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Wednesday, September 23

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Awards Tue Jul 23 2013

Three to Watch: Chicago Writers Named 2013 Lambda Literary Writers Retreat Fellows

What up-and-coming queer writer wouldn't want to spend a week with the likes of Sarah Schulman, David Groff, Samuel Delany and Malinda Lo? At this summer's Lambda Literary Foundation Writers Retreat in LA, a batch of LGBT talent that includes three current Chicagoans will get to do just that. Lambda Literary calls the competitive fellowship "the only residency in the world specifically for promising LGBT writers." Here's a quick look at the local attendees--you'll likely catch them reading their work around town in the months to come.

  • A Renaissance man of sorts, LeVan D. Hawkins uses his experience in theater and spoken-word to turn even more standard literary readings into engaging demonstrations of the storyteller's art. Taking inspiration from figures such as Bayard Rustin and James Baldwin, his works touch on family, masculinity and race.

  • Coming from a background that includes health-care work and an MFA in Bilingual Creative Writing, Blake Nemec writes poetry that sometimes sets the worldly, chatty vibe of Frank O'Hara bobbing through meditations on queer identity. His work has recently appeared in the anthology Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex and in the Rio Grande Review [PDF].

  • As her official Facebook page puts it, SJ Sindu "focuses on traditionally silenced voices--the immigrant, the poor, the queer, the female-bodied, the non-Christian, the non-white." As she earns her Ph.D. in English at UIC, she'll also be completing a novel about a married-for-convenience lesbian in Sri Lanka. Her creative nonfiction (and works that blur genre lines even further) has appeared in journals including The MacGuffin.

 
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Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

Editor: Andrew Huff, ah@gapersblock.com
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