Speaking Out on Gay Parenting and Writing at Lambda LitFest

Loved being on the panel “Our Families, Our Stories: Writing and Parenting in the Trenches” at 2019 Lambda LitFest and reading there the opening of my book Dispositions. From a lesbian Mom with a child from a short-lived straight marriage, to a pioneering, single HIV-positive Dad, to two gay Moms raising their kids, each with her own, unique path, to our story, we presented a wide range of moving parenting experiences.

To me, the last 15 years have also been an experience of being both in and outside the traditional parenting narrative. What sets gay male parenting apart is that it is a 100% intentional endeavor. We have fought an uphill fight, and have come a long way. In 2019, our right to parent is a reality, but any way you look at it, parenting remains of little interest to many within our community. And it’s fine because it’s how it should be: intentional, not a slip-up, a by-product, or a means to end. LambdaLitFest1 9-27-19 (Final)

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Lambda LitFest Writing/Parenting Panel

Please come to our panel “Our Families, Our Stories: Writing and Parenting in the Trenches” at Lambda Literary Festival. Here’s the panel description:

For those LGBTQ writers who are parents, the realities of parenthood intersects at every level of the professional author experience. Queer parents are often intentional in creating their families and in how they position their identities as writers, from craft to publication and marketing. Markedly so when you define yourself as other than a traditional “parent” and know how much words matter.
This interdisciplinary program features diverse authors who have published in multiple genres in magazines and books. The queer parenting experience is historically underrepresented and is now a rising area of focus in literary publishing.
Panelists will talk about how they both write about and interrogate some of the assumptions of parenting today.
Readings (fiction/memoir/poetry), followed by discussion.

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Interview in LA Collegian Wired

In April, Los Angeles Collegian – the student newspaper of Los Angeles City College – interviewed me about the UCLA / Medical Humanities project for their Facebook / YouTube newscast called Collegian Wired – East Hollywood News. I participated in the development of this new major at UCLA in October 2018-March 2019 as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow with the UCLA Excellence in Pedagogy and Innovative Classrooms (EPIC) Program. The broadcast went live May 17 and is about 10 minutes long. Since my UCLA segment does not appear until about 5 minutes into it, I am posting here the video segment itself which Collegian Wired has excerpted for me.

 

Convening a panel on ESL/multilingual writers at AWP 2020

AWP 2019 has just swept through Portland, but the planning for the next one, AWP 2020 in San Antonio, TX, is already underway. I have submitted a panel proposal to the AWP 2020 conference organizers titled “Nurturing Future Danticats and Nabokovs: How to Engage Multilingual and ESL Students in Creative Writing.” If accepted, our panel will feature presenters from around the country – California, Kansas, North Carolina, and Texas – sharing ideas for how to engage our multilingual and non-native students in creative writing activities. The panel description is below:

Multilingual and ESL students, a sizable segment of college populations, are traditionally underrepresented in writing courses. How do we help them develop their voices? How can we tailor writing pedagogies to their needs? Community college panelists from around the country discuss teaching creative writing and publishing to migrant farmworkers, utilizing poetry translation in multilingual classrooms, refocusing grading policies to foster creativity, and tips for successful inclusion of these students in writing contests and literary journals.

 

Lane Igoudin
Member, Two-Year College Writing Caucus, AWP

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Letter to the Editor of The Jewish Journal Published

On return from AWP, I found that my letter to The Jewish Journal (LA) got published in my absence. I’d sent it in response to a prior feature article about why the US should continue to support Israel. I suppose JJ timed it with the Israeli elections, as they put it at the very top of the Letters page, both in print and online. My letter highlights the spiritual significance of Israel in the American worldview.

 

Letters: Israel Respects All Faiths, Reality vs. Fiction, A Deserved Tribute

Reading “Saviors or Vultures?” at AWP 2019 in Portland

On the closing night of the conference, I read my new short story “Saviors or Vultures?” based on a chapter from my memoir Dispositions, at a reading organized by the AWP College Writing Caucus at Café Marino Adriatico in the Division district.

Such a warm, receptive crowd, and a joy to hear other writers read the work, including Maria Brandt, Beth Mayer, and Marianne Taylor.

A perfect way to cap off a writing conference.

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AWP19 Book Fair: Enormous and Exhilarating

It took me almost 2 days to get through the AWP 2019 bookfair. It is enormous, but then everything about this conference is enormous: 15,000 attendees ant-crawling through the convention center, 30 concurrent talk tracks, the enormous lines, and the ensuing networking and camaraderie.

Among my bookfair finds is a collection of Tel Aviv noir; gemlike essays on obscure figures from the Age of Enlightenment written by a shy Midwestern poet I heard earlier that day; a volume of Californian eco-poetry, which includes my friend Caryn Davidson; latest issues of the famed Virginia Quarterly Review (#VQR), all but given away to lighten the publisher’s suitcase. (And now weighing down mine.)

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