Fire & Ink Presents! in Newark

The first Fire & Ink Presents! event at DC Pride was a hit! The work was amazing and the audience was juiced.

You? What’d you think? Let us know!

Us? We’re keepin’ it movin on to Newark, New Jersey! Come on out and don’t miss it!

Fire & Ink Presents!
8 p.m. Thursday, June 12, 2008
Hilton Newark Gateway Hotel
1 Gateway Center, Newark, NJ


Save the Date for upcoming Fire & Ink Presents! events coming to a city near you:

June 12th: Portland, Oregon
June 25-29: Columbia, S.C.
Dates soon to be announced for Fire & Ink Presents! events in Memphis & Nashville.


The Bull Jean StoriesSharon Bridgforth is the Lambda Award winning author of the bull-jean stories (RedBone Press), and love conjure/blues (RedBone Press). Bridgforth has broken ground in the creation and presentation of the performance/novel and in doing so has advanced the articulation of the Jazz aesthetic as it lives in theatre. An Alpert Award Nominee in the Arts in Theatre, Bridgforth’s work has fostered the study of black lesbian performance literature in academic settings. She has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts Commissioning Program; The National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Playwright in Residence Program; National Performance Network; and the Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund Award. A touring artist whose work has been presented nationally, Bridgforth is Anchor Artist for The Austin Project (sponsored by The Center for African and African American Studies, University of Texas at Austin).

Using traditional storytelling and nontraditional verse to chronicle the course of love returning in the lifetimes of one woman-loving-woman named bull-dog-jean, the bull-jean stories give cultural documentation and social commentary on African-American herstory and survival. Set in the rural South of the 1920s, the bull-jean stories herald the spirit of African-American people.

A House is Not a HomeJames Earl Hardy’s byline as a music critic, cultural writer and essayist has appeared in Essence, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, the Washington Post, Out, the Advocate, and the Source. An honors graduates of the Columbia School of Journalism, Hardy has been honored by the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors and is the recipient of the E.Y. Harburg Foundation Arts Award, the Educational Press Association Award, and the Public Service Award from Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD). Born and raised in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, Hardy now lives in Atlanta, Ga.

In A House Is Not a Home, the sixth and final title of his groundbreaking, bestselling B-Boy Blues series, James Earl Hardy brings his beloved couple—Mitchell, the Buppie from Brooklyn, and Raheim, the homeboy from Harlem—into the twenty-first century. James Earl Hardy draws on the themes that put him on the map—love, family, and high drama in tandem with media phenomena like same-sex marriage, the down-low, gay adoption, and homo thugs—to create A House Is Not a Home, another vivid, vibrant, and saucy portrait of Black same-gender-loving life and love.

Conjuring Black FunkHerukhuti is a sociologist/anthropologist, sexologist, educator, shaman, BDSM practitioner, artist, cultural animator, and author. He is the founder of Black Funk, a sexual cultural center dedicated to providing a space for the exhibition and exploration of sensual awareness, sexual consciousness, erotic power, and pleasure. Herukhuti has contributed to the development of the perspective known as Afrocentric, Decolonizing Queer Theory. Herukhuti is on the faculty at Goddard College, Plainfield, VT.

Conjuring Black Funk: Notes on Culture, Sexuality and Spirituality, Vol. 1 is a fiery collection of essays, poetry, creative non-fiction, and experimental writing that challenges conventional thought, offers alternative perspectives, and suggests ways of practicing Afrocentric, queer liberation/transgression. This book is an important contribution to Black Queer Theory, Black Feminist Thought, and Afrocentric Thought.

The Second Chapter: AcceptanceBorn and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Shelton Jackson managed to escape the crime and violence of the streets through education; in the eighth grade his world was changed when he was introduced to poetry. Jackson used this medium to express his trials of coming out of the closet, falling in love at first sight with a man, becoming HIV positive for that love, and finally being reborn to do what he describes as “God’s will.” Jackson has published two books of poetry on his journey of acceptance. He now resides in Atlanta, Georgia where he has started his own publishing company, SSJ Publishing, Inc. Through SSJ, Jackson hopes to publish other authors whose personal truth will serve as a beacon of hope for others.

The Second Chapter: Acceptance is a culmination of a 6-year project: Shelton Jackson was convinced that a book of his personal thoughts, expressed through poetry, would help someone else see that HIV is not an end but a new beginning. Jackson says, “At one point in my life I thought my life was over and that I would be alone for the rest of my life. But I saw the path that God had laid down for me and I followed it. The Second Chapter: Acceptance is just that; my journey to acceptance.”

SpiritedLisa C. Moore is the founder and editor of RedBone Press, which publishes work celebrating the culture of black lesbians and gay men and promoting understanding between black gays and lesbians and the black mainstream. Most recently, RedBone Press published Spirited: Affirming the Soul and Black Gay/Lesbian Identity, Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men and In the Life: A Black Gay Anthology. Moore is board president of Fire & Ink, an advocacy organization for LGBT writers of African descent.

In Spirited: Affirming the Soul and Black Gay/Lesbian Identity, more than 40 writers address the question of how we, as same-gender-loving black people, affirm ourselves as sexual and spiritual people. These sacred narratives are a canon for our survival—holy texts proclaiming the divinity of our lives, the righteousness of our love, and the sanctity of our being. Spirited is a must-read for those on a journey toward spiritual and self-acceptance.

Balancing ActJamaican-born Jonathan Plummer was discovered at age 20 on a beach in Negril, where he was chasing his childhood dream of becoming the entertainment coordinator of a popular resort. His summer romance and subsequent union with legendary author Terry McMillan was immortalized in the #1 smash novel-turned-hit movie, How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Ten years later, in 2005, Jonathan was chasing yet another dream—styling women’s hair—when his shocking revelation that he’s gay made headlines around the world. The interest in his much-storied life was enough to garner him a multibook deal with Simon and Schuster. The first installment in his series of novels, Balancing Act, co-authored with New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Karen Hunter was one of the most highly anticipated debut novels of 2007.

In Balancing Act, Justin Blakeman is living an ordinary life in Jamaica when vacationing Tasha Reynolds spots him selling sugar cane on the street. In the ruthless modeling world, Tasha is a great white shark with an uncanny knack for finding blazing new talent in unusual places. She always gets what she wants and she wants Justin—whose hazel-green eyes, offset by dark chocolate skin, make her palms sweat, a sign that she is on to something. His perfect body and defiant attitude will make him a megastar. But soon, a relationship that began as strictly business crosses the line into a complex game of sexual desire and control. Their crazy, volatile bond—littered with dark influences from their pasts, complicated by ambition and fueled by insatiable passion—is as combustible as relationships can get. And when Justin discovers a hidden hunger for a male model, the stakes are higher than ever.

OrchidsII.jpgKimberly Q aka the Lesbian Goddess is a self-published author, actress, singer and 3-time AUDELCO award winner. She has had two of her plays produced by various production companies in various cities; “J’ai Deux Amours…A Journey with Josephine Baker,” (winner of the Best Lead Actress award from AUDELCO) and “The “Q” Stands for Queer.”

Her two books, Orchids: African American Lesbian Erotica One Night Stands and Orchids II: Reality or Fantasy, are erotic episodes presented to entice, entertain and broaden the thoughts, actions and creativity of the lesbian sexual experience. Her motto: Luxuriate in the positive stimulus of your sensuousness! It will enhance your ultimate fantasies!

Drifting Toward LoveKai Wright is a writer and editor in Brooklyn, N.Y., whose work explores the politics of sex, race and health. Wright contributes to publications ranging from Mother Jones to Essence magazines, and is a columnist for He is author of Drifting Toward Love: Black, Brown, Gay and Coming of Age on the Streets of New York, as well as two books of African-American history. Wright also writes and edits a series of monographs exploring the AIDS epidemic among African Americans; they are published by the Black AIDS Institute. Wright is the new editor of ColorLines magazine.

Drifting Toward Love: Black, Brown, Gay and Coming of Age on the Streets of New York tells the stories of Manny, Julius, Carlos and their friends, young gay men of color desperately searching for life’s basic necessities: homes that provide more than shelter and security against more than violence or disease. As these teenagers navigate the rocky waters of adolescence, they wade through pains and passions that are typical of any young person coming of age. But they do so with few resources—material or emotional—in a world where the cards are stacked against their success.

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