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Lesléa Newman
(1955 - living) U.S.A.

Lesléa Newman

Children's writer

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Born in Brooklin, New York, this Jewish lesbian writer has created something of a controversy with her books for children such as Heater has Two Mommies (1989).

The book found a home with Alyson Books, an historic gay publishing house, but after it appeared on elementary school shelves public outrage ensued. New York City's Chancellor of Education lost his job over his inclusion of the book in an elementary curriculum. The book was read aloud to the Senate. In short, any publicity is not always good publicity.

Newman's early training was in poetry. Her first poem was published in when she was a teenager, and she received a college poetry scholarship, studying at Naropa and with Allen Ginsburg. Newman went to the University of Vermont where she gained a BS in 1977, and in 1980 earned a certificate in Poetics from the Naropa Institute. Since then she has developed her writing career as well as working in a variety of jobs.

She taught in continuing education at the University of Massachusetts, and, between 1986 and 1988, directed and taught Creative Writing on the summer programme for high-school women at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts.

She has written in a variety of genres - novels, short stories, children's books, plays, and non-fiction. In 1989 Newman was awarded a Massachusetts Artists' Foundation fellowship in poetry. She has authored several volumes and edited My Lover is a Woman, the first major collection of lesbian love poetry. She has also been the recipient of an NEA fellowship for poetry.

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Source: excerpts from: Gabriele Griffin, Who's Who in Lesbian and Gay and Writing, Routledge, London, 2002

Website: http://www.lesleanewman.com/

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