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GATHER: Joshua Whitehead & Joseph M. Pierce
April 21 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
GATHER: Joshua Whitehead & Joseph M. Pierce
Join us at BookHampton for an evening with author, Joshua Whitehead, and author, scholar, & curator, Joseph M. Pierce, discussing Whitehead’s latest book, Making Love with the Land.
The novel Jonny Appleseed established Joshua Whitehead as one of the most exciting and important new literary voices on Turtle Island, winning both a Lambda Literary Award and Canada Reads 2021. In Making Love with the Land, his first nonfiction book, Whitehead explores the relationships between body, language, and land through creative essay, memoir, and confession.
In prose that is evocative and sensual, unabashedly queer and visceral, raw and autobiographical, Whitehead writes of an Indigenous body in pain, coping with trauma. Deeply rooted within, he reaches across the anguish to create a new form of storytelling he calls “biostory”—beyond genre, and entirely sovereign. Through this narrative perspective, Making Love with the Land recasts mental health struggles and our complex emotional landscapes from a nefarious parasite on his (and our) well-being to kin, even a relation, no matter what difficulties they present to us. Whitehead ruminates on loss and pain without shame or ridicule but rather highlights waypoints for personal transformation. Written in the aftermath of heartbreak, before and during the pandemic, Making Love with the Land illuminates this present moment in which both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people are rediscovering old ways and creating new ones about connection with and responsibility toward each other and the land.
The evening is presented as part of GATHER: Conversations Led by Black & Indigenous Changemakers, co-produced by Guild Hall and Ma’s House & BIPOC Studio. All attendees will receive a copy of Making Love with the Land, and the evening will conclude with a Q&A and book signing. Revenue from the program will equally support Learning & Public Programs at both Guild Hall and Ma’s House & BIPOC Studio.
ABOUT GATHER: CONVERSATIONS LED BY BLACK & INDIGENOUS CHANGEMAKERS
GATHER spotlights the voices of BIPOC scholars, artists, and leaders, providing lessons on Black & Indigenous histories & traditions, and strategies for moving forward together. The program is co-produced by Guild Hall and Ma’s House & BIPOC Studio. Founded by Jeremy Dennis, artist and tribal member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, Ma’s House is a communal art space that includes a residency program for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), an art studio, and library. The series was awarded a 2022 Engaging Communities Award of Merit from the Museum Association of New York.
Joshua Whitehead (he/him) is a Two-Spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary where he is housed in the departments of English and International Indigenous Studies (Treaty 7).
He is the author of full-metal indigiqueer (Talonbooks 2017) which was shortlisted for the inaugural Indigenous Voices Award and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. He is also the author of Jonny Appleseed (Arsenal Pulp Press 2018) which was long listed for the Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Indigenous Voices Award, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, and won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction, the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and Canada Reads 2021.
Whitehead is the editor of Love after the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction, which won the Lambda Award in 2021.
Whitehead’s latest book Making Love with the Land was published in 2022 with Knopf Canada, exploring the intersections of Indigeneity, queerness, and, most prominently, mental health through a nêhiyaw lens. The book was shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Award for Nonfiction.
You can also find his work published widely in such venues as Prairie Fire, CV2, EVENT, Arc Poetry Magazine, The Fiddlehead, Grain, CNQ, Write, and Red Rising Magazine.
JOSEPH M. PIERCE
Joseph M. Pierce is Associate Professor in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University. His research focuses on the intersections of kinship, gender, sexuality, and race in Latin America, 19th century literature and culture, queer studies, Indigenous studies, and hemispheric approaches to citizenship and belonging. He is the author of Argentine Intimacies: Queer Kinship in an Age of Splendor, 1890-1910 (SUNY Press, 2019) and co-editor of Políticas del amor: Derechos sexuales y escrituras disidentes en el Cono Sur (Cuarto Propio, 2018) as well as the 2021 special issue of GLQ, “Queer/Cuir Américas: Translation, Decoloniality, and the Incommensurable.” His work has been published recently in Revista Hispánica Moderna, Critical Ethnic Studies, Latin American Research Review, and has also been featured in Indian Country Today. Along with SJ Norman (Koori, Wiradjuri descent) he is co-curator of the performance series Knowledge of Wounds. He is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
Photo: Sebastian Freire
This program is generously supported by Maureen McMahon and Josh Baratz, and public funding provided by Suffolk County.
Media Partner: James Lane Post
Guild Hall’s Learning + New Works programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Additional major support comes from The Patti Kenner Arts Education Fellowship, The Hearthland Foundation, the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Endowment Fund, and The Melville Straus Family Endowment.