HQ 76.3/New England News


Volume 4, No. 2
April, 1996



Our annual meeting will be a POTLUCK and will take place at the home of Alice Abraham. For more directions: alice_abraham @wgbh.org.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE fill out the nominating form and follow the instructions to send it to us.

Greg Rice has been nominated for the position of Co-Chair (one year term). Following is his biographical information:

Greg has MLS and MS degrees; he's a consultant in database design and the design of Oracle SQL*Forms, seeking a career in information services and processing. He lives in Groton, CT and works in Fairfield, CT. Greg very graciously agreed to run for Co-Chair.

Assuming that no-one wishes to vie for their positions, Martha Stone will continue on as Secretary and Alice Abraham as Treasurer. Martha will also continue to edit the newsletter with the assistance of John DeSantis. Note to NEW NEWSLETTER readers: Martha is a medical librarian at Mass. General Hospital and is also an Associate Editor for the Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review. Alice is the music librarian at WGBH, a professional musician, and gracious hostess of many HQ76.3 gatherings.


You may vote for the declared candidate or you may write in the name of someone else. Should a write-in candidate win office, that person's assent to election will be sought.

Put your unsigned ballot in a plain envelope and then put that envelope inside another envelope. Indicate your name and return address on the outside envelope. These envelopes will be separated from the ones containing the ballots, but your return name and address will guarantee that no one votes more than once.

Your ballot must be postmarked no later than Monday, April 22. Send to:

HQ 76.3/New England
P. O. Box 2317
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Chair: Greg Rice _________

Write-in ______________

OutWrite '96

February 23-25, 1996, at the Park Plaza Hotel, Boston

This year's conference began with the "Visions and Voices" benefit lunch. Kate Clinton moderated a panel anchored by opening plenary keynote speakers Minnie Bruce Pratt and Edmund White, with Jewelle Gomez, Randall Kenan, Dutton editor Carole DeSanti and performance artists Paul Bonin-Rodriguez and Holly Hughes.

John DeSantis has kindly agreed to share his personal impressions and experiences from OutWrite:

"As usual, it was an incredible experience. Major gay and lesbian authors milling about everywhere; it was more exciting than a Hollywood premiere! At the reception on Friday I ran into Leslie Feinberg, whom I know from her visit to Amherst College. She embraced me warmly and introduced me to her lover Minnie Bruce Pratt, who was to be the keynote speaker that evening. I chatted for a while with Leslie and Minnie Bruce about their video, the success of S/HE, and Leslie's new book. Then Minnie Bruce signed my copy of S/HE, making reference to the invaluable work that we gay and lesbian librarians do!

I also got a chance to talk with Scott Heim, author of last year's Mysterious Skin. He's incredibly charming, down to earth and friendly. He also signed his book for me ("with love and admiration"!!). His boyfriend Michael Lowenthal, whom I know from Dartmouth and who edited the two John Preston books last year, was also there. I also got to flirt with Michelangelo Signorile, but as luck would have it, I didn't have a copy of Queer in America or Outing Yourself with me. Doug Sadownick was there too (sans Tim Miller), and was continuously besieged by admirers, so I didn't get a chance to talk to him.

At the plenary session Minnie Bruce was introduced by Holly Hughes, who mentioned that S/HE was a finalist for the ALA GLB book award. Minnie Bruce's speech was very good, a lot like her poetry, but she went on way too long and lost some of the audience at a certain point. The other keynote speaker, Edmund White, had a much more succinct, and therefore more entertaining speech. He talked about the continuum of gay literature from the 1960s to today (mentioning John Rechy, Larry Kramer, the Violet Quill group) and included lots of juicy anecdotes about famous gay writers. It was a very upbeat speech.

On Saturday morning I attended the program on the voice of the gay left. This panel wasn't really about writing, but it was interesting nevertheless. I went mainly because I wanted to have a chance to speak to Urvashi Vaid, which I managed to do. She was very moved and pleased to have won the ALA award, and she thanked the committee for this honor, and told me that she will be coming to NYC to accept the award. She's an inredibly warm, nice person and a great speaker! Many of her friends were calling her "Urv".

Ellen Greenblatt, Kathy Anderson (the GLB gala breakfast planning chair) and I went to lunch at Blue Wave to talk about planning issues for our gala breakfast this July and managed to get quite a lot accomplished. In the afternoon I did the exhibits and talked to publishers and went to a video screening. In the evening I went to the dance party, but didn't stay very long. I managed to dance with lesbian mystery writer Mary Wings and chatted with Scott O'Hara (yes, the Scott O'Hara!). I should also mention that in the course of the day I met Brian Bouldrey, author of The Genius of Desire and editor of Wrestling with the Angel, and had a chance to talk to Edmund White, who signed my copy of States of Desire. He's an incredibly nice, down-to-earth-man. On Sunday morning I was in the elevator with him when he was checking out, dressed in jeans and sweater and pulling his suitcase on a leash!

On Sunday morning I went to the session at which Jim Grimsley was scheduled to speak, but he wasn't there, as he was sick and fighting pneumocystis back in Atlanta. However, he sent along a statement to be read about his work Dream Boy which I was very grateful to have heard. There were a few people in the audience and on the panel who concurred that Jim has written the definitive work of fiction on adolescent gay love. I did, however, meet Howard Cruse (a very sweet man) and get him to sign my copy of Stuck Rubber Baby. He said he was overwhelmed by all the press his book got.

What else? I talked to Sarah Schulman about the critical success of Rat Bohemia, FINALLY met Eileen Myles and asked her to sign Chelsea Girls. What I would give to be able to spend an hour alone with her namedropping! (By now you can tell that I'm an inveterate namedropper). Here are some more that I shmoozed with: Wickie Stamps, Lawrence Schimel, Kate Bornstein (looking more fabulous than she ever has!), Eric Orner, & Clifford Chase (he's so nice that I changed my opinion about his book-- which, of course, he signed).

The weekend concluded with a delicious southwestern brunch with Ellen Greenblatt and her partner. Can't wait till next year's OutWrite in March!"

HQ 76.3 Caucus at OutWrite

HQ76.3 sponsored one if its most successful and well attended caucuses at this year's OutWrite. The discussion was lively and informative, and featured prominent gay and lesbian librarians from around the country, including Jim Van Buskirk from the James C. Hormel Center Gay and Lesbian Center (a permanent, noncirculating research center devoted to G/L culture) at the new San Francisco Public Library; Eric Bryant from Library Journal; Polly Thistlethwaite from the Lesbian Herstory Archives; Ellen Greenblatt, co-editor of Gay and Lesbian Library Service, and about twenty librarians and library students.

Purple Prose

Michael Wofsey recommends Flesh and the Word 3, edited by local writer Michael Lowenthal (Plume, 1996); this collection of short stories and memoirs includes several reminiscences of Boston.

John DeSantis is thoroughly enjoying the new anthology Queer View Mirror, edited by James Johnstone and Karen X. Tulchinsky (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1996). It's a wonderful collection of lesbian and gay original short fiction by some of the biggest names in the queer writing community.

Martha Stone thinks highly of Andrea Weiss's Paris was a Woman (Harper SanFrancisco, 1995). This is a beautifully produced book about the lesbians and bisexual women who created a literary movement on the Left Bank.

Eric Esau was impressed with Steven Petrow's The Essential Guide to Gay Manners and Etiquette (HarperPerennial, 1995) and felt it was a useful contribution to gay male culture.

Contact Martha at stone@medex.mgh.harvard.edu if you'd like to see your name in this or any column in this newsletter!

On Paper

Jeff Cronin's contributions to "Can Public Trust in Nonprofits and Governments be Restored" in the March-April 1996 issue of the Harvard Business Review were acknowledged by the author.

Laura Pattison is being interviewed by Out magazine about "Public Faces/Private Lives: Boston's Lesbian and Gay History". This is in follow-up of the New York Times 3/13/96 article "Eager for Gay History and Finding Library Allies", which stated:
"At the Boston Public Library, a show covering 350 years of gay and lesbian history, "Public Faces/Private Lives" is to go on view in June."


Laura Pattison was recently appointed to a two-year term on the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Book Award Committee, currently being chaired by fellow HQ member John DeSantis.

Dates to Remember

GCN Off-The-Page readings take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Living Center, 29 Stanhope Street (around the corner from the Hard Rock Cafe).
Coming up:

April 17: Bernard Cooper and Shyam Salvadurai

May 22: Christopher Bram and Marcie Hershman

The following event takes place at We Think the World of You Bookstore (540 Tremont St.) at 6:30 p.m.

May 9: Frank Browning will read from his new book A Queer Geography: Journeys Toward a Sexual Self.