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Patrick Earl Ryan in conversation with Jewelle Gomez

December 12, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm PST

New Orleans native PATRICK EARL RYAN and writer, icon, and activist JEWELLE GOMEZ discuss writing, queerness, and If We Were Electric

Join us for a special virtual event – New Orleans native PATRICK EARL RYAN and writer, icon, and activist JEWELLE GOMEZ discuss writing, queerness, and Ryan’s award-winning debut short story collection, IF WE WERE ELECTRIC, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, the first selected by Roxane Gay as the new editor of the prestigious series.

Suggested donation of $5 to benefit the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division

All are welcome to join, with or without a donation


IF WE WERE ELECTRIC, the debut short story collection from New Orleans’s native Patrick Earl Ryan is, indeed, fiercely electric. These twelve startling fictions have been crafted by a writer with an assured and absolutely original voice and a remarkable understanding of how place is as much a compelling character in a good story as the people who populate it. There are stories here about unrequited love and youthful yearning, the complexities of desire between men, the beginnings and ends of relationships, deaths both inevitable and untimely, the bitter ache of loneliness, the quiet horrors that unexpectedly befall us, and the magic of the ordinary world. With this outstanding collection, Patrick Earl Ryan makes his mark on Southern literature and wow!” – Roxane Gay

“Infused with all the mystique and mystery that New Orleans is known for comes this enchanting, hypnotic debut story collection from Patrick Earl Ryan… The stories feature outliers and miscreants trapped in situations that often feel claustrophobic but are impossible to ignore. Ryan is a true natural at weaving textured language and complex characterization into plots that are serpentine and saturated with emotional complexity. This quality is exceptional for a debut author and a definite determinant for a gilded literary career ahead. Addictively gorgeous and mesmerizing, Ryan’s collection of twelve literary gems are meant to be savored, re-read, and reflected upon as readers await his next creation.” – Jim Piechota, the Bay Area Reporter

PATRICK EARL RYAN was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the author of If We Were Electric, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. His work has appeared in the Ontario Review, Pleiades, Best New American Voices, Men on Men: Best New Gay Fiction for the Millennium, and the James White Review. He was the founder and editor in chief of the LGBTQ literary journal Lodestar Quarterly.

JEWELLE GOMEZ, playwright, novelist, poet, and cultural worker, is the author of eight books, including the first Black Lesbian vampire novel, The Gilda Stories. In print more than 25 years, the novel will soon be a television mini-series. Jewelle’s fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in over 100 anthologies. She is playwright-in-residence at the New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco.


December 12, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm PST
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Bureau of General Services–Queer Division
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