The Persistence of Memory: LGBT Memoir and Biography
David Margolick: long-time contributing editor at Vanity Fair, previously legal affairs reporter and columnist at The New York Times, a graduate of the University of Michigan and Stanford Law School, books include Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns; Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock; Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink; and Strange Fruit: The Biography of a Song. Currently completing a book on Sid Caesar and Your Show of Shows and a portrait of Jonas Salk, both for Yale University Press’s “Jewish Lives” series, he has written for the New York Times Book Review, The N. Y. Review of Books,The Wall Street Journal, and Kindle Singles.
Rob Smith, an openly gay Iraq war veteran, journalist, and author of the #1 bestselling memoir Closets, Combat and Coming Out: Coming Of Age As A Gay Man In The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Army, served for 5 years in the U.S. Army as an infantryman, deployed to Kuwait and Iraq, earning the Army Commendation Medal and Combat Infantry Badge. In 2010 he was arrested at the White House with 12 other LGBT activists in protest of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law; later he was a guest of President Barack Obama at the ceremony repealing the law. A frequent speaker on veterans’ issues, LGBT rights, and empowerment, in 2014 he served as the Grand Marshal of the Key West Pride Parade and was a featured speaker at the NYC Pride Rally. Frequently featured on Huffpost Live and Arise Television, and as a writer and journalist on CNN.com, The Advocate, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, The New York Post, and Metro Weekly, he will receive his M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University in May, 2015.
Jamie Brickhouse, whose first memoir Dangerous When Wet (St. Martin’s Press) has been lauded by Paul Rudnick as “witty, blisteringly honest and wickedly intoxicating,” has written for The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Lambda Literary Review, and The Fix, with guest blogs for the Huffington Post. He spent over two decades in the publishing industry, most recently at two major houses as head of their publicity and lecture divisions. He has performed stand-up comedy and recorded voice-overs for the legendary TV show, Beavis and Butthead. A native of Beaumont, Texas, Brickhouse lives in Manhattan with his partner, Michael. Photo by George Anttila.
Brad Gooch His latest memoir Smash Cut about his 13-year relationship with the mercurial filmmaker Howard Brookner—beginning in the late 70s and ending with Brookner’s death from AIDS in 1989—was published by HarperCollins April 14, 2015. He is also the author of the acclaimed biographies City Poet and Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor, as well as other nonfiction and three novels. The recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships, he earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University and is professor of English at William Paterson University in New Jersey. He lives in New York City. Photo by Henny Garfunkel.
Read this article about his latest novel Smash Cut. nytimes.com/2015/04/09/brad-gooch-smash-cut-memoir
David Carter (Moderator) is the editor of Allen Ginsberg’s collected interviews, Spontaneous Mind, and the author of Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution. He is currently writing a biography of Frank Kameny.
Black Queer Writing in the 1980s
Cheryl Clarke is a poet, essayist, and author of four books of poetry, NARRATIVES: POEMS IN THE TRADITION OF BLACK WOMEN (1982; now an ebook), LIVING AS A LESBIAN (1986; reprinted 2014), HUMID PITCH (1989), EXPERIMENTAL LOVE (1993), THE DAYS OF GOOD LOOKS: PROSE AND POETRY, 1980-2005 (2006), and the critical study, ‘AFTER MECCA’: WOMEN POETS AND THE BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT (2005). Her essay “By Its Absence: Literature and the attainment of sociall justice consciousness” appears in Routledge’s INTERNATIONAL HANDBOOK OF SOCIAL JUSTICE (M. Reisch, ed, 2014). She retired from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, in 2013 after 41 years in administration. She received the David Kessler Award in 2013 from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center for her service to LGBTQ communities.
Steven G. Fullwood is the publisher of Vintage Entity Press. He is also the assistant curator of the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library. He founded the In the Life Archive (formerly known as the Black Gay and Lesbian Archive) to aid in the preservation of black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, same-gender loving, queer, questioning and in the life culture and history. Fullwood is co-editor of two anthologies, Think Again (with Colin Robinson) and To Be Left With the Body (with Cheryl Clarke), and the author of Funny. His articles, essays, poems and criticism have appeared in Black Issues Book Review, Lambda Book Report, Vibe, Library Journal, and other publications. He is the co-editor of Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call (with Charles Stephens).
Robert F. Reid-Pharr is a Distinguished and Presidential Professor of English and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Robert Fitzgerald Reid-Pharr holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before coming to the Graduate Center he was an assistant and associate professor of English at the Johns Hopkins University. In addition, he has been the Jess and Sara Cloud Distinguished Visiting Professor of English at the College of William and Mary, the Edward Said Visiting Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut, the Drue Heinz Visiting Professor of English at the University of Oxford, the Carlisle and Barbara Moore Distinguished Visiting Professor of English at the University of Oregon, and the Frederic Ives Carpenter Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago. He is currently the director of the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC). A specialist in African American culture and a prominent scholar in the field of race and sexuality studies, he has published three books: Conjugal Union: The Body, the House, and the Black American, Oxford University Press, 1999; Black, Gay, Man: Essays, NYU Press, 2001; and Once You Go Black: Choice, Desire, and the Black American Intellectual, NYU Press, 2007. His essays have appeared in, among other places, American Literature, American Literary History, Callaloo, Afterimage, Small Axe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Women and Performance, Social Text, Transition, Studies in the Novel, The African American Review, Feminist Formations, and Radical America. His research and writing have been supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He lives in Brooklyn.
Sarah Chinn (Moderator) teaches in the English Department at Hunter College, CUNY. She was Executive Director of CLAGS: The Center for LGBT Studies from 2007-2011, and has been on the organizing committee of the Rainbow Book Fair since 2008. She’s the author of two books and several scholarly articles, as well as having published poetry in a number of venues.
“In the Beginning,” LGBT Jewish Writers on Culture, Heritage,
and Queer Family Ties
Jason Schneiderman is the author of Sublimation Point, a Stahlecker Selection from Four Way Books, Striking Surface, winner of the 2009 Richard Snyder Prize from Ashland Poetry Press, and Primary Source, winner of the 2015 Benjamin Saltman Award from Red Hen Press. His poetry and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry, Poetry London, Grand Street, The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, Story Quarterly, and Tin House. He has received fellowships from Yaddo, The Fine Arts Work Center, and The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He was the recipient of the Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America in 2004. Schneiderman holds an MFA from NYU, and a PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is an Assistant Professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Michael Broder has a BA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University, an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University, and a PhD in Classics from The Graduate Center of The City University of New York. His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Assaracus, BLOOM, Columbia Poetry Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Classical World, and other journals, and the anthologies This New Breed, My Diva, Divining Divas, Rabbit Ears, and Ancient Obscenities. He has taught at Brooklyn College, Hunter, and Queens College, as well as at Montclair State University and The University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC). His first book of poems, This Life Now, came out in March 2014 from A Midsummer Night’s Press.
Martha Shelley was one of the founders of Gay Liberation Front-New York. Her grandparents were Orthodox. Her parents had been socialists during the Great Depression but were forced to keep a low profile during the McCarthy years. These influences are manifest in her most recent works: Haggadah-A Celebration of Freedom, a Passover seder in poetry; and two novels of the ancient Middle East, The Throne in the Heart of the Sea and The Stars in their Courses.
Donna Minkowitz is the author of Growing up Golem, which was a 2014 finalist for the Judy Grahn Nonfiction Award and a Lambda Literary Award. Her first memoir, Ferocious Romance, was about her experiences covering the Christian right as an openly lesbian journalist, and she has also written for the New York Times Book Review, Salon, and The Nation. She is currently the restaurant critic for Gay City News.
D.L. King is the editor of the Lambda Literary Awarding winning and IPPY Gold Medalist, The Harder She Comes, as well as The Lammy Finalist, Where the Girls Are. The editor of many other titles, her own stories can be found over seventy anthologies, including various editions of Best Lesbian Erotica, as well as Girl Fever, Leather Ever After, and No Safewords, among others.
Perry Brass (Moderator) has published 19 books, including How to Survive Your Own Gay Life, The Manly Art of Seduction, The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love, and his recent novel King of Angels, a gay, Jewish, Southern coming-of-age novel set in Savannah, GA, in 1963, the year of J.F.K.’s murder. In 1969, he co-edited Come Out!, the world’s first gay liberation newspaper published by New York’s Gay Liberation Front. In 1972, he co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Project Clinic, New York’s first clinic for gay men, still operating as the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. He is a founding coordinator of the Rainbow Book Fair. ….