Vancouver Pride officially kicked off today with the raising of the rainbow flag at city hall and I thought I’d highlight one of the events happening in the coming weeks for those book-inclined queer ladies. What is really great about the Vancouver pride festivities this year is that the Queer Arts Festival (running for three weeks starting July 31st) and the Queer Film Festival (beginning August 16th and running for ten days) are happening one after another. It’s almost too much queer arts to handle, week after week! Besides the annual dyke march, this Saturday August 4th starting at McSpadden Park, there is one particular event of interest to queer women that I’d like to share. So here we go!
I’m especially excited about this event that’s part of the Queer Arts Festival: a Queerotica–clever, eh?–reading that includes queer Canadian powerhouse women writers such as Amber Dawn, Hiromi Goto, and Elaine Miller. Hiromi Goto is a multi-talented writer, whose work includes poetry, children’s books, young adult graphic novels, and novels and short stories for adults. Her powerful work is often occupied with feminist, queer, and Japanese-Canadian politics. I especially reccommend the novel The Kappa Child, and the amazing graphic book Half World. I’m excited to see what kind of erotica she’s going to read!
Elaine Miller is also a writer with a diverse background: she wrote a column on queer and kinky sex for Xtra! West for many years and is also an author of a lot of published erotica that’s been included in many anthologies, including With a Rough Tongue (mentionned below and edited by fellow reader Amber Dawn) and Tristan Taormino’s Best of Best Lesbian Erotica 2–which I’m coincidentally reading right now actually. A self-identified leatherdyke, Miller has written BDSM erotica in particular, as anthologized in Best Bondage Erotica. Her work can also be found in the phenomenal collection Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity, edited by Chloë Brushwood Rose and Anna Camilleri. Check out Miller’s website’s writing section to have a look at some samples of her work.
If you’ve been keeping up with this site, you’ll definitely know Amber Dawn’s name: she also read at the Victoria Pride event, Pride and the Word, and was recently awarded the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for emerging LGBTQ author in Canada. Dawn is the author of Sub Rosa (reviewed by me here), a powerful fantasy book that deals with sex work and feminism in Vancouver’s East End. She’s the editor of and contributor to the collection Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire and co-editor with Trish Kelly of the anthology With a Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn. Dawn also has a fantastic piece called “To All the Butches I Loved Between 1995 and 2005: An Open Letter about Selling Sex, Selling Out, and Soldiering On” in Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme (reviewed here).
In addition to these three lovely Vancouver-based writers, Kate Bornstein–yes, that Kate Bornstein!–will be reading at Queerotica. If you somehow don’t know who this queer feminist trans wonder woman is, please check out her website and follow her on twitter!! She’s truly a living legend, a talented writer and performer, and a tireless activist, especially for trans and gender-independent young people. I am so excited to see her! So mark it in your calenders: Queerotica on August 7th (the Tuesday after pride weekend), 8pm, at the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall. Admission is by donation. You can check out the Queer Arts Festival website for more info. Also as part of the festival, Bornstein is performing solo the day after Queerotica. This show, called “On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us,” is a combination of her favourite monologues and excerpts from her recently published memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger.
More info coming soon on the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, of which the director of programming is none other than the above-mentionned Amber Dawn. The list of films this year look amazing!