RBF5_Panelist Bios

From Poetry to Prose & Back   1:00-2:15     Renaissance Room A
Lesléa Newman is the author of more than 60 books including the novel In Every Laugh a Tear, the short story collection A Letter to Harvey Milk, the poetry collection Nobody’s Mother, the novels-in-verse Still Life with Buddy, and October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, and the children’s books Donovan’s Big Day, The Boy Who Cried Fabulous, and Heather Has Two Mommies. Nine of her books have been Lambda Literary Award finalists. A past poet laureate of Northampton, MA, she is a faculty member of Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing program.

Alfred Corn’s tenth book of poems, titled Tables, appeared in January with Press53.  He has also published a novel, titled Part of His Story and two collections of essays. A second novel, Miranda’s Book, is scheduled for publication in the U.K. next year. He has received the Guggenheim fellowship, the NEA, an Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters, and one from the Academy of American Poets. He has taught at Yale, Columbia, and UCLA. Pentameters Theatre in London staged his play Lowell’s Bedlam in the spring of 2011. In 2012, he was a Visiting Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, preparing a translation of Rilke’s Duino Elegies and returned as a Life Fellow in 2013.

Trebor Healey  Recipient of the 2004 Ferro-Grumley and Violet Quill awards for his first novel, Through It Came Bright Colors (Harrington Park Press), Trebor Healey is the author of a collection of poems, Sweet Son of Pan, (Suspect Thoughts, 2006), as well as a short story collection, A Perfect Scar & Other Stories (Harrington Park Press, 2007).  He co-edited (with Marci Blackman) Beyond Definition: New Writing from Gay and Lesbian San Francisco (Manic D Press, 1994) and co-edited (with Amie M. Evans) Queer & Catholic (Routledge, 2008). His novels Faun (Lethe Press) and A Horse Named Sorrow (University of Wisconsin Press) were released in October.  treborhealey.com

Rigoberto González is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, and the editor of Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing. He is the recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, winner of the American Book Award, The Poetry Center Book Award, The Shelley Memorial Award of The Poetry Society of America, and a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine, on the executive board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle, and is associate professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey.

Perry Brass, the author of The Manly Art of Seduction, has published 16 books including two books of poetry. His latest book, King of Angels, is a finalist for a Ferro-Grumley Award for Gay and Lesbian Fiction; he has also had over 70 poems set to music by numerous composers including Chris DeBlasio, Ricky Ian Gordon, and Gerald Busby. 
….—panel moderator

New Trans Fiction   1:00-2:15    Renaissance Room C
Imogen Binnie is the author of the zines The Fact That It’s Funny Doesn’t Make It A Joke and Stereotype Threat. She is currently a monthly contributor to Maximum Rocknroll and has previously written for Aorta Magazine, The Skinny, and PrettyQueer.com. She writes about books at keepyourbridgesburning.com and performs in the queer doom metal band Correspondences. Her first novel, Nevada, has just been released from Topside Press.

Terence Diamond is a playwright, journalist, and short story editor whose work has been listed in Gay and Lesbian American Plays. He is formerly an assistant professor of English at Long Island University and a member of the Dramatists Guild. Terence teaches grant writing to artists at 3rd Ward Education in Brooklyn, contributes to PrettyQueer.com and Curve Magazine. Terence worked on the novel Big Pink Meat, from which his story is excerpted, at the PAF residency in France.

Ryka Aoki is a writer, performer, and educator who has been honored by the California State Senate for her “extraordinary commitment to free speech and artistic expression, as well as the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.” Ryka appears in the recent trans documentaries Diagnosing Difference and Riot Acts, as well as the anthologies Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation (Seal Press), and Transfeminist Perspectives (Temple University). Ryka has an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her chapbook, Sometimes Too Hot the Eye of Heaven Shines, won the RADAR’s 2010 Eli Coppola Chapbook Contest. Her first full-length volume, Seasonal Velocities, was released this year by Trans-Genre Press, the first press operated by and for trans people in the United States. Ryka was the inaugural performer for San Francisco’s first ever Transgender Stage at San Francisco Pride 2005, and has performed in venues including the San Francisco Pride Main Stage, the Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival, the National Queer Arts Festival, Ladyfest South, Atlanta Pride, UCLA’s OutCRY, Santa Cruz Pride, and Emory University’s Pride Week. Ryka was keynote speaker at UC Santa Barbara’s 2005 Pride Week, GenderFusions 2008 at Columbia College, and UW Madison’s Trans Awareness Week 2009. She is a professor of English at Santa Monica College.

Tom Léger is an essayist and dramatic writer. He lives in New York City.
….—panel moderator

Queer Asian-American Writers     2:30–3:45     Renaissance Room C
Ocean Vuong
 Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Ocean Vuong is the author of two chapbooks: NO (YesYes Books, 2013) and BURNINGS (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2010), which was selected by the American Library Association’s “Over The Rainbow” list of recommended LGBT reading. A Kundiman Fellow, he is a recipient of a 2012 Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize, an Academy of American Poets Prize, as well as six Pushcart Prize nominations. Poems appear in American Poetry Review, Verse Daily, Southern Indiana Review, Guernica, Poetry Northwest and Drunken Boat, amongst others. Recently, he was awarded a 2013 Poets House Emerging Writers Fellowship and was a finalist for the “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, NY. www.oceanvuong.tumblr.com

Viet Dinh was born in Da Lat, Vietnam, received his MFA from the University of Houston, and currently teaches at the University of Delaware. He received a NEA Fiction Fellowship in 2008, and a PEN/O. Henry Prize in 2009. His work has appeared in numerous journals, including Zoetrope: All-StoryFenceGreensboro ReviewFive PointsWitnessAlaska Quarterly Review, and Ninth Letter, to name a few. He has danced with the devil in the pale moonlight.

Jai Sen is a Brooklyn-based graphic novelist. His first book, Garlands of Moonlight, the first book in the Malay Mysteries series, won a Xeric Award from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Peter Laird’s Xeric Foundation for innovative work in the comics medium. The book was also nominated for two Eisner Awards, the highest recognition for sequential art. The fourth book in the series, Sita’s Shadow and Other Stories, was published in September of 2012. Jai also wrote The Golden Vine, an alternate history of the empire of Alexander the Great.

Sarah Chinn
….—panel moderator

Queer Sleuths   4:00-5:15    Renaissance Room C
Amos Lassen Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Amos Lassen recently relocated to Massachusetts. His website,Reviewsbyamoslassen.com has almost 6000 reviews of LGBT books and movies and is a labor of love. Amos moved to Israel in 1967 and returned to the States in 2005 and arrived in New Orleans at the same time as Hurricane Katrina and was evacuated to Arkansas where he lived for almost seven years. He has advanced degrees in English, philosophy and Biblical Hebrew.

….—panel moderator

Marshall Thornton is a novelist, playwright and screenwriter living in Long Beach, California. He is best known for the Boystown detective series, which received an honorable mention in the 2011 Rainbow Awards and was also a finalist for the 2011 Lambda Book Award–Gay Mystery. Other novels include the erotic comedy The Perils of Praline, or the Amorous Adventures of a Southern Gentleman in Hollywood, Desert Run, and Full Release. Marshall has an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA, where he received the Carl David Memorial Fellowship and was recognized in the Samuel Goldwyn Writing awards.

Daniel W. Kelly is the author of the erotic horror novel Combustion, which is the first book in his Comfort Cove series. He also penned the sexy scary collections Closet Monsters and Horny Devils. Horror is his thing, especially when it comes from the 80s. But he always knew there was something missing—something big. So in his books, he substitutes the usual T&A with S&M, B&D, and a perspective that is all male: bears and boys, men and mystery, humor and horror, sex and crazy sex. He also blogs regularly about horror, movies, and pop music at danielwkelly.com.

Joel Gomez-Dossi became a novelist by way of journalism, theater, television, and web production. He has been a stage manager; a producer for PBS; and was the production manager for the Emmy Award-winning science series, Newton’s Apple. Joel has written about film and theater for regional publications across the country, and he penned an entertainment column for the queer press that ran in twelve states. Pursued was published by Bold Strokes Books in December 2012. Deadly Cult will be released this August. Joel and his husband live happily ever after in upstate New York.

Jesse J. Thoma, a project manager in a clinical research lab who spends a good amount of time in methadone clinics and prisons collecting data, splits her time between graduate school and work. She is . Jesse grew up in Northern California but headed east for college. She never looked back, although her baseball allegiance is still loyally with the San Francisco Giants. She has lived in New England for ten years and has finally learned to leave extra time in the morning to scrape snow off the car. Jesse is blissfully married and is happiest when she is out for a walk with her wife and their dog, pretending she still has the soccer skills she had as an eighteen-year-old, eating anything her wife bakes, or sitting at the computer to write a few lines.

Rob Byrnes is the Lambda Literary Award-winning author of six novels, including the recently-released Strange Bedfellows, the third crime caper in a series including Straight Lies (2009) and Holy Rollers (2011).  His short stories include “Patience, Colorado,” in the 2011 anthology Men of the Mean Streets, and his essay “A Brief History of the Divorce Party” will be included in the upcoming 2013 anthology The Other Man. A native of Rochester, NY, he now lives in “Manhattan-adjacent” West New York, NJ, with his partner, Brady Allen.



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