Opportunity alert: Through ArtsEdge, the Kelly Writers House and Penn’s Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) have teamed up to offer a one-year residency in an apartment and studio space near Penn’s campus. ArtsEdge aims to support the work of emerging writers, to foster an environment that will inspire innovative writing, and to enrich West Philadelphia by encouraging young writers to live and work here.
Residencies last for one year and include an apartment, studio space in the AIR Spaceartistic nexus on 40th street, and close affiliation with Penn’s writing communities. During the course of their residencies, writers will be encouraged to develop at least one project at the Writers House — such as a reading, a panel discussion, or discussion group. Qualified applicants (with graduate degrees or appropriate experience) may also be considered to teach a writing course at Penn in the spring semester.
Application deadline: April 30 (source)
If you’re writing a scene or a chapter and it seems sort of thin, make a quick run through of Who, What, When, Where, and Why. If any of those questions seems a little weak, work on those details. (For me, I am normally slacking on the When and the Where.) If you address this, it will change your story/chapter/scene from ice milk to ice cream.
in 1970, Jet magazine was way ahead of he curve on gay marriage.
Queer African American Women and the History of Marriage
This photo and headline accompanied an article from the October 15, 1970 issue of Jet magazine. They reveal that long before the recent struggle for marriage equality began, African American women who love women have engaged with the institution of marriage and have fought to make it their own.
Edna Knowles, on the left, and Peaches Stevens were wed in Liz’s Mark III Lounge, a gay bar on the South Side of Chicago, “before a host of friends and well wishers.” The article ended by noting, “although the duo has a type of ‘marriage license’ in their possession, the state’s official marriage license bureau reported it had no record of their license.” This ending serves to remind Jet readers that Knowles and Stevens’ union was not legitimate in the eyes of the state, as does the use of quotes around the word “married” in the headline.
However, decades prior to this bold public display of queer affection, African American female couples in New York strategized alternative ways to obtain marriage licenses in the 1920s and 30s:
“Marriage ceremonies were held with large wedding parties which included several bridesmaids, attendants, and other wedding party members. Actual marriage licenses were obtained by either masculinizing the first name, or having a gay male surrogate obtain the license for the marrying couple. These marriage licenses were placed on file with the New York City Marriage Bureau.” - Luvenia Pinson, “The Black Lesbian: Times Past-Time Present,” Womanews, May 1980 p. 8.
Also during the 1930s, popular performer Gladys Bentley was making a living singing bawdy tunes and playing piano late into the night at various clubs all over New York, including one named after her.
Bentley married her white girlfriend in Atlantic City in a ceremony to which she invited friends in the entertainment industry:
“Columnist Louis Sobol remembered Bentley coming over to his table one night and whispering, ‘I’m getting married tomorrow and you’re invited.’ When Sobol asked who the lucky man was to be, she giggled and replied, ‘Man? Why boy you’re crazy. I’m marryin’ ——’ and she named another woman singer.” - Eric Garber, “Gladys Bentley: The Bulldagger Who Sang the Blues,” Out/Look, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1988, pp. 52-61.These examples show some of the various ways queer African American women have created public rituals to express their relationships and have therefore insisted on their rights to full citizenship, many decades prior to the current struggle for marriage equality.- Cookie