September 29 to October 6
Lambda LitFest Los Angeles is back! Join us on Saturday, September 29th at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in downtown LA for a full day of programming, featuring panels, talks, readings, and—new this year—low-cost workshops for festival attendees. Check out the full schedule!
BookSwell will be exhibiting from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with other literary organizations on opening day at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC). Come by our table to learn about all the author events happening in Los Angeles. We’ll have giveaways! Check out our Events Navigator for all the LAMBDA LitFest events.
BookSwell Presents: Lambda LitFest Essentials
A BIG QUEER READING / WRITING ROUND ROBIN
11 AM @JACCC: Part reading, part mini writing workshop! Come ready with an open ear and a steady pen! A sexy swath of LA-based poets & writers will read short pieces in a round robin style and offer up some of their favorite writing prompts for the audience to take with them (or write on the spot!). The audience will get to hear a flash of great storytelling through voices including rocío carlos, traci kato-kiriyama, Yazmin Monét Watkins, and Terry Wolverton.
Moderated by: traci kato-kiriyama
The audience will enjoy an interactive and swiftly-paced reading with an intergenerational panel of writers. This will be an inspired reading of response, reflection and reaction – where poets are encouraged to bring in several pieces to share, yet let each round affect what we ultimately decide in the moment to share. The audience will also leave with fresh writing prompts to take with them (or write during the program if so compelled!). Lastly, we’ll make time for some conversation on the process and themes that emerge throughout the event.
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2:15 PM @JACCC: From Stormy Daniels to Cardi B, it has been a watershed year for sex workers in the media. Yet, queer sex workers remain on the margins of LGBTQ advances despite having always been at the center of our history, their stories too often told by others or not told at all. This panel affords queer sex workers a space to tell their own funny, tender, heart-warming, harrowing, and complicated stories in their own words.
With Vanessa Carlisle, Chingy (aka Lani Ching), Antonia Crane, Softcore Mija, and Christopher Zeischegg (aka Danny Wylde)
Moderated by: Natalie West
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IT’S VERY THAT: THE EVER-EVOLVING QUEER LABEL
3:45 PM @JACCC: The LGBTQ community is a vibrant, diverse collection of human experiences. Our stories reflect a limitless richness across a landscape of genre and media. But in all our fantastic range is there something essential that ties our stories together? Queer aesthetics remain a matter of fierce debate. In this plenary, literary and entertainment luminaries gather on the main stage to explore questions of form, representation, and what is gained—or lost—by embracing an ever-evolving queer label.
With Kay Ulanday Barrett, David Francis, Jewelle Gomez, and Randa Jarrar
Moderated by: Zach Stafford
STILL WE RISE: 50+ QUEER WOMEN WRITERS SPEAK
1 PM @West Hollywood Library: What do older queer women have to say? Lesbian and bisexual women writers who are 50+ years old invoke personal, political, and sexual triumphs and turmoils in a Sunday afternoon reading of poetry and prose.
Featuring Ronna Magy, Bonnilee Kaufman, Louise Moore, and Jen O’Connor
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QUEER JOY SPOKEN: QUEER POETS OF COLOR REVEL
3:30 PM @Avenue 50 Studio:
Because once we recognize what it is we are feeling,
once we recognize we can feel deeply, love deeply,
can feel joy, then we will demand that all parts of
our lives produce that kind of joy.
For queer people of color, the past two years have not revealed anything new. Once again, we are reminded that those in power are not there to protect us. We are asked to put our suffering on display but only for gazing, or worse still, to further marginalize others. As socially-conscious queer poets of color, we rebel and reject narratives that limit us. We recognize that wellness is integral to resistance, and we choose to celebrate with expressions of bliss, elation, and pleasure. Our ability to articulate joy is imperative to our survival and continued sustenance. We invite you to explore what gives you joy and participate in the revelry.
Our poetry may touch on the familiar (a child’s laughter), the sublime (stalks of sugarcane towering over an unstable household), the knotty (being both daughter and anti-filial), and even the sentimental (cuddling with a dog at the end of a long day).
Welcoming goodness comes easiest when we radiate our full selves.
With Muriel Leung, Jubi Arriola-Headley, Irene Suico Soriano, and T.K. Le
7 PM @Los Angeles LGBT Centre: Through the selected readings of poetry, story and song, What’s Done, Must Come explores sex and the intersections of the sacred, profane and prophetic for gay, bi, and queer men of colour.
With Kevin Downing, Daniel J. Ellis, David Lewis-Peart, Happie Micha Edwards, Omar Rivero, Niza Jay Ncoyini, Sho, and Daniel Coca Herrara
ACCLAIMED BI WRITERS READ FROM THEIR WORK
7:30 PM @Stories Books & Cafe: Acclaimed bisexual authors read their works. YA fiction writer CB Lee, author of Not Your Sidekick, is a Rainbow Award winner, a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and a two-time Bisexual Book Award finalist. Poet Ann Tweedy, author of The Body’s Alphabet, is a Bisexual Book Award and Human Relations Indie Book Award winner, a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and Golden Crown Book Award finalist. Poet and visual artist Cathleen Chambless, author of Nec (Romantic), is a Bisexual Book Award finalist. Non-fiction writer Elizabeth Hall, author of I Have Devoted my Life to the Clitoris, is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. YA fiction writer Amy Spalding, author of The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles), has had her work recognized by Hollywood Reporter and Publishers Lunch Buzz Books.
With Ann Tweedy, Elizabeth Hall, Cathleen Chambless, Amy Spalding, CB Lee, and Myriam Gurba
THE MARIPOSA HOUR: STORIES OF QUEER LOVE, BLOOD, AND MEMORY
4 PM @UCLA LGBT Resource Center: Mariposa means butterfly in Spanish, but it is also a common name for queers, especially queers of color. Like the radio program, The Moth Radio Hour, The Mariposa Hour aims to “connect us as humans and foster mutual understanding” through storytelling. Five queer Chicanx authors stand up and share their true storiesof Queer Love, Blood, and Memory in front of a live audience. Refreshments will be served. Hosted by the UCLA LGBTQ Studies Program and the UCLA LGBT Resource Center; co-sponsored by the UCLA English Department. Free and open to the public.
With Claudia Rodríguez, Omar González, Richard Villegas Jr., and Alicia Billalobos
Moderated by: Alicia Gaspar de Alba
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QUEERING CHILDREN’S LIT
6 PM @Stories Books & Cafe: The recently launched Dottir Press exists to give a voice to common but silenced subjects, and nowhere is that more needed than children’s literature. The press’s first three children’s books focus on white privilege (Not My Idea), caring for a younger sibling as the child of a single parent (The Nightlife of Jacuzzi Gasket), and introducing kids to astrology (Astro Baby!).
All three authors are longtime contributors to queer culture and bring a unique lens to stories for children: Michelle Tea (author of dozens of books including Valencia and Black Wave), Anastasia Higginbotham (author and illustrator of the Ordinary Terrible Things series), and Brontez Purnell (Whiting Award-winning author of Since I Laid my Burden Down). They will be in conversation about why diversity in children’s publishing must include more LGBTQ representation.
The panel will be moderated by Pickle, LA’s premier PTA Drag Soccer Mom and frequent reader at the popular Drag Queen Story Hour.
With Michelle Tea, Anastasia Higginbotham, and Brontez Purnell
Moderated by: Pickle
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REWRITING THE FUTURE: SCIENCE FICTION AND LGBQ/TRANS PEOPLES
7 PM @Archives at the USC Libraries: Adapting The Handmaid’s Tale to the small screen; science fiction’s historic contribution to the LGBTQ rights movement; challenging gender expectations through comic books; The Joy of Gay Sex meets rebel cybernetic servants; gay teens with superpowers. Join us for a provocative and stimulating panel discussing about the ways LGBTQ peoples are impacting science fiction, and how science fiction has impacted LGBTQ peoples.
With Joseph Hawkins, Tara Madison Avery, Felice Picano, and Nina Fiore
Moderated by: Steven Bereznai
CELEBRATING THE ASIAN AMERICAN LGBTQ+ EXPERIENCE
6 PM @Chinese American Museum: CELEBRATING THE ASIAN AMERICAN LGBTQ+ EXPERIENCE brings together queer identified artists, musicians, and writers in historic downtown Los Angeles at the Chinese American Museum for the Lambda Literary LitFest 2018. CAM’s current exhibit “Don’t Believe The Hype: LA Asian Americans In Hip Hop” challenges and redefines what hip hop represents, specifically within the Asian American community. While hip hop has many hypermasculine and heteronormative roots with lyrics that have often been misogynistic, homophobic and violent towards women, it is now being challenged and in different ways, defying expectations of “traditional” expectations. But whose expectations shape our experiences? Our community, our parents, ourselves? What does it mean to be LGBTQ+ and Asian American and how does one experience inform the other? Is hip hop inclusive and how is it changing? Lambda Literary and CAM invite you to explore the exhibition and join us for a panel discussion and performances.
With Kay Ulanday Barrett, Addie Tsai, Nathan Ramos, Kitty Tsui, and D’Lo
Moderated by: CB Lee
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8 PM @Civic Center Studios: Drunken Masters is: 3 writers read/perform short excerpts from a work-in-progress in front of a panel of 3 established writers in the field who provide on-the-spot feedback. The only catch is that these master writers have been plied with drink or PG indulgence of their choosing. A laid-back, entertaining (and sometimes riotous) reading! Featuring: Wendy C. Ortiz, Steven Reigns and a third master TBA.
Drunken Masters: Lambda Litfest’s theme is LGBTQ writing, in any form or genre, including but not restricted to poetry, fiction, non-fiction, script-writing.
LGBTQ writers who’d like to receive feedback on your work in progress, please submit seven minutes worth of your writing in any form or genre to DMastSub@gmail.com by Thursday, September 27, 2018, 8 AM.
Moderated by: Wendy C. Ortiz, Chelsea Mone’t, and Steven Reigns
ROAR SHACK PRESENTS: JUST SAY IT!
6 PM @826 LA Echo Park: “Just Say It:” readings in the experience of writing /speaking love into the world, and the political/personal price paid for that
Roar Shack is a collective of writers and artists, and we’re going to bring you voices. Some of us come from fiction, some from memoir, some from poetry, and from music and performance and just about anything that leaves its own blood on the page. We want to bring you what you may not be getting much of. Won’t you join us?
With Jamie L. Moore, Imani Tolliver, and Seth Fischer
Moderated by: David Rocklin
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TRUMPOCALYPSE: CAN WRITING BOOKS HELP SAVE A SERIOUSLY F*CKED WORLD?
6:30 PM @Skylight Books: Three writers and an editor discuss the role of books and those who write them in desperate times.
With Melissa Chadburn, Dan Smetanka, and Alex Espinoza
Moderated by: Meredith Maran
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8 PM @Book Show: Yes Femmes is a series of readings by writers who explore the limits of the body, aim toward transformation, sees plants and animals as models or collaborators, express saturated or hysterical emotion, and are campy, fannish, plagiaristic or regurgitative.
With MariNaomi, Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, Chris Belcher, Daviel Shy, Katherine Agard, and Stephen van Dyck
LAMBDA LITFEST LA PRESENTS LIVE WITH PATRISSE CULLORS
6 PM@ Fiesta Hall at Plummer Park: Patrisse Cullors, cofounder of Black Lives Matter, joins Eric Newman from the LARB Radio Hour for a live podcast taping. Topics covered will include Patrisse’s memoir, LGBT issues, and Black Lives Matter. The conversation will last approximately 35 minutes to be followed by an audience Q&A.
Moderated by: Eric Newman
This program is presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division (@WeHoArts) as part of the City’s One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival (May 22-June 30). For more info visit www.weho.org/pride.