ReadOUT 2021 Pods

ReadOut 2021 Pods

Below are the panels and presentations that were included in the ReadOut 2021 Festival as Pods.

Susan Stinson & Sally Bellerose in Conversation

Live – February 26, 5:00-6:00pm EST

Susan Stinson and Sally Bellerose met more than thirty years ago as part of the Valley Lesbian Writers Group in Northampton, MA.  They have been in relationship with each other as writers and friends ever since. Each will give a brief reading, then they will ask each other questions about their writing lives in a conversation shaped and deepened by their long friendship. There will be time for Q & A with the audience, too.  

Ellen Levy / Lesbian Fiction Writers

with Elena Graf and Cheryl Head

February 26, 6:00-6:30pm EST

Lesbian Fiction Writers Persist and Prevail, creating characters and stories which live in your mind, long after the pages close. No fiction writers work harder than those women who write historical fiction, as Ellen Levy, Elena Graf, and Cheryl Head will prove. These three readings will intrigue you with historical perspectives of strong women’s experiences. 

Rose Norman / Southeast Lesbian Writers

with Corky Culver, Barbara Esrig, Debra Gish, Gail Reeder, B. Leaf Cronewrite, Merril Mushroom, Rand Hall, and Marie Steinwachs

Live – February 27, 10:30am-12pm EST

We are a group of lesbians from around the Southeast who have been writing together for many years, mostly at the Southeast lesbian writers conference that was Womonwrites. All of us have been published in Sinister Wisdom, and many in Crone Cronicles 2020 that came out last year, as well as other places. We write every conceivable form of verbal cohesion — prose, poetry, and other. For the past decade we’ve been collecting material for the Southern Lesbian Feminist Activist Herstory Project and have edited six special issues of Sinister Wisdom using some of these stories, the last issue due out next year. Today’s Pod draws mostly on the Sinister Wisdom special issues about lesbian lives.

Over 100 interviews from the SLFAHP are archived at the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University, and some of them are now available online in audio format. Contact the SLFAHP for more info. Sinister Wisdom issues are available online. Our special issues are #93, 98, 104, 109, and 116, and all are available except #109, which sold out. Womonwrites: the Southeast Lesbian Writers Conference, where the SLFAHP was born and nurtured, has now split into two groups, Outrageous Voices and Dykewriters.

Tenea D. Johnson / On Speculative Fiction

February 27, 12:30-1:00pm

Lesbian Speculative Fiction is a primer and celebration of our contributions to the field. Tenea D. Johnson, an award-winning SF author, will provide a brief history and overview of the current landscape, including themes and a few greats (that include diverse voices from our varied experiences) as well as a reading from her own work—plus recommendations of where to find new stories and those that are just new to you.

Sue Katz / Writing Elders

with Jocelyn Watson, Jane Fleishman, and Carolyn Gage

Live – February 27, 2:30-4pm

In our panel, Writing Elders, four older lesbians who write about elders come together to explore issues of aging. Their genres are as varied as their brilliant approaches. We will open with short readings; we will discuss how, as individuals, aging impacts our own writing lives as well as that of our literary characters; and we will welcome a Q&A.

Elana Dykewomon / Swimming in the Lesbian Depths

with Barbara Ruth, Canyon Sam, Penny Micklebury, and Achy Obejas

Live – February 27, 4:30pm-6:00pm EST

A “pod” of five whose work has been supported in part by lesbian friendship networks. Many of our friendships were forged by deep engagement with each other’s work, a willingness to risk both anger and love; to examine our cultural, class & racial differences, our biases, privileges, traumas and pleasures within communities we were determined that we belonged in & with. Each of us will read for 5-7 minutes and talk about the influences of friendships on our work. Q&A welcome. 

Carolyn Gage / “Artemisia and Hildegard: An Exorcism in One Act”

February 27, 7-8:30pm EST

Join us for a pre-recorded staged reading of Gage’s “Artemisia and Hildegard” An Exorcism in One Act. “Artemisia and Hildegard” is a complex and powerful two-woman show, featuring two of the most famous women artists in history, together on an explosive arts panel about survival strategies for women artists. Hildegard Von Bingen, German abbess from the 12th century, and Artemisia Gentileschi, Italian baroque painter from the 17th century, have been scheduled as guest speakers on a panel titled, “Women Artists: Strategies for Survival.” As the women display slides of their work, the sparks begin to fly. Confronted with conflicting philosophies, each woman attempts to take control of the evening’s agenda.

Hildegard, whose art is multi-disciplinary and created in an all-women collective environment, has strong words for the woman who does her art for hire. Likewise, Artemisia, who struggled hard to achieve the same status and independent income as her male contemporaries, has a lot to say about the so-called virtues of poverty and humility. She resents the accusation from women that she is “just like a man,” because of her commercial success.

Sheree Greer / Writing and Working Across Communities

with Adrien Julious-Butler, Andrea Assaf, Chelsea Catherine, and Silk-Jazmyne Hindus

Live – February 28, 10:30am-12pm

Five writers from across cultures and communities talk about their work, their identities, and how the personal becomes political through their community and literary work.

Reverend Elizabeth M. Edman / Feminist Theology

Live – February 28, 2:30-4pm EST

Liz Edman is an Episcopal priest and political strategist.  She is the author of Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity (Beacon Press, 2016).  Liz has lived and worked on the front lines of some of the most pressing issues where religion and sexuality meet, serving as an inner city hospital chaplain to people with HIV/AIDS from 1989 to 1995 and helping craft political and communications strategies for marriage equality efforts.  In 2017, she partnered with Parity to create Glitter+Ash Wednesday, a project to increase the visibility of progressive, queer-positive Christians and to explore Christian liturgy through a queer lens. 

J.M. Redmann / Women of Mystery

with Cheryl A. Head, Katherine V. Forrest, Jessie Chandler, and Carsen Taite

Live – February 28, 4:30-6:00pm

“Is this a good place to dump a body?” This pod will ponder what kind of person asks that question on a nice drive in the country. Women of Mystery is a conversation about mystery writing with some of the leading writers today. We will discuss good body dump sites (best body dump sites!! — umm, fictional only) what goes into writing a mystery and the various kinds—noir, police procedural, cozy, etc. We will talk about writing, about publishing, and even about researching body decomposition, police work, poisons — all the topics you can bring up if you want the guests to leave.

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