Bookplate’s author series celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month

CHESTERTOWN — The Bookplate is continuing its author lectures on Saturday, June 22 with a celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Regional poet Sunu P. Chandy and novelist Jeffrey Dale Lofton will read from their works and answer questions during a 2 p.m. event at Sultana’s Lawrence Wetlands Preserve.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Lawrence Wetlands Preserve is located at 301 S. Mill St., Chestertown.

As a reminder, there is no parking available at the Lawrence Wetlands Preserve; guests are encouraged to park in the town lots off of Cannon Street.

Sunu Chandy is a social justice activist as a poet and a civil rights attorney.

The daughter of immigrants from Kerala, India, she lives in Washington, D.C. with her family.

Chandy’s first collection of poems, “My Dear Comrades,” published by Regal House, includes stories about her experiences including as a woman, parent, partner, daughter of South Asian immigrants and member of the LGBTQ+ community.

These poems cover themes ranging from immigration, activism, friendship loss, fertility challenges, adoption, caregiving and life during a pandemic.

Chandy currently is a senior advisor with Democracy Forward, focusing on helping to counter the attacks on DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion). She also serves on the board of the Transgender Law Center.

Chandy has practiced law for 25 years, most recently as the legal director of the National Women’s Law Center; for six years until August 2023, she oversaw litigation and led the organization’s LGBTQ+ equality work.

Chandy earned a bachelor’s degree in Peace and Global Studies/Women’s Studies from Earlham College, a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and, following that in 2013, a master’s of fine arts degree in creative writing (poetry) from Queens College/The City University of New York.

She was included as one of the Queer Women of Washington and one of Go Magazine’s 100 Women We Love.

Jeffrey Dale Lofton, who hails from Warm Springs, Georgia, has lived in Washington for more than three decades.

He is a senior advisor at the Library of Congress where he is surrounded by books and people who love books. He also is a contributing editor for WELL READ Magazine and co-host of the Inside Voices podcast alongside author Robert Gwaltney.

“Red Clay Suzie” is Lofton’s first novel, a fictionalized memoir written through his personal lens as an outsider — gay and living with a disability in a conservative family and community in the Deep South.

Lofton was the Pat Conroy Literary Center spring 2024 writer-in-residence.

“Red Clay Suzie’ was longlisted for The Center for Fiction 2023 First Novel Prize, named an Indie Next Pick by the American Booksellers Association and was awarded the Seven Hills Literary Prize for Fiction.

You can learn more about Lofton at JeffreyDLofton.com.

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For more information about the author series, call The Bookplate at 410-778-4167 or email contact@thebookplate.net.

The Bookplate will continue its author series with Chestertqwn resident Jamie Kirkpatrick on July 10 at The Kitchen and Pub at The Imperial (208 High St., Chestertown).

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