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Literary Pride Panel

An illustration from an issue of the graphic novel series “Flutter” by Jennie Wood.Jeff McComsey

Literary Pride Panel

For an earful of richly diverse writing, you can’t do better this week than the Literary Pride Panel on Thursday. Neil Miller, a longtime chronicler of gay life, will moderate the showcase for five authors from the LGBT community.

Panelists include Annie Weatherwax, whose debut novel, “All We Had” (Scribner), about a mother-daughter road trip, is being adapted for the big screen, and Jennie Wood, creator of the self-published graphic novel series “Flutter” about 15-year-old Lily who shape-shifts into a boy. Wood also is author of the young adult novel “A Boy Like Me” (215 Ink) about a transgendered boy coming to terms with his identity.


An illustration from “Flutter” by Jennie Wood.Jeff McComsey

Other panelists are memoirist and Cleveland transplant Judah Leblang, who writes about being gay, Jewish, and middle aged; Alden Jones, author of “The Blind Masseuse: A Traveler’s Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia” (University of Wisconsin) and the story collection “Unaccompanied Minors” (New American); and Boston Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert, whose first book is “Off the Leash: A Year at the Dog Park” (Macmillan).

Miller is author of “Banned in Boston” (Beacon) and “In Search of Gay America” (Atlantic Monthly), among others.

Cosponsored by the Boston Literary District and the Boston chapter of Hostelling International, the panel will be from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. at Hostelling International, 19 Stuart St. Books will be available for purchase.

Ryan wins another Agatha

For the second year in a row Channel 7 investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan has won an Agatha Award. Her “Truth Be Told” (Forge) received the award for best mystery published in 2014. In its review of the book, Kirkus Reviews commented, “[Reporter Jane] Ryland and [Boston police detective Jake] Brogan are such a cute couple that you wonder how long it’ll be before somebody makes a TV series out of them.”

The Agatha Awards, named for Agatha Christie, honor mysteries that don’t contain explicit sex or violence.


“Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer’s Journey” (Henery), an anthology Ryan edited, won an Agatha Award for best nonfiction book of 2014. It features 58 mystery writers, including Globe columnist Hallie Ephron whose essay is titled “I Get My Best Ideas at Yard Sales.”

Humorous verse

At a minimum, expect a few chuckles when poet X. J. Kennedy reads at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Cambridge at 7 p.m. June 16. Best known for his light verse, Kennedy will read from “Fits of Concision: Collected Poems of Six or Fewer Lines,” published by Grolier.

Kennedy, a Lexington resident, published his first poem in The New Yorker in 1957. This spring he won the $50,000 Jackson Poetry Prize, presented annually by Poets & Writers magazine to “an American poet of exceptional talent who deserves wider recognition.” The judges noted that Kennedy “translates the human predicament into poetry perfectly balancing wit, savagery, and compassion. . . . The size of his poems is small but their scope is vast.”

Coming out

■  “The Truth According to Us” by Annie Barrows (Dial)

■  “The Darkling Child: The Defenders of Shannara” by Terry Brooks (Del Rey)

■  “The Fixer” by Joseph Finder (Dutton)

Pick of the week

Kenny Brechner of Devaney, Doak & Garrett in Farmington, Maine, recommends “A Handful of Stars” by Cynthia Lord (Scholastic): “That difficult-to-capture period, when children are 11-ish and have one toe in adolescence and the rest of their weight still resting behind that line, is the specialty of this Maine author. Her terrific novel centers on the friendship between Lily, a small-town Maine girl, and Salma, a girl Lily’s age whose family is in the area to work Maine’s blueberry harvest.”


Jan Gardner can be reached at JanLGardner@yahoo.com.