The Free Library of Philadelphia invited Queer Memoir to create a special salon as part of One Book, One Philadelphia, and inspired by themes in the writings of author Sherman Alexie. Queer and LGBT storytellers of all ages will be sharing that night on the theme of “Growing Up.” The salon will be hosted at the local William Way LGBT Center.
Chris Bartlett – Executive Director of the William Way
Leyla Eraslan – writer
Staci Priano – Nurse/writer Philadelphia native
R. Eric Thomas – Playwright and First Person Arts story slam winner local
TS Hawkins– Author/Performance Poet
Queer youth from the Attic Youth Center!
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 http://twitter.com/harveymilk.
LEYLA ERASLAN owes her unrepentant weirdness to a South Jersey upbringing and reading too many books. Currently an employee of a Philadelphia arts education nonprofit, Leyla lives in South Philly, or so it is rumored. In 2008, she wrote, directed and co-produced “Love After Death” for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. She frequents the Walking Fish Theatre Open Mic and has participated in The Five Minute Follies. She has been involved in a smattering of artistic endeavors, and likes the word ’smattering’. Leyla’s passions include art, helping people, and drawing lips in the corners of her notebook.
STACI PRIANO is a 45 year old Lesbian, Nurse, Mom, perpetual student, slightly twisted looker at life, and a Grandmom to boot. She’s been around the block a time or two and has gathered very little moss but has retained a tale or two about the journey; cautionary, maybe, interesting, hopefully. Poignant, funny, gripping? Well, you’ll be the judge.
R. ERIC THOMAS is a playwright, storyteller and essayist. He is the author of the plays “Lost Boy”, “The Spectator” (Run of the Mill Theater Company, 2005), and “The Affair” (LateNite Theater, 2001). He recently won Best Presentation at the First Person Arts Summer Grand Story Slam for his story “My Mother Hates The Facebook”. He is delighted to be reading at his third Queer Memoir and is starting Philly’s own LGBT literary salon this summer. Presently, Eric is working on plays about time travel, Santa Claus, bureaucracy and swimsuit models; cyber-stalk him here: enormouslyawkward.blogspot.com.
TS HAWKINS is an internationally recognized author and performance poet. Her previous publications, Sugar Lumps and Black Eye Blues and Confectionately Yours have been well received in print and radio media since 2007. Expanding her writing skill set, Hawkins will release her first book for teens titled Black Suga: diary of a troublesome teenager, which will debut in early 2011 along with Mahogany Nectar. Recently featured on the Authors Under 30 Book Tour, she is grateful to have traveled around Canada and the United States to share her work with other talented performers/writers. Taping into her theater foundation, Hawkins has been traveling with the American Family Theater for their national tour of Black Journey! For more detailed information, visit http://www.tspoetics.blogspot.com