Features the Voices of Queer Writers of Color; Event set in Pasadena as part of Third Annual LAMBDA LitFest LA
Published : Monday, September 9, 2019 | 1:55 AM
On September 26, an evening of words and conversation will take place at Armory Center for the Arts as part of the third annual Lambda LitFest LA. Los Angeles’ first and only LGBTQ+ literary festival will land its first ever community-sponsored event at the Armory Center for the Arts in cooperation with BookSwell and Poets & Writers.
The evening’s organizers, Cody Sisco, indie writer and founder of BookSwell, Rachelle Yousuf, President of the Women’s National Book Association, and Sakae Manning, writer and advocate for broadening the LA literary scene, are co-producing “Intentional Intersectionality: Amplifying the Voices of Queer Writers of Color” on Thursday, September 26, at 7:00 p.m. “For writers that have been marginalized because of their race or sexuality, it’s important to knit together an inclusive community and to make pathways to publication accessible, including helping indie writers reach their audience,” Sisco says. Yousuf agrees, adding, “It’s also important as literary citizens to provide a collaborative space for allies and marginalized writers to have a conversation and to create a more unified and supportive community moving forward.”
Event organizers have lined-up writers and community members actively implementing intersectionality in their work. Writers reading from their selected work include B.A. Williams, a poet and co-host of un::fade::able – the requiem of Sandra Bland; Catherine Chen, poet, co-founder In-Flux Collectiv: Queer Reading Series, and author of the forthcoming chapbook Manifesto, or: Hysteria; Evan Kleekamp, writer and director of NOR Research Studio; Reuben Hayslett, poet and author of Dark Corners, a recently released queer short story collection; and Roxana Preciado, poet and author of three books of poetry Not a Fairytale, Not a Writer, and Hood Educated.
Following the five readers’ performances, two community changemakers, Eugene Owens, Adult Librarian, Exposition Branch of the LA Public Library, and Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, social justice poet and cofounder of Women Who Submit, will join a dialogue about intersectionality and how to create a stronger, inclusive, and more vibrant LA literary scene. Sakae Manning, co-producer, says, “We cannot rely on traditional publishing to change the literary landscape. With intention, each of us can leverage and amplify the voices of underrepresented writers.” The producers are hopeful guests will connect, consider how they can create inclusive spaces, and make literary events representative of LA’s diverse voices.
Lambda Literary’s LitFest LA brings over 1,500 readers and writers together, providing a week of readings and celebrations and the beginnings of many conversations and connections. The festival culminates in a Lambda Literary-curated Main Day celebration on September 28 (Saturday), featuring some of the most crucial and innovative voices of the community.
This year’s LitFest theme is “All the Feelings.” In a world that values logic and rational thought, those who feel are frequently marginalized. People of color, women, and LGBTQ+ people have been reviled or worse for the ability to feel and express emotions–but what gets lost when humans shirk from emotion? As people and writers who’ve been accused of feeling too much, Lambda LitFest promotes gathering and listen to LGBTQ+ voices that report back from places of feeling.
A reception begins at 6:30 p.m. for the hosts, writers, and guests to meet and mingle prior to the 7:00 p.m. event start time. Tickets are free through Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/intentional-intersectionality-amplifying-queer-voices-of-color-tickets-69248029721). Armory Center for the Arts is located at 145 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, in Old Town Pasadena, near the Memorial Park Gold Line stop.