Queerness means different things to different women. Literature is one of the important ways that queer identities are articulated, explored, and shared with the world. This summer, the OutWrite Book Festival features a number of readings and panels of queer women and lesbians exploring their experiences and sharing their work and skills.
The OutWrite Book Festival, sponsored by The DC Center, is Washington, D.C.’s annual festival that celebrates LGBTQ literature and authors.This year, the OutWrite Book Festival starts on Friday, July 31 and continue through Saturday, August 1. The featured keynote speaker is James Earl Hardy, celebrating the Anniversary of B-Boy Blues as well as reading some of his new work. B-Boy Blues was the first novel that celebrated hip-hop culture through a queer lens.
Throughout the day on Saturday, readings and workshops feature a diverse group of LGBTQ authors. Get up early in the morning to join the festival for coffee and readings and activities for children including story hour and a craft project at 10:30 a.m. at The DC LGBT Center. At 11 a.m., seasoned artists and authors Jeri Hilderley and Janet Mayes will lead an interactive workshop, Transforming Words into a Multimedia Experience. This workshop teaches authors how to produce an aural and reading experience via print-on-demand CD and book combos in several easy-to-understand steps.
The afternoon features a number of readings of interest to lesbians including: Threefold: Presenting 3 Cave Canem Fellows, which will feature three wonderful queer female poets reading their work. Cave Canem is an organization that focuses on promoting and supporting African American poets; Queer Immigrant Stories, which includes readings by Mala Kumar, an international development practitioner based out of New York City, and Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene, an Ijaw and Urhobo Nigerian dyke performance activist, poet, dancer, educator, actress and visual artist. Together, they take on the question of what it means to be an immigrant, a woman of color, and queer all at once; Hysterical: Anna Freud’s Story, a reading by Rebecca Coffey about Anna Freud’s experience as the lesbian daughter of the legendary Sigmund Freud; and a reading by Dr. Sheena Howard from her new work that creates a conceptual framework around Black, lesbian female identity.
All OutWrite Book Festival events will be held at The DC Center for the LGBT Community (2000 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C.). You can find the full schedule at http://www.thedccenter.org/outwritedc/.