<<Dear Mama T;
I am writing to you after finding your blog "A queer family grows in redneckville." As one of Edmonton's finest writers on the topic of LGBT-families, I wanted to invite you to speak with award-winning writer and LGBT activist Lesléa Newman. She will be the guest of honour at the University of Alberta later this month, where she will present a free lecture on human rights. We would love to give you the chance to speak to her earlier, to give you and your readers an advance preview of her lecture.
Lesléa’s work is more important now than ever before. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but sexual minorities are still fighting to have their rights acknowledged. As equal marriage is enshrined across North America, the struggle will shift from fighting unjust laws, to building an inclusive, LGBT-friendly culture. This work begins with our children, in our nation’s great libraries and classrooms.
For several decades, Lesléa has been building the foundations of this inclusive culture. In 1989 she broke new ground with Heather Has Two Mommies, the first published children's book to portray a loving family with two lesbian parents. Initially self-financed, it quickly became an underground bestseller, overcoming frequent censorship challenges. She has continued to publish many charming books with LGBT families, including Mommy, Mama, and Me and Donovan’s Big Day.
Lesléa’s poetry and short stories are loved by older audiences too. Her latest, the Stonewall Honour Book October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, is a poem cycle commemorating Matthew Shepard's impact in the years since his tragic murder. Last year, A Letter To Harvey Milk was adapted for the stage at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. A student of Allen Ginsberg, she is now a professor at Spalding University's brief-residency MFA where she teaches writing for children and young adults.
Lesléa Newman: Award-winning author, poet and lesbian & gay rights activist
Wednesday, March 27 at 7:30 pm
Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science 1-430
More details: globaled.ualberta.ca/humanrights
If you have any questions, or would like to set up an interview, please don't hesitate to get in touch. I look forward to hearing back from you! >>
MKay. First reaction - this is the nicest email ever.
Second reaction - Oh, do I EVER know who Lesléa Newman is! My babies have been raised on her kids books. We have all of 'em. In so many ways, Lesléa's work has been ground-breaking, and on a personal level, so important to me and to my littles.
Third reaction - ummmmm. 'One of Edmonton's finest writers on the topic of LGBT families'? Ummmmm. Thank you? Ummmmmm. Are we talking about the same blog? 'Cause this sort of feels like the time when popular 'Brad' asked me out thinking I was somebody else in the 7th grade (I don't know why I put his name in scare quotes. His name was actually Brad, and he was an enormous asshole, at least the junior high variety. ONe can hope he grew into a decent human being later on). Also - I feel like I might be one of the only writers about LGBT families in Edmonton. Also, also - I'm not sure I have enough readership to really help get the word out about Lesléa's amazing work and her upcoming lecture of awesomeness. Also, also, also, my blog is only just sometimes about queer families and often about gazing at my navel and it's really not actually that good - I don't even have time to edit! and, and, and, and..... but, but, but, but......
Fourth reaction - Tash. Shut up. Just shut-up. Just stop. Just say thank you. And yes. Yes. Yes. Yes, you would love to interview Lesléa Newman. Moreover, you will endeavour to make said interview at least slightly less neurotic than your regular blog.
Fifth reaction - Holy cow! I'm gonna interview Lesléa Newman for my blog next week. Stay tuned, people....
And for the love of all things wonderful - MARK MARCH 27th ON YOUR CALENDARS! Buy her books (above) and get them signed. Do it. You know you want to.