). Shepherd received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, the Florida Arts Council, and the Guggenheim Foundation, among other awards and honors. ** John Burnside, the inventor of a kaleidoscope-like device called the teleidoscope and an early gay movement activist who was the longtime partner of the late gay rights pioneer Harry Hay, died on September 15, 2008 at his home in San Francisco. He was 91. In 1979, Burnside and Hay joined Don Kilhefner in organizing the first Spiritual Gathering for Radical Faeries. Burnside and Hay were featured in the 1977 documentary Word Is Out and the 2002 documentary Hope Along the Wind. Donations in Burnside's memory to continue his and Hay's activist work may be made to the Harry Hay Fund, c/o Chas Nol, 174 1/2 Hartford St., San Francisco, CA 94114.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Market News

New Presses, New Books, New Stories: While mainstream publishers are leaning more and more to focusing their few gay books on memoirs, light romances, and young adult novels, a new crop of independent boutique publishers are starting to fill in the gaps with a variety of gay offerings, with many offering an outlet for gay short fiction. Modernist Press (http://www.modernistpress.com/), started by Steve Soucy, launches this month with an anthology of gay stories titled Nine Hundred & Sixty-Nine: West Hollywood Stories, edited by Soucy, with fiction by Felice Picano, John Morgan Wilson, Shaun Levin, Timothy State, and others. Modernist is also interested in publishing full-length works of fiction (novels/novellas) and short story collections. For more information, contact Steve Soucy at mailto:shsoucy@yahoo.com. Ignavia, an online literary journal which features gay and lesbian authors and short fiction that is “dark, edgy and queer,” has a new issue up online at http://www.ignaviapress.com/. An editor’s note reveals that Ignavia plans to begin publishing books in 2009. Dark Scribe Press (http://www.darkscribepress.com/) is another independent publisher of dark genre literature – horror, suspense, and thrillers. The Press places a strong emphasis on the integration of gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters in their offerings. First up for the Press is Unspeakable Horror: Shadows from the Closet, an anthology of queer horror stories edited by Vince A. Liaguno and Chad Helder, with fiction by Lee Thomas, Rick R. Reed, Kevin W. Reardon, and others, due in bookstores in December. Rebel Satori Press (http://www.rebelsatori.com/) is an independent publisher of books on spirituality and revolutionary personal transformation. (Satori is a Zen term for enlightenment.) The Press publishes Ashé Journal, along with new/experimental fiction and creative/inspirational non-fiction. Recently the Press published the anthology Madder Love: Queer Men In the Precincts of Surrealism, edited by Peter Dubé, with work by Stephen Beachy, Tom Cardamone, Trebor Healey, Kevin Killian, Rob Stephenson, and others. Forthcoming for the press are novels by J. Warren (Stealing Ganymede) and Sven Davisson (The Devil’s Island). Lethe Press (http://www.lethepressbooks.com/) is another independent publisher that continues to grow. Recently, Lethe has published Haunted Hearths & Sapphic Shades, a collection of lesbian ghost stories edited by Catherine Lundoff, and a solo collection of speculative fiction by Steve Berman titled Second Thoughts. Berman has also implemented two new annual anthologies for the press, the successful Wilde Stories, an anthology of the year’s best gay speculative fiction which was released this summer, and Best Gay Stories, the 2008 edition which features stories by Raymond Luczak, Rick Bowes, Greg Herren, Jeff Mann, and others.

Friday, August 29, 2008

September Publishing Notes

The buzz: This fall, Haiduk Press will publish Patrick M. Chapman’s Thou Shall Not Love -What Evangelicals Really Say to Gays, a critique of evangelical views on a variety of subjects, including gay marriage. Lethe Press is in talks with Lawrence Schimel's A Midsummers Night Press to partner in the release of both Best Gay Poetry 2008 and Best Lesbian Poetry 2008 before the end of fall. Lethe Press is also publishing John McNeill’s Sex as God Intended it to Be, Craig Gidney’s Sea, Swallow Me and Other Stories, the anthology Time Well Bent: Queer Alternate History, and the Press is reissuing Jeff Mann’s memoir Edge: Travels of a Leatherbear. Arcade will publish Daniel Harris's Celebrity: A Star-Studded Look at Fame and the Limelight, in July 2009. Alyson will publish a new collection of short stories by Jim Grimsley, Jesus Is Sending You This Message, with an introduction by Dorothy Allison. Sarah Schulman’s next novel will be The Mere Future, which will be published in 2009. Harper will publish playwright, screenwriter, and novelist Paul Rudnick's untitled collection of humorous essays, including his humorous New Yorker pieces. Modernist Press will publish Nine Hundred & Sixty-Nine: West Hollywood Stories in September and celebrate the launch of the book at the West Hollywood Bookfair on Sunday September 28th. Patricia Nell Warren wrote the intro to the collection of gay stories, which features short fiction by Max Pierce, Felice Picano, Timothy State, and others. The reading at the Book Fair is from 4:50 pm to 5:30 pm on the Robertson Stage. More details can be found here. Freaks Read, a literary salon which features gay and erotica writers, is a free event that happens on the last Wednesday of each month at Nowhere (322 E. 14th St. between First and Second Avenues) in Manhattan. Join the moderated "nowherenyc" Yahoo group to receive future announcements. Writers interested in participating can send a story sample to Charlie Vazquez at firekingpress@yahoo.com with Freaks Read as the subject. Perry Brass and Bob Cabell have produced a series of podcasts called Naked Books, about books that "show all and hide nothing" when it comes to genuine feelings and a closeness to life. Among the new LGBT collections at the NY Public Library are the backfiles of the magazine Pinups from photographer and editor Christopher Schulz. The Library is also working on acquiring a complete backfile of HX and Next magazines, a collection of Japanese erotica, and a historic drag performance collection. M. Christian will teach an erotica writing class on October 12th in downtown San Francisco. More details can be found by writing him at Zobop@aol.com. The next annual Saints and Sinners Literary Festival will be May 14 - 17, 2009 in New Orleans. Participants lined up include Jess Wells, Radclyffe, Michael Thomas Ford, and Ali Liebegott. The memorial video produced by Lambda Literary can be found on YouTube here. Rhiannon Argo blogs about the recent Lambda young writers retreat on the new Invert(e) blog site. The blog is the brainchild of the Suspect Thoughts team of Greg Wharton and Ian Philips. Invert(e) is also a new literary journal from the ST Press. Donations are down at White Crane and the organization and the magazine has a call out for financial assitance. Visit http://www.gaywisdom.org/ to see the complete listing of everything White Crane does and to make a tax-deductible contribution. The DreamWalker Group has established a BuyDirect Page which sells books directly from the Web site. Rich Goscicki, author of Mirror Reversal, is currently featured. The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library has acquired the archive of American photographer Robert Giard as part of the Yale Collection of American Literature. Giard, who died in 2002, was known for his portraits of gay and lesbian writers. Bong, a 350-page book about Nguyen Van Dung, a gay man who lives in Ha Noi, was recently published in Vietman. “Bong,” is Vietnamese slang for a homosexual. The book was written by two local journalists who taped more than 200 hours of interviews with Dung. Another book about a gay man, Pham Thanh Trung, will soon be published. Afdhere Jama, the editor of the gay Muslim magazine Huriyah, has released a book about LGBT people in the Islamic World titled Illegal Citizens: Queer lives in the Muslim World, published by Salaam Press, which follows the lives of 33 people in 22 countries including Nigeria, Lebanon, Indonesia, Bosnia, China, India, Israel, and Ukraine. Jama was born in Somalia. He moved to the USA after civil war broke out in his native country. The New York Times reported that Rufus Wainwright has dropped plans to write a musical for the Metropolitan Opera over concerns about the libretto and performance dates. Wainwright wanted his opera, Prima Dona, commissioned by the Met, to be in French, and the production was not slated until 2014. The musical will now premiere next July at the Manchester International Festival in England. Craig Lucas has also been commissioned by the Met and his libretto, with music by Nico Muhly, is expected to be workshopped soon. Wig Out! will be the season opener at the Vineyard Theater will feature the downtown drag performer Daniel T. Boothe, aka Sweetie. The new play by Tarell Alvin McCraney is about competition among drag queens. James Franco will play the young Allen Ginsberg in a film by Rob Epstein. And E! television reported that "a source close to club DJ and Lohan pal Samantha Ronson" is "certainly telling friends she's planning to write a book.”

Also on the horizon: In addition to the titles mentioned above that Lethe Press will publish in the forthcoming months, the Press will also publish my collection Still Dancing: New and Selected Stories. This collection brings together twenty of my stories about the impact of AIDS on the gay community which have been written over the last three decades. Along with ten stories from my first collection Dancing on the Moon, are ten newly selected stories. And for this collection I’ve also chosen stories that revolve around gay New Yorkers—those lost, those surviving, those displaced, those undaunted, and those who became expatriates. Still Dancing’s pub date is scheduled for World AIDS Day, December 1, 2008.

Searching for friends of James Voss: British historian Helen Graham is seeking friends of James Voss, a writer who died of AIDS in the mid-1980s. Graham is working on film and book projects about gay Finnish-American International Brigader and poet William Aalto who died in New York in 1958 while in his early forties. Foss, who knew Aalto during this period, was in his twenties. In the mid-1980s, shortly before he died of AIDS, Foss wrote an evocative biographical sketch of Aalto which remained unpublished but was deposited in a New York history archive and with writer Donald Windham. Foss may have also worked for MIT and his last known residence in the 1980s was on 86th Street in Brooklyn. For further info and queries, Graham can be contacted at h.graham@rhul.ac.uk.

Kudos: Philip Hensher’s The Northern Clemency made the longlist for the Man Booker Prize. ** The Golden Crown Literary Society winners have been announced. A full list can be found at the Web site. ** Press Pass Q reported that Fay Jacobs has been named a winner in the annual National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest. She received first place for her book Fried & True: Tales from Rehoboth Beach, in the category of non-fiction humor. The award will be presented at the group’s annual conference to be held this year in Idaho Falls, Idaho, in September. ** Winners of the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation’s 2007 awards were: Robert Askins of New York, NY for Clean Living, a one-act play; Diana Star Helmer & Thomas S. Owens of Perry, IA for Morty's Mother Marched, a children's story book; and Tracy Wynn of Concord, MA for Mrs. Somebody Somebody, a short story.

Open Calls: The deadline for the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation’s Playwriting Competition is November 30, 2008. All works must present the gay and lesbian lifestyle in a positive manner and be based on, or directly inspired by, a historic person, culture, work of art, or event. For further submission information, visit the Foundation’s Web site at http://www.aabbfoundation.org. ** The Saints and Sinners Literary Festival, in association with the Marigny Theatre Corporation and the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, is sponsoring their third annual playwriting contest. The winning play will premier the weekend of the Festival, May 14-17, 2009. There is a $10 fee for every play submitted. Participants can enter more than once. Submission instructions can be found on the Web site. ** Applications are being accepted for the 2008 James Duggins Mid-Career Awards. Nominations are open through October 1, 2008. The awards, in their third year, recognize and promote LGBT mid-career novelists of extraordinary talent and service to the LGBT community. They are made possible by James Duggins, PhD, a retired educator who taught history at San Francisco State University. Two annual cash awards of $5,000 each are made to one man and one woman. Eligibility is open to any author who has written and published at least three novels, or at least two novels and substantial additional literary work, including poems, short stories, or essays. Further details and nomination instructions can be found here: http://www.sasfest.org/duggins.php. ** The deadline for the 2008–09 Queer Foundation High School Seniors English Essay Contest is February 28, 2009. This year’s theme is Pink Ink ("We write not only about different things; we also write differently"—Brecht.) For contest rules, judging criteria, and an application form, visit the Web site.** Chip Capelli will be reading for a forthcoming Lethe Press gay men’s erotica anthology tentatively entitled Gemini: Twice A Man's Pleasure. As part of a new Zodiac-inspired line of gay erotica, all submissions should address a theme inspired by the specific sign: in this case, Gemini. Stories should be between 2,000 and 6000 words. Submissions will be read from September 2, 2008 through January 2, 2009 and may be sent to: Gemini, PO Box 18070, Philadelphia PA 19147-0070. Email queries and other communication may be made to ZodiacEditor@gmail.com. ** Editor Joseph R.G. DeMarco will be reading for a forthcoming Lethe Press gay men's anthology tentatively entitled A Study in Lavender: Queering Holmes. All stories must be both gay-themed and mysteries set in the Sherlock Holmes mythos, however the character of Sherlock Holmes need not be the focus. Submissions should be between 1,000 words and 8,000 words. Submissions will be read from January 1, 2009 through March 30, 2009. Queries/Submissions to: holmesanthology@gmail.com. ** Editors Sacchi Green and Rakelle Valencia are seeking lesbian cowboy erotica for an anthology to be published by Cleis Press. Deadline is October 31, 2008. Word length is 2000-5000 words. This anthology is a follow up to Rode Hard, Put Away Wet, assembled by the same editors for Suspect Thoughts Press in 2005. Submit manuscripts as Word or RTF attachments to sacchigreen@gmail.com. Editor Ron Jackson Suresha is seeking stories for Bearotica 3: More Hairy Beefy Macho Fiction. Deadline is November 1, 2008. Preferred length: 2500-3500 words. Submission and guideline details can be found at: www.suresha.com/writing/calls/b3_cfs.php.

Passages: Del Martin, the pioneering lesbian rights activist, died August 27, 2008 with her wife, Phyllis Lyon by her bedside. Martin died at a San Francisco hospital two weeks after a broken arm exacerbated her existing health problems, according to Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Martin and Lyon were partners for 55 years. Co-founders in the 1950s of the Daughters of Bilitis, the first national lesbian organization in the United States, they battled homophobia in the National Organization for Women in the 1960s; founded the Lyon-Martin Health Services clinics for lesbians in the 1970s; and in the new millennium, became the first gay couple to be married in San Francisco - twice. Their books Lesbian/Woman and Lesbian Love and Liberation are classics in lesbian literature. In 2003, Joan Biren immortalized their amazing lives in her award-winning documentary No Secret Anymore: the Times of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. Martin and Lyon exchanged vows at San Francisco City Hall on June 16, the first day same-sex couples could legally wed in California, after being together for more than half a century. Mayor Gavin Newsom, who officiated the wedding, singled them out to be the first gay couple to be declared "spouses for life" in the city in recognition of their long relationship and their status as pioneers of the gay rights movement.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

August Publishing Notes

The buzz: Sykes Press in Toronto has just published Delicious: A Memoir of Glenway Wescott by the late Daniel Diamond, a young poet who worked as the personal secretary to the author of The Pilgrim Hawk. This fall St. Martin’s will publish Love Letters of Great Men, edited by Ursula Doyle, the romantic book from the Sex and the City film that didn't exist...until now -- with letters from Robert Browning to Oscar Wilde and others. A special comic of Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel appeared in the 100th issue of Entertainment Weekly, where her memoir Fun Home was listed as number 68 of “new classic” books from the past 25 years. Star of Bravo’s Flipping Out, Jeff Lewis’s Jeff Lewis’s Real Estate Rules will be published by Center Street. Bywater Books will publish addiction recovery counselor Z. Egloff's Verge, a novel of a twenty something gay woman struggling to stay celibate, to stay sober and to get into film school while producing a documentary. Bonnie Shimko’s The Private Thoughts of Amelia E. Rye will be published by Melanie Kroupa Books. John Waters has begun writing a treatment for a sequel to the musical Hairspray. Kinky Boots, the 2006 British comedy about a drag queen who helps save a struggling shoe company, has been acquired for the stage by producers Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig, who plan to turn it into a Broadway musical. Jerry Mitchell, who directed the Broadway adaptation of Legally Blonde, is in talks to direct. Bailiwick Theater of Chicago will be opening its 2008 season with David Brendan Hopes's play, Anna Livia, Lucky in Her Bridges. Bradley Fowler filed a $70 million lawsuit against two Bible publishing companies for intentionally altering scripture to promote homophobia. By inserting the word “homosexual” into I Corinthians 6:9, he says, the publishers intended to design a religious, sacred document to reflect an individual opinion or a group’s conclusion to cause “me or anyone who is a homosexual to endure verbal abuse, discrimination, episodes of hate, and physical violence … including murder.” Fowler also alleges that unsavory edits caused him years of “demoralization, chaos and bewilderment.” Vincent Puglisi has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in 2006 murder of Curious George author Alan Shalleck. Shalleck apparently met Puglisi and his then-boyfriend Rex Ditto on a gay hook-up site. Shalleck’s body was found in February 2006 covered with garbage bags on the driveway of his mobile home. An autopsy found that the 76 year old had been stabbed to death. Brent Rinehart, the Oklahoma County Commissioner, who was running for reelection, reportedly published a 16-page comic book in which a cast of characters battled the ever-worrisome homos. The 16-page comic book made fun of homosexuals and criticized Rinehart’s political opponents. Rinehart was tossed out of office by voters in his district, finishing third in a three-way primary battle. A new Indiana law requiring bookstores and other retailers to register with the state and pay a $250 fee if they sell "sexually explicit" material was thrown out the day it was to take effect by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker. According to the Associated Press, Barker found the law "too broad and said it could be applied against 'unquestionably lawful, nonobscene, nonpornographic materials being sold to adults.'" The state of Indiana will not appeal the ruling, Attorney General Steve Carter announced.

Things to add to your calendar: K.M. Soehnlein and Trebor Healey will participate in the “Passing On the Pen” event on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm in Los Angeles. The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender (GLBT) Historical Society and the Lambda Literary Foundation have joined forces to celebrate the contributions of three generations of GLBT Storytellers. The two organizations will host a series of conversations, entitled "Passing On The Pen," designed to pair some of the pioneers of GLBT literature with today's emerging GLBT storytellers. Each event will be held in the gallery of the GLBT Historical Society from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, and will be free of charge and open to the public. For more information: visit http://www.glbthistory.org/.

Kudos: Kay Ryan, 62, has been announced as the nation's 16th poet laureate. She lives in Marin County with her longtime partner Carol Adair, whom she married in San Francisco in 2004. Judith Barrington’s Lost Lands was the winner of the inaugural Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. Also selected was Steven Riel’s Postcard from P-Town, and Matthew Hittinger’s Platos de Sal.

Open Calls: Swell, a LGBT literary journal (http://www.swellzine.com/), is sponsoring a fiction contest. LGBT writers and their allies are invited to submit well-crafted short fiction on any theme for consideration. Deadline is: September 30, 2008. Complete guidelines are detailed at http://www.newtownwriters.org/. ** The deadline for submission for the premier issue of Collective Fallout, a new literary magazine dedicated to queer-themed sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and mystery fiction and poetry, is December 1, 2008. Visit the blog for more details: http://collectivefalloutmag.blogspot.com/. ** Knockout, a print literary magazine that publishes a 50-50 mix of work by LGBTQ and straight authors, is sponsoring a poetry contest. The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to Powell's Books (redeemable online) and publication of their winning poem in the magazine's third issue. Submissions of up to three poems of any length must be received by August 31, 2008. There is a $5 entry fee per submission. Multiple submissions are allowed. For complete guidelines and for more information about Knockout, visit www.knockoutlit.org/contest.htm.

Passages: Gay science fiction writer Thomas Disch committed suicide July 4, 2008. He was 68. The author of popular sci-fi novels Camp Concentration and 334, Disch had been openly gay since 1968. In recent years Disch’s apartment had devastated by a fire, his partner of more than 30 years, poet Charles Naylor, died, his home in upstate New York flooded; and he faced eviction. He also suffered from diabetes and sciatica. Disch was born in Des Moines in 1940 and moved to New York City to study architecture at New York University, where he worked at several low-paying jobs, including writing copy for an ad firm and carrying a spear at the Metropolitan Opera. He dropped out of the architecture program at the Cooper Union, and then left NYU after he sold a short story for $112.50. Disch also published more than a half dozen books of poetry, a whimsical Child's Garden of Grammar; a history of speculative fiction, The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of; and the Brave Little Toaster series for children.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

July Publishing Notes

The buzz: Greenwood Press will publish a three-volume encyclopedia titled LGBTQ America Today in November 2008. According to an article written by Guy Trebay in The New York Times, the book that pregnant father Thomas Beatie was contracted to write, has been shelved. Simon Spotlight Entertainment will publish Christopher Ciccone's Life With My Sister Madonna, based on his life and forty-seven years of growing up with and working with his sister, written with Wendy Leigh. University of Wisconsin Press will publish The Diva Complex: Gay Men on the Women Who Shaped Their Lives, an anthology edited by Michael Montlack, and including writers such as David Trinidad, Lloyd Schwartz, and Wayne Kostenbaum, paying passionate homage to a wide range of divas — among them Julia Child, Wonder Woman, Virginia Woolf, and Margaret Cho. Keith Stern's Queers in History, a reference book of the hundreds of prominent people throughout history who were gay, lesbian, or bisexual, will be published by BenBella Books. Alyson will publish Out Traveler Atlanta by Jordan McCauley with Matt Burkhalter. Del Ray will publish Michael Thomas Ford's Jane Bites Back, a novel about Jane Austen as a modern-day vampire and her frustration with her inability to get another novel published. Senator Larry Craig has announced that he is writing a book. Savannah Knoop, who played the role of JT Leroy in public, is writing a book about the charade for Seven Stories titled Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT LeRoy. Harmony Books will publish a memoir by Tony winner Patti LuPone, for release in 2010. Novelist Philip Galanes is writing a new etiquette column for The New York Times. Matthew Bourne is choreographing an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray that will premiere in Edinburgh in August. The New York City Opera has commissioned an opera based on "Brokeback Mountain," the Annie Proulx short story that became the basis for the Oscar-winning movie. Charles Wuorinen will compose the opera, which is set to premiere in the spring of 2013. Amazon Bookstore Cooperative in Minneapolis, which had announced plans to close at the end of June has a new owner and will stay in business, according to the Star Tribune. Ruta Skujins, a St. Paul native, will become the first sole owner of the bookshop that was started 38 years ago as a workers' cooperative. OutLoud Bookstore in Nashville has been put up for sale by co-owners Ted Jensen and Kevin Medley. Lambda Literary Foundation now has a MySpace page. The Foundation’s 2nd annual Retreat for Emerging LGBT Writers will be held August 10 - 17, 2008. The Atlanta Queer Literary Festival is set for October 15-19, 2008. For more details visit: http://www.atlqueerlitfest.blogspot.com/. A three part video of the Fellow Travelers project, a collection of images of Gay male liberation pioneers taken by Mark Thompson, can be found on YouTube. Julio Vasconcellos and the online Experience Project, have compiled video, photographic, and written testimonials of the recent gay weddings in California. http://www.experienceproject.com/topics/gay_lesbian.php?r=g1. And Metaversal Village is releasing a new video game based on the 1969 Stonewall Riots.

David, David, and more David: Hachette Book Group USA is offering a digital download of the audiobook version of David Sedaris's new When You Are Engulfed in Flames for sale via their Web site — the first time the company has sold directly to consumers from their site. The Observer noted that the book has been characterized as fiction by Barnes & Noble in their weekly bestseller lists. Sedaris told The New York Times, "I've always been a huge exaggerator, but when I write something, I put it on a scale. And if it's 97% true, I think that's true enough. I'm not going to call it fiction because 3% of it isn't true." Sedaris also brought a crowd of over 500 people to Rainy Day Books in Kansas City, setting a new record at the store for staying power—Sedaris, after reading to fans, stayed and signed books for nine and a half hours.

Events of Note: The Lavender Library: The House of Homosexual Culture, Tuesday July 15, 2008, 7.30 p.m., Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. A special festival event celebrating queer literature. Julian Clary, Dave McAlmont, Andy Bell, Maureen Duffy, Stella Duffy, Paul Burston, Karen Mcleod, and Rupert Smith champion their favorite books, and reveal how they've inspired their life and work. More details here: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/calendar/productions/the-lavender-library-40977. ** Michael Luongo will be conducting a special photo lecture at the Smithsonian Institute on Buenos Aires, Argentina on Thursday July 17, 2008 in Washington, DC. 6:45 p.m. to 9 p.m., The Smithsonian, S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive, SW (near 12th Street, SW). (This location is on the Mall next to the Smithsonian Castle.) Metro: Smithsonian Mall Exit (Blue/Orange) Event Code: CODE: 1M2-370. http://residentassociates.org/ticketing/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=198536.

Kudos: Canadian poet Rachel Zolf received the Trillium book prize for best poetry book for Human Resources. The Trillium Awards, awarded by the Ontario government, is the province's leading award for literature. Robin Blaser received the 2008 Griffin Poetry Prize, the world’s most lucrative poetry award for a single book. Blaser won for his collection The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser, which includes poems written over 50 years. Poet John Ashbery received the international Griffin poetry prize for Notes From the Air: Selected Later Poems. Both awards carry a $50,000 prize. Manuel Muñoz was among the writers awarded a fiction fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Fay Jacobs’ book Fried & True: Tales from Rehoboth Beach won the Delaware Press Association’s 2008 First Place Award for non-fiction humor. Two of her columns from the magazine Letters from Camp Rehoboth were also singled out for prizes. Woof! A Gay Man's Guide to Dogs by Andrew De Prisco was awarded the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Award in the Gay/Lesbian category. Claude J. Summers, general editor of glbtq.com, received the Monette-Horwitz Trust Award at the Lambda Literary Foundation Awards ceremony in West Hollywood, California. The Monette-Horwitz Trust Awards were established in the will of the late novelist Paul Monette to recognize his relationship with the late Roger Horwitz and to honor individuals and organizations for their significant contributions toward eradicating homophobia. The Queer Foundation has announced the recipients of its college scholarships for 2008–2009. They are Christopher Chavez of Phoenix, AZ, Geoffrey Mino of Newtown, PA, and Ericka Sokolower-Shain of Berkeley, CA. Chavez, whose award-winning essay is titled "In or Out," will attend the University of Chicago. Mino's essay is titled "New Youth Rising." He will attend Brown. Sokolower-Shain, who will study at Wesleyan, was recognized for her essay "Beyond the Line." Read more about 2008–2009 recipients at queerfoundation.org.

Golden Crown Finalists: The Golden Crown Literary Society, a literary and educational organization for the study, discussion, enjoyment, and enhancement of lesbian literature will have their 2008 conference in Phoenix, Arizona, from July 31 - August 3, 2008. The Fourth Annual GCLS Literary Awards will be presented on August 2, 2008 at the Wild Horse Pass Resort. Finalists have been announced in eleven categories, including Debut Author, Trailblazer, Popular Choice, Poetry, Dramatic Fiction, Romance, Mystery, Erotica, Speculative Fiction, Anthology, and Short Story, Collection, and can be found on the Society’s Web site: http://www.gclscon.com/2008GCLSAwards-Finalists.html.

Open Calls: Wendell Ricketts, who edited Everything I Have Is Blue, an anthology of writing by working class queers, is seeking fiction, memoir, and poetry submissions for the online Still Blue Project: More Writing By (For or About) Working-Class Queers. Working-class writers of all genders are welcome to submit. There are no limits on subject matter, other than that erotica is not eligible for submission. More details can be found at the Web site: http://www.everythingihaveisblue.com/still_call.html.

Passages: Native American poet, novelist, and scholar Paula Gunn Allen, whose work cleared the path for many Native writers, particularly Native Two-Spirit/GLBTQ folks and Native feminists, died May 29, 2008. She was the author of numerous books and editor of several collections, including Life Is a Fatal Disease: Collected Poems 1962-1995 and The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Her writing was inspired by Pueblo tales and is noted for its strong political streak. Her novel, The Woman Who Owned The Shadows, was published in 1983. The story revolves around Ephanie, a mixed-blood like Allen herself, and her struggle to express herself creatively. Allen was awarded a 2007 Lannan Foundation Fellowship and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writer's Circle of the Americas in 2001. In 2004 she received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for her book Pocahontas: Medicine Woman, Spy, Entrepreneur, Diplomat. ** Jonathan Williams, the founder of the Jargon Society, the small publishing house in the western mountains of North Carolina, died on March 16, 2008 in Highlands, N.C. He was 79 and lived and worked in Scaly Mountain, N.C. The cause was pneumonia. Williams authored more than 25 books during his lifetime. Williams was also an accomplished photographer whose images of writers, artists, gravestones and natural landscapes are housed at Yale University. Williams founded The Jargon Society at age 21 and published 113 books during his lifetime. Guided by his quixotic mission — "To keep afloat the Ark of Culture in these dark and tacky times" — it spotlighted talented but neglected poets, writers and artists, including Charles Olson, Denise Levertov, Guy Davenport, Louis Zukofsky, Paul Metcalf, Mina Loy and Lorine Niedecker. Among his awards were a Guggenheim fellowship and NEA grants. Williams is survived by his partner of 40 years, Thomas Meyer. ** Michael Jon Shernoff, a psychotherapist for more than 30 years, a prodigious writer, a professor, and an LGBT, AIDS, and environmental activist, died on June 17, 2008 at his home in New York City at the age of 57. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer, according to his partner of nine years, John Goodman. Gay City News reported that Shernoff published more than 60 articles, mostly related to mental health issues involving gay men, sexuality, and mental health. He edited seven anthologies, including Gay Widowers: Life After the Death of a Partner. In 2006, Routledge published Shernoff's book, Without Condoms: Unprotected Sex, Gay Men and Barebacking. Donations in his memory can be made to the LGBT Community Center, 208 West 13th Street, New York 10011; The Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, Virginia, 22203; and Lambda Legal, 120 Wall Street, Suite 1500, New York 10005.

Friday, May 30, 2008

June Publishing Notes

The buzz: St. Martin’s Press will publish Thomas Beatie’s memoir, Love Makes A Family: A Memoir of Hardship, Healing and an Extraordinary Pregnancy, about the author’s transformation from a girl scout and beauty queen to a legal and recognized man with a black belt in marital arts and a loving wife — and their controversial decision to have Thomas — who underwent gender reassignment surgery but kept his female reproductive organs — get pregnant and carry their child. Book packager LifeTime Media will start their own publishing program with Pressure Is A Privilege: Lessons I’ve Learned from Live and the Battle of the Sexes by tennis legend Billie Jean King. In the fall of 2009, Doubleday will publish Joseph Papp and Kenneth Turan’s Free For All, the definitive oral history of The New York Shakespeare Festival and the Public Theater. Gival Press will publish Chip Livingston’s poetry collection, The Museum of False Starts. Lethe Press is reissuing Salvatore Sapienza’s novel, Seventy Times Seven. Cambridge House will publish in the fall of 2009 Jeffrey Duban's Sappho of Lesbos: Contemporary Translations in Archaic Greek Love Lyric, a translation of poems and fragments by Sappho and her contemporaries, with detailed introductions, poem-by-poem commentary, and incisive discussion of the art of translation. JoSelle Vanderhooft's The Memory Palace, a growing up gay memoir structured around the Renaissance mnemonic device of a building with rooms populated by thoughts and objects, will be published in January 2009. And Tango Makes Three, the 2005 picture book that features a baby penguin with two dads, held the top spot as the American Library Association's most challenged book in public schools and libraries for the second year in a row. Author Chuck Palahniuk gave a revealing interview to Austin Bunn for the Advocate, which is available online at the magazine’s Web site. Author Anne Rice donated an authentic Chinese wedding dress for a special ebay auction to benefit the Lambda Literary Foundation and its Retreat for Emerging LGBT Writers. Jim McDonough’s popular Web site Queerwriters.com has migrated to a Ning community. Sapphic Planet, a group for authors who write lesbian fiction, now has a Web site, a MySpace and Glee page. New York’s LGBT film festival, NewFest is showing film adaptations of Sarah Waters' Affinity and Jim Grimsley's Dream Boy. Wayne Hoffman’s short story “Sucker,” an excerpt from his novel Hard, has been adapted into a short film, and is also having its NYC premiere at the festival as part of a program of sexy short films called “Sweat.” Sigourney Weaver has signed to star in a Lifetime movie adaptation of Leroy Aaron’s Prayers for Bobby, about a devout Christian woman who questions her faith after her gay son commits suicide. And Nicole Kidman will play singer Dusty Springfield in a movie being written by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham.

Things to add to your calendar: Queer Women Reading Poetry, hosted by Alix Olson at the Leslie/Lohman Gallery, June 12 at 6:30 pm, 26 Wooster Street, NYC. Poets include Sini Anderson, Kate Broad, Cheryl Burke, Staceyann Chinn, r. erica doyle, Stephanie Gray, Tracy Grinnell, Sue Landers, Sara marcus, Marty McConnell, Lenelle Moise and Elizabeth Redddin. A limited edition chapbook containing work from the poets scheduled to read will be available for purchase. ** That's Revolting!: Radical queer activism — past, present, and future. Thursday, June 5, 6pm, San Francisco Main Library Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room (downstairs), 100 Larkin Street. With Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore and Carol Queen, Bo Brown, Ralowe T. Ampu, Tommi Avicolli Mecca, Eric Stanley, and Gina de Vries. ** This is the Thing by Kirk Read, an evening of stories about sex work, hallucinations and the apocalypse, with music by Jeffrey Alphonsus Mooney, video by Liz Singer, props and design by Doug Hansen and Kirk Read, at the Garage, 975 Howard @ 6th Street, San Francisco, June 10-14, 2008 Tuesday through Saturday, 8pm. Tickets: $12-15, 1-800-838-3006.

Kudos: Author, editor and journalist Michael T. Luongo was awarded the Reporting Award at the Society for Professional Journalist's New York Deadline Club Awards for his November 2007 story “Our Man in Baghdad,” which was published in the New York City weekly Gay City News. The story focuses on the hidden gay life in Iraq, with Luongo meeting some of the hundreds of Iraqi men with Gaydar profiles, both to his and their great peril. ** Ken Anderson was the winner of the 2008 Saints & Sinners Playwriting Contest for Someone Bought the House on the Island. ** IPPY Awards (Independent Publisher Book Awards) in the Gay/Lesbian category went to: Gold: First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far), ed. Richard Labonté and Lawrence Schimel, Silver: Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire, by Lisa M. Diamond, and Bronze: The Brides of March, by Beren de Motier; Carnal Sacraments, by Perry Brass; A Hint of Homosexuality? by Bruce H. Joffe. A Gold Award in the Erotica category went to Erotic Interludes 5: Road Games, edited by Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman. A Gold Award went to Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend, by Carrie Jones in the Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction category.

Lamba Literary Winners: LGBT ANTHOLOGY: First Person Queer, edited by Richard Labonté and Lawrence Schimel ; LGBT ARTS & CULTURE: The View From Here by Matthew Hays; LGBT CHILDREN'S/YOUNG ADULT: Hero by Perry Moore; LGBT DRAMA/THEATER: Return to the Caffe Cino, edited by Steve Susoyev and George Birimisa; LGBT EROTICA: Homosex, Simon Sheppard; LGBT NONFICTION: Gay Artists in Modern American Culture, Michael S. Sherry; LGBT POETRY: Blackbird and Wolf, Henri Cole; LGBT SCI-FI/FANTASY/HORROR: The Dust of Wonderland, Lee Thomas; LGBT STUDIES: Between Women, Sharon Marcus; BISEXUAL: Split Screen, Brett Hartinger; TRANSGENDER: Transparent, Cris Beam; LESBIAN DEBUT FICTION: Among Other Things, I've Taken Up Smoking, Aoibheann Sweeney; GAY DEBUT FICTION: A Push and a Shove, Christopher Kelly; WOMEN'S FICTION: The IHOP Papers, Ali Leibegott; WOMEN'S ROMANCE: Out of Love, KG MacGregor; WOMEN'S MYSTERY: Wall of Silence, Gabrielle Goldsby; WOMEN'S MEMOIR/BIOGRAPHY: And Now We Are Going to Have a Party, Nicola Griffith; MEN'S FICTION: Call Me By Your Name, Andre Aciman; MEN's ROMANCE: Changing Tides, Michael Thomas Ford; MEN's MYSTERY: Murder in the Rue Chartres, Greg Herren; MEN'S MEMOIR/BIOGRAPHY: Mississippi Sissy, Kevin Sessums.

Open Calls: New Town Writers is sponsoring the Swell Fiction Contest. Deadline is September 30, 2008 for unpublished stories of up to 5000 words. There is an $8 entry fee. For more details visit http://www.swellzine.com/. ** Felice Newman, author of The Whole Lesbian Sex Book, is looking for lesbian, bisexual and queer women couples who have you been together for more than five years for research for a new sex guide for lesbian couples. Confidential interviews (via telephone) will be done with couples who enjoy a satisfying sexual relationship. Inquiries can be sent to felice@felicenewman.com. ** Subaru and the Logo Channel are teaming up to produce a series of short portrait documentaries called “Real Momentum Profiles,” featuring Subaru owners. The producers are seeking gay men and women who own Subarus. Singles and couples are encouraged to submit a photograph along with a short questionnaire available from subarulogocasting@gmail.com.

Passages: Nuala O'Faolain, author and former Irish Times columnist, died of lung cancer on May 9, 2008 at the age of 68 in Dublin. She had been living in County Clare and New York City. She was the author of the 1996 memoir, Are You Somebody?, an unblinking and unsentimental description of Irish life in the 1940s and '50s. ** Robert Rauschenberg, whose use of odd and everyday articles earned him a reputation as a pioneer in pop art but whose talents spanned the worlds of painting, sculpture, and dance, died May 12, 2008. He was 82. Rauschenberg, born in 1925, met Jasper Johns in 1954. He and the younger artist became lovers and influenced each other's work. According to the book Lives of the Great 20th Century Artists, Rauschenberg told biographer Calvin Tomkins that ''Jasper and I literally traded ideas. He would say, 'I've got a terrific idea for you,' and then I'd have to find one for him.'' In recent years Rauschenberg founded the organization Change Inc., which helps struggling artists pay medical bills.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

May Publishing Notes

The buzz: PlanetOut, Inc. announced that it was selling its magazine and book publishing businesses -- including The Advocate, Out, and Alyson Books -- to Regent Releasing for $6 million. Regent is an affiliate of the Here! cable network. Film director Stephen Daldry, who arrives on Broadway with a musical version of his film Billy Elliot, has expressed interest in adapting another one of his films, The Hours, based on Michael Cunningham’s novel, into an opera. Musician Rufus Wainwright has been commissioned to write an opera by the New York Metropolitan Opera. Ang Lee and Focus Features are planning a feature film based on the gay-themed memoir Taking Woodstock, by Elliot Tiber with Tom Monte. A paperback tie in with the movie, expected in 2009, will also coincide with the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. Tony-winner (Take Me Out) Richard Greenberg’s new play, The Injured Party, debuted last month in Los Angeles at South Coast Repertory. Harper Perennial will publish a new collection of short fiction by Dennis Cooper, Ugly Man, in the Summer of 2009. Knopf will publish Emma Donoghue's Lesbian Plots: From Geoffrey Chaucer to Sarah Waters. Ballantine will publish Rita Mae Brown's Pure Gold, a memoir about the animals in the author’s life. Performance artist Terry Galloway's Mean Little Deaf Queer, about being gay and disabled, will be published by Beacon Press in the Spring of 2009. Beacon will also publish Kate Clinton’s untitled book project in the Spring of 2009. Patrick Conlon's The Essential Hospital Handbook will be published by Yale University Press in the Spring of 2009. Atlantic Books will publish Edmund White's biography Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel. Bowen Press, the young adult division of HarperCollins, will publish Tom Dolby's Secret Society, about a group of Manhattan teens who are inducted into an elite secret society headquartered on the Upper East Side, in the Summer of 2009. Editors Vince Liaguno and Chad Helder are revealing the table of contents of their new queer-themed horror anthology Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet one day at a time during the month of May on their Web site for Dark Scribe Magazine. King & King, a children’s picture book with positive gay role models, was withdrawn from two British elementary schools under pressure from Muslim parents. Activist and author Larry Kramer sent a critical letter to the head of the literary organization PEN American Center blasting the association for featuring few LGBT authors at an international literature festival it hosted. Kramer also took aim at PEN Board member Michael Cunningham. Rob Weisbach is stepping down as President and CEO of Weinstein Books to pursue other publishing opportunities. Keith Kahla, who has been at St. Martin’s Press for 20 years, has been promoted to Executive Editor. Longtime New Yorker Charles Flowers is relocating to Los Angeles along with establishing a west coast beachhead of the Lambda Literary Foundation. Playwright Robert Patrick is honoring the life of Joe Cino, owner of former Caffe Cino, with a solid bronze plaque to be mounted on the site of the Caffe, now the home of Po Restaurant at 31 Cornelia Street in New York. Fifty years ago Joe Cino rented a storefront in New York City’s Greenwich Village in order to open a coffee house, which eventually morphed into what is now regarded as the birthplace of the Off Off Broadway movement and the American Gay Theatre Movement. Rapture Café & Books in the East Village in New York closed April 24, 2008. The store will continue to host reading events at other locations. Owners Jim Deva and Bruce Smyth of Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium in Vancouver, who challenged Canada’s Customs agents and censorship laws, has put the bookstore up for sale. Michael Walker and the DREAMWalker Group are now producing a regular newsletter of interest to LGBT writers and is open for submissions and suggestions. Visit the Web site at http://www.dreamwalkergroup.com/ for more details. The New York Public Library now has a LGBT blog at http://lgbt.nypl.org/.

Things to add to your calendar: The 20th Lambda Literary Awards ceremony will be held May 29, 2008 in West Hollywood, on the eve of Book Expo’s opening weekend in Los Angeles. Michael Corbett will be master of ceremonies and guest presenters include Bernard Cooper, Felice Picano, Torie Osborn, Michael Nava, Lillian Faderman, Chad Allen, Peter Paige, Denise Penn, Anne Stockwell, and Calpernia. Guest performers will be the Gay Men’s Chorus, Tim Miller, and the Gay Mafia. ** Gayfest NYC, a festival of new plays and musicals, will run from May 14 to June 15, 2008. ** The annual Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans will be May 8 – 11, 2008. ** The Second Tuesday Lecture Series on May 13 at the LGBT Center in New York City will feature writers Perry Brass, Laura Antoniou and Michael Luongo discussing "The Literature of Porn."

Kudos: Martin Duberman was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography for The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein and Alex Ross was a finalist in the General Nonfiction category for The Rest Is Noise. Making the New York Public Library’s list of 25 books to remember from 2007 were Hotel de Dream by Edmund White and The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt. Maureen Brady, Joan Larkin, Stephen McCauley, and Tim Miller will be inducted into the Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame at this year’s Literary Festival in New Orleans. Also to be announced are the winners of the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists’ Prize – an unrestricted cash grant of $5,000 established by Jim Duggins. This year’s honorees are Michelle Tea and Ronald L. Donaghe. Gaylaxicon 2009 will be October 9-11, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Margaret Weis, Andy Mangels, and Lawrence Schimel will be the guests of honor.

Publishing Triangle Nods: Joan Larkin was presented The Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry for My Body. There was a tie for The Thom Gunn Award for Gay Male Poetry. The winners were Steve Fellner for Blind Date with Cavafy and Daniel Hall for Under Sleep . Myriam Gurba received The Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction for Dahlia Season. The Ferro Grumley Awards for LGBT Fiction were presented to Peter Cameron for Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You and Ali Liebegott for The IHOP Papers. Janet Malcolm was presented The Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction for Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice. Michael Rowe received The Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction for Other Men's Sons. The Publishing Triangle Leadership Award was presented to Richard Labonté and Carol Seajay. Katherine V. Forrest received The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Open Calls: GotCast.com is casting a new game show titled My Gay BFF, about the friendships between straight women and their gay best friends. Visit the Web site for more details and audition information.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Publishing Notes

The buzz: Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City is becoming a theatrical musical. Avenue Q book writer Jeff Whitty and Scissor Sisters bandmates Jason Sellards and John Garden are penning the musical, due on Broadway during the 2009-10 season. Gayfest NYC will present their opening gala benefit event on April 14, 2008 with Leslie Jordan’s one man act, My Trip Down the Pink Carpet. Proceeds will go to the Harvey Milk High School. BBC is turning Simon Doonan’s memoir, Nasty: My Family and Other Glamorous Varmints, into the television show Beautiful People. The PEN American Center is trying to get Sebastian Horsley allowed on U.S. soil. The British writer, who wrote the memoir Dandy in the Underworld, was barred from entering the country on the grounds of "moral turpitude" after landing in Newark on March 18. Author John Rechy, author of the legendary City of Night, marks fifty years with Grove Press with About My Life and the Kept Woman. Harmony Books will publish Wade Rouse’s The Faux Thoreau: A City Boy Battles Blizzards, Wrestles Raccons and Cuts Cable in a Quest for his Modern-Day Walden Pond. Author Lewis DeSimone has launched a new blog: http://sexandthesissy.wordpress.com/. Bookazine has acquired the assets of the book distribution division of Publishers Distributing Company, part of the PlanetOut media company. Among the publishers affected by the sale are Bruno Gmunder Verlag, Starbooks Press, Colt Studio, and Douglas Simonson Press. Julia Pastore has started a new lesbian reading group. Contact her at jpastore@randomhouse.com if interested in joining.

Poetry in Ireland Continues: Pinknews.co.uk reported that The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) in Ireland said that works by Cathal O’Searcaigh, a poet accused of sexually exploiting young men in Nepal, will continue to be taught in schools. Education Minister Mary Hanafin has been advised by the council: "On balance, the Council considered that its original position on the artistic merit and suitability for study of the work of Cathal O'Searcaigh should stand." O’Searcaigh, whose Irish language works are taught at Leaving Certificate, the equivalent of A Level, had been accused of the "sexual exploitation and grooming" of 16 year old Nepalese boys. Allegations about the poet's relationship with the young boys surfaced after the screening of Fairytale of Kathmandu, a documentary on Mr Searcaigh's charitable work in Nepal made by a former friend of his. The poet wrote a letter denouncing the accusations, saying: "If my gay lifestyle and relationships in Nepal have offended anyone, I am sorry. But to suggest that I in any way coerced or preyed upon these young men is untrue and distasteful. My relationships in Nepal have always been open and loving and above board." Opposition education spokesman Brian Hayes challenged Ms Hanafin on the "appropriateness or otherwise" of having the work on the current syllabus. The minister - who recently had to defend her actions in helping Mr Searcaigh secure a visa to Ireland for a Nepalese friend - said she was "shocked and appalled" by the allegations.

Kudos: David Leavitt was named a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for his novel, The Indian Clerk. Leslea Newman has been selected Poet Laureate of Northhampton, Massachusetts.

And The Nominees Are: Katharine Forrest will be presented with the Publishing Triangle’s Bill Whitehead Lifetime Achievement Award. The awards -- including the Ferro-Grumley Fiction Awards, The Shilts-Grahn Nonfiction Awards, The Lorde-Gunn Poetry Awards, The Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, and The Publishing Triangle Leadership Award -- will be announced on April 28, 2008 at the Tishman Auditorium at the New School in Greenwich Village, New York City. For a list of the nominated books, visit the Publishing Triangle’s Web site.

The 20th Lambda Literary Awards will be presented Thursday, May 29, 2008 at the Silver Screen Theater, Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, CA. Ann Bannon, Malcolm Boyd, and Mark Thompson will receive Pioneer Awards. Nominations in the 21 literary categories can be found on the Foundation’s Web site.

Open Calls: Limp Wrist, a new literary journal, is accepting fiction and poetry submissions. The first issue will be this spring. More details can be found at http://www.limpwristmag.com/. ** Seven Kitchens Press is accepting submissions for the Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. Deadline is May 15, 2008. More details can be found at http://sevenkitchens.blogspot.com/.

Passages: Sir Arthur C. Clarke died March 18, 2008 at the age of 90 in Sri Lanka. He was the author of more than 100 books, among them Childhood’s End and The Sentinel, which was made into the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Clarke was never open about his homosexuality. In his later years, he was fond of saying, "At my age, now I'm just a little bit cheerful." With the stipulation that they not be published until 50 years after his death, his "Clarkives," a vast collection of private writings, is expected to reveal his homosexuality, even though it's a widely accepted fact among the author's fans.