Wednesday, June 25, 2008

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


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