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The Summer We Got Free, A Book Release Party: Featuring Mia McKenzie, Jewelle Gomez, Jezebel Delilah X, Virgie Tovar and Janani Balasubramanian

Friday, March 22, 2013 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Come out to support and celebrate the release of “The Summer We Got Free,” the queer literary fiction debut of Black Girl Dangerous creator Mia McKenzie that is now a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award! This will be an evening of food, words, and lots of community love!

It has been written of award-winning writer and Black Girl Dangerous creator Mia McKenzie’s debut novel, The Summer We Got Free, that “the writing is so beautiful and the imagery so real, and the characters and dialogue so lifelike, that you don’t want to put it down. But you also don’t want to read too fast because that would make it end, and who wants to leave perfection?” It has been described by author and critic Jewelle Gomez as “a brilliant tapestry filled with exuberance and anxiety.” Come and hear Mia read from this queer literary work along with another couple of gems from her repertoire. Also featuring readings by:

Jewelle Gomez
Virgie Tover
Jezebel Delilah X
Janani Bala


MIA MCKENZIE is an award-winning writer and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous, a multi-faceted forum for the literary and artistic expression of queer and trans* people of color. She studied writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She’s a smart, scrappy Philadelphian with a deep love of vegan pomegranate ice cream and fake fur collars. She is the winner of the Astraea Foundation’s Writers Fund Award (’09) and the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award (’12). She’s a black feminist and a freaking queer. You can find her short stories in The Kenyon Review and make/shift. Her debut novel, The Summer We Got Free, has been described by author and critic Jewelle Gomez as “a brilliant tapestry filled with exuberance and anxiety.” Her work has been recommended by The Root, Colorlines, Feministing, Angry Asian Man, and Crunk Feminist Collective, among others.

JEWELLE GOMEZ is the author of 7 books including the first Black Lesbian vampire novel, The Gilda Stories, which is still in print. Her adaptation of the novel for the stage was commissioned by Urban Bush Women Company and toured 13 US cities. Her new play about James Baldwin, ‘Waiting for Giovanni,’ premiered in San Francisco at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, in the Fall of 2011.

VIRGIE TOVAR is a hot fat Latina femme writer and radical. She is the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, November 2012). She holds a Master’s degree in Human Sexuality with a focus on the intersections of body size, race and gender. After teaching “Female Sexuality” at the University of California at Berkeley, where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2005, she went onto host “The Virgie Show” (CBS Radio) in San Francisco. She is certified as a sex educator and was voted Best Sex Writer by the Bay Area Guardian in 2008 for her first book, Destination DD: Adventures of a Breast Fetishist with 40DDs. Virgie and her work have been featured by MTV, the San Francisco Chronicle, Bust Magazine, Jezebel, 7×7 Magazine, XOJane, Golden Gate Express, the East Bay Express, and SF Weekly as well as on Women’s Entertainment Television and The Ricki Lake Show. She lives in San Francisco and offers workshops, lectures and coaching worldwide. Find her online at http://www.virgietovar.com.

JEZEBEL DELILAH X is a queer, Black femme performance artist, writer, filmmaker, and teacher. She is co-host of East Bay Open Mic, Culture Fuck, a member of the story telling performance troupe, Griot Noir, and one of the founding members of Deviant Type Press. She has been published in The Womynist and Full of Crow, is a featured writer for Black Girl Dangerous, has written/directed/produced two films that have screened in the Queer Women Of Color Film Festival, and has been a featured reader/performer at events all over the Bay Area. She uses a combination of performative memoir, theatrical poetry, and feminist storytelling to advance her politix of radical love, socioeconomic justice, anti-racism, and community empowerment. She holds a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from Mills College where she focused on Young Adult Fiction and Creative Non Fiction.

JANANI is a South Asian electron spinning around the Bay Area making art and scholarship. They like thinking about apocalypse, decolonizing the food system, and making space for quantum queers everywhere. They earned a best poet award at the 2012 collegiate national slam, and have been a featured artist at schools across the country. Janani’s newly mixing their loves for writing and queer people of color community as the Assistant Editor of Black Girl Dangerous.


Friday, March 22, 2013
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Show and Tell Concept Shop
1300 Clay St #160, Oakland, CA 94612 United States


Modern Times Bookstore Collective