Members and allies of the District’s LGBTQ community will flock to the 14th and U street corridors this weekend for an annual celebration of queer literature.
The OutWrite Book Festival returns to the D.C. Center (2000 14th St. NW) for its sixth year on Aug. 5-7.
“This year, we have more than 60 different authors and panelists who are participating throughout the festival,” said OutWrite co-chair Dave Ring.
The free event will kick off Friday night with the launch of a new book, “Love Unites Us: Winning the Freedom To Marry in America.” The book chronicles some of the people behind Obergefell v. Hoges, the landmark Supreme Court case that gave same-sex couples the right to marry in the U.S.
“After the readings with the contributors to the book, we are having a panel with a diverse group of community members and looking at the what direction queer activism has gone in since the wake of marriage equality hearing,” Ring said.
Jim Obergefell, the main plaintiff from that case, is expected attend Friday’s reading and panel discussion, Ring added.
On Saturday, about 30 LGBTQ authors and exhibitors will sell books inside the center, Ring said. Other events planned for that day include workshops, open mic events, discussions and book readings, including a presentation by Dicción Queer, a Latino queer bilingual writing group.
The festival will wrap up Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.with additional workshops that cover topics like “working with agents to applying a queer lens to afro futurism,” Ring said.
Photo courtesy of OutWrite Festival
Visitors to the 14th Street corridor will be steps away from reading and writing workshops hosted by members of the local LGBT writing community this weekend.
The fifth annual OutWrite Book Festival starts with a keynote speech from celebrated novelist James Earl Hardy tomorrow evening. Hardy will speak about his book series “B-Boy Blues” at the D.C. Center (2000 14th Street NW) from 6-9 p.m.
The festival will then host 37 vendors, workshops and authors from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. the following day.
David Mariner, Executive Director for the D.C. Center, says the festival’s exhibitors and speakers were selected by their interest or involvement within the LGBT community.
“While some LGBT voices are not kind of represented in mainstream media, those things are still few and far between and don’t necessarily reflect the diversity that’s within D.C.’s LGBT community,” Mariner says. “We have a wide variety of folks telling their stories. It’s a way to affirm and celebrate who we are.”
Outwrite will coincide with another popular 14th and U street festival, MidCity Dog Days.
But Mariner says that’s purposeful. He adds that he hopes Dog Days attendees will visit the book festival and that visiting LGBT publishing companies and authors will visit the surrounding neighborhood.
The book festival is free and open to the public. Used books will also be sold on site; paperbacks will cost $1 and hardbacks will cost $2.
Image via Facebook.com/OutWriteDC