Monday, June 30, 2008

How to Get Copies of To Be Left With the Body

  • If you are in New York or New Jersey, contact one of the editors, Cheryl (NJ) or Steven (NY):
  • You can order a hard copy by contacting Pato Hebert at APLA:
  • Or you can download the PDF online:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Just a Taste of Pamela Sneed

Pamela Sneed, who contributed TBLWTB, riffs about Zena, love and breath in "Oxygen." Enjoy.

And for your reading pleasure, "Popeye's" a wonderful poem featured in TBLWTB by the incomparable, Ms Sneed.



Never thought it would have ended this way or begun
15 years later survivors sitting in Popeye’s chicken,
downtown Brooklyn
Our coleslaw and mashed potato cups imprinted with
We Love Chicken
Us sitting quietly for hours, staring into the
out of Popeye’s big glass windows
When we first sat down Colin smoothed his napkin
over his lap
I was impressed at how elegant he was for Popeye’s
our gold and silver rings glistening as we ate chicken
brought it to our lips
He and I think were very unlikely customers
but who would have thought decades later
we would be sitting together in Popeye’s,
sole survivors of a generation gone,
our brothers and sisters gone
from Aids and cancer
We came together accidentally through a show
where later funding fell through
But we determined bravely without question
as we always had both separately and together
to go on
that part of the legacy Donald Woods and Essex
Audre Lorde, Assotto Saint, Pat Parker, and Marlon Riggs
had left us with was to fight
to never walk away without fighting
through whatever circumstance to keep going
We had at least Colin and I had the memory of Assoto
slamming his hand on the pulpit at Donald’s funeral
we know somewhere inside we must always tell the truth
Colin and I are the witnesses, our tribe’s counsel
we buried each of those men
we saw
and over the years we haven't spoken much
not even on this project
but today during a rehearsal
during the recitation of a poem
he grabbed my hand full of trust and innocence
held on
then let go
and for me even as a poet that moment
meant more than words.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


New York, NY. Sunday June 22, 2008. Samiya Bashir reads “Gospel” at the Live Love Be NYC Pride Festival. Bashir’s poem “Clitigation” appears in TBLWTB. The poem was originally published in Where the Apple Falls, published by RedBone Press (reprint courtesy of the author and publisher, 2005). Find out more the poet/writer/activist at and at RedBone Press,

New York, NY. Saturday June 21, 2008. Terence Taylor reads his contribution to TBLWTB, the short story, “Sex Degrees of Separation,” at Other Countries, Summer Solstice Reading at the LGBT Community Services Center. Read more about Taylor and his writings at

New York, NY. SAGE Harlem Book Club selection for July is TBLWTB! Join SAGE Harlem at Hueman Bookstore Wednesday July 18th at 6-8pm for a discussion of the book. Contact Ty Martin at 212.741.2247 for more details.

For information about the book, contact Steven or Cheryl @

TBLWTB Press Release - Please Circulate!

Gabriel McGowan
AIDS Project Los Angeles

For Immediate Release


Los Angeles, Calif., June 24, 2008 – AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) today announced the publication of “To Be Left with the Body,” the latest in a series of publications created by and for black gay and bisexual men to explore the impact of HIV/AIDS on their lives. Co-edited by Cheryl Clarke and Steven G. Fullwood, the collection features contributions from 16 writers and poets, and a series of photographs by New York artist Artis Q.

“AIDS Project Los Angeles is committed to a robust and relevant conversation with black gay men about HIV risk,” said APLA Director of Health and Wellness Programs Vallerie D. Wagner, who wrote the book’s foreword. “We have a responsibility to take action, stand firm and stem the tide of this pandemic.”

Gathered into four sections, the essays, poems and stories of “To Be Left with the Body” pose provocative questions (“Who is the HIV/AIDS virus pushing us to become?”) and offer accounts of “bodies…at war with themselves; bodies aging, being positive, holding illiness; and seeking and finding their grace.” Throughout the book, Artis Q.’s series of seven photographs, “Me and My Shadow,” shows well-known New York City landmarks layered with an ever-present black male silhouette.

As Ms. Wagner writes in her forward, “To Be Left with the Body” aims to expose the “hidden face of AIDS” and begin to conquer the “silence, stigma and denial” that have become the “inevitable result” of the spread of HIV into communities of color.

A 2005 study in five major U.S. cities found that 46 percent of black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the study were infected with HIV, compared with 21 percent of white MSM and 17 percent of Latino MSM. Since that time, APLA has engaged a wide network of writers and artists to help drive conversations about HIV/AIDS among gay men of color through cultural production. “To Be Left with the Body” follows APLA publications “Think Again” (2003) and “If We Have to Take Tomorrow” (2006).

To place orders for the book, please contact Patrick Hebert at 213.201.1537. To download a copy, visit

Title: To Be Left with the Body

Date: June 2008

Editors: Cheryl Clarke and Steven G. Fullwood


Samiya Bashir, Raymond Berry, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Ramsey Brisueno, Jewelle Gomez, francine harris, A. Naomi Jackson, Ana-Maurine Lara, Dante Michaeux, Conrad Pegues, Kevin Simmonds, Pamela Sneed, Terence Taylor, Marvin K. White, james witherspoon and avery r. young

Publisher: AIDS Project Los Angeles

Graphic Design: Patrick “Pato” Hebert

Images: Artis Q and Steven G. Fullwood

Pages: 84

AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), one of the largest non-profit AIDS service organizations in the United States, provides bilingual direct services, prevention education and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. Marking 25 years of service in 2008, APLA is a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national and global reach. For more information, visit


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

To Be Left with the Body - It's Here!


The Editors would like to welcome you to the place to get information about the publication, TO BE LEFT WITH THE BODY, as well as read interviews with contributors to the book, excerpts from the volume, find out about scheduled readings and where you can get the book, and other educational and promotional activities.