2021 Keynote Speaker

We’re thrilled to announce our 2021 RSM Keynote Speaker – Jewelle Gomez – author of The Gilda Stories and Bones and Ash, among many others.

Jewelle Gomez

Keynote Topic:

The theme of Jewelle’s keynote will be “Beyond the Edge of Our Existence”: what in our writing and in our lives as humans makes us valuable to the world?

About Jewelle:

Jewelle Gomez, (Cape Verdean/Wampanoag/Ioway), is the author of eight books including the first Black Lesbian vampire novel, THE GILDA STORIES, winner of two Lambda Literary Awards. In print for more than 25 years it is now available as an eBook and on AUDIBLE. The novel was recently optioned for a television mini-series by Cheryl Dunye (“Watermelon Woman”).

Her writing has appeared in hundreds of anthologies including DARK MATTER: 100 Years of African American Speculative Fiction as well as DARK MATTER II; LUMINESCENT THREADS: Connections to Octavia Butler; STORIES FOR CHIP: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany; HEIRESSES OF RUSS; WOMEN OF THE BITE; CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT; HOME GIRLS: A Black Feminist Anthology; and RED INDIAN ROAD WEST.

Her plays include: “Waiting for Giovanni,” about author/activist James Baldwin (2011); “Leaving the Blues,” about singer songwriter Alberta Hunter (2017); “Unpacking in Ptown,” about a group of retired Vaudevillians (2021). Each was commissioned and produced by New Conservatory Theatre Center. Her play, “Bones and Ash,” based on THE GILDA STORIES, was commissioned and performed by Urban Bush Women Company. It featured original music by Toshi Reagon and was performed in 13 U.S. cities.

She presented, along with Samuel R. Delany, Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes, and Octavia Butler, at The African American Fantastic Imagination, the first conference of black speculative fiction writers; Clark Atlanta University. 1997. She has appeared on numerous conference panels including at AfroComicCon, FogCon, WisCon.

She has taught creative writing workshops and lectured on speculative fiction, and playwriting—at institutions around the U.S. including San Francisco State University, Bowdoin College, Cornell University, Spellman College, Bates College.

She was on the original board of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Astraea National Lesbian Foundation. She is a past-president of the San Francisco Public Library Commission.

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @VampyreVamp.

Praise for Gomez’s work:

“THE GILDA STORIES is groundbreaking not just for the wild lives it portrays, but for how it portrays them—communally, unapologetically, roaming fiercely over space and time.”

“[Bones and Ash] is a work of majestic theatricality and eloquent detail…it is a parable of great beauty and power…” New York Times

“All things are bound together. All things connect.” 

Chief Si Atl