Literary Arts festival presents outstanding LGBTQ panels

1455 Literary Arts, an organization committed to advancing the art and craft of storytelling, today announced its lineup of literary and creative artists and thinkers who will share their insights, inspiration and passion at the 1455 Literary Arts Summer Festival, taking place virtually from July 15-17, 2021.  Now in its third year, this free and inclusive program will offer a wide array of content designed to showcase storytellers, celebrate creativity, build community, and encourage participants to pursue their own creative endeavors. 

Registration is free and open at the festival website.

Highlights of the three-day event include: 

  • More than 200 speakers appearing on 60+ panel sessions 
  • A diverse offering of authors, speakers and contributors, from a variety of genders, cultures, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Three separate storytelling tracks:  Inspiration & Advocacy; Timely & Topical; and Craft & Community
  • A closing keynote session with 2020 Booker Prize-winning author Douglas Stuart (“Shuggie Bain”) 
  • A teen poetry contest with a $5,000 grand prize

The 2021 festival will focus on the power of storytelling and the crucial role it plays not only in creative and academic fields, but far beyond. The gathering is a rare opportunity for participants to learn from some of today’s most celebrated, diverse, and up-and-coming storytellers, who bring their unique perspectives to timely issues affecting our culture such as politics, race relations, sexual equality, sports, and the environment.  Among the panelists are award-winning author and screenwriter Brian Broome (“Punch Me Up to the Gods,”), 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction recipient Deesha Philyaw (“The Secret Lives of Church Ladies”), best-selling journalist Jake Tapper (“The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor”), attorney-turned-Edgar Award-winning author Angie Kim (“Miracle Creek), exiled Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji (“The Use of Life”), and oceanographer and environmental activist Phillippe Cousteau, Jr. (“Xploration Awesome Planet” TV series). 

“The 1455 Summer Fest is, by design, unique and inclusive: it stands apart from  strictly literary events as a free and dynamic experience; anyone can find a topic of interest and drop in on intimate conversations among  some of today’s hottest creative thinkers and powerful storytellers on the rise,” said Sean Murphy, Executive Director of 1455 Literary Arts.

Keynote speaker Douglas Stuart

“We constantly seek out diverse talent, and our goal is facilitating meaningful connection; a highlight of 2020 was our interview with Douglas Stuart for our Author Series just prior to his being awarded the Booker Prize. During his keynote, he’ll discuss his life since receiving the award. During panels, we’ll feature internationally celebrated authors (including last year’s  PEN/Faulkner Award winner and  National book award finalist Deesha Philyaw), among others, who will read from their work and talk about their writing process. These conversations are intended to provide meaningful insight into what storytelling means, who does it, how they do it, why they do it, the struggles and triumphs, and everything in between.” 

As part of the festival, 1455 is also conducting a Teen Poetry Contest, centered around the theme of “Finding Community During Crisis.” Open to any poet within the 13-19 age group, and with a deadline of July 1, 2021, entries should be a reflection on or reaction to the contemporary sociopolitical and cultural environment. The winner will receive recognition and an award of $5,000. For additional detail, visit   

Added Murphy: “Rather than scaling back our event due to COVID, the 2021Summer Festival will be our grandest ever, by far. We’re purposely keeping programming virtual so we can continue to offer this free and imminently accessible platform to the world.  Authors have not been able to connect with their usual audiences, much less meet new ones during the past 15 months; 1455 is dedicated to reviving that interaction during the Summer Festival, and via 1455’s Author Series and other programs. We’re beyond excited to facilitate this much-needed platform.” 


Thursday, July 15, 4-5 PM 

What Makes a Successful (Queer) Narrative?

It’s taken too long and there’s still a great deal of queer writing to be done, but we can at least say that queer storytelling and queer narratives, which include novels such as the ones written by authors on this panel, have made light years of progress from the days of quietly closeted characters AND creators. 

FEATURES: Lupita Aquino, Kristen Arnett , Robert Jones Torry Peters  

Thursday July 15- 7:30 PM-8:30 PM ET

It’s All About Us: The Many Voices of Speculative Fiction and Poetry

This panel will highlight and raise up the myriad voices exploring nuanced traditions and futures in speculative fiction and poetry. 

FEATURES:Neon Hemlock, Marlena Chertock, Emmalia Harrington, Dave Ring

Friday, July 16 8:00 PM-9:00 PM ET

Robbie Dunning

Slam Poetry with Robbie Dunning

Young poet and activist, Robbie Dunning (a trans and nonbinary poet, performer, artist and educator living in the Boston area) will perform Slam poetry with a bold message in a unique genre.

Saturday, July 17- 12:00 PM-1:00 PM ET

Using Moth-Style Storytelling to Turn Traumatic Memories into Dramatic or Darkly Humorous Tales

FEATURES: Four-time Moth StorySLAM winner,Molly McCloy 

 Saturday July 7 17-5:00 PM-6:00 PM ET

1455 Presents: A Conversation with Brian Broome and Deesha Philyaw

The last year hasn’t been all bad; indeed, on the literary front there have been some wonderful developments. 2021 confirmed the arrival of two superstars: Deesha Philyaw (The Secret Lives of Church Ladies) and Brian Broome(Punch Me Up to the Gods). Their books, both critically lauded and commercial smashes, have shattered conventional, and outdated industry wisdom—proving that great writing will find its audience. 

FEATURES:Brian Broome

 Saturday, July 17 6:00 PM-7:00 PM ET

 Keynote: Douglas Stuart

 Don’t miss this year's keynote speaker, Douglas Stuart, 2020 Booker Prize winner for his best-selling novel Shuggie Bain, who will be joined in conversation by 1455 Board Member Bethanne Patrick (aka @TheBookMaven).

FEATURES: Douglas Stuart

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less