April 18, 2014

2012 Writers Retreat Faculty

FICTION: Dorothy Allison

Dorothy AllisonDorothy Allison was born in Greenville, South Carolina but makes her home in Northern California, with her partner Alix Layman, and her teenage son, Wolf Michael—and declares herself a happily born again Californian.

Ms. Allison is the author of the prize-winning novels, Bastard out of Carolina and Cavedweller, as well as the books Two or Three Things I know for Sure, Trash, Skin, and the book of poetry, The Women Who Hate me. A popular teacher and speaker, Ms. Allison has been Emory University Center for Humanistic Inquiry’s Distinguished Visiting, Writer in Residence at Columbia College in Chicago, and McGee Professor at Davidson College in North Carolina.

NONFICTION: Cris Beam

Cris BeamCris Beam is an author and professor in New York City. She is the author of Transparent, a nonfiction book that covers seven years in the lives of four transgender teenagers, which won the Lambda Literary Award for best transgender book in 2008, and was a Stonewall Honor book. Her young adult novel, I am J, was released by Little, Brown in March 2011, and a nonfiction book about the state of foster care in the U.S. will be released by Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt in 2013. She teaches creative writing at Columbia University, New York University, The New School, and Bayview Women’s Correctional Facility. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Columbia University and has received fellowships from the Point Foundation and the Corporation of Yaddo.

POETRY: Jewelle Gomez

Jewelle GomezJewelle Gomez (Cape Verdean/Ioway/Wampanoag) is a writer and activist. She is the author of seven books including the double Lambda Literary Award-winning, Black lesbian vampire novel, The Gilda Stories. She also wrote the play based on the novel, Bones and Ash, which toured 13 US cities. Her third collection of poetry, Oral Tradition, was also nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.

Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry are included in over one hundred anthologies. She has written essays, literary and film criticism for numerous publications including The Village Voice, MS Magazine, The Advocate, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Black Scholar.

She was a member of the editorial collective of Conditions, an early lesbian/feminist literary journal and was one of the first contributors to On Our Backs, the erotic lesbian journal. She was on the founding board of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and the Open Meadows Foundation.

She’s taught creative writing and popular culture at San Francisco State University, Hunter College (NYC), New College of California, Menlo College as well as the Maui Writers Conference. She most recently taught poetry at the annual Saints & Sinners LGBT Writers Conference in New Orleans.

She sits on the poetry selection committees for the Commonwealth Club of California Book Awards; and for the San Francisco Poet Laureates. She currently serves as President of the San Francisco Public Library Commission.

She’s just finished a new novel, Televised, that’s looking for a home and her new play about James Baldwin premiered at the New Conservatory Theatre Center (San Francisco) in the fall of 2011.

YOUNG ADULT: Alex Sanchez

Alex SanchezAlex Sanchez, recipient of LLF’s 2011 Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists’ Prize, is best known for his debut 2001 novel, Rainbow Boys, selected by the American Library Association as a “Best Book for Young Adults,” and praised by School Library Journal as a book that could “open eyes and change lives.” The success of that first novel led to two Rainbow sequels and the Lambda Award-winning middle-grade novel, So Hard to Say. His novel, The God Box, explores the intersection between sexuality and spirituality. And his novel, Getting It, a sort of “queer eye for the straight teenage boy,” won the Myers Outstanding Book Award for Human Rights. Alex’s last novel, Bait, won the Florida Book Award Gold Medal for young adult fiction and was recently selected to receive the Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children’s Book Award. His newly-released novel, Boyfriends with Girlfriends, focuses on bisexual teens. Alex received his master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Old Dominion University and for many years worked as a youth and family counselor. He divides his time between Florida and Thailand.