Book Buzz is a monthly column of news and noteworthy tidbits from the LGBT writing and publishing community.

The awards season is heating up, with hundreds of LGBTQ writers, editors, publishers, audio book producers, and others nominated in a wide range of categories, both LGBT and more general.  Here are some links to lists of finalists and related events:

The Lambda Literary Awards (www.lambdaliterary.org/awards), with winners to be announced at the gala 22nd Annual Awards dinner and ceremony on May 27 in New York City.  Click here for tickets and information.

The 22nd Annual Triangle Awards, presented by the Publishing Triangle and its awards partner, the Ferro-Grumley Literary Awards, to be presented at a free event in NYC on April 29.  For more details, go to www.publishingtriangle.org.

TLA Releasing (www.tlavideo.com), the online and mail order retailer of gay home entertainment and books, has posted its staff-selected 2009 Gaybie Awards finalists (www.tlagay.com/gaybies/a-2).  The Gaybies honor the best gay films, books, actors, blogs, film festivals and more, with the public voting online for the winners.

The National Leather Association: International (NLA-I) (www.nla-i.com), an organization for activists in the pansexual SM/leather/fetish community. Winners will be announced at the NLA-I’s Annual General Meeting, to be held during the Tribal Fire conclave (www.tribalfireokc.com/) in Oklahoma City April 30 – May 2.

The ForeWord Magazine awards program, devoted to independent publishing, is not exclusively LGBTQ, but we are always well represented.  This year, the finalists (www.bookoftheyearawards.com/finalists/2009/) include 360 publishers in 60 categories.  The awards ceremony in NYC is set for May 25.

Among ForeWord finalists, Bold Strokes Books (www.boldstrokesbooks.com) has a dozen titles and Dog Ear Audio (www.dogearaudio.com) three audio books in the running.  One title bridging both companies is Clifford Henderson’s novel, The Middle of Somewhere, also selected by Her Circle (http://www.hercircleezine.com/events/) for inclusion in the ezine’s One World Cafe Virtual Reading Series.

Speaking of Bold Strokes, publisher Radclyffe is plowing new ground as a writer.  After 35 novels in the romance/erotica genres, she’s ventured into paranormal romance and urban fantasy with The Midnight Hunt, writing as L.L. RaandShe talks about it on video (produced by Dog Ear).

Another ForeWord finalist, Poetic Voices Without Borders 2 (Gival Press), with many LGBT voices among its more than a hundred contributors, has won the 2009 National Best Book Award for Fiction & Literature: Anthologies, sponsored by USA Book News. Robert L. Giron edited and Ken Schellenberg designed the book, which also earned an Honorable Mention for Poetry at the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival and was a runner-up, poetry category, at the 2009 London Book Festival.

Gival Press also sponsors the annual Oscar Wilde Award for the best poem in English that describes GLBT life.  This year’s deadline is June 27.  For more information, visit www.givalpress.com or email givalpress@yahoo.com.

On that note, we should mention that April is National Poetry Month – which is why this month’s Book Buzz Interview (which now runs separately from this column) features poet Julie Enszer, founding curator of the Lesbian Poetry Archive.

Fine on Acting by Howard Fine with Chris Freeman – yet another ForeWord Awards finalist – scored a two-page excerpt in the current issue (No. 1/ 2010) of Emmy magazine (www.emmys.tv/), the one with Lost’s foxy Matthew Fox on the cover.

Look for Volume No. 7 of Van Gogh’s Ear, the English language literary magazine out of Paris, France, with the theme of “Super-Natural.”  The LGBT author quotient is high, including prose by editor Felice Picano, Edmund White, Andrew Holleran, Trebor Healey, M. Christian, David Gerrold, Dr. Charles SilversteinMichael Luongo, and Daniel Jaffe; and poetry by Franklin Abbott, Samuel Ace, Ian Ayres, Steven Reigns, Terry Wolverton, Imani Tolliver, Jeff Mann, and Paul Trachtenberg.  It’s available in select bookstores or at  www.frenchcx.com/press/vang.php.

Black Quill Award winner Jameson Currier has launched Chelsea Station Editions (www.chelseastationeditions.com), a co-op press for gay and lesbian books, also offering design and editorial services to authors and other presses.  Initial title is Jameson’s first novel in 12 years, The Wolf at the Door, set in a haunted guesthouse in New Orleans.

Our Big Gayborhood (www.ourbiggayborhood.com) is taking submissions for LGBT “slice-of-life essays.”   See the site for details.

Busy James Cihlar is included on the “teaching” page of Hilda Raz’s new poetry site (hildaraz.com); reads a new poem, “Modern Maturity,” in the March edition of Fogged Clarity (foggedclarity.com/2010/02/modern-maturity); and has two new poems posted on Painted Bride Quarterly here and here.

Arsenal Pulp Press (www.arsenalpulp.com/) has announced three new additions to its Queer Film Classics series, consisting of monographs dedicated to films of particular interest to LGBT audiences: Farewell My Concubine by Helen Hok-Sze Leung (on the 1992 Chinese film by Chen Kaige); Fire by Shohini Ghosh (on the 1996 Indian film by Deepa Mehta); and Montreal Main by Thomas Waugh and Jason Garrison (on the 1974 Canadian film by Frank Vitale). Look for them in November.

Arsenal also plans to reissue Butch is a Noun, the 2006 debut book by S. Bear Bergman, in September, with a new introduction by the author.

Feminist Review had high praise for Homophobias: Lust and Loathing Across Time and Space (Duke University Press), edited by David A.B. MurrayHere’s the link.

Lethe Press has released its Spring issue of Icarus, The Magazine of Gay Speculative Fiction (http://magcloud.com/browse/Issue/68588), featuring work by Sandra McDonald, Warren Rochelle, J.A. Deveaux, and L.A. Fields. Also, Tom Cardamone interviews award-winning writer Geoff Ryman.

Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla’s revamped website (www.GhalibDhalla.com) features an extensive media section that includes a trailer for the film The Ode, based on Ghalib’s debut novel “Ode to Lata” – the “Official Selection” of this year’s Beverly Hills Film Festival (http://www.beverlyhillsfilmfestival.com).  It screens April 16.

Bella Books has acquired its sixth debut novel this year, Amy Briant’s Shadow Point, a mystery-ghost story-romance set on the San Diego coast.  You can read an excerpt at www.bellabooks.com.

Bold Strokes Books, also known for publishing numerous first novels, has acquired Mel Bossa’s Split, a coming-of-age saga, for release next year.

K.M. Soehnlein has a video trailer up for Robin and Ruby (Kensington), the long-awaited sequel to The World of Normal Boys.

Another Kensington title, Probation, a debut novel from Tom Mendicino, got a nice review from Richard Labonte in his syndicated Book Marks column, including this: “Mendicino, nicely balancing humor and drama, digs deeply into his character’s buffeted psyche, depicting with perceptive characterization the profound dilemma of a ruined man finding his way back to a place of balance.”

On Facebook, on the first and fifteenth of each month, Charlie Vázquez reports on “the hottest Latino books, with an emphasis on queer Latino culture.” Here’s the link.

Christopher Rice appears in a video trailer for his new novel, The Moonlit Earth, talking about the research he did in the Far East for his thriller about a young woman trying desperately to rescue her gay brother from global terrorism intrigue.

Lucy Jane Bledsoe (www.lucyjanebledsoe.com) also has a video trailer up for her latest book, The Big Bang Symphony: A Novel of Antarctica (University of Wisconsin Press), about three women trapped at an isolated scientific outpost in the frozen wilderness.

Tony Merevick, editor of The Q Review (www.qreviewonline.com), reminds readers that the May 1 deadline for submissions for the June 1 issue is fast closing in.  Check the Q Review website for more information.

Mark Griffin’s A Hundred or More Hidden Things (Da Capo Press), his biography of director Vincente Minnelli, continues to be widely reviewed, including EDGE Publications, Boston Globe, Irish Times (UK), Sacramento Book Review and Palm Beach Post.

Also on the Hollywood beat, Robert Hofler’s Party Animals: A Hollywood Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Starring the Fabulous Allan Carr (Perseus Books) continues to reap media attention, including people.com and thedailybeast.com.

Italy’s Fazi Editore has published Patricia Nell Warren’s Harlan’s Race (La sfida di Harlan), following Fazi’s 2007 edition of The Front Runner (La corsa di Billy). And she’s got her own author page: www.fazieditore.it.

Victor Bumbalo, founder and president of the Chesley Foundation, supporting LGBT playwriting, has a new personal website: www.victorbumbalo.com.  For information on the foundation’s awards and residency grants, go to www.chesleyfoundation.org.

Last month, Book Buzz ran an item that was in error.  Here is the correct version: Two Lives Publishing, which specializes in books related to LGBT families and parenting, has added a picture book to its suggested book list aimed at children aged 3-6.  And Baby Makes 4, by Judith Benjamin, is written for a child of lesbian parents making the adjustment to becoming an older sibling — possibly the first book ever published in this niche.

Finally: In case you missed it, the March issue of Out ran a glossy, two-page fashion spread ostensibly linked to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.  On display were such outré items as “Raffia and white leather tote by Gucci” and “Infusion d’Homme perfumed bath soap by Prada” – with copy claiming that “nearly 85 years after its publication, we still aspire to be like dandy protagonist Nick Carraway.”  Reality check!  Jay Gatsby, not Nick, was the novel’s protagonist.  Nick was not a dandy, but a somewhat staid Midwesterner.  Like the author, he was utterly disheartened by the superficiality and gross materialism of the wealthy class, and today would cringe at Out’s crassness, while Fitzgerald would rotate in his grave.  Ah, the more things change…

That’s all the Book Buzz for now.  So, go read a book!



  • Ron Fritsch

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