More LOVE, less hate.
This is the theme we all can embrace. Since 1970, when the first Pride Parade was held in NYC to mark the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, Pride has become a chorus of voices across all media, from books to films, and around the globe. There is more work to be done in the fight for dignity, freedom to live, and love without persecution.
Green Writers Press celebrates our LGBTQ+ authors—and not just during Pride Month—all the time! With Pride Month in swing, we wanted to take this opportunity to feature some of our books with Queer/Trans/LGBTQ themes for you.
GWP author, Sarina Prabasi wrote The Coffeehouse Resistance: Brewing Hope in Desperate Times as a call to community action during the Trump Years. As an immigrant from Nepal, she wanted to take action. She and her husband Elias Gurmu founded Buunni Coffee together in 2012, bringing Ethiopian hospitality and warmth to the United States via fabled, full-flavored coffee beans, and now they have a number of cafes in northern Manhattan.
Reclaiming the tradition of coffee houses throughout history, their coffeehouses become a hub for local organizing and action. Moving from despair to hope, this story is ultimately about building community, claiming home, and fighting for our dreams.
Elias is a serial entrepreneur. In Addis, he ran a traditional restaurant with long lines outside at lunchtime. Often called “Mr. Buunni” in their upper Manhattan neighborhood, Elias is frequently seen striding across Uptown to fix, deliver, and problem-solve.
Sarina Prabasi is the author of The Coffeehouse Resistance (GWP 2019) and was formerly the CEO of WaterAid America. Sarina serves on the Board of Directors of the Specialty Coffee Association and has been featured in Food & Wine (“Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink”), New York Business Journal (“Woman of Influence”), Fortune Magazine and elsewhere.
Clay might be best described as an unconventional coming-of-age story, based on character but with a narrative that opens out toward the larger society and with elements of comedy and satire. The story takes place in a semi-rural corner of New York City in the 1970s and centers on a six-month period in the life of a boy confronting changes in his family, his community, and himself at a time of social confusion and turmoil—including conflicts of identity. The main story centers on cultural and environmental threats to a historic African-American community situated next to a toxic landfill.
“[An] ambitious first novel. . . . Meola creates rich characters and a lived-in portrait of a corner of Staten Island. . . . Over the course of a summer, a 12-year-old boy becomes aware of the injustices in his own community. Set on Staten Island in the 1970s, [Clay] is narrated by a middle school student named Luke. He’s part of a Portuguese American family whose members are outliers in their neighborhood—which gives Luke a vantage point to observe both the local White establishment and a nearby Black community that is often the target of racist vitriol.” —Kirkus Reviews
Frank Meola has published work in a variety of forms and places, including New England Review and the New York Times. His Times travel essay on Rachel Carson in Maine was published in the book Footsteps. He has written frequently on Emerson and Thoreau. His newest essay, in Michigan Quarterly Review, centers on the ambiguities of Hispanic identity in America, based partly on his own experience. Three of Meola’s stories have been finalists in fiction competitions. He has an MFA from Columbia University and teaches writing and humanities at NYU. Frank lives in Brooklyn, NY with his husband and their two cats.
In Parenting 4 Social Justice: Tips, Tools and Inspiration for Conversation & Action with Kids, authored by Angela Berkfield and 5 co-authors, social justice issues are presented through the lens of the authors’ personal experiences both growing up and as parents. The honest stories and ideas prepare caregivers to initiate age-appropriate and engaging conversations with kids about social justice. Dialogues between parents and children are illustrated with eye-catching comic strips by illustrator Brittney Washington. There are many ideas for taking action with kids: from making protest signs and attending a local march, to trying healing meditations and consciously connecting with people to make change. Stories from diverse parents across the US are woven into the chapters on race, class, gender, disability, and collective liberation.
Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection This anthology features poems by Mark Doty, Ross Gay, Donald Hall, Marie Howe, Naomi Shihab Nye, and many others. These poets, from all walks of life, and from all over America, prove to us the possibility of creating in our lives what Dr. Martin Luther King called the “beloved community,” a place where we see each other as the neighbors we already are. Healing the Divide urges us, at this fraught political time, to move past the negativity that often fills the airwaves, and to embrace the ordinary moments of kindness and connection that fill our days.
“My favorite book of the year so far. You can feel the loving intention of Vermonter James Crews behind every selection in this exquisite anthology—the hope for a better society and world for people to grow up and actually live in. . . .” —Naomi Shihab Nye, Poetry Foundation’s Young People’s Poet Laureate
“. . . Crews has written [Bluebird], a book of love poems: to the Earth, to rural living, to his community, to his husband, and to each one of us.” –Shari Altman, Literary North
James Crews’ work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Sun Magazine, Ploughshares, and The New Republic, as well as on Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry newspaper column. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in Writing & Literature from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is the author of four collections of award-winning poetry, including The Book of What Stays (Prairie Schooner Prize and Foreword Book of the Year Citation, 2011), Telling My Father(Cowles Prize, 2017), Bluebird, and Every Waking Moment. He is also the editor of several anthologies of poetry: Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection; and How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope. He leads Mindfulness & Writing retreats online and throughout the country, and works as a creative coach with groups and individuals. He lives with his husband, Brad Peacock, in Shaftsbury, Vermont.
The Girl in the Yellow Pantsuit: Essays on Politics, History and Culture collects the best-loved of Becca Balint’s weekly columns on politics, history, and culture. Becca’s curiosity, humor, and deep affection for her subjects provide readers with new ways of examining trenchant problems. Her clear-eyed perspectives on subjects as wide-ranging as American politics, global affairs, education policy, and parenthood challenge us to think more deeply about our own place in the world and the impact we want to leave.
Becca Balint is a stateswoman, current candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, and President Pro Tempore of the Vermont Senate. After two decades of teaching history and civics to middle-schoolers and community college students, Becca won her debut race for state senate in 2014. She has been elected four times despite primary challenges in every race. In 2018, she was elected by the Senate Democratic caucus to serve as majority leader and in 2020 she was unanimously elected by the entire Senate to serve as President Pro Tempore. Becca is an avid outdoorswoman and motorcyclist. She lives in Brattleboro Vermont, with her wife, two wise-cracking kids, and an incorrigible Labradoodle.
Aesop Lake Seventeen-year-old Leda Keogh witnesses a hate crime against a gay couple from her school and must make some tough choices. Two voices weave a coming-of-age story that confronts diversity and bullying in rural America.
This novel uses three of the fables to provide structure to a story about ethics and moral dilemma, in a political climate that is fraught with injustice and assault on the LGBTQ community and women’s rights.
Sarah Ward writes young adult fiction, poetry, and journal articles in the field of child welfare. Over a twenty-five-year career as a social worker, Sarah has worked with young adults and families with harrowing backgrounds. Her inspiration for writing Aesop Lake came from a local news story about a young man who was bullied for being gay. When her youngest child came out at the age of fourteen and experienced being bullied by peers in rural Vermont, Sarah knew that she had to tell this story. Her depth of professional training and experience with youth who have committed crimes and with victims struggling to recover, as well as her personal family experience, makes her the ideal author to tell this story.
Frost Heaves by T Stores
In this collection, an eclectic mix of characters interact, negotiate community, and encounter the natural world—bears, otters, moose, insects—in confrontations with the reality of their own individual strengths and weaknesses, the welling up of hard truths in the seasons of each life.
“T Stores writes with compassion and insight, finding the inescapable truths hiding in plain sight, layered over an ordinary life . . . a beautiful writer and I look forward to seeing her work for years to come.” —Tayari Jones, Kore Press, publishing women since 1993
T Stores is the author of three novels (Getting to the Point, SideTracks, and Backslide) and a collection of short fiction, Frost Heaves, forthcoming from Green Writers’ Press. Her work has appeared in Sinister Wisdom, Harrington Literary Quarterly, Rock & Sling, Cicada, Out Magazine, Blithe House, Oregon Literary Review, Bloom Magazine, Rock & Sling, Earth’s Daughters, Blueline, SawPalm, Kudzu, Fourth Genre and Minerva Rising, among others. Honors include grants from the Vermont Arts Council and Barbara Deming Fund, residencies at Bread Loaf, Squaw Valley, and Shiro Oni, and a Pushcart Prize nomination. A graduate of the M.F.A. program at Emerson College, she is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean at the University of Hartford.
Transition and change are 21st-century lived experiences. We want to know “what’s next” in our relationships, environment, societies, politics, and everything else that touches our lives. What’s Next? Short Fiction in Time of Change is an anthology of short fiction that creatively explores these questions.
AUTHORS FEATURED IN THE ANTHOLOGY INCLUDE:
Claire Boyles, Joseph Bruchac, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Toiya Kristen Finley, Tom Gammarino, Amina Gautier, Anthony Lee Head, Charles Johnson, Pauline Kaldas, Vijay Lakshmi, Clarence Major, Donna Miscolta, Pamela Painter, Jane Pek, Brenda Peynado, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Shannon Sanders, George Saunders, Joanna Scott, Anna Sequoia, Asako Serizawa, Tiphanie Yanique, and Ye Chun.
Sharyn Skeeter (editor) was fiction, poetry, book review editor at Essence magazine and editor-in-chief at Black Elegance magazine. She taught journalism, writing, and literature at colleges and universities. Her poetry and articles have been published in magazines, journals, and anthologies.
Dancing with Langston (GWP), her debut novel received the 2019 Gold Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Award (multicultural adult fiction). She has given readings and participated in literary events in the United States, India, and Singapore. She’s on the boards of ACT Theatre and Hugo House in Seattle.
Thanks to everyone who has read through this rather lengthy blog post!!! Happy Pride Month to all!