Monthly Archives: March 2009

So, apparently, people don’t think poetry is cool.


Shout Out: Best African-American Essays 2009

For some reason, it’s hard for me to write about how much I enjoy the debut edition of Best African- American Essays without lamenting the cancellation of NPR’s News & Notes. Forgive me for the aside, but there is a connection here. News & Notes, hosted by Farai Chideya was more than a radio news program aimed at the African-American community. By bringing in experts from all over the political and cultural continuum – bloggers, politicians, entertainers, and journalists – the show demonstrated the diversity of issues pertaining to being African-American in this day and age. Unfortunately, in December 2008, NPR announced that News & Notes would be cancelled due to “insufficient levels of audience listeners and the lack of national underwriting.” Of course, in some ways we can  find consolation in the idea that where one door closes another opens and this wonderful anthology of essays is one hell of a door opener. (As if one door is enough.)

Guest edited by Debra J. Dickerson with Gerald Early as the series editor, the anthlogy presents essays on everything from Jamaica Kincaids thoughts on Daffodils to Mark Anthony Neals meditation on pain’s place in music. Yes, the writers are African-American. Yes, some of the essays deal with “race” as an issue. But much like News & Notes, the anthology recognizes that black folks have a LOT to talk about. If you would like to be reminded that there really is a myriad of contemporary black essayists – buy this book immediately. If you would like to be believe there is such a thing as “one black voice” – buy this book immediately and be proven wrong.

2009 Lambda Literary Award Nominees


Open, Jenny Block, Seal Press
Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love & Desire,
Lisa M. Diamond, Harvard University Press
The Bishop’s Daughter, Honor Moore, W.W. Norton
Kinsey Zero Through Sixty: Bisexual Perspectives on Kinsey, Ron Jackson Suresha, Taylor & Francis Journals
Rimbaud, Edmund White, Atlas & Company


10,000 Dresses, Marcus Ewert & Rex Ray, Seven Stories Press
Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word), Thea Hillman, Manic D Press
Two Truths and a Lie, Scott Schofield, Homofactus Press
Boy with Flowers, Ely Shipley, Barrow Street Press
Transgender History, Susan Stryker, Seal Press


A Casulty of War: Gay Short Fiction, Peter Burton, Arcadia Books
Live Through This, edited by Sabrina Chapadjiev, Seven Stories Press
Love, West Hollywood, edited by Chris Freeman and James J. Berg, Alyson
Our Caribbean, edited by Thomas Glave, Duke University Press
Big Trips: More Good Gay Travel Writing, edited by Raphael Kadushin, University of Wisconsin Press


Hit the Road, Manny: A Manny Files Novel, Christian Burch, Simon and Schuster
Out of the Pocket, Bill Konigsberg, Dutton
How They Met & Other Stories, David Levithan, Knopf Children’s Books
Mousetraps, Pat Schmetz, Carolrhoda Books
What They Always Tell Us, Martin Wilson, Random House Children’s Books
Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story, Ellen Wittlinger, Simon and Schuster


Phi Alpha Gamma, Dan Bernitt, Sawyer House
Radical Acts: Collected Political Plays, Martin Duberman, The New Press
The Second Coming of Joan of Arc, Carolyn Gage, Outskirts Press
Two Truths and a Lie, Scott Schofield, Homofactus Press
Vile Affections, Vanda, Original Works Publishing


Me as Her Again, Nancy Agabian, Aunt Lute Books
If I Could Write This in Fire, Michelle Cliff, Univ of Minnesota Press
Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Laws in America 1861-2003, William N. Eskridge Jr, Penguin Group
Beyond (Straight & Gay) Marriage, Nancy Polikoff, Beacon Press
Loving The Difficult, Jane Rule, Hedgerow Press
Drifting Toward Love, Kai Wright, Beacon Press


The Archer’s Heart, Astrid Amara, Blind Eye Books
The Magician and the Fool, Barth Anderson, Bantam Del Rey
Wilde Stories 2008, Steve Berman, Lethe Press
Sea, Swallow Me and Other Stories, Craig Gidney, Lethe Press
Turnskin, Nicole Kimberling, Blind Eye Books


Tomboys: A Literary & Cultural History, Michelle Ann Abate, Temple University Press
The Dividends of Dissent: How Conflict and Culture Work in Lesbian and Gay Marches on Washington, Amin Ghaziani, The University of Chicago Press
Criminal Intimacy: Prison and the Uneven History of Modern American Sexuality, Regina Kunzel, The University of Chicago Press
Political Manhood: Red Bloods, Mollycoddles, & & the Politics of Progressive Reform, Kevin P. Murphy, Columbia University Press
Screening Sex, Linda Williams, Duke University Press


Red Audrey & the Roping, Jill Malone, Bywater Books
Passing for Black, Linda Villarosa, Kensington
Closer to Fine, Meri Weiss, Kensington
Love Does Not Make Me Gentle or Kind, Chavisa Woods, Fly by Night Press
The Bruise, Magdalena Zurawski, Fiction Collective Two/University of Alabama Press


Lipstick on Her Collar, Sacchi Green and Rakelle Valencia, Pretty Things Press
Periphery: Erotic Lesbian Futures, Lynne Jamneck, Lethe Press
In Deep Waters 2: Cruising the Strip, Radclyffe and Karen Kallmaker, Bold Strokes Books


The Slow Fix, Ivan E. Coyole, Arsenal Pulp Press
The Sealed Letter, Emma Donoghue, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Map of Ireland, Stephanie Grant, Scribner
All the Pretty Girls, Chandra Mayor, Conundrum Press
Breaking Spirit Bridge, Ruth Perkinson, Spinsters Ink


Wrestling with the Angel of Democracy, Susan Griffin,
Shambhala Publications
Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word), Thea Hillman, Manic D Press
Sex Variant Woman, Joanne Passet, Da Capo
Sex Talks to Girls: A Memoir, Maureen Seaton, University of Arkansas Press
Case of a Lifetime, Abbe Smith, Palgrave Macmillan


Blind Faith, Diane and Jacob Anderson-Minshall, Bold Strokes Books
Whacked, Josie Gordon, Bella Books
Sweet Poison, Ellen Hart, St. Martin’s Press
Losers Weepers, Jessica Thomas, Bella Books
Calling the Dead, Ali Vali, Bold Strokes Books


Interpretive Work, Elizabeth Bradfield, Arktoi / Red Hen Press
Kissing Dead Girls, Daphne Gottlieb, Soft Skull Press
love belongs to those who do the feeling, Judy Grahn, Red Hen Press
Same Life, Maureen N. McLane, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Two Minutes of Light, Nancy K. Pearson, Perugia Press


Finding Home, Georgia Beers, Bold Stroked Books
A Pirate’s Heart, Catherine Friend, Bold Strokes Books
The Kiss That Counted, Karin Kallmaker, Bella Books
Hotel Liaison, JLee Meyer, Bold Strokes Books
The Lonely Hearts Club, Radclyffe, Bold Strokes Books


Shuck, Daniel Allen Cox, Arsenal Pulp Press
Light Fell, Evan Fallenberg, Soho Press
The Screwed-Up Life of Charlie The Second, Drew Ferguson, Kensington
The Steve Machine, Mike Hoolboom, Coach House Books
Finlater, Shawn Ruff, Quote Editions


Best Gay Erotica 2009, Richard Labonte & James Lear, Cleis Press
The Secret Tunnel, James Lear, Cleis Press
Hard Working Men, William Maltese, Victor J. Banis, Jardonn Smith, & J.P. Bowie, MLR Press


Stray Dog Winter, David Francis, Macadam/Cage Publishing
The Torturer’s Wife, Thomas Glave, City Light Publishers
We Disappear, Scott Heim, HarperCollins
The Conversion, Joseph Olshan, St. Martin’s Press
The Boomerang Kid, Jay Quinn, Alyson


Bringing Him Home, Aaron Cooper, Late August Press
Swish, Joel Derfner, Broadway Books
Assisted Loving, Bob Morris, HarperCollins
Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love, Sheila Rowbotham, Verso Books
King of Shadows, Aaron Shurin, City Lights Publishers


The Fisher Boy, Stephen Anable, Poisoned Pen Press
Sundowner Ubuntu, Anthony Bidulka, Insomniac Press
Mahu Fire, Neil Plakcy, Alyson Books
First You Fall, Scott Sherman, Alyson Books
Spider Season, John Morgan Wilson, St. Martin’s Press


Want, Rick Barot, Sarabande Press
Please, Jericho Brown, New Issues
Fire to Fire, Mark Doty, HarperCollins
Now You’re the Enemy, James Allen Hall, Univ. of Arkansas Press
My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer, Jack Spicer, edited by Peter Gizzi & Kevin Killian, Wesleyan University Press


Mexican Heat, Laura Baumbach & Josh Lanyon, MLR Press
Got ’til it’s Gone, Larry Duplechan, Arsenal Pulp Press
The Protector, N.L. Gassert, Seventh Window Publications

Thank Goodness That’s Over…


I’ll be honest.   The above picture really has no relation to anything in this post. I saw it the other day and am still creeped out.  I don’t want to suffer alone. Look at it and join me in horror. On the bright side, any and all references to Dubya’s kisses are past tense.

Kudos to the city of Montclair for making a bid to save the Dodge Poetry Festival!

“We can save this festival,” said Hartnett, who will give the Dodge team a tour of the downtown next week. “The Dodge is a festival of national if not international re nown. We consider ourselves among the premier arts communities in New Jersey … and we want to build on that.”

In January, the foundation announced it would not present the 2010 festival because the recent market meltdown caused its net assets to drop by one-third, to about $210 million.

Also, kudos to Claire Watkins, a 24 year old MFA Student at the Ohio State University ,who’s essay “Keeping It in the Family” currently appears in Granta online. The first two sentences are a whopper:

My father first came to Death Valley because Charles Manson told him to. He always did what Charlie said; that was what it meant to be in The Family.

Read it and weep.