Leading Lesbians

Below are the authors who presented

PODS during ReadOut 2021 

Susan Stinson & Sally Bellerose in Conversation

Susan Stinson and Sally Bellerose met more than thirty years ago as part of the Valley Lesbian Writers Group in Northampton, MA.  They have been in relationship with each other as writers and friends ever since. Each will give a brief reading, then they will ask each other questions about their writing lives in a conversation shaped and deepened by their long friendship. There will be time for Q & A with the audience, too.  
 
For a preview, see two interviews Susan and Sally did with each other recently on Lambda Literary:

 

  • Sally interviews Susan about her novel Martha Moody

  • Susan interview Sally about her novel Fishwives

Susan Stinson

“Susan Stinson’s substantial and delicious historical novel, Martha Moody, has been reissued by Small Beer Press, and it is certainly cause for celebration.” -Lambda Literary Awards.  

Susan Stinson has published four novels; Spider In A Tree, Venus of Chalk, Fat Girl Dances with Rocks, and Martha Moody, and a collection of poetry and lyric essays, Belly Songs. Born in Texas and raised in Colorado, she currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. She was Forbes Library’s Writer-In-Residence from 2010-2015. Stinson is working on Lamentation Hill, set in seventeenth-century Connecticut. It is about the relationship between a mother and daughter, settler culture, and lampreys. http://www.susanstinson.net/

Sally Bellerose

Sally Bellerose is an award-winning author who has been awarded a Creative Writing Fellowship from the NEA. She has been published widely including in Sinister Wisdom, The Sun, The Best of Writers at Work, Cutthroat, Quarterly West, and won the Rick De Marinis Award, the Writers at Work Award, the Saints and Sinners Fiction Contest, and a Barbara Deming Award. Her work has been a finalist for the James Jones Fellowship, the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, The Backspace Scholarship, a Lambda Literary Award, an Independent Publishers Award, and a Golden Crown Literary Society Award. As an author, Sally loves to mess with rhythm, rhyme, and awkward emotion, and she is drawn to humor and transcendence. She writes about class, sex, sexuality, gender, illness, absurdity, and growing old. Bellerose’s novels, The Girls Club and Fishwives are published by Bywater Books. 

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Ellen Levy / Lesbian Fiction Writers

with Elena Graf and Cheryl Head

Lesbian Fiction Writers Persist and Prevail, creating characters and stories which live in your mind, long after the pages close. No fiction writers work harder than those women who write historical fiction, as Ellen Levy, Elena Graf, and Cheryl Head will prove. These three readings will intrigue you with historical perspectives of strong women’s experiences. 

Ellen Levy

Ellen Levy writes a historical fiction series about Deborah and Miriam, a young Jewish couple who fall in love in Western Massachusetts in 1910. They face rejection by their temple and their families for their scandalous affair, illness and death of loved ones, and isolation because of their relationship. These courageous young women become business owners, are parents of a child with special needs, work for women’s suffrage, and face the Great War and the Pandemic of 1918. Ellen summers in Boston and winters in No. Ft. Myers Florida with 500 incredible women. 

Elena Graf

Elena Graf has published three historical novels set in Germany during the Weimar Republic and the Nazi era. Her novels Lies of Omission and Acts of Contrition have won Golden Crown Literary Society awards for best historical fiction as well as Rainbow Awards. High October was her first contemporary romance, followed in the Hobbs Series by This Is My Body, Love in the Time of Corona, and Thirsty Thursdays. Graf worked in trade publishing for almost four decades. She lives with her wife in coastal Maine. 

cheryl head

Cheryl Head’s first book, Long Way Home: A World War II Novel, was shortlisted for the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the African-American Fiction, and Historical Fiction categories.   

Head writes the award-winning, Charlie Mack Motown Mysteries whose female PI protagonist is queer and black. The series is included in the Detroit Public Library’s African-American Books List. Head is a member of the national board of Bouchercon.  In 2019, she was named to the Hall of Fame of the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival.

 

Head will also be part of the Women of Mystery pod on Sunday, February 28th from 4:30-6:00pm EST. 

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Rose Norman / Southeast Lesbian Writers

with Corky Culver, Barbara Esrig, Debra Gish, Gail Reeder, B. Leaf Cronewrite, Merril Mushroom, Rand Hall, and Marie Steinwachs

We are a group of lesbians from around the Southeast who have been writing together for many years, mostly at the Southeast lesbian writers conference that was Womonwrites. All of us have been published in Sinister Wisdom, and many in Crone Cronicles 2020 that came out last year, as well as other places. We write every conceivable form of verbal cohesion -- prose, poetry, and other. For the past decade we've been collecting material for the Southern Lesbian Feminist Activist Herstory Project and have edited six special issues of Sinister Wisdom using some of these stories, the last issue due out next year. Today's Pod draws mostly on the Sinister Wisdom special issues about lesbian lives.

Over 100 interviews from the SLFAHP are archived at the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University, and some of them are now available online in audio format. Contact the SLFAHP for more info. Sinister Wisdom issues are available online. Our special issues are #93, 98, 104, 109, and 116, and all are available except #109, which sold out. Womonwrites: the Southeast Lesbian Writers Conference, where the SLFAHP was born and nurtured, has now split into two groups, Outrageous Voices and Dykewriters.

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Rose Norman is retired from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), where she chaired the English Department, co-founded and directed the Women’s Studies program (1996-99), and co-founded and directed the Business and Technical Writing program (1986-2010). Women’s history was her outside specialty in her PhD program (University of Tennessee), and her 1979 PhD dissertation was a study of autobiographies of 19th century American women writers. At UAH she taught graduate and undergraduate classes in women writers, American women writers, African American Women Writers, American women’s autobiography, and Virginia Woolf.

 

Since retiring in 2010, she has cofounded the Southern Lesbian Feminist Activist Herstory Project, which has been interviewing lesbian feminist activists in Southern states, and publishing stories about them in five special issues of Sinister Wisdom (sinisterwisdom.org; a sixth and final special issue is planned for 2022). As part of this project, she has interviewed over 100 lesbians and is archiving these interviews at the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University. Some of these interview recordings are now available online. She is currently writing a book about Pagoda, a lesbian feminist intentional community and cultural center that was active in St. Augustine, FL, from 1977 to 1999.

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B. Leaf Cronewrite is Maryann Hopper’s crone name. She knows name claiming and all kinds of lesbian stories are valuable. She came out in 1977 in Memphis surrounded by a supportive band of radical lesbians. She spent a fair amount of years employed as a college English teacher and a technical writer of airline travel software (Expedia). In 1989 Leaf and her partner, Drea Firewalker, founded Womontown, an intentional womyn’s urban community in Kansas City, Missouri. For 20 years Leaf attended Womonwrites and has worked on five of the Sinister Wisdom issues produced by the Southern Lesbian Feminist Herstory Project that grew out of Womonwrites. Now in Atlanta she hangs out with outspoken Dykewriters and other creative souls who inspire her constant creation of stories set in the south. Her collection of short stories, Don’t Let the Flies In, is on Amazon. Her novel, Birdsong Farm, will be released later this year. She is working on a novella entitled Tiffany. She and Drea, created a Crone Council that has met monthly for 7 years and a djembe drum circle. They still find womyn’s gatherings to join and worldwide destinations to explore, leaving behind kitties, Kali Sue and Little Cat.

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Barbara Esrig moved to Gainesville, FL, in 1979, came out there, and has been politically active in the women’s movement since then. She retired last year after being the writer-in-residence of a hospital based Arts in Medicine program for 20 years doing patients’ oral histories. She loves writing, cooking and storytelling and makes listening to people’s stories her permanent career.

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Gail Reeder grew up everywhere. She returned South following familial feet to rural North Carolina. Her writings on social injustices appeared in the Quicksilver Times, Southern Voice, and other publications. “These days I am more dangerous with a pickax than a gun, but I still keep an eye on the revolution.”

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Kathleen “Corky” Culver loves attending circles, especially under the stars. She worked on the organizing committee of Gainesville’s CelebrateWomen2020. Her book of poetry, The Natural Law of Water, is available through Amazon Books, and she is working on another one Finding the Well.

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Merril Mushroom is an old-timey bar dyke and present day landyke who has written a wide variety of published and unpublished stories ranging from lesbian herstory to speculative fiction. Her writing is primarily for and about lesbians.

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Rand Hall writes poetry, essays, and musings. Her work has been published for more than 40 years in Lesbian publications and journals including Sinister Wisdom, Common Lives Lesbian Lives, Feminary, Voices in the Night, and others. Formerly a long time resident of St. Petersburg, FL, Rand now lives at Alapine Lesbian Village in NE Alabama.

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Debra L. Gish is Founder/Director, Gish, Paz & Associates and Crones Landing; Published Author Displaced: A perilous true story of an expatriate working to right wrongs from the past; Managing Editor, Crone Chronicles 20-20; Poetry in Best American Poets 2015 - 2019.

A Washington, DC native, Gish is a pioneering international development practitioner, UN peace mediator & negotiator, author engaged in multiple disciplines: women’s, girl’s, elder’s & indigenous rights, transformative justice, disaster relief, preventing & responding to gender-based violence, child labor & human trafficking, and serves on SCNY’s task force for immigration reform, Recognizing the glaring ignorance related to women's roles worldwide, Gish has dedicated most of her life to promoting women's worth. Now a bona fide crone herself, she seeks to empower female elders who often become 'invisible' after raising families, retiring, or alone without a partner due to divorce, death, sexuality, poverty, abandonment, or illness.

Gish published Crone Chronicles 2020© Intimately Inspiring Glimpses into the Lives of Wise Women 52+ after confronting violence and systematic oppression of women and girls throughout her career. She knows storytelling is a means to heal our wounds; by improving crone’s stature, we inspire others to help make positive changes.

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Tenea D. Johnson / On Speculative Fiction

Lesbian Speculative Fiction is a primer and celebration of our contributions to the field. Tenea D. Johnson, an award-winning SF author, will provide a brief history and overview of the current landscape, including themes and a few greats (that include diverse voices from our varied experiences) as well as a reading from her own work—plus recommendations of where to find new stories and those that are just new to you.

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After time well spent in alphabet cities—NYC, ATL and DC—Tenea D. Johnson lives near the Gulf of Mexico where she writes speculative fiction, makes music, and builds an arts & empowerment enterprise. Her latest book is Blueprints for Better Worlds (May 2020) and next out is Broken Fevers (March 2021), of which Publisher’s Weekly wrote, “the 14 hard-hitting, memorable short stories and prose vignettes in this powerhouse collection from Johnson … are astounding in their originality.” Her short work appears in anthologies like Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond, Sycorax’s Daughters, and Blue and Gray: Ghost Stories from the Civil War. Her musical stories were heard at venues including The Public Theater and The Knitting Factory. Tenea also wrote a poetry and prose collection, Starting Friction, and co-edited an edition of the lesbian speculative fiction anthology, Heiresses of Russ. Her debut novel, Smoketown, won the Parallax Award. R/evolution, the first book in the Revolution series (which includes the novel, Evolution), received an honorable mention that year as well. Her virtual home is teneadjohnson.com. Stop by anytime.

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Sue Katz / Writing Elders

with Jocelyn Watson, Jane Fleishman, and Carolyn Gage

In our panel, Writing Elders, four older lesbians who write about elders come together to explore issues of aging. Their genres are as varied as their brilliant approaches. We will open with short readings; we will discuss how, as individuals, aging impacts our own writing lives as well as that of our literary characters; and we will welcome a Q&A.

Sue Katz

Sue Katz’s business card identifies her as a “Wordsmith and Rebel.” Her journalism and fiction have been published in anthologies, magazines, and online on the three continents where she has lived, worked, and roused rabble. She has been a martial arts master, promoted transnational volunteering, and partner danced more than her feet could bear. She began her lifelong activism in the civil rights movement in the early 60s and was later on the ground floor of Boston’s women’s and lesbian liberation movements. Her first play was produced by the prestigious The Theater Offensive in honor of Stonewall 50. Her fiction books, mostly focusing on the lives of elders, include A Raisin in My Cleavage: short and shorter stories, Lillian’s Last Affair and other stories, and the novel Lillian in Love. Visit her long-running blog Consenting Adult at www.suekatz.com or email her at sue.katz@yahoo.com.

Sue Katz will also be presenting a pre-recorded reading from A Raisin in My Cleavage on February 26 during Pearls: Opening Pearls from 6:30pm-7:30pm EST.

Carolyn Gage

Carolyn Gage is a prolific and popular playwright, known for her skill in researching and reanimating historic lesbian figures. 

A pre-recorded staged reading of Gage's “Artemisia and Hildegard: An Exorcism in One Act" will take be screened on Saturday, February 27 from 7:00-8:30pm.

Jocelyn Watson

The Asian Women’s Writers Collective was Jocelyn Watson’s first writing home. She was one of the 200 British writers of colour celebrated in Breaking Ground. In 2011 inspired by the words of Doris Lessing –‘ whatever you’re meant to do, do it now,’ she gave up work as a human rights lawyer to write. She has been a winner of the Asian Writer, the Jane Austen, Freedom from Torture, and other writing prizes. Her play Cornelia Calling was performed at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London. In 2016 and 2018 she was awarded Arts Council of England grants to write her novel, Shazia & Co. It is about a group of diverse older women because she wants to put them centre stage in the literary canon.

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Jane Fleishman, PhD, MEd, MS, is a writer, an award-winning educator, sexuality researcher, and AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator. Her curious nature led to her latest accomplishment, The Stonewall Generation: LGBTQ Elders on Sex, Activism, and Aging. She co-hosts a regular podcast on sex in the second half of life and recently completed a popular TEDx talk, Is It OK for Grandma to Have Sex? She is an out and proud lesbian and mother of two really fabulous 20-somethings. This is her first ReadOut and she’s psyched. You can reach her at www.janefleishman.com.

Lillians Last Affair and other stories c
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Elana Dykewomon / Swimming in the Lesbian Depths

with Barbara Ruth, Canyon Sam, Penny Micklebury, and Achy Obejas

A "pod" of five whose work has been supported in part by lesbian friendship networks. Many of our friendships were forged by deep engagement with each other's work, a willingness to risk both anger and love; to examine our cultural, class & racial differences, our biases, privileges, traumas and pleasures within communities we were determined that we belonged in & with. Each of us will read for 5-7 minutes and talk about the influences of friendships on our work. Q&A welcome. 

Elana Dykewomon

Elana Dykewomon is a long-time social justice activist, editor, and teacher living in Oakland, CA. She's published eight award-winning books foregrounding lesbian heroism, including her Lambda-winning Beyond the Pale, and received the 2018 Lee Lynch Classic Award from Golden Crown for her first novel, Riverfinger Women. Sinister Wisdom has just launched a special issue Elana co-edited with Judith Katz, "To Be a Jewish Dyke in the 21st Century." Currently, she is working on a full-length play about lesbian love, dementia, right to die, caretaking, and community, honoring her late spouse, Susan Levinkind. She is grateful for all these years of lesbian inter-connection.

Barbara Ruth

Barbara Ruth is a disabled anarcha-feminist. She is a member of DYKETACTICS!, the first LGBTQ group in the US (possibly the world) to sue the police for brutality (1975.) Her poems, photographs, short stories, memoirs, essays and novel excerpts have appeared in lesbian, Jewish, feminist, disability, Native American, children’s, devotional, queer and neuroqueer publications from four continents. She performed with Mothertongue Readers Theater and Wry Crips Disabled Women’s Theater Project. Her bloodlines are Ashkenazi, Potowatomee, Welsh, more. Her parents did their best to raise her as a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. It didn’t take, but she is an absolute expert on passing and its price. She makes home with her life partner Lisa and their cat Habibti.

Canyon Sam

Canyon Sam is a writer, activist, performer, and writer from San Francisco.  Her book, Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History (University of Washington, 2009, foreword by the Dalai Lama) won the PEN American Center Open Book Award. In the 90s she created and performed solo performance shows informed by her Buddhist practice which toured North America to wide acclaim. Village Voice called her “A master storyteller… universally relevant.” She co-founded the groundbreaking ensemble of Chinese American writers, Unbound Feet in 1979, and served as the first Asian American emcee of the S.F. LGBT Parade.

Penny Mickelbury

Penny Mickelbury is the author of 15 published novels of mystery and historical fiction, a collection of short stories, and is a contributor of stories to several anthologies and collections. She is a two-time Lammy finalist and a two-time Goldie finalist. She is the 2020 winner of the ALICE B MEDAL for her body of work in the field of lesbian literature, and she is one of the writers featured in the film, In Her Words: Lesbian Literature in the 20th Century. She is a recipient of the Audre Lorde Estate Grant, and of a Hedgebrook residency.

Achy Obejas

Achy Obejas is the author of the Boomerang/Bumerán, a bilingual poetry collection forthcoming from Beacon Press in September 2021. Her other work includes The Tower of the Antilles, which was nominated for a PEN/Faulkner award, among other honors. Her novels include Ruins and Days of Awe. Her poetry chapbook, This is What Happened in Our Other Life, was both a critical hit and a national best-seller. As a translator, Havana-born Achy has worked with Wendy Guerra, Rita Indiana and Junot Díaz, among others. A recipient of a USA Artists fellowship, an NEA and a Cintas fellowship, she is currently a writer/editor for Netflix and lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Carolyn Gage / “Artemisia and Hildegard: An Exorcism in One Act"

Join us for a pre-recorded staged reading of Gage's "Artemisia and Hildegard" An Exorcism in One Act. "Artemisia and Hildegard" is a complex and powerful two-woman show, featuring two of the most famous women artists in history, together on an explosive arts panel about survival strategies for women artists. Hildegard Von Bingen, German abbess from the 12th century, and Artemisia Gentileschi, Italian baroque painter from the 17th century, have been scheduled as guest speakers on a panel titled, “Women Artists: Strategies for Survival.” As the women display slides of their work, the sparks begin to fly. Confronted with conflicting philosophies, each woman attempts to take control of the evening’s agenda.
 

Hildegard, whose art is multi-disciplinary and created in an all-women collective environment, has strong words for the woman who does her art for hire. Likewise, Artemisia, who struggled hard to achieve the same status and independent income as her male contemporaries, has a lot to say about the so-called virtues of poverty and humility. She resents the accusation from women that she is “just like a man,” because of her commercial success.

Carolyn Gage

Playwright, Performer, Activist

“… Carolyn Gage is one of the best lesbian playwrights in America…” -Lambda Book Report, Los Angeles.

Carolyn Gage is the author of twelve books and more than seventy-five plays, including musicals, one-acts, one-woman shows and dramas. The winner of numerous awards, her work is widely published and performed. She tours in her own shows, offering lectures and workshops on lesbian culture and history.

Gage will also be in the live Sue Katz / Writing Elders pod on Saturday, February 27, 2:30-4:00pm.

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Sheree Greer / Writing and Working Across Communities

with Adrien Julious-Butler, Andrea Assaf, Chelsea Catherine, and Silk-Jazmyne Hindus

Five writers from across cultures and communities talk about their work, their identities, and how the personal becomes political through their community and literary work.

Sheree Greer

Sheree L. Greer is a text-based artist living in Tampa, Florida. In 2014, she founded The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of Black women and women of color writers and is the author of two novels, Let the Lover Be and A Return to Arms. Her work has been published in First Bloom Anthology, LezTalk Anthology, VerySmartBrothas, Autostraddle, The Windy City Times, Bleed Literary Journal, and the Windy City Queer Anthology: Dispatches from the Third Coast. Sheree is a VONA/VOICES alum, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice grantee, Yaddo fellow, and Ragdale Artist House Rubin Fellow. Her essay, "Bars" published in Fourth Genre Magazine, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and notably named in Best American Essays 2019, and her latest essay, "None of this is Bullshit" was published at The Rumpus and featured as a best of 2020 editors' pick.
 

Adrien Julious-Butler

Adrien Julious-Butler is an author and poet, originally from Newark NJ, now residing in Tampa. She has a book of poetry Brownish Green Female Sheep published by Vital Narrative Press. She hosts her own blog Authentically Adrien where she reviews a few of the 100 books she reads yearly. She's competed as a storm poet in the Women of The World Poetry Slam, had her short fiction included in the Fantastic Ekphrastic Art Show twice, and is currently finishing her debut novel. In addition to writing, Adrien is a mother, a serial entrepreneur, and a facilitator for Kitchen Table Literary Arts.

Andrea Assaf

Andrea Assaf is the founding Artistic & Executive Director of Art2Action, Inc. She is a writer, performer, theatre director and cultural organizer. Andrea is a published poet and essayist, as well as a playwright. Her original theatre work, Eleven Reflections on September, has been featured at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) as part of CAATA’s 2016 National Asian American Theatre Festival, La MaMa, The Apollo Theatre, the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage (2015), and internationally. Andrea has a Masters in Performance Studies from NYU. Awards and recognitions include: 2019 Nominee for the Pushcart Prize, 2019 New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) National Theatre Project, 2019 & 2011 National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Commissions, 2017 Freedom Plow Poetry & Activism Finalist (Split This Rock Poetry Festival), 2010 Princess Grace Award for Directing. Andrea serves on the Board of Directors of the Consortium of Asian American Theatres & Artists (CAATA), is a voting member of Alternate ROOTS, a founding Steering Committee member of the Middle Eastern/North African Theatre-Makers Alliance (MENATMA), and a member of RAWI (the Radius of Arab American Writers).

Chelsea Catherine

Chelsea Catherine is a native Vermonter living in St. Petersburg, FL. In 2018, she won the Mary C Mohr nonfiction award through the Southern Indiana Review and her book, Summer of the Cicadas, won the Quill Prose Award through Red Hen Press, which was published in August of 2020. Most recently, she won an Emerging Artist grant from Creative Pinellas to work on her novel, The Harvest. You can find her at chelseacatherinewriter.com.

Silk Jazmyne Hindus

Silk-Jazmyne Hindus is a reading, writing, drinking student of life who loves narrative in all its forms. She's a book reviewer, essayist and fiction writer. Her work has appeared both online and in print at Black Girl Nerds, Straylight Magazine, Femme Feature Magazine, The Gateway Review, and Serendipity Literary Magazine.  She was born in New York and grew up all over as a Navy brat. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Tampa and a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Florida International University. She's an Account Coordinator at a boutique advertising agency by day and a magical realist author by night. As a Kitchen Table Literary Arts certified facilitator, she leads book clubs, Community Conversations, and more! She loves the artistically strange and currently lives and works in Florida.

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Reverend Elizabeth M. Edman / Feminist Theology

Liz Edman

Liz Edman is an Episcopal priest and political strategist.  She is the author of Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity (Beacon Press, 2016).  Liz has lived and worked on the front lines of some of the most pressing issues where religion and sexuality meet, serving as an inner city hospital chaplain to people with HIV/AIDS from 1989 to 1995 and helping craft political and communications strategies for marriage equality efforts.  In 2017, she partnered with Parity to create Glitter+Ash Wednesday, a project to increase the visibility of progressive, queer-positive Christians and to explore Christian liturgy through a queer lens. 

 

Her writing has been featured in Salon.com, The Advocate, LGBT Nation, and Religion News Service.  She has been interviewed for feature and news articles in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Sun-Times, and Religion Dispatches.  She lives in New York. 

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J.M. Redmann / Women of Mystery

with Cheryl A. Head, Katherine V. Forrest, Jessie Chandler, and Carsen Taite

“Is this a good place to dump a body?” This pod will ponder what kind of person asks that question on a nice drive in the country. Women of Mystery is a conversation about mystery writing with some of the leading writers today. We will discuss good body dump sites (best body dump sites!! -- umm, fictional only) what goes into writing a mystery and the various kinds—noir, police procedural, cozy, etc. We will talk about writing, about publishing, and even about researching body decomposition, police work, poisons -- all the topics you can bring up if you want the guests to leave.

JM Redmann

J.M. Redmann has published ten novels featuring New Orleans PI Micky Knight. Her latest is Not Dead Enough. Her first book was published in 1990, one of the early hard-boiled lesbian detectives. Her books have won three Lambda Literary awards. The Intersection of Law & Desire was an Editor’s Choice of the San Francisco Chronicle and a recommended book by Maureen Corrigan of NPR’s Fresh Air. She is the co-editor with Greg Herren of three anthologies, Night Shadows: Queer Horror, Women of the Mean Streets: Lesbian Noir, and Men of the Mean Streets: Gay Noir. Her books have been translated into German, Spanish, Dutch, Hebrew and Norwegian. She lives in New Orleans.

Katherine Forrest

Katherine V. Forrest’s sixteen works of fiction, in translation worldwide, include the lesbian classics Curious Wine, An Emergence of Green, her nine-volume Kate Delafield mystery series, and Daughters of a Coral Dawn, the first novel in her lesbian-feminist utopian trilogy. Her numerous awards and honors include five Lambda Literary Awards, a Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle, the Pioneer Award from the Lambda Literary Foundation, and a profile in USA Today. Senior editor at the storied Naiad Press for ten years, she is currently editor at large at Bella Books.

Carsen Taite

Carsen Taite’s goal as an author is to spin tales with plot lines as interesting as the cases she encountered in her career as a criminal defense lawyer. She is the award-winning author of over twenty-five novels of mystery, romance, and romantic intrigue, including the Luca Bennett Bounty Hunter series, the Lone Star Law series, and the Legal Affairs Romances. Her latest novel, Spirit of the Law, is a standalone romantic suspense with a special twist.  

cheryl head

Cheryl Head’s first book, Long Way Home: A World War II Novel, was shortlisted for the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the African-American Fiction, and Historical Fiction categories. 

Head writes the award-winning, Charlie Mack Motown Mysteries whose female PI protagonist is queer and black. The series is included in the Detroit Public Library’s African-American Books List. Head is a member of the national board of Bouchercon. In 2019, she was named to the Hall of Fame of the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival.  

Head will also be part of the Lesbian Fiction Writers pod on Friday, February 26th from 6:00-6:30pm EST.

Jessie Chandler

Jessie Chandler is the award-winning author of the Shay O’Hanlon Caper series, the Operation series, and the brand new Art Thief series. Two too-adorable-for-their-own-good pooches allow Jessie and her wife of twenty five years to hang with them in central MN as long as they are fed three squares a day—interspersed with numerous snacks. When Jessie isn’t writing and the world isn’t shut down by Covid, you can find her selling T-shirts, books, and other assorted fun stuff at festivals, craft shows, and a multitude of other strange locations. Check out Jessie’s website at JessieChandler.com.

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