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

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 (, 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 ** 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: ** 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

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.