Lambda Literary Hosts Rare West Coast Extravaganza Saturday

The 25th anniversary events bring together Tony-nominated cabaret star Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, 12 Lambda award finalists (T Cooper, Richard Kramer, Ryka Aoki, and more), and Los Angeles literary pioneers Malcolm Boyd, Lillian Faderman, Katherine V. Forrest, John Rechy, and Patricia Nell Warren.

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

April 24 2013 4:00 AM ET

Outwrite! Honorees:
The Reverend Canon Malcolm Boyd is a memoirist, essayist, and editor who has charted his life in over 30 works, which deal with topics such as coming out as a gay man in light of his religious beliefs and his work as a priest after a career in Hollywood. His works have shed light on the search for religious meaning by gay men, both his contemporaries and those who have come after. He also was an activist in the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s. Boyd will observe his 90th birthday in June.

Lillian Faderman is a scholar whose works on lesbian history have won numerous awards. She is best known for Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America (1991) and Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present (1981). Faderman has held professorships at California State University, Fresno, and the University of California, Los Angeles, following her education at UC Berkley and UCLA.

Katherine V. Forrest is a novelist and editor, best known for her popular Kate Delafield mysteries and her Daughters of a Coral Dawn series of novels as well as her work at Naiad Press as an editor of lesbian fiction anthologies. Forrest is currently acquisitions editor at Spinsters Ink and supervising editor at Bella Books. She is also president emeritus of the Lambda Literary Foundation.

John Rechy is a groundbreaking gay fiction author and award-winning memoirist and playwright. Best known for his novel City of Night and the nonfiction book The Sexual Outlaw, Rechy has received much acclaim for his writings and has lectured widely in addition to teaching in the graduate writing program at USC. 

Patricia Nell Warren is an author, activist, and journalist, known best for her novels The Front Runner, The Fancy Dancer, and The Beauty Queen, the first of which inspired the FrontRunners gay and lesbian running clubs across the nation. 

The following Lambda Literary Award finalists will be featured in the reading Saturday.

Ryka Aoki is the author of Seasonal Velocities, a Lambda Award finalist in the Transgender Nonfiction category. A performer, writer, and educator, Aoki has been honored by the California state Senate and the Academy of American Poets. She earned her MFA from Cornell University and is professor of English at Santa Monica College.

Audrey Bilger is the coeditor, with Michele Kort, of Here Come the Brides: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage, a Lambda Literary Award finalist in LGBT Anthology. Bilger is the faculty director of the Center for Writing and Public Discourse and professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College. She is also the author of Laughing Feminism, a regular contributor to Ms. magazine, and the Gender & Sexuality section editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Julia Bloch is the author of Letters to Kelly Clarkson, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry. From 2007 to 2011 she curated the Emergency Reading Series in Philadelphia. She now lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches literature.

Cheryl Burke is the author of My Awesome Place: The Autobiography of Cheryl B. A finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in Bisexual Literature, the book was published posthumously after being assembled by Sarah Schulman and other members of Burke’s writing group. Burke, who died in June 2011 of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was an award-winning author whose work appeared in dozens of publications and anthologies, including Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution, and Pills, Thrills, Chills and Heartache: Adventures in the First Person. Reading on behalf of Burke is A.J. Pierce, who met her at New York University, where they became close friends. Pierce is an Emmy award-wining producer at the NFL Network and has also written for daytime dramas, including General Hospital, All My Children, and Guiding Light. A short film she cowrote, Bleach, was honored at the Sundance and Telluride film festivals.

T Cooper is the author of Real Man Adventures, which is a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in the LGBT Nonfiction category. Cooper has also written three novels, including the best-selling The Beaufort Diaries and Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes. He edited the anthology A Fictional History of the United States With Huge Chunks Missing and is coauthor of the forthcoming young adult book series Changers.

Susan Goldberg contributed a piece to Here Come the Brides: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage, a Lambda Award finalist in LGBT Anthology. A writer, editor, essayist, and blogger, Goldberg coedited of the award-winning anthology And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families. Her work has been featured in magazines including Ms., Lilith, and Stealing Time; on the Canadian news outlets CBC and The Globe and Mail; and in several anthologies, including the forthcoming Chasing Rainbows: Exploring Gender-Fluid Parenting Practices.

Stephanie Hallett is a contributor to Here Come the Brides: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage, a Lambda Award finalist in the LGBT Anthology category. Hallett is editor of Huffington Post Weddings and previously wrote for Ms. magazine.

Steve Neil Johnson is the author of The Yellow Canary, which is a Lambda finalist in the Gay Mystery category. Johnson is a novelist and screenwriter who has published six books. The Yellow Canary is the first installment in his four-decade spanning mystery series, the L.A. After Midnight quartet, about gay life from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Richard Kramer is the author of These Things Happen, his first novel, which is a finalist in Gay General Fiction. Kramer is also an award-winning writer-producer-director of hit TV shows such as Thirtysomething, My So-called-Life, and Tales of the City. These Things Happen is currently in development as a series, which Kramer will write and produce.

Ernesto Javier Martínez is the author of On Making Sense: Queer Race Narratives of Intelligibility, a finalist in the LGBT Studies category. Martínez won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Anthology in 2012 for Gay Latino Studies: A Critical Reader, which he edited with Michael Hames-García. Martínez is an associate professor of women's and gender studies and ethnic studies at the University of Oregon.

Scotty-Miguel Sandoe is the author of Axel Hooley’s Death Watch List, a Lambda finalist in the Bisexual Fiction category. Sandoe is a screenwriter and novelist who began his career as an actor-choreographer in Chicago and New York, where he participated in the development of over 200 plays and musicals. He is currently working on the second part of the Axel Hooley trilogy, Axel Hooley and the Unicorn in the Forest.

Jeffrey Schwarz is the author of Out Spoken: A Vito Russo Reader, a Lambda Awards finalist in LGBT Nonfiction. Schwarz is also a filmmaker and producer, whose latest film, I Am Divine, is a portrait of John Waters's cinematic muse, the drag queen Divine. His previous work includes HBO's Vito, about the beloved gay activist; Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon, on 1970s adult film star Jack Wrangler; and Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story, about the legendary Hollywood showman. He is currently in production on Tab Hunter Confidential, about the 1950s big-screen heartthrob.

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