Jewelle Gomez is the author of seven books including the double Lambda Literary Award-winning, Black, lesbian vampire novel, The Gilda Stories, in print from Firebrand Books continuously since 1991. Its 25th anniversary special edition was published with City Lights Books in April 2016. Her adaptation of the book for the stage, “Bones and Ash,” was commissioned and performed by the New York-based Urban Bush Women Company and toured 13 U.S. cities.
Gomez’s work got the attention of Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS), as well as national readers in the LGBTQ community. GCLS is a 501(c)3 non-profit, volunteer organization whose mission is education, and the promotion and recognition of lesbian literature. Their goals are to “provide learning opportunities, encouragement, and assistance to new and established authors in developing their craft; support and strengthen quality lesbian writing by providing educational programs and creating opportunities for readers and writers to interact; and to recognize and promote lesbian literary work.”
The GCLS Trailblazer award recognizes lifetime achievement and is presented each year to a single author in recognition of the contributions made to the field of lesbian literature. The recipients of the Trailblazer Award have published a significant body of work over a period of at least 20 years and written lesbian-themed works that have had a positive impact upon the growth and visibility of the field of lesbian literature. Previous recipients include: Ann Bannon, Sarah Aldridge, Jane Rule, Katherine V. Forrest, Lee Lynch, Ellen Hart, Karin Kallmaker, Marianne K. Martin, Marijane Meaker, Judy Grahn, and Joan Nestle.
In addition to being an award-winning author, Gomez was on the original staff of one of the first weekly Black television shows in the country, Say Brother, (WGBH). She was also on the founding boards of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the Astraea Lesbian Foundation and the Open Meadows Foundation. Formerly the director of grants for Horizons, the oldest LGBTQ foundation in the country, she is also the former President of the San Francisco Public Library Commission.
Jewelle Gomez and all other Goldie Awards winners will be honored at the Golden Crown Literary Society’s 12th Annual Conference, culminating in an awards ceremony on July 9, 2016 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia. Visit http://www.goldencrown.org for more information about the organization and the conference.