Jewelle Gomez

Jewelle Gomez - Photo Credit: Irene YoungJewelle Gomez (Cape Verde / Wampanoag / Ioway) is the author of eight books including the cult favorite, THE GILDA STORIES, which has been in print since 1991. The novel, winner of two Lambda Literary Awards, was just republished by City Lights Books in a new 25th anniversary edition.

Her play, Bones and Ash, based on THE GILDA STORIES, was commissioned by the Urban Bush Women Company. It toured 13 U.S. cities (1996) and was published by Quality Paperback Book Club’s Triangle Classics.

Her most recent play is part of a trilogy about African American artists in the early part of the 20th century. Leaving the Blues about singer/composer, Alberta Hunter, premiered at the New Conservatory Theatre Center in the Spring of 2017 and played to sold out audiences. The first play in the trilogy, Waiting for Giovanni, is about an imagined moment of indecision in the life of writer/activist James Baldwin, and also premiered at NCTC (2011) where she is Playwright in Residence. She is currently working on Unpacking at Ptown, the third play in the trilogy which will premier in 2021.

Her fiction and poetry have been published in over one hundred anthologies including: HOME GIRLS–A Black Feminist Anthology (1983), the OXFORD WORLD TREASURY OF LOVE STORIES (1995), DARK MATTER-100 Years of African American Speculative Fiction (2000), and RED INDIAN ROAD WEST (2015). She has written essays, literary and film criticism for numerous publications including The Village Voice, MS Magazine, The Advocate, ESSENCE Magazine, Callaloo, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Black Scholar.

She worked in television production at WGBH in Boston and Children’s Television Workshop in New York City. She was on the founding boards of GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and the Open Meadows Foundation. She is the former Director of Grants for Horizons LGBT Foundation; for Cultural Equity Grants at the SF Arts Commission and for the Literature Program at the New York State Council on the Arts. She has also served as President of the San Francisco Public Library Commission. She’s taught theatre and creative writing workshops at numerous institutions of higher learning from Harvard to San Francisco State Universities.

She was the recipient of a Fellowship in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts and two Artist in Residence grants from the California Council on the Arts. She was a 2016 recipient of a Barbary Coast Vanguard Award from LitQuake.