“Yasss Child” in A+U Magazine

Yasss Child“, a remembrance of one of my oldest friends–one of the earliest AIDS diagnoses in NYC–won First Honorable Mention from the 2018 Christopher Hewitt Award for Creative Nonfiction:

The first time he stepped through my door, I thought Nico’s flamboyance was weakness, but I’ve come to see it as emblematic of his bravery.

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“TBR: AbPPR” a 2018 #SASFEST Semifinalista 👸🏽

“Traumatic Book Review, Alive, by Piers Paul Read“, my submission for the 2018 Saints + Sinners fiction contest, made the semifinalist cut.

I read Alive probably too young. I was freaked  out by the fate of the Old Christians rugby team, even while longing for their camaraderie. So I grew up to write a short story exploring lust, shame, body issues, and loss.

Warner nudged him awake with a bare foot; Vin looked around to find the library empty. Noting the paperback on his chest, Warner smiled. “Alive. Who knows how that turned up here? Guests in and out, someone must have left it behind…”

Vin roused. “One of the survivors–Canessa–was my first crush.”

“Ah! Now we know. You’re into jock cannibal trade,” Warner joked as he gave him a hand up.

I’ll be reading at this year’s festival in New Orleans.

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#SASFest17 Class Photo

SAS17 AnthoReading
Atop the Quarter in the Hotel Monteleone’s Vieux Carré Room with some fellow Saints & Sinners Short Fiction Contest finalists: Debra Curtis, winner J. Marshall Freeman,  P.D. Walter, runner-up Alise Wascom, Thomas Westerfield,  Louis Flint Ceci,  Chris Smith,  William Moeck, and contest judge Michael Thomas Ford.
Get the anthology over at Bold Strokes.

Miss Bensonhurst a W@W finalist 👑

“She and the girls are enveloped in the warm bakelite booth. A curtain shields her from the crowds. The two little angels share the hard seat. The camera – that possessed apparatus which would stalk her to the end – here blinks obediently. Flash.”

“Miss Bensonhurst,” a fictional account of my grandmother Helen Rizzo’s friendship with Marilyn Monroe circa 1953, is a finalist in the 2017 Writers @ Work  Annual Writing Competition. The fiction judge is Christina Garcia.

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UPDATE: “Jesus Year” a finalist 👸🏽

Saints & Sinners has narrowed the selection down to 15 finalists and JY made the cut. The story will be published in the 2017 anthology published by Bold Strokes. Michael Thomas Ford is judging the contest this year. Congrats to fellow finalists–see you in New Orleans for the festival.

“Jesus Year” a semi-finalist 🙌🏽

BethlehemStar.jpgin the Short Fiction contest of the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. The story, a fractured fairy tale, is based on “Nailed Up.” Chris Tolliver wakes up on his Jesus Year birthday in a hotel room in Bethlehem (PA) after his re-enactment of the central myth of the Catholic faith goes off the rails. With the help of a hustler named Lance (think Longinus),  and Marta, the forbearing housekeeper, he gets through it–although whether he can emerge from his cave is up in the air.

Chris, left hulking towards an absent body in the Star Suite, was engulfed in waves of remorse. He’d bent time, space, geography, history, social order, reason, morality, and judgment to fit a bogus myth. He was thirty-four and he wasn’t quite dead, just really fucking impaired. Marta looked on with pity.  

Can Chris resurrect himself? Does Lance get his rate? Will Marta return to the mushroom farm? The answers to these and other burning questions may or may not be in your copy of Jesus Year.

Christopher Hewitt 2015 Award for Fiction

And they will halt my ghastly nose-dive into hell,

and lift me up, up, high up

into the fields of stars.

The quote is from “The Lifting Team” by Christopher Hewitt, poet, “queer crip”, person in recovery, posthumous honoree of the award I received this year for “Drowned River.”

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The announcement. Enlarges with a click.