Jewelle Gomez ( Cape Verdean/Ioway/Wampanoag ), the Golden Crown Literary Society 2016 Trailblazer Award winner, is the author of seven books including the double Lambda Literary Award-winning, Black, lesbian vampire novel, The Golda Stories, in print from Firebrand Books continuously since 1991. Its 25th anniversary special edition was published City Lights Books in April 2016. Her adaptation of the book for the stage, "Bones and Ash," was commissioned and performed by the New York-based Urban Bush Women Company and toured 13 cities.
Her play about an imagined moment of indecision in the life of author/activist James Baldwin, Waiting for Giovanni, premiered in San Francisco. Her new play is about singer/composer Alberta Hunter, Leaving the Blues and will premier in 2017 at New Conservatory Theatre Center ( SF ).
Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry are included in over one hundred anthologies; among them: Home Girls: a Black Feminist Anthology, the Oxford World Treasury of Love Stories, Dark Matter: 100 Years of African American Speculative Fiction, Butch/Femme, and Red Indian Road West. She has written essays, literary, and film criticism for numerous publications including The Village Voice, MS Magazine, The Advocate, Essence Magazine, Callaloo, and Wellesley's Women's Review of Books.
She was on the original staff of one of the first weekly Black television shows in the country, Say Brother, ( WGBH ). She was also on the founding boards of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ( GLAAD ), the Astraea Lesbian Foundation and the Open Meadows Foundation. Formerly the director of grants for Horizons, the oldest LGBT foundation in the country, she is also the former president of the San Francisco Public Library Commission.
She has taught creative writing and popular culture at San Francisco State University, Hunter College ( NYC ), New College of California, Menlo College ( CA ), and the Osher Life Long Learning Center ( CA ). She's lectured at institutions of higher learning around the country from Bates College ( ME ) to Washington State University. She's read her work at bookstores and other venues across the U.S. and in Europe.
The GCLS Trailblazer award recognizes lifetime achievement and is presented each year to a single author in recognition of the contributions made to the field of lesbian literature. The recipients of the Trailblazer Award have published a significant body of work over a period of at least 20 years and written lesbian-themed works that have had a positive impact upon the growth and visibility of the field of lesbian literature. Previous recipients include: Ann Bannon, Sarah Aldridge, Jane Rule, Katherine V. Forrest, Lee Lynch, Ellen Hart, Karin Kallmaker, Marianne K. Martin, Marijane Meaker, Judy Grahn, and Joan Nestle.
The Golden Crown Literary Society ( GCLS ) is a 501( c )3 non-profit, volunteer organization whose mission is education, and the promotion and recognition of lesbian literature. Their goals are to provide learning opportunities, encouragement, and assistance to new and established authors in developing their craft; support and strengthen quality lesbian writing by providing educational programs; to create opportunities for readers and writers to interact; and to recognize and promote lesbian literary work.
Jewelle Gomez and all other Goldie Awards winners will be honored at the Twelfth Annual Conference, culminating in the Awards Ceremony July 9, 2016 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia. See www.goldencrown.org .