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Between Certain Death and a Possible Future - Anthology Launch

Book Cover and Photo

Qu’ART Queer Arts Ottawa is partnering with the Ottawa International Writers Festival and with Ottawa Public Library to launch Between Certain Death and a Possible Future, an anthology of personal essays on the persistent impact of the AIDS crisis on queer lives. Join us for a conversation hosted by anthology editor Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore with anthology contributors Alexander McClelland, Eddie Walker, Kate Doyle Griffiths and Ryan Conrad.

Every queer person lives with the trauma of AIDS, and this plays out intergenerationally. Usually, we hear about two generations:

  • the first, coming of age in the era of gay liberation and watching entire circles of friends die of a mysterious illness as the government did nothing to intervene;
  • the second, younger people growing up with effective treatment and prevention available and unable to comprehend the magnitude of the loss.

However, there is a third generation between these two, one that came of age in the midst of the epidemic with the belief that desire intrinsically led to death, and internalized this trauma as part of becoming queer. Between Certain Death and a Possible Future: Queer Writing on Growing up with the AIDS Crisis offers stories from this missing generation in AIDS literature and cultural politics. This collection includes 36 personal essays on the ongoing impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis in queer lives. Here you will find a range of perspectives - essays that explore and explode conventional wisdom, and that respond to the question: how do we reckon with the trauma that continues to this day, and imagine a way out?

Register to receive the Zoom link to attend. This event will also be streamed on Ottawa Public Library's Facebook . The direct streaming link is https://www.facebook.com/BiblioOttawaLibrary/posts/2178580742279935 .  We recommend attending through Zoom if you do not have a Facebook account.   

QUOTE: “To be queer is to learn about yourself - your identity, your history, your community - in fragments. Mattilda has been painstakingly helping us put our pieces together for decades, and defiantly does it again in Between Certain Death and a Possible Future.” –Vivek Shraya