RBF5_Appearances Bios

Julian Earl Farris
Fifty years ago, three hundred teachers and students in Florida vanished. No storm troopers. No mass graves. Who were they? Just wasted lives from blackmail, coercion, entrapment—tactics of state senator Charlie Johns and his covert investigations of homosexuals in Florida’s universities. The Sin Warriors is a novel inspired by those actual events. Character David Ashton has struggled for self-acceptance and identity his entire life. At the university, his sexual awakening and bonding with his gay professor places them in the crosshairs of state senator Billy Sloat, an ambitious, country politician obsessed with ridding the university of subversives—homosexuals, blacks, alleged communists—and questions are raised about corrupt politicians and their abuse of power to further their own prejudices and limited understanding of what it is to be human.
Julian Earl Farris earned his M. A. in English and Humanities at Florida State University and afterward taught humanities, became an avid sailor, environmentalist and animal rights advocate and resides in Jacksonville, Florida with his life partner and their two rescue cats, Bubba and Annie. He is working on his second novel, Families and Other Strangersyoutube.com/TheSinWarriors

David Leddick is an author, playwright and actor, and a contributor to The Huffington Post. He has 24 books published: many photography books about the male nude (including one of Taschen’s top-ten bestsellers, The Male Nude), and the second edition of In the Spirit of Miami Beach (Assouline).  He has published six novels (including My Worst Date and The Sex Squad), and a biography on art figures from the 1930s and 1940s. Leddick’s next book, The Beauty of Men Never Dies will be published by The University of Wisconsin Press in June 2013.
He was born in 1930, and after graduating from the University of Michigan served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He was at Bikini Atoll during the hydrogen bomb testing. Leddick moved to New York in the 1950s, and was a ballet dancer. He was with the Metropolitan Opera’s ballet corps where he appeared onstage with great divas such as Maria Callas. Leddick has worked in advertising as the Worldwide Creative Director for Revlon in New York, and as International Creative Director for L’Oreal in Paris, through the 1970s and 1980s. He created some of the Mad Men era’s era’s most iconic beauty campaigns, including the still famous TV commercial for the Jontue fragrance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDsPLNT2qq0.
He began a new career at the age of 65 as a writer. Resuming his theater career at the age of 70, he has written the scripts and lyrics for a number of musicals as well as plays he has performed throughout the U.S. and South America. Leddick is currently working on a new Off-Broadway musical in New York titled Rentboy: The Musical.
The author’s latest book Gorgeous Gallery is a bold collection of homoerotic art published by Bruno Gmunder in 2012. Now in his 80s and living in Miami Beach, Leddick writes about reporting back from what calls the “uncharted territory of aging.”  He considers living in his 80s to be the new late middle-age: “After dating, relationships and living life to the fullest through my 70s, I feel like I have gone out into a desert from which no one has reported back. I call everyone who is over 65 a Sextennial,” says Leddick. “We are all going to share this rich experience of the last third of our lives—a productive and exciting time which has never existed historically before.”

Lesléa Newman
Lesléa Newman is the author of 60 books including A Letter to Harvey Milk, Nobody’s Mother, Hachiko Waits, Write from the Heart, The Boy Who Cried Fabulous, The Best Cat in the World, and Heather Has Two Mommies. Recent projects include October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, a cycle of 68 poems that explores the imapct of Matthew Shepard’s murder upon the world (Candlewick Press, 2012); A Sweet Passover, a picture book that stars a little girl named Miriam who, by the last day of Passover is “sick, sick, sick of matzo” (Abrams, 2012); I Remember: Hachiko Speaks, a chapbook of poems written from the point of view of Japan’s famous Akita who waited ten years for his master’s return (Finishing Line Press, 2012); and A Kiss on the Keppie, a picture book about a little boy who gets kisses from all family members (including his puppy, Dreidel) all day long (Amazon Children’s Publishing, 2012).
She is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including  Poetry Fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Highlights for Children Fiction Writing Award, the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement, and three Pushcart Prize Nominations. Nine of her books have been Lambda Literary Award finalists.

Sarah Schulman
Sarah Schulman is a novelist, essayist, playwright, teacher, and activist. She is the author of ten novels: The Cosmopolitans (forthcoming), The Mere Future (2009), The Child (2007), Shimmer (1998), Rat Bohemia (1995), Empathy (1992), People In Trouble (1990), After Delores (1988), Girls, Visions and Everything (1986), and The Sophie Horowitz Story (1984); and five nonfiction books: Israel/Palestine and the Queer International (Fall, 2012), The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost ImaginationTies That Behind: Familial Homophobia and its Consequences (2009), Stagestruck: Theatre, Aids and the Marketing of Gay America (1998) and My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During the Reagan/Bush Years (1995).
Her plays include Carson McCullers, published by Playscripts Inc. (Sundance/Playwrights Horizons), Manic Flight Reaction (NY Stage and Film/Playwrights Horizons), and Enemies, A Love Story, adapted from IB Singer (Wilma Theater).
In film Sarah has collaborated with director Cheryl Dunye on The Owls, 2010 Berlin Film Festival, and Mommy Is Coming, Berlin Film Festival 2012. She is co-producer, with Jim Hubbard of United In Anger: A History of Act Up, which had its US premiere at The Museum of Modern Art and International Premiere at Al-Mahtta Gallery in Ramallah, Palestine. She is a Distinguished Professor at the College of Staten Island, CUNY.

Emanuel Xavier: An Equality Forum GLBT History Month Icon, Emanuel Xavier is an award-winning NYC based spoken word artist of Ecuadorian/Puerto Rican heritage best known for his appearances on Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry on HBO.  As a former homeless gay teen, he has staged many benefits for queer youth and is a longtime activist.   His poetic manifesto from 1997, Pier Queen, was officially published last year along with a revised edition of his poetry collection, Americano: Growing up Gay and Latino in the USA.  He is also author of If Jesus Were Gay & other poems, the novel Christ Like and editor of Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry and Me No Habla With Acento: Contemporary Latino Poetry. His work also appears in the books For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough and Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay based on the popular blog.  His new poetry collection, Nefarious, will be published Fall 2013 by Rebel Satori Press. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6qnSbvKdA8

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