Friday, April 30, 2010

Publishing Triangle Award Winners Announced:

The winners of the 22nd annual Publishing Triangle Awards were announced yesterday:
Winner of the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction:
Rebecca Brown for American Romances (City Lights Books)

Winner of the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction:
James Davidson for The Greeks and Greek Love (Random House)

Winner of the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry:
Stacie Cassarino for Zero at the Bone (New Issues Poetry & Prose)

Winner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry:
Ronaldo V. Wilson for Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books)

Winner of the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction:
Lori Ostlund for The Bigness of the World (University of Georgia Press)

Winner of The Ferro-Grumley Awards for LGBT Fiction:
Sebastian Stuart for The Hour Between (Alyson Books)
(The Ferro-Grumley Award is presented by the Ferro-Grumley Literary Awards, a co-sponsor of the Triangle Awards ceremony.)
Additionally, two other awards were given out:
The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement:
Blanche Wiesen Cook received the Publishing Triangle’s Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award is named in honor of the legendary editor of the 1970s and 1980s.

Cook, a historian, activist, and scholar, has received near universal acclaim for her multibook biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. Volume 1, 1884-1933, published in 1992, won the Lambda Literary Award and Los Angeles Times Book Award. The second volume, The Defining Years, 1933-1938, appeared in 1999 and the final book is forthcoming. She is Distinguished Professor of History and Women’s Studies at the John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

The editor of Crystal Eastman on Women & Revolution, Cook has also edited and contributed to many anthologies and written on LGBT issues throughout her career. For more than twenty years, she produced and hosted her own program for Radio Pacifica, “Women and the World in the 1980s” (originally called “Activists and Agitators”). She was a founder and co-chair of the Freedom of Information and Access Committee of the Organization of American Historians, which was actively committed to maintaining the integrity of the Freedom of Information Act.
Publishing Triangle's Leadership Award:
Veteran book publicist Michele Karlsberg is the winner of the Publishing Triangle’s Leadership Award. Created in 2002, this award recognizes contributions to lesbian and gay literature by those who are not primarily writers—editors, agents, librarians, and others.

As a book publicist, Karlsberg, has been an enthusiastic advocate of LGBT literature for two decades. Among the authors she has worked for are Kate Clinton, Bob Morris, Jewelle Gomez, Felice Picano, Ellen Hart, and Shawn Stewart Ruff, as well as the two most recent winners of the Publishing Triangle’s Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement, Katherine V. Forrest and Martin Duberman.

As curator of Outspoken, a nationwide gay and lesbian literary series, she helps new and established voices reach a wider audience. Karlsberg also has produced the first Olivia Book Expo on the Holland Americas line, and is the co-editor of the anthologies To Be Continued and To Be Continued Take Two.
For more information about Publishing Triangle, please visit their website.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

You want to get angry about something that *really* matters?

Then get angry about this:
From the National Center for Lesbian Rights website:

Greene v. County of Sonoma et al.

Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place—wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes.

Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care.

What happened next is even more chilling: without authority, without determining the value of Clay and Harold’s possessions accumulated over the course of their 20 years together or making any effort to determine which items belonged to whom, the county took everything Harold and Clay owned and auctioned off all of their belongings. Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Clay from his home and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county workers then terminated Clay and Harold's lease and surrendered the home they had shared for many years to the landlord.

Three months after he was hospitalized, Harold died in the nursing home. Because of the county’s actions, Clay missed the final months he should have had with his partner of 20 years. Compounding this tragedy, Clay has literally nothing left of the home he had shared with Harold or the life he was living up until the day that Harold fell, because he has been unable to recover any of his property. The only memento Clay has is a photo album that Harold painstakingly put together for Clay during the last three months of his life.

With the help of a dedicated and persistent court-appointed attorney, Anne Dennis of Santa Rosa, Clay was finally released from the nursing home. Ms. Dennis, along with Stephen O'Neill and Margaret Flynn of Tarkington, O'Neill, Barrack & Chong, now represent Clay in a lawsuit against the county, the auction company, and the nursing home, with technical assistance from NCLR. A trial date has been set for July 16, 2010 in the Superior Court for the County of Sonoma.
It's stories like this one, and the story of Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond's recent abuse at the hands of Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital that make what President Obama signed into law this week so damned important.

Are you as outraged as I am by this story? Then please blog about it, pass it along over Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter and do whatever you can to help raise the visibility of Clay Green's case. And please do send a letter to the local Sonoma County paper, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (which is owned by the New York Times) at Include this link to NCLR's page. And to learn more about NCLR's Elder Law Project, click here.

Via The Bilerico Project and Livejournal's ONTD Political Community.

EDIT TO ADD: There is now an online petition to have the Santa Rosa Press Democrat run this story. Click here to add your name to the petition.