Upcoming: Queer Memoir LEATHER

Queer Memoir: LEATHER

Sunday July 13th at 3.30 PM

Bowery Poetry Club

308 Bowery, NYC 

THIS MONTH’S THEME IS LEATHER AND IS GUEST CO-CURATED BY SASSAFRAS LOWREY

Tickets 5-15 bucks sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds

With our storytellers:

Sassafras Lowrey (co-curating this event)

William Johnson

Ashley Young

Victor Tobar

Karen Taylor

Nayland Blake

BIOS: 

Sassafras Lowrey got hir start writing as a punk zinester in Portland, Oregon. Ze is the editor of  Leather Ever After a finalist for the National Leather Association Writing Award, and the two time American Library Association honored & Lambda Literary Finalist Kicked Out anthology. Hir leather focused debut novel Roving Pack (www.RovingPack.com) was honored by the American Library Association and is a Rainbow Book Award winner (2nd place) for Transgender Fiction. Sassafras is the 2013 winner of the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Berzon Emerging Writer Award. Ze lives and writes in Brooklyn with hir Daddy, two dogs of dramatically different sizes, two bossy cats, and a kitten.

William Johnson

William Johnson is the online editor of Lambda Literary. He is also the editor and publisher of Mary Literary, a literary journal dedicated to publishing gay writing of artist merit and a contributing arts and culture writer for CrushFanazine.

Ashley Young is a black queer feminist writer and poet working as an editor in New York City. She received her BA from Hampshire College, where she studied education and theater and is earning a certification in copyediting at New York University. She is a 2010 Voices of Our Nations Art Foundation Poetry Fellow and a 2011 Lambda Literary Foundation Creative Nonfiction Fellow. Her feminist poetry and prose have been published in Elixher magazine, Rkvry Quarterly Literary Journal, Autostraddle, Her Circle magazine, and more. She authored a chapter in Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion (2012) and is working on her first novel, an Audre Lorde–inspired biomythography.

Victor Tobar is a Queer, gender non-conforming Latin@ writer,performer, artist, activist, and sex- and kink-educator. They are a life-long New Yorker and have been part of the NYC writing and performance scene for the past 15 years (seriously)! He’s also been a member of the NYC public BDSM scene for over a decade. Victor started performing as a teenager, and represented New York as part of the Brave New Voices Youth Slam team in 2000. They helped develop and mentor QQ&A, a creative writing workshop series for Queer and Questioning youth with Urban Word NYC. As part of Mangos with Chili, he’s toured the northeast and Canada. Most recently he curated Ruckus, a monthly performance series that featured Queer and Trans artists of color. The work Victor generates feels like a multi-layered tapestry of nostalgia, desire, struggle, and survival. They are, above all, a story-teller, and they’re honored to have you bear witness.

Karen Taylor first started writing queer erotica to attract the attention of BDSM author Laura Antoniou, in the hopes of getting a hot date. The tactic worked; they celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary last fall. Karen’s work has appeared in numerous anthologies, most recently in “Leather Ever After,” edited by Sassafras Lowrey, “The Love That Never Dies: Erotic Encounters with the Undead,” edited by M. Christian, and the upcoming “She Who Must Be Obeyed: Femme Dominant Lesbian Erotica.” She’ll be reading an excerpt from her piece in “First Person Queer: Who We Are So Far,” a Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology of first-person queer experience, edited by Lawrence Schimel and Richard Labonte.

Nayland Blake is an artist, educator and instigator. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, SFMoMA, and many others. He has taught and lectured on art queer topics at numerous schools including Harvard, Yale, Bard College, The San Francisco Art Institute and The New School. In 1995 he co-curated “In A Different Light” the first major museum exhibition to examine the impact of Queer Art and Artists in the 20th Century. In 2005 he was named International Pipe Bear.

Co-curated and co-hosted by Queer Memoir co-founder (whoa that’s a lot of co!) Kelli Dunham; Kelli Dunham is everyone’s favorite ex-nun genderqueer comic; Kelli was one of Velvet Park Magazine’s 25 Significant Queers of 2011 and was named to the 2012 Campus Pride Hotlist. She was also given the The Fresh Fruit Festival Award for Distinction in stand-up comedy, although Kelli has never before or since been called distinguished. Kelli is a registered nurse and the author of five books of humorous non-fiction, including two children’s books being used by Sonlight conservative home schooling association in their science curriculum. Kelli’s fifth book, Freak of Nurture, a collection is humorous essays that none other than lesbian comedy godmother Kate Clinton called “laugh out loud outrageous storytelling” is just out from Topside Press and caused author Barbara Carellas to give Kelli the moniker “the David Sedaris of the genderqueer dyke world”

Kelli has three released four comedy CDs: “I am NOT a 12 Year Old Boy” “Almost Pretty” “Why Is the Fat One Always Angry”  and “Trigger Warning” all which are on regular rotation on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s Rawdog Comedy Station and Pandora’s Margaret Cho Comedy Station.

Kelli was recently the expert on “What Is Normal” in Twist Magazine (known as Tiger Beat’s little sister magazine), on a page facing a full color poster of Justin Beiber. There isn’t even an ironic statement to match that, it’s just strangely true.

Next event? Sunday August 10th at 3.30 Queer Memoir: WHAT I READ THAT SUMMER also at BPC. 

Coming soon: Queer Memoir NYC Apartment

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So here’s the dealio: a year ago we had accidentally had a Queer Memoir based in a New York apartment because Hurricane Sandy knocked out the power to all of Manhattan, including the venue where we had planned to do Queer Memoir: AWKWARD. Well Kelli asked the queers on facebook if they’d like to have a replacement Queer Memoir in her apartment the response was immediate and enthusiastic YES YES YES YES! So every year in October we’ll be having a Queer Memoir in a NYC apartment. Our first one is in the group house called Queer Study Hall Library Remix. It’s happening Saturday October 26th at 8 pm and the theme is, no surprise here, QUEER MEMOIR: NYC APARTMENT.

We’re still in the process of booking storytellers, but rumor has it that there will be a duet of storytellers using a flannelgraph to craft their narrative.

The important details

Queer Memoir: NYC Apartment

Saturday October 28th at 8 pm

Queer Study Hall II  15 Westminster Road Apt 2K BK NY 11218

Catch all the up to the minute details on the facebook event.

Queer Memoir 50+ (with intergenerational speed friending!)

QUEER MEMOIR 50 PLUS 2 PT 0Queer Memoir is New York’s community based LGBT storytelling multi-venue series. This month’s theme is 50+ guest and this special event is being curated by Ryn Hodez and Stephanie Schroeder.

In addition to our storytelling, we’re adding something very special to this event: intergenerational speed friending, where LGBT people of one age can meet LGBT of a much different age, with the hopes of starting some lifelong friendships!

THE MOST IMPORTANT DETAILS

Queer Memoir 50+ YWCA OF BROOKLYN
30 THIRD AVENUE, BROOKLYN, NY
SUNDAY OCTOBER 6TH AT 5 PM
LET US KNOW YOU’RE COMING AND GET LAST MINUTE DETAILS ON OUR FACEBOOK EVENT.

WITH OUR STORYTELLERS: (BIOS BELOW)

DOMINIC AMBROSE
LISA E DAVIS
RYN HODES
CARY ALAN JOHNSON
BRENDA JONES
EVA KOLLISCH
NAOMI REPLANSKY
NANCY RODRIGO
STEPHANIE SHROEDER
CHE VILLANUEVA

PLUS INTERGENERATIONAL SPEED FRIENDING!

DOMINIC AMBROSE was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1950. He is the author of two gay themed novels Nickel Fare, set in New York City in the 1970s and The Shriek and the Rattle of Trains, set in Romania in the 1990s. During his lifetime he has spent 14 years in Europe, living and working in such places as Berlin, Bucharest, Trieste and Paris. However, no matter where he has lived, he has always felt a member of the New York community and a part of its invisible diaspora. Presently, he lives in Staten Island, just above the harbor, and is dedicated to his writing and photography, and to working with other lgbt writers on memoir projects.

LISA E. DAVIS has lived in Greenwich Village for many years and loves to write about it. With a PhD in Comparative Literature, she worked for years in SUNY and CUNY, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, NYU. Her essays in North American, Latin American and European journals, and lectures in the US and abroad, explored diverse topics. Lately, her writing has appeared in anthologies and periodicals dedicated to LGBTQ culture, i.e., “The Butch as Drag Artiste: Greenwich Village in the Roaring Forties” in “The Persistent Desire. A Femme-Butch Reader” (Alyson, 1992), “Camp Good News,” in “Early Embraces II” (Alyson, 1999), and “Chagrin d’Amour,” in “Gazebo Connection” (Vancouver, BC, 2006). Her historical novel Under the Mink (Alyson, 2001), about drag queens and kings who worked in Village mafia-owned nightclubs of the 1940s, grew out of her long-time friendship with many of them. Her latest project is a non-fiction book with the working title The FBI’s Lesbian: Angela Calomiris in the American Communist Party, the true story of a notorious Village lesbian who worked undercover for the FBI in the CPUSA and testified at the first federal trial (1949) of the Party leadership.

RYN HODES is a late-blooming 56-year old Femme, third-generation New York lefty Jew, mother, lover, domestic violence advocate, martial artist, teacher, and survivor. She has been writing a memoir for ten years, and sends much appreciation to her writer’s group –Anne, Ilana, Judy, and Danielle.

CARY ALAN JOHNSON is an author and human rights activist, born and raised in Brooklyn. Cary has been active in LGBTQ politics since 1975, when at the age of 15 he joined Gay Youth of NYC. During the eighties he was instrumental in the founding of the Committee of Black Gay Men (CBGM), the Blackheart Collective, Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) and Other Countries: Black Gay Expressions. Cary’s work has appeared in Other Countries, the Road Before Us, the Greatest Taboo, In this Village, Gay Travels, the James White Review, the Agni Review, Changing Men, and Joseph Beam’s Brother to Brother. He is currently at work on a memoir.

BRENDA JONES has been a member of The Center for Anti-Violence Education in Brooklyn, NY since 1981, where she has been a student, volunteer, board member, karate and self-defense instructor, staff member, and member of various committees and anti-oppression groups. Currently, she is a senior self-defense instructor with “Power, Action, Change for Teens,” as well asworking at Safe Horizon Brooklyn Community Program. In her not-so-spare time she sews her own clothes, participates in various fat, queer, & POC activist movements and listens to Joe Jackson music (no, not the father of Michael!) while hanging with her cat, Ms. Liberation Jones (aka Libby).

EVA KOLLISCH was born in Vienna and is an American writer, literary scholar and specialist in German, as well as pacifist and feminist. In July 1939, she fled on a Kindertransport to the UK. In New York, Kollisch was active in the 1940s in the Workers Party. She studied German literature and science at Brooklyn College and later at Columbia University. Then she led, together with Gerda Lerner and Joan Kelly, a course for women’s studies at Sarah Lawrence College where she eventually became a professor and taught English, German, and comparative women literature. Kollisch published her first autobiographical novel in 2000: Girl in Movement. She is the 2012 winner of the Theodor Kramer Prize for her second autobiographical novel, The Ground Under My Feet.

NAOMI REPLANSKY is the author of Ring Song (1952), a nominee for the National Book Award; Twenty-One Poems, Old and New; and The Dangerous World: New and Selected Poems, 1934–1994. Her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies including No More Masks!, Against Infinity: An Anthology of Contemporary Mathematical Poetry, Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust; Inventions of Farewell: A Book of Elegies; and Poets of the Non-Existent City: Los Angeles in the McCarthy Era. Replansky’s recent Collected Poems won the 2013 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.

NANCY RODRIGO: I’m a visual artist, queer, feminist activist, social worker, and mom. My son Jonathan is 28, now. Taking care of my own health has been the focus of my energy since I became permanently disabled in 2001 with the auto immune disorders. I’m happy and grateful for each day. I’m a proud Latina and Jewish-Buddhist butch lesbian, native New Yorker, domestic violence survivor, fierce proponent of universal health care and legalizing marijuana. I live with my partner, Janice and our cat Molly.

STEPHANIE SCHROEDER is a lesbian-feminist writer and activist based in Brooklyn. She is the author of the memoir, Beautiful Wreck: Sex, Lies & Suicide. Her work has been anthologized in the classic queer anthology That’s Revolting: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation as well as Up All Night: Adventures in Lesbian Sex, Hot & Bothered: Short, Short Fiction on Lesbian Desire (volumes 3 & 4) and other erotic anthologies. She was also an original reviewer for Erotic New York: The Best Sex in the City and has an essay included in the 2012 Lambda Literary nominated anthology, Here Come the Brides: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage.

CHE VILLANUEVA is the author of Bulletproof Butches and Jessie’s Song. Hys work has also been published in numerous anthologies. Much of hys writing is based on people, places, and situations in hys life. Che is 61 and lives in Philadelphia, PA.

As we celebrate the vibrant lives, stories, and voices of queers over 50, we also acknowledge ageism, ableism, looksism, and other discriminatory ideas and practices that silence elders and often render older LGBTQ individuals and communities invisible.

5-10 sliding scale donation, no one turned away for lack of funds

Queer Memoir: WHAT IS TUZ?

We’ve got a brand new venue and a brand new guest curator to help celebrate Queer Memoir’s Three Year Anniversary!

Queer Memoir: What Is Tuz?

Queer Memoir is New York’s community based LGBT storytelling series. In this special Queer Memoir, guest curator Nadia Awad is bringing together storytellers to share around the theme “What is Tuz?”

About Tuz: “tuz”/ طز is an Arabic word that connotes moxie, “go to hell,” “I don’t care,” or “not my rules.” Storytellers will be sharing the meaning of the word as it emerges through their own personal narrative.

Nadia Awad is a filmmaker who accompanied the first solidarity delegation of LGBT people to Palestine in January 2012. Tickets for this special Queer Memoir are 15 bucks (email for ticket price exemptions if needed) and proceeds will go to help Nadia finish her film about the delegation.
Here are all the details:
Queer Memoir: What Is Tuz?
Sunday March 10th at 2 pm
388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11217

Buy tickets here: tickets include snacks AND an amazing line up of storytellers!

Also check out the facebook event for most up to date info.

More about Queer Memoir:
Even as LGBT characters and “out” celebrities become more common in pop culture and mainstream media, the richness and complexity of real queer lives is still undervalued and often invisible. Queer Memoir attempts to provide an avenue to share queer lives and celebrate the ritual and community-building value of storytelling.

QUEER MEMOIR: DOCUMENTING QUEER STORIES, CELEBRATING QUEER LIVES

Looking to buy tickets for Queer Memoir: What Is Tuz

You’ve come to the right place!

Queer Memoir On The Move: The Gay Train

postcardHere’s to the queers… in the streets…the streets…the streets…

Well okay, on the trains.

As part of our celebration of Queer Memoir’s Third Year Anniversary we’re taking Queer Memoir On the Move.

We’ll meet at 11 am on the platform of the 207th Street A Train Station in Inwood, so we can ride together.

WITH STORYTELLERS
M Tauret Davis
Katz/Athens Boys Choir
Christa Orth
JJ Jones

Hosted by Kelli Dunham

QUEER MEMOIR is NYC’s community based storytelling event. This month we’ll be hearing from a bunch of really fascinating folks with amazing stories, all on the theme of On the Move/The Gay Train. Please join us.

Even as LGBT characters and “out” celebrities become more common in pop culture and mainstream media, the richness and complexity of real queer lives is still undervalued and often invisible. Queer Memoir attempts to provide an avenue to share queer lives and celebrate the ritual and community-building value of storytelling.

STORYTELLERS’ BIOS:

M TAURET DAVIS
M.Taueret Davis is a Brooklyn-based artist, performer, and queer femme body liberationist.

CHRISTA ORTH
Christa Orth is a fifth-generation Pacific Northwesterner, and a creative nonfiction writer based in Brooklyn, who usually takes the Q train. She’s writing her first book: stories of the queer history of Seattle and Portland. Christa on the board of MIX NYC, writes for the ACT UP Oral History Project, and is a proud Lambda Literary Fellow. Christa’s publications include a contribution to the Lambda Award winning anthology Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City

KATZ/ATHENS BOYS CHOIR
Ok, so the name Athens Boys Choir can be a bit deceiving but you can’t blame a Transsexual man living in the Deep South for having a sense of humor about the whole ordeal. So Katz, the Choir’s now solo member, travels the country speaking “the good word” throwing down hard hitting spoken-word that deals with issues of Gender, Politics, Love, Sex, and everything in-between.

Athens Boys Choir has been touring nationally since 2003, performing for audiences that are becoming more diverse everyday. You don’t have to be a spoken-word enthusiast to enjoy the lyrical stylings of the Athens Boys Choir. Katz has the unusual skill of opening even the most skeptical minds to the world of performance poetry. With three CD’s already out and a fourth due for release on March 27, 2007, Katz/The Athens Boys Choir has established himself as a force in the spoken-word/queer/pop culture/homo-hop movement; you choose how it moves you.

ABOUT YOUR HOST AND QUEER MEMOIR CO-FOUNDER/CO-CURATOR KELLI DUNHAM

Kelli Dunham
Kelli Dunham (kellidunham.com) is everyone’s favorite ex-nun genderqueer nerd comic. Kelli was one of Velvet Park Magazine’s 25 Significant Queer Women of 2011 and was named to the 2012 Campus Pride Hotlist. Kelli was also given the The Fresh Fruit Festival Award for Distinction in stand-up comedy, although Kelli has never before or since been called distinguished. Kelli is the author of four books of humorous non-fiction, including two children’s books being used by Sonlight conservative home schooling association in their science curriculum. Her upcoming fifth book, Freak of Nurture, was called “hilarious…laugh out loud outrageous storytelling” by none other than the godmother of lesbian comedy, Kate Clinton. Freak of Nurture will be released by Topside Press in Spring 2013.

Kelli was recently the expert on “What Is Normal” in the teenybopper periodical Twist, on a page facing a full color poster of Justin Beiber. There isn’t even a ironic statement to match that, it’s just strangely true.

QUEER MEMOIR: DEAD

SATURDAY DECEMBER 8TH AT QEJ. CHECK OUT THE LOCATION DETAILS ON FACEBOOK

QUEER MEMOIR is NYC’s community based queer storytelling event. We’ll be hearing stories on the theme: DEAD from an amazing lineup of storytellers:

Kelly Bedwell
Bryn Kelly
Maribelle Vazquez & Sophia Pazos

Marc Vera
Karalyn Shimmyo
Anne Grip
Cheryl Stewart
Danielle Abrams
Linda Kinsman-Saegert

KELLY BEDWELL
Kelly Bedwell
Kelly Bedwell is a vocalist. She writes in her journal. Usually about the same subjects over and over. These writings have never been published, she has won no awards. Kelli Dunham made her do this performance.

CHERYL STEWART
Cheryl Stewart is a sculptor and scenic artist living in Red Hook, Brooklyn with her two delightful cats. She’s a founding member of the NYC Sirens Women’s Motorcycle Club, and the founder of the New York Motorcycle and Scooter Task Force. Cheryl was thrilled to celebrate her 50th birthday in July.

BRYN KELLY
Bryn Kelly is all about the story. She has shared her written work at NYC-based performance series Gayety!, Low Standards, and Queer Memoir; and in Original Plumbing magazine; and in the forthcoming anthology, Trans/Love: Radical Sex, Love and Relationships Beyond the Gender Binary. She was a cofounder of Theater Transgression, a multimedia performance collective, and has appeared in Dixon Place’s HOT! Festival and in Shakespeare at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. She hosts The Gay Ole Opry, an annual country music showcase, and lives in Brooklyn.

MARIBELLE VAZQUEZ
Maribelle Vazquez is a Puerto Rican born in the Bronx and grew up in the age of disco, dancing and drugs. Having sown her wild oats within the Bronx lesbian community, Maribelle settled into middle class respectability in Washington Heights, working in business, collecting vinyl, and being active in Metropolitan Community Church of New York. Maribelle channels her love for the written word in poetry, letters, greeting cards, reading, and writing love notes and to do lists to her fiancee Sophia Pazos.

SOPHIA PAZOS
Sophia Pazos is a first generation New Yorker of Ecuadorian immigrants. Sophia has written something or other since seventh grade and has published in the Journal of Lesbian and Gay Social Services and Sojourner, the Women’s Journal. Sophia gets paid to be a social work supervisor and spends her free time working her recovery program, writing, reading, knitting and ignoring the to do lists written by her fiancee Maribelle Vazquez.

KARALYN SHIMMYO
Karalyn Shimmyo is a social worker and organizer who lives with her partner, Ali, and their feline progeny in Brooklyn. She is the former Executive Director of the New York State Coalition of LMSWs, the most ass-kicking social work organization you’ve never heard of. Karalyn has served as a volunteer and board member for community-based nonprofits and is involved in prison justice/abolition efforts, most recently with formerly incarcerated HIV+ adults. A self-identified orphan, she writes and reflects and ruminates on issues of attachment and loss. She is the founder of The Queer Commons, and is passionate about supporting community projects that recognize the interconnectedness of queer issues with those of disability, immigration, race, prison justice, poverty and health care. Karalyn facilitates social work-y workshops such as incorporating a social justice model into clinical work, queer criminalization and incarceration, the impact of poverty on LGBTQ communities and others, and she’s available for consulting and coffee dates.

Linda Kinsman-Saegert
Linda is 59 year old Butch who came of age in the 70’s when people did not speak about gay issues. When she was 15 she kissed a girl at school and told her mother who said that all girls do that before marriage so they can’t get pregnant. She has had only long term relationships,and was “married” in 1985 to Vicki Sarafino who was killed by a car in 2003. Because they had no legal standing she was denied all rights, she was not even allowed to see her until her sister came as I was not her next of kin. She is now now happily married, legally this time to her beautiful Femme wife, Kellie Kinsman-Saegert. Being a Gemini, she has had many careers, she was an RN, a Social Worker, a Chef and she is now in restaurant sales. Her mother was gay as well, but did not tell Linda until she was 85 years old and dying.

MARC VERA
Marc Vera lives in Boston. He doesn’t like it. He used to work at Entertainment Weekly. He used to own a brilliant modern lifestyle store in Rochester, NY … until the recession smashed it to bits. It was called nook. He’s currently working on a memoir about the past few years of his life and will soon have a degree that’s useful. The first two were flukes.

DANIELLE ABRAMS
From Danielle Abrams’ bubbies, tummlers, and Southern ancestors, emerge a hybrid blend of personae and crossbred stories. Abrams has performed nationally at museums, festivals, and performance spaces. She has received support from the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Abrams currently teaches in Art and English Departments at the City University of New York.

Even as LGBT characters and “out” celebrities become more common in pop culture and mainstream media, the richness and complexity of real queer lives is still undervalued and often invisible. Queer Memoir attempts to provide an avenue to share queer lives and celebrate the ritual and community-building value of storytelling.

QUEER MEMOIR: DOCUMENTING QUEER STORIES, CELEBRATING QUEER LIVE