Above: Photo of Jonathan Alexander by Carla Wilson
Current and forthcoming book events for queer writer and Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine, Jonathan Alexander. His newest book is “Dear Queer Self: An Experiment in Memoir” (Acre Books, March 14, 2022). It is the third book in The Creep Trilogy, following “Bullied: The Story of an Abuse” (Punctum Books, November 4, 2021) and “Creep: A Life, A Theory, An Apology” (Punctum Book, 2017). He also wrote the related memoir, “Stroke Book: The Diary of a Blindspot (Fordham University Press, October 26, 2021). More about Jonathan and his brilliant books on the Popular Publicity project page here, and at www.thecreeptrilogy.com and www.the-blank-page.com. For review copies, interview or any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
June 12, 2022 4:30 p.m
In-Person & Zoom Event
Democrats of Greater Irvine, Irvine, CA
Author Jonathan Alexander will present a summary of his current book “Dear Queer Self: An Experiment in Memoir” as part of the Democrats of Greater Irvine’s recognition of Pride Month at the June Club Meeting.
June 14, 2022 (Tuesday), 6:30-7:30 p.m.
A Queer Salon with Jonathan Alexander
Frenchmen Art & Books
600 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Free | www.frenchmenartandbooks.com
June 16, 2022 7 p.m
The Weight of History Can Make Us Stronger, Even If It Sometimes Tries to Kill Us: Queer Memoir with Pamela Sneed and Jonathan Alexander.
Bureau of General Services–Queer Division
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, 646-457-0859
208 West 13th Street, Room 210 New York, NY 10011
Free | www.bgsqd.com
In this reading and conversation, Pamela Sneed and Jonathan Alexander talk about their recent writing as well as what it’s like to work with memory in writing about queer lives. From grappling with the legacies of AIDS to connecting with ongoing histories of class and racial trauma, Sneed and Alexander discuss the power of writing queerly about our lives, loves, communities, histories, and futures.
June 7, 2022 (Tuesday), 7 p.m.
Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA, 90069, 310-659-3110
Jonathan Alexander reads from “Dear Queer Self”
Free | www.booksoup.com
In this unconventional memoir, Alexander, who grew up in the Deep South during the 1970s and ’80s, addresses wry and affecting missives to a conflicted younger self. Focusing on three years—1989, 1993, and 1996—the book follows the author through the homophobic heights of the AIDS epidemic, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the election of Bill Clinton, and the steady advancements in gay rights that followed. With humor and wit afforded by hindsight, Alexander relives his closeted college years, his experiments with his sexuality in graduate school, his first marriage to a woman, and his budding career as a college professor.
As he moves from tortured self-denial to hard-won self-acceptance, the author confronts the deeply uncomfortable ways he’s implicated in his own story, grappling with the fact that he not only rejected his erotic interests but convinced himself (and others) that his uncle had sexually abused him, a lie that explained his attraction to men. More than just a coming-out story, “Dear Queer Self” is both an intimate psychological exploration and a cultural examination, a meshing of inner and outer realities—and a personal reckoning with how we sometimes torture the truth to make a life. It’s also a love letter, an homage to a decade of rapid change, and a playlist of the sounds, sights, and feelings of a difficult, but ultimately transformative, time.
This hybrid program is free & open to the public. Copies of “Dear Queer Self” will be available for sale and & signing.
April 28, 2022 (Thursday), 7 p.m.
QUEER MEMOIR MATTERS
Page Against The Machine
2714 E. 4th Street Long Beach, CA 90814, 562-588-7075
Jonathan Alexander & Myriam Gurba
Free | www.patmbooks.com
Register to attend on the Facebook Events Page
Join Los Angeles authors Myriam Gurba and Jonathan Alexander in discussion of “Queer Memoir Matters.” Myriam and Jonathan will discuss their work as queer memoirists and why such work is needed now more than ever. Writing about queer lives is more than just “saying gay” in a culture still trying to suppress queer lives. It’s exploring, often provocatively, the outer reaches of being queer, of forming intimate relationships that defy expectations, challenge norms, upend conventions, and forge new alliances and possibilities for loving. About Myriam’s work, Jonathan says, “I so admire Myriam’s “Mean,” a book that makes me squirm with both delight and fear — the fear of recognizing myself in a sexist and racist society but with the equal delight in feeling how we overcome sexism and racism together to learn to love one another.” See Jonathan’s interview with Myriam for his “Writing Sex” series for the Los Angeles Review of Books here. Photos from the event below.
March 22, 2022 (Tuesday), 6-8 p.m.
In-Person and Virtual Event
The Mercantile Library 414 Walnut St. #1100 Cincinnati, OH 45202, 513-621-0717
“Book Launch: Dear Queer Self by Jonathan Alexander”
Free | Details
The launch event for Jonathan Alexander’s latest book, “Dear Queer Self.” Presented in partnership with Acre Books. Quote from the evening: “Someone once asked, then the moral of your book must be it gets better? And I’m like, fuck that. It really kinda doesn’t. If you do it right, I think it gets more interesting. Does it get better? I don’t know. I very much believe in the persistence of trauma. I think if I didn’t have the trauma, I wouldn’t have much personality. I don’t know that it gets better, but I does get more interesting.” Video of Jonathan’s fascinating talk here.
Nov 9 (Tuesday), 5:00 PM
UCI Illuminations, University of California, Irvine. Online Zoom Event
“Faculty Book Talk Featuring Author and Professor Jonathan Alexander”
Author and Professor Jonathan Alexander (English) talks about his two new books of creative non-fiction, “Stroke Book: Diary of a Blindspot” and “Bullied: Story of an Abuse” in which he considers how a lifetime in a society still toxic to queer people has impacted his health, perception of queer time and how the pressure of being queer inescapably and fundamentally shapes our lives and the stories we tell ourselves to make our queerness bearable.
Nov 4 (Thursday), 6:00PM-7:00 PM
Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, New York, Online Zoom Event
“Cruising into Age—Getting Older Queerly” with Jonathan Alexaner and Alex Espinoza
How do queers age gracefully — and queerly? How do they deal with traumatic pasts, which sometimes leave painful personal and physical legacies, and how do they do so while keeping desire and intimacy alive? Prolific queer author Jonathan Alexander discusses his two new Fall books, the critical memoirs “Stroke Book: The Diary of a Blindspot(Fordham University Press)” and “Bullied: The Story of an Abuse (Punctum)” with fellow queer writer Alex Espinoza, author of Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime (The Unnamed Press).
Oct 27 (Wednesday)
Skylight Books, Los Angeles, Skylit Podcast
with Jonathan Alexander & Julietta Singh
Jonathan Alexander discusses his two new books, “Stroke Book: The Diary of A Blindspot” (Fordham University Press) and “Bullied: The Story of an Abuse” (Punctum) with fellow queer author Julietta Singh, whose book, “The Breaks” (Coffee House Press), was published in September.
Oct 26 (Tuesday), 5:00 PM-6:30 PM
University of California, Irvine, Online Zoom Event
“Writing Sex: A Conversation about Writing” with Jonathan Alexander
and panelists Alex Espinoza, Andrea Lawlor, Michael Lowenthal
During the early days of the pandemic, Queer author and Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine, Jonathan Alexander started hosting “Writing Sex” for the Los Angeles Review of Books, a series of video interviews with some of the most interesting, creative, and provocative contemporary writers who are writing about sex, sexuality, and intimacy. In this special Zoom event, he moderates a conversation with three authors (two of which appeared in the original series), Alex Espinoza (UCI MFA), Andrea Lawlor, and Michael Lowenthal about the delights, complexities, challenges, and possibilities of writing today about sex and sexuality.