To listen to the December 18th show, click on to this link, artsinval1213.mp3
Kevin Sessums, Journalist, and author of Mississippi Sissy
Kevin Sessums is an American author, editor and actor from Forest, Mississippi. Sessums served as executive editor of Interview and as a contributing editor of Vanity Fair, Allure, and Parade. His work has also appeared in Travel+Leisure, Elle, Out, Marie Claire, and Playboy. He has written theatre criticism for Towleroad.com and cultural postings for Thedailybeast.com. He attended the Juilliard School of Drama.
Sessums, who is openly gay, published a 2007 memoir titled Mississippi Sissy, which is about the conflicted life of a self-aware gay boy growing up in Forest, Mississippi. It made the New York Times Bestseller list and won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Male Memoir of 2007. His audio recording of Mississippi Sissy was nominated for a 2007 Quill Award. Sessums portrayed the character Peter Cipriani in the miniseries adaptation of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. St. Martins Press will publish his sequel to the bestselling Mississippi Sissy which is titled I Left It on the Mountain.
Merced County Superintendent of Schools
Lee Andersen is currently serving his second term as Merced County Superintendent of Schools, having been re-elected in 2006. As County Superintendent of Schools, Lee Anderson leads Merced County Office of Education staff members to support student success. Their work includes direct service to students in Migrant Education, Regional Occupational Programs, Special Education, Valley Community School, Court School, Early Care and Education, Head Start, and Jack L. Boyd Outdoor School.
Lucha Corpi, Winner of the PEN Oakland National Literary Award
1990, Lucha Corpi was twice honored: she was awarded a Creative Arts Fellowship in fiction by the City of Oakland, and she was named poet laureate at Indian University Northwest.
The publication of Eulogy for a Brown Angel: A Mystery Novel (Arte Público Press, 1992) was the culmination of a life-long dream. The novel won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award and the Multicultural Publishers Exchange Best Book of Fiction. Cactus Blood (Arte Público Press, 1995) is Corpi’s second mystery novel featuring Chicana detective Gloria Damasco. Hispanic culture, the United Farm Workers movement and other social issues texture a suspenseful search for a ritualistic assassin. The publication of Black Widow’s Wardrobe (Arte Público Press, 1999) rounded out the trilogy known as The Gloria Damasco Series.
“We Chicanos are like the abandoned children of divorced cultures. We are forever longing to be loved by an absent neglectful parent –Mexico-and also to be truly accepted by the other parent –the United States. We want bicultural harmony. We need it to survive. We struggle to achieve it. That struggle keeps us alive.”-Black Widow’s Wardrobe