Monthly Archives: July 2010

Queer Memoir SOBER

Well, we have our very first guest curated Queer Memoir! This Saturday July 24 at 8 PM.

About the storytellers:

Cora Leighton recently moved to Brooklyn from Philadelphia. She is a resistant performer who writes and performs about bodies, queer identity, and community. She was recently named one of 1812 Productions’ Solo Performance Residents and will be performing at the Queer Bodies Event in Philadelphia in the next few months. Check out her website for more info:

Joshua Bastian Cole is a femme FTM stage and screen actor, writer, and playwright who has been featured in such publications as Out Magazine, the Village Voice, Time Out New York, London Metro, and the syndicated column: Trans Nation. He has been seen in leading roles in films including Jules Rosskam’s ‘against a trans narrative’ and the staged reading of Tom Leger’s play White Boys in Paradise. Cole has been published in the anthologies: Trans Forming Families, Beyond Masculinity, and Femmethology. He is currently developing two new projects: a play called The Course and a musical called Now Serving. Cole is an alumnus of James Madison University’s School of Theatre and Dance and next month, he will begin Brooklyn College’s graduate program in theatre history and criticism. He wants to be a dancer.

Katie Liederman has written for Nerve, GO, Curve, Rap-Up, Velvetpark, Penthouse Forum, V, V Man, Lumina,, The Archive, and was a resident blogger on Showtime’s She received a Bachelor’s degree in English from Cornell University and an M.F.A. in Nonfiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She was born and raised in New York City.

Melissa Febos is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, WHIP SMART (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press), which Kirkus Reviews said, “Expertly captures grace within depravity.” She has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and the cover of the NY Post, among many other national publications. Her writing has been published in venues such as Hunger Mountain, The Southeast Review, Redivider, The Rambler, Storyscape Journal, The Huffington Post, The New York Times online, Bitch Magazine, and on The Nervous Breakdown, where she regularly blogs. She co-curates and hosts the Mixer Reading and Music Series at Cake Shop, teaches at SUNY Purchase College, The Gotham Writers’ Workshop, and NYU, and holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. This summer, she will be a McDowell Colony fellow. She lives in Brooklyn. More information about her work and projects can be found at

Sophia Pazos is a thirtysomething married woman who will not age gracefully anytime in the near future and will go kicking and screaming into that good night. Her mild mannered social worker persona is a useful cover for her other selves: Queer Latina femme, foul mouthed recovering addict and alcoholic, liberal leftist carnivore, snarky Scorpio, church deacon and Sunday School co-leader. When not playing on her blog, twitter, facebook, or foursquare Sophia enjoys reading books from the library, knitting bad looking scarves, makeup shopping, Tarot Cards, showing as much cleavage as possible and being the token lesbian fag hag at NYC AA meetings.

Terence is a femme ally and a tomboy pirate. She writes plays, tells stories, and contributes to Curve Magazine and Best Lesbian Erotica. She has two heroes: The first is Cotton Mather the Puritan Minister who railed against idle hands and, the second is Tom Hodgkinson, the Brit author of “How to Be Idle” and “The Freedom Manifesto” who promotes idleness as a virtue.
You will often find Terence taking a nap, staring into space or pondering what Cotton Mather would do when faced with a 30-lbs load of laundry. Terence likes her drinks virginal and her women sultry and bookish.She loves participating in Queer Memoir and thanks Cheryl, Kelli, and Genne.

Tina Goerlach is a twenty-four year old artist, focusing specifically on abstract oil paint and writing poetry. In her words, “I love who I am, I love being a lesbian and I love to create. I have been clean for almost two years and actively participate in doing what I can to give back. I go to Tyler school of Art. My major is painting and soon to be art education. Recovery is my new found life.”

About the guest host:

Cheryl B. is an award-winning writer, poet and performer. Her work has appeared in dozens of print and online publications, including; Ping Pong, Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution (Seal Press, 2007) and The Guardian. Known for intense, humorous narratives, Cheryl has appeared at most major NYC literary evenings and toured throughout the U.S, Canada, and the U.K. Her awards include a 2003 Poetry Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and an honorable mention in Poetry from the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund Awards in 2009. Cheryl is the co-founder/co-host of the popular NYC monthly reading series, Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival, “serious literature for ridiculous times.” She is proud to be sober for over nine years. Her website is

The venue for this show is wheelchair accessible and all ages, We’re using a performance space at the Queers for Economic Justice offices that we’re really really excited about. Check out the QEJ website at

Please note that this event is still free, however, we are needing to reimburse QEJ for the costs associated with the space. We’re asking folks who can to kick in five bucks or more, but don’t let that keep you away, if you want to come, come!

July 20 – “Sticks and Stones” (in Philly!)

Our first Philadelphia salon, in Partnership with First Person Arts!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 8pm

The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Tickets- $10 ($8 for First Person Arts Members)

Advance tickets at

Or visit our facebook event page to RSVP and purchase tickets.

PHILADELPHIA- First Person Arts is proud to partner with the NYC-based salon series Queer Memoir for an evening of storytelling through the lens of queer experiences.  The theme “Sticks and Stones” will guide a line-up of queer and LGBT storytellers as they share real stories drawn from their own lives.

Presenters are noted Philadelphia theatre artists, writers, storytellers and community organizers, including:

  • Chris Bartlett, Executive Director of the William Way LGBT Community Center
  • Rae Drew, First Person Arts storyteller
  • Kevin Glaccum, Producing Artistic Director of Azuka Theatre
  • Justin Jain, actor with the Arden Theatre Company and Berserker Residents
  • Maura Kelly, co-founder of the Philadelphia Dyke March
  • Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, award-winning author
  • R. Eric Thomas, First Person Arts storyteller

Co-hosted by Queer Memoir founders Kelli Dunham and Genne Murphy. (


Chris Bartlett is the Executive Director of the William Way Community Center and a gay men’s health community organizer. Throughout the 1990s he directed the SafeGuards Gay Men’s Health Project in Philadelphia. He also led the LGBT Community Assessment in Philadelphia, a project that gathers data about LGBT communities in order to make recommendations regarding community organizing, health, housing, and economic development. He co-facilitates the Gay Men’s Health Leadership Academy, and has helped to convene the Gay Men’s Health and LGBTI Summits. He can be found on Twitter at

Rae Drew is a transgender-identified human who often feels like an odd weed growing through a crack in the sidewalks of our binary gender system.  Rae is a professional creative manipulator of words and images, and an unprofessional outdoors [hu]man who hikes, bikes, and kayaks as often as possible.

Kevin Glaccum is the Producing Artistic Director of Azuka Theatre and has been a member of the company since he created the role of Guillaume in Azuka’s inaugural production of La Rue des Faux. For Azuka he has directed productions of Whisky Neat, Greek Active, Kid Simple, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Barrymore Nomination; Best Director of a Musical, Philadelphia Weekly). Other credits include The Rocky Horror Show (Arcadia University) and Iron Kisses (Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Theater Festival). Before turning to directing he appeared in Azuka’s productions of Metamorphosis, Friends and An Artist’s Workshop. Kevin is a member of The Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

Justin Jain loves making original theatre. In addition to working with Swim Pony Collaborative Arts, Justin is a founding member of The Berserker Residents, whose original work includes Philly Fringe hits The Jersey Devil, The Giant Squid, and The Annihilation Point. As a performer, Justin has worked with the Arden Theatre Company, Azuka Theatre, Theatre Horizon, People’s Light, and several others. Justin is a proud 2010 graduate of Artists U! Up next: A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Shakespeare in Clark Park and The Very Xmas Christmas Carol Holiday Pageant with Theatre Horizon.

Maura Kelly has lived in the Gayborhood for 17 years and has no plans of leaving it.  She works at a (you guessed it) non-profit.  Her favorite claim to fame is being one of the founding members of the 1998 Philadelphia Dyke March. She is most happy when surrounded by awesome, lovely queers who, having a shared experience of oppression, lift each other up with love, flirting, support and fierce community.  Okay, mostly the flirting.

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan is a writer from Harlem, New York. Her fiction has appeared in publications worldwide, including Callaloo, Best New Writing, Crab Orchard Review, The Minnesota Review, Bloom, Lumina, Philadelphia Stories, Baby Remember My Name, Baobab: South African Journal of New Writing, X-24:Unclassified, and others. A 2006 Best New American Voices nominee, she has received numerous honors and awards from Temple University, The Boston Fiction Festival, New World Theatre, the NAACP, among others. She holds a B.A. from Smith College and an M.A. from Temple University. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, and is completing her first novel.

R. Eric Thomas is a playwright, storyteller and intermittent blogger. He is currently finishing a collection of essays entitled “Enormously Awkward: (Mostly) True Stories + Things That Were Better Left Unsaid.”


Kelli Dunham is an ex-nun, award-winning stand up comic and author. Her books include How to Survive and Maybe Even Love Nursing School (FA Davis, 2004), How to Survive and Maybe Even Love Your Life as a Nurse (FA Davis, 2005), The Boy’s Body Book: Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up YOU (Applesauce Press, 2007) as well as the 2008 version for girls. She is a contributor to numerous humor anthologies including Love’s Funny That Way (Sterling Press, 2006), Squeaky Clean Comedy (Andrew McNeil Press, 2005), She’s So Funny (Andrew McNeil Press, 2004), and Dangerous Families (Haworth Press, 2004). She is the co-founder, with Genne Murphy, of Queer Memoir.
Genne Murphy is a Philly native and playwright. She is the co-founder, along with Kelli Dunham, of Queer Memoir. Genne is the General and Program Manager for Philadelphia Young Playwrights (and a 1999 alum), sits on the task force of the Philadelphia New Play Initiative, and is a member of the InterAct Theatre Company Playwrights Forum. Locally, she has had readings or performances of her plays and monologues with Azuka Theatre Company, Flashpoint Theatre Company, Madhouse Late Night Cabaret, and in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.


Queer Memoir is a New York-based salon for new work inspired by a monthly theme, a safe space to share memoir writing and performance, an opportunity to give voice to a collective queer experience, and preserve and document a complex queer history. Queer Memoir provides an avenue to share queer lives and celebrate the ritual and community-building value of storytelling.

The First Person Salon Series is a forum for established and emerging artists to present memoir and documentary art. Focusing primarily on local artists working across various media, the First Person Salon Series provides an opportunity for artists to share their work, processes and inspirations. Past presenters have included poet Sonia Sanchez, photographer J.J. Tiziou, writer Lorene Cary, and muralist Steve Powers.

About First Person Arts: Founded in 2000, First Person Arts transforms the drama of real life into memoir and documentary art to foster appreciation for our unique and shared experience. First Person Arts believes that everyone has a story to tell and that sharing our stories connects us with each other and the world. First Person Arts supports the development of memoir and documentary work by artists from all walks of life and provides opportunities for their stories to be heard in programs throughout the year. Regular programming includes twice monthly StorySlams at World Cafe Live and L’Etage, quarterly Edible World events, the First Person Salon Series and the annual First Person Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art at the Painted Bride (November 10-14, 2010). Visit