November 24, 2014

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‘Communists and Perverts Under the Palms: The Johns Committee in Florida, 1956-1965′ by Stacy Braukman

Posted on October 18, 2012 by in Nonfiction, Reviews

             Barack Obama is a secret Muslim…subject to foreign influence…the product of race-mixing…

            Gays and lesbians are a threat to our society…recruiting children to their ranks…trying to destroy the family unit…

            Left-wing, elitist college professors are indoctrinating students…liberal subversives…anti-American intellectuals…

These excerpts from the right-wing conspiracy-theory echo chamber, circa the 2012 presidential campaign, find their historical echo in events and attitudes surrounding the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee (FLIC), as chronicled in Stacy Braukman’s Communists and Perverts Under the Palms: The Johns Committee in Florida, 1956-1965.  Braukman’s book details how the FLIC—better known as the Johns Committee, after its initial chairman, state senator Charley Johns—hounded and bullied what it saw as subversive social influences, ranging from the NAACP to gay and lesbian teachers, over the course of a decade.  What makes Communists and Perverts Under the Palms a penetrating read is not only its chronicling of a microcosm of the fight against civil rights, but its implications for how that fight is still by waged by cultural conservatives today. (more…)

‘State of Defiance: Challenging the Johns Committee’s Assault on Civil Liberties’ by Judith G. Poucher

Posted on July 20, 2014 by in Nonfiction, Reviews

I approached Judith G. Poucher’s State of Defiance: Challenging the Johns Committee’s Assault on Civil Liberties with a degree of skepticism. It wasn’t long ago that I reviewed Stacy Braukman’s masterful Communists and Perverts Under the Palms (2012), also about the Johns Committee, and I had my doubts that a second book in three years would reveal much more necessary information about the post-McCarthy witch-hunts that the committee launched in Florida. Fortunately, Poucher has found a different approach to the material, emphasizing the contributions of five individuals who, when confronted by the committee, fought back through lawsuits, cleverly combative testimony, and, in the case of gay individuals, refusing to name names. (more…)

Stacey D’Erasmo: On Music, Writing Straight Characters, and Creating a Literary Legacy

Posted on July 6, 2014 by in Features, Interviews

Stacey D’Erasmo is not musically inclined—at all. Yet, that didn’t stop the Lambda Literary Award and Ferro Grumley Award-winning author from writing a striking, harmonious novel about music that will resonate with anyone who has ever picked up an instrument—or admired someone else holding one.

Wonderland (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) tells the story of Anna Brundage, a statuesque and fiery forty-four-year-old down-and-out indie rock star who has given up everything for a second chance to do what she loves—and the love affairs that she stumbles through on her way.

D’Erasmo was kind enough to sit down for a jam session via email, in which we covered her own musical abilities, making your mark on the literary world, art versus relationships and what songs are currently stuck in her head. (more…)

Examining a Life: Reflections from Alice Walker’s Biographer

Posted on February 16, 2014 by in Features, Opinion

Since the 2004 release of my book Alice Walker: A Life (W. W. Norton & Company), I’ve frequently been asked if I’ll write another biography. I find merit in the adage “never say never.” Still, it’s not likely that I (now pushing 60) will ever again take on the task of researching and writing a full-scale biography.

25th Annual Lambda Literary Award Winners Announced!

Posted on June 4, 2013 by in Features, News

25th Annual Lambda Literary Award Winners Announced

A Quarter Century of Outstanding LGBT Literature Celebrated  

Augusten Burroughs, John Irving and Cherrie Moraga Honored




 (Ceremony Photography: David Martin;

Red Carpet Photography: Brian Sargent)

The winners of the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Awards were announced last night in a sold-out gala ceremony hosted by comedienne Kate Clinton at The Great Hall at Cooper Union. Taking place just after BookExpo America, – the book publishing industry’s largest annual gathering of booksellers, publishers, authors, and readers – the Lambda ceremony brought together almost 500 attendees, sponsors, and celebrities to celebrate excellence in LGBT literature and 25 years of the groundbreaking literary awards. Legendary performer Janis Ian took to the stage at the ceremony, and the VIP After-Party at the New Museum was hosted by super-hot DJ Honey Dijon making a quarter century of the “Lammys” a night to remember. (more…)

25th Annual Lambda Literary Award Winners

Posted on March 13, 2013 by in

Winners of the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Awards

Transgender Fiction

1. Being Emily, Rachel Gold, Bella Books

2. The Collection: Short Fiction From The Transgender Vanguard, edited by Tom Léger and Riley MacLeod, Topside Press [WINNER]

3. Dialectic of the Flesh, Roz Kaveney, A Midsummer Night’s Press

4. First Spring Grass Fire, Rae Spoon, Arsenal Pulp Press

5. Offspring, Michael Quadland, Red Hen Press

Transgender Nonfiction

1. Seasonal Velocities, Ryka Aoki, Trans-Genre Press

2. Teeny Weenies and Other Short Subjects, Matt Kailey, Outskirts Press

3. Transfeminist Perspectives in and beyond Transgender and Gender Studies, edited by Anne Enke, Temple University Press [WINNER]

4. Transposes, Dylan Edwards, Northwest Press

Bisexual Literature [TIE]

1. Axel Hooley’s Death Watch List, Scotty-Miguel Sandoe, CreateSpace

2. Girlfag: A Life Told In Sex and Musicals, Janet W. Hardy, Beyond Binary Books

3. History of a Pleasure Seeker, Richard Mason, Random House / Alfred A. Knopf

4. In One Person, John Irving, Simon & Schuster [WINNER]

5. My Awesome Place: The Autobiography of Cheryl B, Cheryl Burke, Topside Signature [WINNER]

Gay General Fiction

1. A Horse Named Sorrow, Trebor Healey, University of Wisconsin Press

2. The Absolutist, John Boyne, Other Press

3. Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club, Benjamin Alire Saenz, Cinco Puntos Press [WINNER]

4. The Lava in My Bones, Barry Webster, Arsenal Pulp Press

5. Lovers, Daniel Arsand, Europa Editions

6. The Paternity Test, Michael Lowenthal, University of Wisconsin Press

7. Sighs Too Deep For Words, William Jack Sibley, Createspace

8. Spreadeagle, Kevin Killian, Publication Studio

9. These Things Happen, Richard Kramer, Unbridled Books

10. Unbuilt Projects, Paul Lisicky, Four Way Books

Gay Memoir/Biography

1. The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard, Ron Padgett, editor, The Library of America

2. Fire in the Belly, Cynthia Carr, Bloomsbury [WINNER]

3. Intolerable, Kamal Al-Solaylee, HarperCollins Canada

4. Midstream: An Unfinished Memoir, Reynolds Price, Scribner

5. My Husband and My Wives: A Gay Man’s Odyssey, Charles Rowan Beye, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

6. Twelve Views from the Distance, Mutsuo Takahashi, author, Jeffrey Angles, translator, University of Minnesota Press

Gay Mystery

1. Bokassa’s Last Apostle, Rod Shelton, Paradise Press UK

2. Dos Equis, Anthony Bidulka, Insomniac Press

3. Fires of London, Janice Law, Road

4. Lake on the Mountain: A Dan Sharp Mystery, Jeffrey Round, Dundurn [WINNER]

5. The Yellow Canary, Steve Neil Johnson, Clutching Hand Books

Gay Poetry

1. Appetite, Aaron Smith, University of Pittsburgh Press

2. He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices, Stephen S. Mills, Sibling Rivalry Press [WINNER]

3. Looking for the Gulf Motel, Richard Blanco, University of Pittsburgh Press

4. Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin, Patrick Donnelly, Four Way Books

5. Slow Lightning, Eduardo C. Corral, Yale University Press

Gay Romance

1. The Celestial, Barry Brennessel, MLR Press

2. Don’t Let Me Go, J.H. Trumble, Kensington

3. Kamikaze Boys, Jay Bell, Jay Bell Books [WINNER]

4. The Nothingness of Ben, Brad Boney, Dreamspinner Press

5. Toughskins, William Masswa, Bold Strokes Books

Gay Erotica

1. Coming To: A Collection of Erotic and Other Epiphanies, Lukas Hand, Lethe Press

2. The Facialist, Mykola Dementiuk, JMS Books [WINNER]

3. Raising Hell: Demonic Gay Erotica, Todd Gregory, ed., Bold Strokes Books

4. Secret Societies, William Holden, Bold Strokes Books

5. Strawberries and Other Erotic Fruits, Jerry L. Wheeler, Lethe Press

Lesbian General Fiction

1. Carry the One, Carol Anshaw, Simon & Schuster

2. The Last Nude, Ellis Avery, Riverhead Books

3. The Raven’s Heart, Jesse Blackadder, Bywater Books

4. Theft: A Novel, BK Loren, Counterpoint Press

5. Wonder Girls, Catherine Jones, Simon & Schuster UK

6. The World We Found: A Novel, Thrity Umrigar, HarperCollins Publishers / Harper [WINNER]

Lesbian Memoir/Biography

1. A Simple Revolution: The Making of an Activist Poet, Judy Grahn, Aunt Lute Books

2. All We Know: Three Lives, Lisa Cohen, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

3. Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama, Alison Bechdel, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

4. Before the Rain, Luisita Lopez Torregrosa, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

5. The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, Sarah Schulman, University of California Press

6. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, Jeanette Winterson, Grove/Atlantic [WINNER]

Lesbian Mystery

1. Ill Will, J.M. Redmann, Bold Strokes Books [WINNER]

2. Jacob’s War, C.P. Rowlands, Bold Strokes Books

3. Lemon Reef, Robin Silverman, Bold Strokes Books

4. Molly: House on Fire, R. E. Bradshaw, R. E. Bradshaw Books

5. Rest for the Wicked, Ellen Hart, Minotaur Books

Lesbian Poetry

1. fault tree, kathryn l. pringle, Omnidawn Publishing

2. Letters to Kelly Clarkson, Julia Bloch, Sidebrow

3. Sea and Fog, Etel Adnan, Nightboat Books [WINNER]

4. Snowflake/different streets, Eileen Myles, Wave Books

5. wine for a shotgun, Marty McConnell, EM Press

Lesbian Romance

1. Appointment with a Smile, Kieran York, Blue Feather Books

2. Dark Wings Descending, Lesley Davis, Bold Strokes Books

3. Love Match, Ali Vali, Bold Strokes Books

4. Month of Sundays, Yolanda Wallace, Bold Strokes Books [WINNER]

5. Runaway, Anne Laughlin, Bold Strokes Books

6. She Left Me Breathless, Trin Denise, Ragz Books USA

7. Sometime Yesterday, Yvonne Heidt, Bold Strokes Books

8. Survived by Her Longtime Companion, Chris Paynter, Blue Feather Books

9. Tactical Pursuit, Lynette Mae, Regal Crest Publishing

10. Third, Q. Kelly, Ride the Rainbow Books

Lesbian Erotica

1. Girls Who Score: Hot Lesbian Erotica, edited by Ily Goyanes, Cleis Press

2. The Harder She Comes: Butch/Femme Erotica, D.L. King, Cleis Press [WINNER]

3. One Saved to the Sea, Catt Kingsgrave, Clasp Editions; An Imprint of Circlet Press

LGBT Anthology

1. For Colored Boys, Keith Boykin, Magnus Books

2. Here Come the Brides!: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage, Edited by Audrey Bilger & Michele Kort, Seal Press

3. No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, Justin Hall – Editor, Fantagraphics Books [WINNER]

4. Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform, Edited by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, AK Press

LGBT Children’s/Young Adult

1. Adaptation, Malinda Lo, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

2. The Adventure of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy, S. Bear Bergman and Suzy Malik, Flamingo Rampant

3. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Saenz, Simon & Schuster/ Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers [WINNER]

4. Ask the Passengers, A.S. King, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

5. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, Kirstin Cronn-Mills, Flux Books

6. Every Day, David Levithan, Knopf Books for Young Readers

7. Kiss the Morning Star, Elissa Janine Hoole, Amazon Children’s Publishing

8. The Miseducation of Cameron Post, emily m. danforth, Balzer + Bray

9. Personal Effects, E.M. Kokie, Candlewick Press

10. Silhouette of a Sparrow, Molly Beth Griffin, Milkweed Editions

LGBT Debut Fiction

1. Desire: Tales of New Orleans, William Sterling Walker, Chelsea Station Editions

2. The Dream of Doctor Bantam, Jeanne Thornton, OR Books

3. The Evening Hour, Carter Sickels, Bloomsbury

4. Incidental Music, Lydia Perovic, Inanna Publications

5. Love, In Theory: Ten Stories, E.J. Levy, University of Georgia Press/Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction

6. Makara: a novel, Kristen Ringman, Handtype Press, LLC

7. Monstress, Lysley Tenorio, HarperCollins Publishers / Ecco

8. People Who Disappear, Alex Leslie, Freehand Books (an imprint of Broadview Press)

9. The Summer We Got Free, Mia McKenzie, BGD Press [WINNER]

10. Three Cubic Feet, Lania Knight, Main Street Rag

LGBT Drama

1. Edith Can Shoot Things And Hit Them, A. Rey Pamatmat, Samuel French, Inc.

2. Falling In Time, C. E. Gatchalian, J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing/Scirocco Drama

3. The Myopia and Other Plays by David Greenspan, Marc Robinson, University of Michigan Press [WINNER]

4. A Strange and Separate People, Jon Marans, Chelsea Station Editions

5. Thunder Above, Deeps Below, A. Rey Pamatmat, Samuel French, Inc.

LGBT Nonfiction

1. Communists and Perverts under the Palms: The Johns Committee in Florida, 1956-1965, Stacy Braukman, University Press of Florida

2. Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America, Christopher Bram, Hachette Book Group/Twelve

3. Far From The Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, Andrew Solomon, Scribner

4. Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas, Dale Carpenter, W. W. Norton & Company [WINNER]

5. I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters, Michael Long, Editor, City Lights

6. Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, Sarah Schulman, Duke University Press

7. Out Spoken: A Vito Russo Reader Reel One and Reel Two, Jeffrey Schwarz, Mark Thompson and Bo Young, White Crane Books

8. Real Man Stories, T Coooper, McSweeney’s

LGBT Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

1. Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction, Brit Mandelo, Lethe Press

2. Chocolatiers of the High Winds: A Gay Steampunk Romance, H.B. Kurtzwilde, Clasp Editions; An Imprint of Circlet Press

3. Green Thumb, Tom Cardamone, Lethe Press [WINNER]

4. Heiresses of Russ 2012: the Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction, Connie Wilkins and Steve Berman, Lethe Press

5. In the Now, Kelly Sinclair, Blue Feather Books

6. Night Shadows: Queer Horror, Greg Herren and J.M. Redmann, eds., Bold Strokes Books

7. The Survivors, Sean Eads, Lethe Press

LGBT Studies

1. Acts of Gaiety: LGBT Performance and the Politics of Pleasure, Sara Warner, University of Michigan Press

2. Depression: A Public Feeling, Ann Cvetkovich, Duke University Press

3. Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Newspapers in America, Tracy Baim, Prairie Avenue Productions and Windy City Times

4. How To Be Gay, David M. Halperin, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press

5. The Invention of Heterosexual Culture, Louis-Georges Tin, The MIT Press

6. On Making Sense: Queer Race Narratives of Intelligibility, Ernesto Javier Martínez, Stanford University Press

7. Out of Africa: LGBT Organizing in Namibia and South Africa, Ashley Currier, University of Minnesota Press

8. Performing Queer Latinidad: Dance, Sexuality, Politics, Ramón H. Rivera-Servera, University of Michigan Press [WINNER]

9. Pray the Gay Away The Extraordinary Lives of Bible Belt Gays, Bernadette C. Barton, NYU Press

10. South Africa and the Dream of Love to Come: Queer Sexuality and the Struggle for Freedom, Brenna M. Munro, University of Minnesota Press

Dr. James Duggins Mid-Career Novelist Prize

Nicola Griffith

Trebor Healey

Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Awards

Sassafras Lowrey

Carter Sickels

2013 Lammy Awards Host Committee

Don Weise, Co-Chair; S. Chris Shirley, Co-Chair

Gabriel Amor, Anne Austin, John Bateman, Brad Boles, Jamie Brickhouse, Paul Dierkes, Dick Donahue, David Gale, Tal Goretsky, Wayne Hoffman, Karl Jones, Dean Klingler, Melanie La Rosa,

Mario Lopez-Cordero, Dan Manjovi, David McConnell, Bill Miller, Jay Moore, Nick Nicholson,

Angelo Nikolopoulos, Julia Pastore, Lori Perkins, Jay Plum, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Patrick Ryan,

Eddie Sarfaty, Liz Scheier, Bob Smith, Jerl Surratt, Jason Wells, Martin Wilson

Lambda Literary Foundation Board of Trustees

Judith Markowitz, President · Ellery Washington, Vice-President

J. Michael Samuel, Treasurer · Sue A. Greer, Secretary

LLF Announces Finalists of the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Awards

Posted on March 6, 2013 by in Foundation Updates

25th Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalists Announced 

Tickets On-Sale Now

Finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards were announced today by the Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) in Los Angeles. Books from major mainstream publishers, from academic presses, from both long-established and new LGBT publishers, as well as from emerging publish-on-demand technologies, make up the 687 submissions for the “Lammys.” The finalists were selected from a record number of submissions, and, for the first time, the judges were encouraged to choose more finalists in those categories that drew a large number of submissions.


Anne Waldman and Friends Read from ‘IOVIS’

Posted on November 1, 2012 by in Events

Belladonna* is pleased to present:

IOVIS Reading
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2012; 7 pm

Location: Poets House, 10 River Terrace, New York, NY 10282

A group/polyvocal performance from Anne Waldman’s award-winning epic The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment featuring her own reading with her son, Ambrose Bye, playing music. Other readers include Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Ana Božičević, Amy King, Julie Patton, and Stacy Szymaszek. (more…)

10 Reasons Not to Miss this Year’s Poets Forum

Posted on October 3, 2012 by in Events, News

New Yorkers have a lot to look forward to in October: leather weather (finally!), oversized sweaters, some of the most inventive and intricate Halloween costumes in the world–and, of course, since 2007, the Academy of American Poets’ annual Poets Forum. Poets Forum is a celebration and examination of the form, where some of the sharpest and most exciting voices in American poetry gather to share their work and discuss their processes. Here’s ten reasons (of many) not to miss this year’s:

10. Poets Forum is queer.  With three queer chancellors (Mark Doty, Marilyn Hacker, and Carl Phillips) and a lesbian Executive Director , the Academy has a great record of honoring the long tradition of the queer poet. Also on panels or leading tours this year are Mark Bibbins, Randall Mann, Dante Micheaux, Brenda Shaughnessy, and Stacy Szymaszek.

9. Poetry is awesome. There’s plenty of opportunity to nerd out (and learn) in panels on “Poetry in the Age of Social Media” and “The Anxiety of Audience: Who We Write For, Real & Imagined.”

8. Poets are friendly. Like any gathering where the likeminded come together to celebrate literature, Poets Forum offers a great opportunity to reconnect with friends (Facebook or otherwise) and make new ones.

7. Mark Doty wants you to.

6. To whet your appetite,  a free download of the Chancellors reading at the inaugural Poets Forum.

5. Elizabeth Alexander will be speaking on Lucille Clifton. I can’t wait! With Clifton’s collected poems newly available, Alexander’s insight into her work is sure to offer an equally fresh perspective.

4. Plus, Marilyn Hacker and Sharon Olds on “The Poetry and Legacy of Adrienne Rich.” Who better to remember the iconic lesbian poet, who passed away earlier this year?

3. Speaking of Sharon Olds…her explanation of line in this video from last year’s Forum. You simply must watch, because nothing I could write could do her justice.

2. It’s inspiring. Forgive me for sounding saccharine–but it’s true. Each year the panels, lectures, and readings at Poets Forum  surprise me, make me think in new ways, and get me writing (always a welcome gift).

1. The Chancellors Reading is one of the best readings of the year. On October 18, you have the chance to hear fifteen of the most esteemed, groundbreaking, and beloved poets in the country read their work together on a single stage. Even–and especially–if you don’t make it to many readings, this is one you should be sure not to miss.

Click here to find out more about all the events offered this year here, and here to buy tickets.

Think You Got the Moves like Jagger?

Posted on July 20, 2012 by in Features, News

Probably not now! A new bio, Mick: The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Jagger, claims that the  legendary Rolling Stones frontman, Mick Jagger, wasn’t only a ladies’ man but a man’s man too. Check out this article on (more…)