August 16th, 2013

andrew potter

Benjamin Alire Sáenz (born August 16, 1954)

Benjamin Alire Sáenz (born 16 August 1954) is an award-winning American poet, novelist and writer of children's books.

He was born at Old Picacho, New Mexico, the fourth of seven children, and was raised on a small farm near Mesilla, New Mexico. He graduated from Las Cruces High School in 1972. That fall, he entered St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado, where he received a BA degree in humanities and philosophy in 1977. He studied theology at the University of Louvain in Leuven, Belgium from 1977 to 1981. He was a priest for a few years in El Paso, Texas before leaving the order.

In 1985, he returned to school, and studied English and creative writing at the University of Texas at El Paso where he earned an MA degree in creative writing. He then spent a year at the University of Iowa as a PhD student in American literature. A year later, he was awarded a Wallace E. Stegner fellowship. While at Stanford University under the guidance of Denise Levertov, he completed his first book of poems, Calendar of Dust, which won an American Book Award in 1992. He entered the PhD program at Stanford and continued his studies for two more years. Before completing his PhD, he moved back to the border and began teaching at the University of Texas at El Paso in the bilingual MFA program.

His first novel, Carry Me Like Water was a saga that brought together the Victorian novel and the Latin American tradition of magic realism, and received much critical attention.

In 2005, he curated a show of photographs by Julian Cardona.

Sáenz came out as gay in the late 2000s, at age 54. He has acknowledged in interviews that he had difficulty coming to terms with his sexuality due to having been sexually abused as a child, and that he began to explore LGBT themes in his writing in part as a way to help himself work through his own issues with being gay.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Alire_S%C3%A1enz
Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club might be the best new work of fiction I read in 2013. It's chief competition are two books that haven't been published yet, and Saenz's own YA novel, "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe." He's an amazing writer. --Christopher Bram
Further Readings:

Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press; First Edition edition (October 30, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1935955322
ISBN-13: 978-1935955320
Amazon: Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club
Amazon Kindle: Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club

Winner of the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction!

Benjamin Alire Sáenz's stories reveal how all borders—real, imagined, sexual, human, the line between dark and light, addict and straight—entangle those who live on either side. Take, for instance, the Kentucky Club on Avenida Juárez two blocks south of the Rio Grande. It's a touchstone for each of Sáenz's stories. His characters walk by, they might go in for a drink or to score, or they might just stay there for a while and let their story be told. Sáenz knows that the Kentucky Club, like special watering holes in all cities, is the contrary to borders. It welcomes Spanish and English, Mexicans and gringos, poor and rich, gay and straight, drug addicts and drunks, laughter and sadness, and even despair. It's a place of rich history and good drinks and cold beer and a long polished mahogany bar. Some days it smells like piss. "I'm going home to the other side." That's a strange statement, but you hear it all the time at the Kentucky Club.

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andrew potter

David Mixner & Peter Scott

David Mixner (born August 16, 1946) is a civil rights activist and best-selling author. He is best known for his work in anti-war and gay rights advocacy. Shortly after Mixner experienced professional success in 1985, helping defeat Proposition 64, a ballot initiative proposed by Lyndon LaRouche that would require quarantining people with AIDS, Mixner learned that his long-time lover, since 1976, and business partner, Peter Scott, had AIDS. Scott would fight the disease for four years; he died on May 13, 1989. While Scott fought the disease, Mixner formed an organization that spearheaded legislation that would create a California alternative to the FDA, enabling California to deal more aggressively with the AIDS epidemic than the federal government. Mixner’s group enlisted the support of California Attorney General John Van de Kamp, then convinced Governor George Deukmejian to sign AB 1952, which, as described by van de Kamp, “mandates the director of DHS to implement the drug testing and sale authority that he had under existing law, for the purpose of approving the testing and sale either of an AIDS vaccine, or of new drugs that offer a reasonable possibility of treating people who have been infected with the AIDS virus.”

David Benjamin Mixner was born on August 16, 1946, near the town of Elmer in southern New Jersey. His father Ben worked on a corporate farm, and his mother Mary worked shifts at a local glass factory and later took a job as a bookkeeper for the local John Deere dealership. David has two older siblings, Patsy Mixner Annison and Melvin Mixner.

Mixner attended Daretown Elementary School, then Woodstown High School, where he got involved in the Civil Rights movement, by participating in picketing and sending his own money to Martin Luther King, Jr. In his bestselling memoir, Stranger Among Friends, Mixner explains that his parents were “livid” over his involvement in the Civil Rights movement, claiming his activism embarrassed them. When Mixner told them he wanted to go south during the summer of 1963 after following the events in Birmingham, Alabama, his parents forbade him.


1982 - MECLA Reception with Peter Scott, David Quarles, David Mixner and Governor Jerry Brown
David Mixner is a civil rights activist and best-selling author. He is best known for his work in anti-war and gay rights advocacy. Shortly after Mixner experienced professional success in 1985, helping defeat Proposition 64, a ballot initiative proposed by Lyndon LaRouche that would require quarantining people with AIDS, Mixner learned that his long-time lover, since 1976, and business partner, Peter Scott, had AIDS. Scott would fight the disease for four years; he died on May 13, 1989.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Mixner

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More LGBT Couples at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance


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andrew potter

Maurice Kenny (born August 16, 1929)

Maurice Kenny (born on August 16, 1929 in Watertown, New York) is a Mohawk poet.

Maurice Kenny was born on in Watertown, New York. His father is a Mohawk from Canada, and his mother was born in Upstate New York. The family spent time living both on and off the nearby reservation.

Kenny's father was a stern man, given to rough treatment of his son, and at 16 Maurice ran away from home, living in New York City for a brief period before returning home.

Maurice Kenny lives between Saranac Lake, and Potsdam. He occasionally teaches at North Country Community College, but currently is assigned courses at SUNY Potsdam.

Kenny was educated at Butler University, St. Lawrence University and New York University, where he studied with American poet Louise Bogan.

In 2002, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas. In 2000, the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers awarded Kenny the Elder Recognition Award. In 1996, "On Second Thought" was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award in fiction. In 1995, he received an honorary doctorate by St. Lawrence University. In 1983, "Wounds Beneath the Flesh" was awarded Bloomsbury review's best anthology. In 1984, "The Mama Poems" received the American Book Award. Kenny's 1982 book of poems, "Blackrobe: Isaac Jogues, B. March 11, 1607, D. October 18, 1646" was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, as was "Between Two Rivers." He is the recipient of a National Public Radio Award for Broadcasting.

Kenny has held residencies at a number of colleges and universities.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Kenny  

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More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices


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andrew potter

Will Parkinson's PITCH Blog Tour, August 5 - 16, 2013

PitchWill is giving away a Rafflecopter giveaway: a Signed copy of Pitch and a $25 gift card to the winner's choice of online book reseller. So be sure to follow the above Rafflecopter link to enter.

Pitch by Will Parkinson
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press; 1 edition (August 7, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Pitch

The day Jackson Kern walks into Taylor Andrews’s classroom is a momentous day in Taylor's life. He's had crushes before, sure, but as time goes on, this is starting to look a whole lot more serious. Still, Jackson doesn’t return Taylor’s feelings.

Taylor has his own admirers, though. Kevin Richards is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants right now is Taylor, so when Taylor rejects him, Kevin retaliates. At first Taylor’s entourage rallies around him, but then Kevin takes his deception one step further and Taylor sees his support dwindle, teaching him the valuable lesson about who he can truly consider a friend.

Buy Links:
Dreamspinner Press e-book: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4077
Dreamspinner Press - Print: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4078

WILL PARKINSON believes that no matter what obstacles are thrown in the path of young love, it will always find a way to win in the end. He wants his characters to have their happily ever after, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to come easily.
None of this would have happened if he had followed the advice he was given many years ago. “What are you wasting your time on that for? It’s never going to amount to anything.” He believed it for the longest time, abandoning characters he’d created in his childhood.
He picked up his very first m/m story by a writer named Eden Winters, who was an absolute joy when they corresponded. She asked him if he wrote and he told her the story. Eden explained to Will that the voices in his head would never go away and how he needed to let them out. With that thought in mind, Will put e-pen to e-paper once more. It was truly a liberating experience and one he has no intention of giving up again.



YA is a popular genre, give a reason to a reader to pick up your book.
Pitch is my first real book. It’s actually the very first thing I ever sent out for consideration and publishing. I was certain it would never get picked up, but so many people told me I had nothing to worry about. I sent it to Harmony Ink (the young adult division of Dreamspinner) and then waited. And waited. And waited. Eight weeks and a couple days later, I got the letter from Elizabeth North that they wanted to publish my story. I can’t tell you how exciting that was.
Pitch isn’t a typical story. It has all the elements, boy falls in love, boy loses boy, boy moves on. There are lies and deception. There is truth and hurt and comfort. There is also the point where one character starts to systematically strip away everything important to the main character, causing him to lose hope. Then when it seems that he just might be able to find a way out of his problems, a shattering act of violence forces him to take a stand.
I fell in love with these boys, especially Benny. I think everyone should have a Benny in their lives. If they could, it would make everyone so much happier.
Taylor – The main character. He’s an artist. He’s got anxiety issues. And he’s so deep in the closet that Narnia is visible through the cracks.
Benny – Taylor’s best friend. He’s a big guy. Very big. He doesn’t bully or intimidate people. Unless they try to hurt his friends. You don’t mess with what belongs to Benny.
Jackson – New student. Taylor has a huge crush on him, but when he finds out what Jackson thinks about him, he’s heartbroken.
Becca – She’s definitely not a nice girl. She goes through boyfriends at the change of each sport season. Jackson will be her next one.
Kevin – When Taylor finds out what Jackson thinks of him, he turns to Kevin for comfort. This may well be the worst mistake of his life.

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