[Image description: A rectangular graphic with a purple background. Event details are on the left, and a book cover is on the right. The event details are written in yellow and white text, including book title, author, date/time, address, and website, along with the title "Queer Memoir Reading Group" and the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center logo in white. The book cover features a colorful random bits and pieces of objects creating a collage. The title "A History of My Brief Body" and author name "Billy-Ray Belcourt" are in white.]
The LGBT Library at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center presents the April discussion of the center's Queer Memoir Reading Group, featuring "A History of My Brief Body" by Billy-Ray Belcourt.
The youngest-ever winner of the Griffin Prize mines his personal history in a brilliant new essay collection seeking to reconcile the world he was born into with the world that could be.
For readers of Ocean Vuong and Maggie Nelson and fans of Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot, "A History of My Brief Body" is a brave, raw, and fiercely intelligent collection of essays and vignettes on grief, colonial violence, joy, love, and queerness.
Billy-Ray Belcourt’s debut memoir opens with a tender letter to his kokum and memories of his early life in the hamlet of Joussard, Alberta, and on the Driftpile First Nation. Piece by piece, Billy-Ray’s writings invite us to unpack and explore the big and broken world he inhabits every day, in all its complexity and contradiction: a legacy of colonial violence and the joy that flourishes in spite of it; first loves and first loves lost; sexual exploration and intimacy; the act of writing as a survival instinct and a way to grieve. What emerges is not only a profound meditation on memory, gender, anger, shame, and ecstasy, but also the outline of a way forward. With startling honesty, and in a voice distinctly and assuredly his own, Belcourt situates his life experiences within a constellation of seminal queer texts, among which this book is sure to earn its place.
Eye-opening, intensely emotional, and excessively quotable, "A History of My Brief Body" demonstrates over and over again the power of words to both devastate and console us.
Limited free copies of the book are available -- request a copy with your RSVP. If you don't need a free copy, you can buy the book here -- and 10% of your purchase supports free arts programs at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.
The discussion is facilitated by Mary Foltz and is sponsored by Lehigh University's Southside Initiative and Humanities Center. This program is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Funding has been provided in part by the American Rescue Plan. American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
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