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World AIDS Day Book Launch: Between Certain Death and a Possible Future: Queer Writing on Growing up with the AIDS Crisis

December 1, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Book Launch: Between Certain Death and a Possible Future: Queer Writing on Growing up with the AIDS Crisis
6 -7:30 p.m., December 1
Zoom, Pre-register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AIDS2021

Several contributors to Between Certain Death and a Possible FutureQueer Writing on Growing Up with the AIDS Crisis read from the newly released book, followed by a Q&A with the authors.

Information on the anthology: Every queer person lives with the trauma of AIDS, and this plays out intergenerationally. Usually, we hear about two generations—the first, coming of age in the era of gay liberation, and then watching entire circles of friends die of a mysterious illness as the government did nothing to intervene. And now we hear about younger people growing up with effective treatment and prevention available, unable to comprehend the magnitude of the loss. But there is another generation between these two, one that came of age in the midst of the epidemic with the belief that desire intrinsically led to death and internalized this trauma as part of becoming queer.

Between Certain Death and a Possible FutureQueer Writing on Growing Up with the AIDS Crisis offers crucial stories from this missing generation in AIDS literature and cultural politics. This wide-ranging collection includes 36 personal essays on the ongoing and persistent impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis in queer lives. Here you will find an expansive range of perspectives on a specific generational story—essays that explore and explode conventional wisdom, while also providing a necessary bridge between generations. These essays respond, with eloquence and incisiveness, to the question: How do we reckon with the trauma that continues to this day, and imagine a way out?

The anthology is already being used as a textbook on some campuses. For more information about Between Certain Death and a Possible Future: Queer Writing on Growing Up with the AIDS Crisis, see recent press about the book.

Contributors who will be reading on December 1:

DAN CULLINANE is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in many anthologies and publications. He worked in LGBTQ publishing for many years before relocating to Northeast Tennessee to work for a wilderness therapy program.

LIAM OCTOBER OBRIEN grew up on a small island. His writing has appeared in A & U Magazine, the Denver Quarterlythe Boilerbæstthe Bennington Review, and the New Delta Review. He received his MFA at the Iowa Writer’ Workshop and is one of the founding editors of Vetch: A Magazine of Trans Poetry & Poetics. He lives in Brooklyn.

C.L. SEVERSON is a transfemme poet and sex worker wandering around the country giving lectures on herbalism and astrology. She is the director of Queer Astrology Club (QAC) and loves providing free coursework on all things ancient and magical to queer people of color. Her current obsession is the contemplative art of tattooing.

ANDREW R. SPIELDENNER, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Departments of Communication and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at California State University San Marcos. Dr. Spieldenner’s writing is at the intersection of health and culture, particularly looking at HIV and the LGBTQ community. A longtime HIV activist, Dr. Spieldenner serves as vice-chair of the US People Living with HIV Caucus and North American delegate to UNAIDS.

EMILY STERN is the author of This Is What It Sounds Like, a memoir about her childhood and her mother’s death in 1993 from complications of HIV/AIDS, and the manuscript “The Shape of What Spilled,” about her experience and ongoing recovery from a mild traumatic head injury. She founded Intersectional Consulting and uses original educational tools, including El Corazón Deck, designed to inspire intersectional critical thinking. Emily is full-time faculty at Santa Fe Community College and holds an MFA in creative nonfiction with a critical emphasis on women and AIDS in literature from Goddard College. Find more at emilystern.com.

MATTILDA BERNSTEIN SYCAMORE (mattildabernsteinsycamore.com) is the author, most recently, of The Freezer Door, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, one of Oprah Magazine’s Best LGBTQ Books of 2020, and a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award. Her previous non-fiction title, The End of San Francisco, won a Lambda Literary Award, and her novel Sketchtasy was one of NPR’s Best Books of 2018. Sycamore is the author of two non-fiction titles and three novels, as well as the editor of five previous non-fiction anthologies, including Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform, an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book. She lives in Seattle, and her next book, Touching the Art, will be published by Soft Skull in 2023. Between Certain Death and a Possible FutureQueer Writing on Growing Up with the AIDS Crisis is her sixth anthology.

The SFCC Library has created an HIV/AIDS Library Guide, with various written, audio, and visual resources available to the public at https://libraryhelp.sfcc.edu/aids.

For more information about the SFCC World AIDS Day events, please contact SFCC World AIDS Day organizer Emily Stern at emily.stern@sfcc.edu or call 505-428-1467.


December 1, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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Zoom Video Conference platform
NM United States
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Santa Fe Community College
(505) 428-1000
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