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Writers of many stripes were among 2009’s Out 100, including Frank Bruni, Mark Doty, Kerry Eleveld, Andrew Holleran, Tony Kushner, Arthur Laurents, Malinda Lo, Tina Mabry, John Marans, Felice Picano, Paul Rudnick, Sarah Schulman, Pam Spaulding, Michael Sucsy, Matt Tyranauer, Sarah Waters, and Edmund White. To see the complete list, plus profiles and photos, go to out.com.
Two books shared first place for Best Overall Gay Novel in the 2009 Rainbow Awards competition, founded last year “to celebrate the best in LGBT writing”: Out of Position, by Kyell Gold (Sofawolf Press), and Whistling in the Dark, by Tamara Allen (Lethe Press). More than twenty publishers participated. To view the finalists and winners in all categories, click here.
One of the Rainbow winners was Jere’ M. Fishback’s Josef Jaeger (Prizm), a young adult novel that had previously won a Top Choice Award from Flamingnet Reviews.
The Village Voice has named Tim Lawrence’s Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992, one of the best books of 2009. Tim has started a blog with news about his biography and its gay subject. Here’s the link.
Native Aliens Theatre Collective of New York is soliciting plays for its 11th annual short play festival, Short Stories 11, to be produced together during Gay Pride Week in June. The submission deadline is February 15. For guidelines, visit nativealiens.org.
Dog Ear Audio (dogearaudio.com), an audio book production company specializing in lesbian writing, has completed a makeover of its website, which now includes author interviews on video and audio samples of all Dog Ear titles.
Keith Pyeatt has been awarded the 2009 New Mexico Book Award for Best Mystery/Suspense Novel for his first published work, Struck, which features primary gay characters. Keith’s latest, Dark Knowledge, a paranormal riller, is now out as an e-book. Learn more at keithpyeatt.com.
The annual Saints and Sinners GLBT Literary Festival in New Orleans, set for May 13-16, has added more writer-participants, including Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Jim Grimsley, Emanuel Xavier, and Fiona Zedde. Registration information is now updated and online at sasfesat.org.
Arktoi Books’ Eloise Klein Healy tips me to The Future of Publishing Think Tank, an ad hoc group of writers and representatives of independent publishers and bookstores, nonprofit literary organizations, and community radio. To learn more about it and find bookstores and literary activities in your area, visit foptt.com.
Reviewing for Dark Scribe (darkscribemagazine.com), Vince A. Liaguno had high praise for Paul G. Bens’ debut novel, Kelland (whoiskelland.com), calling it “a gorgeous, genre-defying novel of heartrending truth.” Kelland was nominated in the Best Small Press Chill category in Dark Scribe’s 3rd Annual Black Quill Awards.
Ellen Bass, whose most recent poetry collection is The Human Line (Copper Canyon Press) is interviewed by Robert Sward in the current issue of The Bloomsbury Review (bloomsburyreview.com).
The current Mudlark features new poems from William Reichard. You can view them at unf.edu/mudlark/posters/reichard.html. Look for Richard’s new collection, Sin Eater, this spring from Mid-List Press (http://www.midlist.org/).
Nathan Manske’s website, “im from driftwood,” collects and publishes true LGBT stories from all over the world, with a goal “to help gay youth feel not so alone” and to create a gay history archive. You can check it out at www.imfromdriftwood.com.
This fall, Northwestern University Press will publish Michael Alenyikov’s first book, Ivan & Misha: A Novel in Stories, revolving around a Russian immigrant family. The title story was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and anthologized in Best Gay Stories, 2008 (Lethe Press) and Tartts Four: Incisive Fiction from Emerging Writers (Livingston Press), part of Livingston’s Tartts Four Fiction Award competition.
Perry Brass is celebrating a personal milestone – publication of his fifteenth book, The Manly Art of Seduction, How to Meet, Talk to, and Become Intimate with Anyone. He’ll lead a related workshop on January 20, 7:30 pm, at the LGBT Center in New York. For details, go to manlyartworkshop.eventbrite.com.
Finalists have been announced in The Bywater Books Micro-Fiction Contest, co-sponsored with author Cynn Chadwick. First place went to “What We’re Meant to Know,” by Alex Williamson, followed by “Little Bliss,” by Cheryl Stonestreet. You can read them at http://cynnchadwick.wordpress.com/2009/12/25/and-the-winner-is/.
Patricia Nell Warren was interviewed in the Los Angeles Times in connection with the December launch of “Whatever Happened to Ennis del Mar,” at the Autry National Center for the American West in L.A. (www.autrynationalcenter.org), a lecture series exploring LGBT life and contributions to the American West. (Ennis del Mar is one of the two cowboy characters in Annie Proulx’s short story, “Brokeback Mountain,” portrayed by the late Heath Ledger in the film adaptation.) The Autry series, produced by author/filmmaker Gregory Hinton, continues on May 13 with “Hidden Histories.” To read Patricia’s Bilerico Project piece on the ground-breaking series, use this link.
Damian Serbu’s latest gay horror novel, Ghosts at Grandpa’s House, will be published by Quest Books of Regal Crest Enterprises (regalcrest.biz) this summer.
Finally: My apologies to all of you who sent in your favorite books of 2009 for listing in this month’s Book Buzz. There were plenty, but I became ill and scrapped the list (and the editing involved) to trim my workload as deadline approached.
On a more positive note, I’ve got a story in the February issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine featuring a stalwart detective, Sergeant Katherine Forrest, who untangles a complicated mystery. The character’s name, of course, is a tribute to the author of the classic Curious Wine and many other novels, including some mysteries of her own.
Book Buzz is a monthly column of news and noteworthy tidbits from the LGBT writing and publishing community. Book release announcements (pub dates) will continue to be covered elsewhere while Book Buzz looks for a different “angle” – an award, milestone, notable reissue, film deal, rave review, event of national interest, etc. Submit your brief item to John Morgan Wilson at email@example.com. No attachments please.