Though established as a journalist and novelist, Collin Kelley is also a poet, and until recently, tucked poetry in the passenger seat. In The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kelley details his writing process and the nurturing of his new collection, explaining the artistic links between himself and Virginia-born artist Sally Mann and how her work jolted his love for poetry once more:
As I was writing [Render] and the stanzas that catalogue her body of work, something kind of clicked in my head, and I was like, “You know what? I’ve kind of written about all of this stuff, in a way.” And so I went back and started looking at the poems again.
Mann’s work explores Civil War battlefields and the Body Farm (a research facility where human bodies are allowed to decompose in the open air for the sake of science) through photography and Kelley, discovering parallels between her work and his, proposed the idea of “a book of photographs in poetry,” propelling his poetic ambition with this in mind.
Supportive to the writing of others, Kelley is co-director of the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival and is deeply involved in Atlanta’s literature community. Kelly is aware that his poetry is “a calling”, a labour of love: “You’re not going to make a living off poetry. […] You do it for the art. Which is a cliché, but it’s true.” (more…)
“I was forty-eight years old, Lady Death had just kissed the back of my hand, and I wanted to make peace with my daughter, with whom I hadn’t spoken for nearly sixteen years.”
For the past 25 years the Lambda Literary Foundation has been able to continue celebrating, preserving and promoting the visibility of LGBT writers thanks to the support of community members like you, and today we are asking for your help in this effort by making a tax-deductible donation.
To show our gratitude, all donors of $150 dollars or more will receive a prereleased version of the foundation’s 25th anniversary anthology, 25 for 25, an E-book featuring some of the community’s leading LGBT authors, including: Dorothy Allison, Ellen Bass, Alison Bechdel, Ivan E. Coyote, Jewelle Gomez, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Alex Sanchez, Sarah Schulman, Justin Torres, David Trinidad, Edmund White and many others. (more…)
“…Stardom. It’s a greedy goal and it comes with lots of traps of arrogance, but the way I justify it is by giving back. But, I’m not a star yet. I call myself a sub-lebrity, maybe this book has bumped me up and now I’m a starlet.”
Kate Bornstein embraces hir outlaw status. Hell, Bornstein’s turned it into a brand. A pioneer who sets hirself outside the conventional gender binary, Kate first caught the world’s attention with hir groundbreaking book Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us, a literary portmanteau combining theory and theatre with a fair amount of autobiography. In Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws ze tackled teen suicide by offering unorthodox survival strategies. Bornstein maintains an open dialogue with hir fans via social media (Kate has over 13,000 Twitter fans) and an ambitious touring schedule. With hir new memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the Lovely Lady She is Today (Beacon Press), Bornstein continues to blaze a trail for freaks and outlaws everywhere.
Lambda sat down with the iconoclast to chat about the new book, the future of the Queer movement, Scientology and fame. (more…)
Transgender icon Kate Bornstein’s long awaited memoir A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today (Beacon Press) gifts readers with a brutally beautiful intimate look into the life of one of our communities most brilliant and canonical writers. Going deeper than Gender Outlaws, Bornstein drops the theory and tells the stories that led to her becoming the performer, activist, and leader so many of us have come to know today. Bornstein brings her readers through the childhood of a boy who desperately wanted to be daddy’s little girl who struggled to fit into his family, community, and body into Scientology, and later her decision to transition and her journey into an S/M Dyke. Bornstein has truly outdone herself with this long awaited memoir. (more…)
Spring is officially here and so are a plethora of new books! This May you can pick up new releases from Alison Bechdel, Andy Cohen, and Dirk Vanden.
Alison Bechdel follows up her acclaimed graphic novel Fun Home with another stirring examination of familial relationships. In Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) Bechdel delves into her often complicated relationship with her mother: (more…)
Love, Crank, and Complexity: Queer Writers on Gay Marriage, Black Cool, and the Staying Power of Sex Writing and Indie Presses
Ah, Valentine’s Day: for some, a corporate take-over, intended to fleece and shame. For others, a singularly depressing reminder of love lost. For the less jaded and the young, today is a fun day of crafts, sweets, and generosity. And then there are those of us who use this day to justify subjugating everything to a “love” theme. (more…)
FIERCE—Middle English: from Old French fiers ‘fierce, brave, proud,’ from Latin ferus ‘untamed.’ Compare with feral.
The word “fierce” is in danger of being defanged. Somewhere in between Tyra Banks throwing “fierce” around like used fake eyelashes and President Obama campaigning as a “fierce advocate” in spite of his galling ambiguity (and that’s a rather polite way of describing his passive-aggressive homophobia isn’t it?) on comprehensive LGBT rights, “fierce” has been sanitized—pink-washed if you will—and pushed to the brink of irrelevancy. (more…)
What books should be required reading for the budding LGBT bibliophile? In honor of gay pride month, writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis, writing for the website The Good Men Project, surveyed some of the country’s top LGBT authors to get the answer. (more…)
“Tell them it gets better.”
Perhaps the most powerful internet meme of the year was started by a Lambda Literary Award winning author: Dan Savage. In his highly influential column Savage Love, on Sept 23, 2010, reacting to the suicide news of several LGBT teens, Savage wrote his now famous call to arms: “…here’s what you can do… Make a video. Tell them it gets better.”
In September, the suicide of 18-year-old Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi was a tragic close to a shocking month of gay teens taking their own lives. Clementi’s dormmate secretly recorded the teen having sex with another man, sent out messages on Twitter and broadcast it across the Internet. Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge.
Clementi’s death also brought attention to three other teen suicides–Seth Walsh, Asher Brown and Billy Luca–that occurred in September; all had been bullied over their sexuality. We’ll never know exactly how many LGBT teens have taken their lives because of physical or cyber bullying.
So although the media glare has revealed that bullying is an epidemic, LGBT novelists have long tackled this issue in the pages of their books.