As a little known writer of an obscure novel published by a small press, it's always a delightful surprise when somebody wants to hear anything from me. So I'm still a little shocked to say that I'll get a chance to say a few words about books, writing, and my take on it all at two separate important literary events on the weekend of August 6-7.
First, I'll be in D.C. for the annual OutWrite LGBT Book Festival. It's a weekend-long extravaganza of books, writers, readings, talks, panels, that is as far as I know the most inclusive, interesting, multifaceted gathering of LGBTQ writers and readers that ever takes place in this country. I'll be reading from my novel Vera's Will, and also taking part in panels on historical fiction and literary activism, all on Saturday August 6.
I'll rush back home to Queens, NY, on the train that same night, because the next day I get to be a part of the first Queens Book Festival. This is truly exciting--both the daylong event, and the fact that I get to be part of the inaugural edition of what promises to be an excellent annual literary gathering. The New York City borough of Queens, my home for 22 years now, is the most multinational locale on earth, and naturally as home to people from all over the globe it's also the site of a burgeoning literary and arts scene that gives voice especially to working-class and oppressed poets, writers and artists who have for so long been shut out from access to the bourgeois-corporate literary-artistic marketplace (for want of a better word, well actually it's a perfect word). I'll be part of a 4 p.m. panel on LGBTQ Representation in the Literary World. But I plan to be at the festival most of the day, because there's a stunning lineup of writers whose voices I want to hear.
To tell the truth I'm more than a little stunned at the cohort alongside whom I'll be presenting at the panels and readings I'm taking part in at both the D.C. OutWrite conference and the Queens Book Festival. These are names I've known, artists I've admired, for a long time. It'll be an honor to share some time, some space, some thoughts with them. A surprising honor.