November 1, 2014

Watch the Book Trailer for Neil Patrick Harris’ New Book

Posted on October 15, 2014 by in Videos & Trailers

This month, Crown Archetype is releasing actor Neil Patrick Harris’ unconventional “memoir” Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography. (more…)

Saeed Jones: On His New Poetry Collection ‘Prelude to Bruise,’ Art vs. Rhetoric, and Camp Aesthetics

Posted on September 30, 2014 by in Features, Interviews

Writer and editor Saeed Jones’ new collection of poems Prelude to Bruise (Coffee House Press) is a darkly visceral examination of the often riotous nature of identity, desire, family, and sex, and the ways in which these things shape and warp us. Beautiful, haunting and heartbreaking—Jones’s poems are an emotional punch to the gut. A lyrical shock to the system. (more…)

Read Peter Cameron’s Afterword for the Novel ‘Totempole’

Posted on September 23, 2014 by in Excerpts, Features

This month, NYRB Classics is re-releasing Sanford Friedman’s 1965 novel Totempole. The novel details the romantic relationship between its protagonist Stephen Wolfe and a male North Korean prisoner of war. (more…)

WeHo Reads: Noir

Posted on September 22, 2014 by in Events

The City of West Hollywood celebrates National Literacy Month in September 2014 by launching a new, free literary-based community event WeHo Reads: Noir and a month of free Saturday programming for adults and children at West Hollywood Library and Park.

To those of you in the L.A. area, join us at this month’ s WeHo Reads events in West Hollywood on September 27th. Lambda is co-sponsoring a conversation between two of our community’s great mystery writers, Katherine V. Forrest and Michael Nava.   (more…)

The Banal and the Profane: Elizabeth Koke

Posted on September 22, 2014 by in Opinion

“Lately, my maternal fantasies have become almost as frequent as my homicidal ones.”

“The Banal and the Profane” is a monthly Lambda Literary column in which we lift the veil on both the writerly life and the publishing industry. In each installment, we ask a different LGBT writer, or LGBT person of interest in the book industry, to guide us through a week in their lives.

This month’s “Banal and Profane” column comes to us from Elizabeth Koke.

Elizabeth Koke is an activist and cultural organizer, writer, and sometimes performer who lives in New York City. She is currently the External Relations Manager at Feminist Press where she has proudly worked on several Lambda Literary Award-winning titles including Justin Vivian Bond’s Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels and Laurie Weeks’ Zipper Mouth.


The Banal and the Profane: Nik Nicholson

Posted on August 6, 2014 by in Features, Opinion

“The Banal and the Profane” is a monthly Lambda Literary column in which we lift the veil on both the writerly life and the publishing industry. In each installment, we ask a different LGBT writer, or LGBT person of interest in the book industry, to guide us through a week in their lives.

This month’s “Banal and Profane” column comes to us from writer Nik Nicholson


Brooklyn’s Indie Lit Revolution is on its Way to DC

Posted on July 28, 2014 by in Events

WITCHES X Zami Present:

A Reading Is Sexy Experience

Featuring Papercut Press

Brooklyn’s indie lit revolution is on its way to DC. Independent publishing house Papercut Press brings you m. craig, Rami Shamir, Jillian McManemin, Chessy Normile and Carly Howard for a night of music, poetry and readings, followed by a talk and q+a on the dawn of a new type of author–socially responsible, politically invested, and staunchly anti-corporate.

Event Details:

Thursday August 7th
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Busboys and Poets  – 5th and K
(1025 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001)

All ages
Donations encouraged

This event brought to you by Brooklyn based WITCHES – a community collective known for organizing events and Zami – Busboys own gender and sexuality series.



Reading is a sexy

Reader Meet Author: Personal Advice from Author La JohnJoseph

Posted on July 27, 2014 by in Features, Opinion

Do you have problems with your love life? Do you hate your job? Is your social life lacking a certain zing? All of these questions and more can be answered through literature—or maybe at least by the people who create it. With that in mind, we here at the Lambda Literary Review have started our very own advice column called “Reader, Meet Author.” Think of the column as a sort of a “Dear Abby” for the LGBTQ literary set.

This month’s author is La JohnJoseph, a British-born, American-educated performance artist and writer living in Berlin. The original scriptwriter for radical Californian Dada drag revue BoyfriendRobotique, she is also a librettist and the author of the critically acclaimed solo memoir play Boy in a Dress. Her performance work has taken her from the San Francisco MOMA to the Royal Opera House, and across Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, including The Gay Times Book of Short Stories, Bird Song, P.S. I Love You, Fat Zine, and 21st Century Queer Artists Identify Themselves. Everything Must Go , her first novel, debuted this spring. (more…)

A Look at the Frank O’Hara Fire Island Pines Poetry Festival

Posted on July 4, 2014 by in Features, Interviews

“Before there was the Internet, there was Frank O’Hara. We’re just as a culture finally catching up to his manic speed and endlessly divisible attention span”

Since his death in 1966, the poet Frank O’Hara has taken on an iconic stature among admirers of poetry. To honor the work of the beloved poet, The Fire Island Pines Fine Arts Project is presenting the Frank O’Hara Fire Island Pines Poetry Festival, on Saturday, July 12th, at 4 PM. The event will include such noted writers as Eileen Myles, Edmund White, Ariana Reines, Dorothea Lasky, and Saeed Jones. (more…)

Read Jericho Brown’s Introduction to ‘Prime: Poetry & Conversation’

Posted on June 29, 2014 by in Excerpts, Features

This month, Sibling Rivalry Press released Prime: Poetry & Conversation, a lively collection of verse and dialogue between poets Darrel Alejandro HolnesSaeed JonesRickey LaurentiisPhillip B. Williams, and L. Lamar Wilson.

Prime: Poetry & Conversation is a first-of-its-kind document of poetry and ongoing conversation in the black, queer literary community. Sparked into existence by a Best American Poetry blog from Jericho Brown in which he singled out some of the most exciting young, black, and gay men writing today, Prime features poems by and dialogue between poets Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Saeed Jones, Rickey Laurentiis, Phillip B. Williams, and L. Lamar Wilson. Jericho Brown provides the introduction for this collection, which is proudly published by Sibling Rivalry Press.

In the book’s introductory essay, poet Jericho Brown offers a beautifully rendered paean to the young voices presented in this collection.

The Introduction

The first time I saw Nikki Giovanni give a public reading of her work, I was an undergrad at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. I remember a lot of what she said, but I sometimes wish I would forget her answer to a question someone in the audience asked just after the reading:

Q:  What advice would you give to a young writer?

A:  Never say no.

Giovanni’s answer is the right answer, the truth. But I’ll be damned if it ain’t the hardest part of what we do when we make poems or when we contribute to any poetry community (whether it’s by way of writing reviews or hosting readings or encouraging young poets who may or may not have a fingernail of talent).

The poet’s life is not an easy life, for to live it well one must be prepared to follow the strangest and slightest notions, to take self-effacing risks, to jump off cliffs that are nowhere but in the mind. People look at you crazy because you feel all the bruises that come at the end of a plummet, but they don’t see a single blemish. Don’t believe me? Ask Adrienne Rich. In “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision,” she says:

For a poem to coalesce, for a character or an action to take shape, there has to be an imaginative transformation of reality which is in no way passive. And a certain freedom of the mind is needed, freedom to press on, to enter the currents of your thought like a glider pilot, knowing that your motion can be sustained, that the buoyancy of your attention will not be suddenly snatched away.  Moreover, if the imagination is to transcend and transform experience, it has to question, to challenge, to conceive of alternatives, perhaps to the very life you are living at that moment. You have to be free to play around with the notion that day might be night, love might be hate; nothing can be too sacred for the imagination to turn into its opposite or to call experimentally by another name. For writing is renaming.

In mid-December of 2011, The Best American Poetry Blog asked me to post something substantive every day for a week. And at the moment they asked, I was so mad at Nikki Giovanni that I didn’t know what to do. In spite of the common desire to do nothing during the holidays but be drunk, I couldn’t say no because it was an opportunity for me to take advantage of the BAP platform and ask some questions I thought the larger world should be asking. It was a chance for me to show others some work I had seen and loved and that I thought wasn’t getting enough recognition. It was an opportunity for me to tell my man I love him and let the world know how much I try to make gratitude the center of my life.

As I write this, I am most grateful for the work of Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Saeed Jones, Rickey Laurentiis, Phillip B. Williams, and L. Lamar Wilson, the young, black, and gay men I referred to that week as The Phantastique 5.

When a group of black bodies stands
out from the rest and needs to be remembered
because they all resemble each other, some
use highlighters to brighten the black bodies . . .

These lines from Phillip B. Williams’ “Manifesto” seem to me the best from which to begin a description of Prime. Over and again the work in this small anthology presents lawmaking lines of direct statement that ask the reader to re-envision the very act of reading and what that act means for subjective perception. What is text to those so often left out of literature? What is literature to those unwritten or written wrongly?

Throughout these poems, our eyes are turned toward so many objects we thought we knew, thought had seen properly. Now we face even the furniture that sits about us as if it is slanted and painted new colors until we have no choice but to re-see ourselves, or as Darrel Holnes would say, “Only the living have a reflection and you see yourself.”

These poets are living indeed, and forging with each of their words the stuff of life, whether through complaint: “I’ll tell you my problem/I’m a man who would love/another man, whether/as a son, whether as a—” (Laurentiis) or ironic praise: “You cannot tell a soul/Must lie still     be quiet/Just take it like the man/You always wanted inside” (Wilson).

I am most taken, though, by how much these poems mean to participate in life to the point of being redeemed by that participation. These poets, in spite of being perfect candidates for that which is only academic and/or only conceptual, write as if poetry can speak directly to the soul, as if poetry is quite possibly the last hope they have to reach beyond themselves and touch anyone who perceives them:

. . . Like a son rushing
to his mother’s stumble, the poet catches her
as if his arms are the prayer’s answer
& when her knees meet the earth
so do his . . .

(from “The Poet’s Revolver Opens Its Mouth” by Saeed Jones).

Prime is a lovely (and loving) book by five men bound to change the way we read poetry because this is a book of poetry by poets committed to allowing the poems they write to change them. None of these poets ever say no.

Jericho Brown
Atlanta, Georgia
March 2014