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Lit Fridays is a literary-focused, virtual salon presented by the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, featuring conversations and guest performances on the last Friday of each month at 6:00p EST via Facebook Live and Zoom Webinar. All conversations are moderated by AWAACC Literary Curator, Jessica Lanay.
Jewelle Gomez, (Cabo Verdean/Wampanoag/Ioway) is a playwright, novelist, and poet. She’s the author of eight books including the first Black Lesbian vampyre novel, THE GILDA STORIES, which has been in print continuously for more than 30 years. Her adaptation for the Urban Bush Women Company as a full length theatre piece traveled to 13 U.S. cities. The novel was recently optioned by Cheryl Dunye (“Watermelon Woman” “Lovecraft Country”) for development as a television mini-series. The novel’s sequel, GILDA: THRESHOLD, is forthcoming. Her new collection of poetry, STILL WATER, will be published by BLF Press in the summer of 2022. Her essays, poetry and short fiction have been published in numerous anthologies including READING BLACK, READING FEMINIST, DARK MATTER: A Century of Speculative Fiction by African Americans, RADICAL HOPE, NO POLICE/KNOW FUTURE, LUMINESCENT THREADS: Connections to Octavia Butler, and RED INDIAN ROAD WEST. Her recent trilogy of plays, explores the mythology of African American artists in the first half of the 20th century and was developed by New Conservatory Theatre Center (SF) where she was playwright in residence (2011-2021). WAITING FOR GIOVANNI, the first in the trilogy, examines an imagined moment in the life of author/activist James Baldwin. It had its New York City premiere in 2018. The second play, LEAVING THE BLUES, about singer songwriter Alberta Hunter, premiered in New York City in 2020. The third play, UNPACKING IN P’TOWN, about a group of retired Vaudevillians, will premiere at New Conservatory Theatre Center in 2022. She was on the founding boards of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); the Astraea Lesbian Foundation; and Open Meadows Foundation. She has been a grant maker for the NY State Council on the Arts, the San Francisco Arts Commission and Horizons Foundation. She is the former president of the SF Public Library Commission and sits on the Hormel Endowment Committee at the SFPL. She is the recipient of two California Arts Council fellowships, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and received the Barbary Coast Vanguard Award (2019) by LitQuake and the Bram Stoker Legacy award (2021) from the Horror Writers Association. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @VampyreVamp