Saturday, July 23, 2005

Contests and Readings...

The Sword Review is launching a fundraising contest. It's not yet officially announced, but it will be soon. So that promises to be an interesting one. An official announcement should be made on the zine soon, with the theme and all other details for interested parties. One thing that I find interesting about The Sword Review is the variety it offers in reading material. These days, I don't have much time to browse the contents of the zine, although I do my best to keep abreast of the columns which are quite interesting. It's quite a discovery ... other writers are just like me ... I struggle, they struggle too, and we all have a story to tell.

Melinda S. Reynolds .
produces fantastic illustrations for a lot of the stories, as well as the front page of this site. When I saw this cover, I, that is one awesome angel. He's also looks tribal...reminds me of Balugan in a way.

Earlier this month, my interview with Valerie Mason-John was published. In a recent mail, I recieved a list of her scheduled readings in the US, which I'm posting down here.

I'm looking forward to meeting Valerie again when she comes back to Amsterdam to give another reading in November.

American Tour

‘Mason-John pens the British Color Purple’ New Nation (British Media)

Valerie is a playwright with several box office successes, an actor who has performed rep at the renowned Young Vic Theater, the author of several books (two documented African/Asian lesbian culture.) She is a performance poet, on-air TV personality, artistic director of London’s Mardi Gras Arts Festival, and organized/hosted the first Lesbian Alternative Beauty Contest (making it a national event!). It’s no wonder she was named as Britain’s “Black Gay Icon” and one of the country’s most adventurous performers!

Imagine if you chose the wrong parents to bring you into the world? Well Pauline the protagonist did exactly this, and is faced with some of the painful memories of African slavery, hundreds of years ago. Past lives, spirits, imaginary friends are all woven into this feisty account.

Mason-John blends magic realism with fictional memoir. Borrowed Body is written in voice of a young black girl growing up in white foster homes and orphanages. She is later reclaimed by her African born mother, who wants to reinvent her into a dutiful African child. Valerie Mason-John lived with a white foster mother until she was four. She was then placed in Bernardo’s Orphanage, which is featured in the novel, and was raised by a Polish house-father and an English house-mother. At fourteen, Valerie began living on the streets. Her book is frightfully realistic about growing up “in care” and being a “colored” child in the system. Borrowed Body is a “can’t-put-it-down” kind of book, a mesmerizing read. The issues it touches on will speak to anyone who remembers their own childhood and the pains of growing up. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to meet an astonishing performer and author!

Wednesday, August 24th at 7:30pm
BARBARA'S BOOKS, 121 South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL

Tuesday, August 30th at 7:00PM
CHANGE MAKERS, 6536 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA

Wed. Sept 7th at 8pm
VOX POP: Books, Coffee, Democracy, 1022 Cortelyou Road, Flatbush, Brooklyn

Monday, Sept. 12 at 8pm
THE LITERARY LOUNGE, Telephone Bar & Grill, 149 Second Avenue at 9th Street, NYC


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