Wolverton, Terry 1954-
WOLVERTON, Terry 1954-
PERSONAL: Born August 23, 1954, in Cocoa Beach, FL; daughter of Donald E. Wolverton and Ruth L. Miller Tackabery; companion of Susan Silton (a visual artist). Education: Attended University of Detroit, 1972–73, University of Toronto, 1973–74, and Sagaris Institute, 1975; Thomas Jefferson College, B.A., 1977; Feminist Studio Workshop, certificate, 1978. Hobbies and other interests: Visual arts, body building, yoga, and gardening.
ADDRESSES: Home—Los Angeles, CA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Red Hen Press, P.O. Box 3537, Granada Hills, CA 91394.
CAREER: Woman's Building, Los Angeles, CA, calendar editor, 1977–81, administrative assistant, 1981–84, member of board of directors, 1982–86, development director, 1984–88, executive director, 1988–89; Consult'Her (management consulting firm), principal, 1982–. Adult education instructor in and around Los Angeles, CA; L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, creative writing instructor, 1988–97. Artist in residence, California Arts Council, 1984–96. Lesbian Art Project, cofounder, 1977, codirector, 1977–80; Incest Awareness Project, co-organizer, 1979–81; White Women's Anti-Racism Consciousness Raising, founder, 1980; Los Angeles Artists Organizations, founder, 1986; Writers at Work, Los Angeles, founder, 1997. California Confederation of the Arts, member of Public Policy Committee, 1986–88; Fringe Festival Los Angeles, member of board of directors, 1987–88; ArtTable, member, 1987–89; Los Angeles Poetry Festival, member of advisory board, 1990–; First Impressions Performance, member of advisory committee, 1991–94.
MEMBER: PEN Center U.S.A. West.
AWARDS, HONORS: Gay and Lesbian Academic Union award, 1981; Merit Award, JVC Tokyo Video Festival, 1981, for Me and My Shadow; Lesbian Rights Award, Southern California Women for Understanding, 1986; Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department grant, 1990–91; Vesta Award in Literature, Woman's Building, 1991; first place winner, Sheila-Na-Gig Annual Poetry Contest, 1994; Movers and Shakers Award for women writers, Southern California Library for Social Research, 1995; Lesbian and Bisexual Woman Active in Community Empowerment award, L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, 1997; Harvey Milk Award, Christopher St. West Association, 1997.
Blue Moon (poems and prose), Women's Graphic Center (Los Angeles, CA), 1977.
In Silence Secrets Turn to Lies/Secrets Shared Become Sacred Truth (performance text), produced in Los Angeles, CA, at Woman's Building, 1979.
(With Vicki Stolsen) Ya Got Class, Real Class (performance text), produced in Los Angeles, CA, at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, 1980.
Familiar (performance text), produced in Venice, CA, at Social and Public Art Resource Center, 1984.
Me and My Shadow (performance text), produced in New York, NY, at ABC No Rio, 1984.
(With Catherine Stifter) dis-a-buse: to free from a misconception or delusion (performance text), produced in Los Angeles, CA, at Woman's Building, 1986.
A Merry Little Christmas (three-act play), staged reading produced in Los Angeles, CA, at Celebration Theater, 1987.
Black Slip (poems), Clothespin Fever Press (San Diego, CA), 1992.
Bailey's Beads (novel), Faber (Boston, MA), 1996.
Mystery Bruise, Red Hen (Los Angeles, CA), 1999.
Insurgent Muse: Life and Art at the Woman's Building (memoir), City Lights (San Francisco, CA), 2002.
Embers: A Novel in Poems, Red Hen Press (San Francisco, CA), 2004.
Also author of exhibition catalogs. Work represented in anthologies, including Grand Passion: The Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, Red Wind Books, 1995; The Femme Mystique, edited by Leslea Newman, Alyson (Boston, MA), 1995; and The Best Lesbian Erotica 1995, edited by Tristan Taormina and Heather Lewis, Cleis (Pittsburgh, PA), 1996. Contributor of articles, stories, and poems to magazines, including Caprice, Modern Words, Evergreen Chronicles, American Writing, Los Angeles Weekly, and California Quarterly.
(With Benjamin Weissman) Harbinger: Poetry and Fiction by Los Angeles Writers, Los Angeles Festival and Beyond Baroque (Los Angeles, CA), 1990.
(With Robert Drake) Indivisible: New Short Fiction by West Coast Gay and Lesbian Writers, Plume (New York, NY), 1991.
Blood Whispers: L.A. Writers on AIDS, Silverton Books (Los Angeles, CA), Volume 1, 1991, Volume 2, 1994.
Brenda L. Underhill, Creating Visibility: Providing Lesbian-Sensitive and Lesbian-Specific Alcoholism Recovery Services, Alcoholism Center for Women (Los Angeles, CA), 1993.
(With Robert Drake) Hers: Brilliant New Fiction by Lesbian Writers, Faber (Boston, MA), 1995.
(With Robert Drake) His: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Writers, Faber (Boston, MA), 1995.
(With Robert Drake) His 2: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Writers, Faber (Boston, MA), 1997.
(With Robert Drake) Hers 2: Brilliant New Fiction by Lesbian Writers, Faber (Boston, MA), 1997.
(With Robert Drake) His 3: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Writers, Faber (New York, NY), 1999.
(With Robert Drake) Hers 3: Brilliant New Fiction by Lesbian Writers, Faber (New York, NY), 1999.
(With Robert Drake) Circa 2000: Gay Fiction at the Millennium, Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 2000.
SIDELIGHTS: Terry Wolverton is an author who has also coedited several popular collections of gay and lesbian writing. "Wolverton," wrote a contributor to Gay and Lesbian Literature, "has been a primary force in creating visibility for artists and writers, and in forging cohesion and creativity within the feminist lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans communities." "Wolverton's work and politics," continued the Gay and Lesbian Literature essayist, "are inseparable. Her life reflects her work, and her work her life. She has never turned away from looking at the issues of the communities in which she works…. Wolverton's work demonstrates a full and diverse spectrum of living and being. Her work, in every form, demonstrates the full range of her humanity."
Together with Robert Drake, Wolverton has edited the collections Hers: Brilliant New Fiction by Lesbian Writers and His: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Writers, each of which have been followed by two subsequent volumes. Speaking of the first volume of His, a collection of fiction by a number of gay writers, a critic for Publishers Weekly found the book to be "rich, imaginative and diverse…. These stories evince a wide range of characters and locales that hold the reader's interest." In a review of Hers, a collection of fiction by lesbian writers, Whitney Scott concluded in Booklist: "This is a thought-provoking compilation worthy of non-lesbian readers' attention."
In a review of Hers 3, a Publishers Weekly contributor commented that the "target audience will … appreciate the manifold emotional truths, and modes of experience, offered here." Ina Rimpau, writing in the Library Journal, noted that the editors "have once again assembled capable, established writers … and emerging ones in an engaging collection." A Publishers Weekly contributor called the His 3 collection a "worthwhile set of 20 stories." Keith Banner wrote in Lambda Book Report: "In fact, every story in His 3and Hers 3 seems carefully chosen and is worth your time. Both books offer truly inspirational tours through a museum of people of all genders and bents, styles and sympathies."
Wolverton once again teamed with Robert Drake for editorial duties on the book Circa 2000: Gay Fiction and the Millennium, which features twenty-one stories. Roger Durbin, writing in the Library Journal, commented that the collection "lives up to its promise" and also noted: "The stories do not hedge, nor do they sentimentalize." "With every entry having merit," asserted a Publishers Weekly contributor, "this outstanding volume serves as an important bellwether for those with any doubts about the state of gay writing at the dawn of the 21st century."
Insurgent Muse: Life and Art at the Woman's Building is the author's memoir of her life at the Woman's Building, which was a center that focused on women's culture. Wolverton began visiting the center as a student and then was hired on to hold a number of positions, culminating in a post as executive director. In her memoir, the author reveals a past dealing with a dysfunctional family, sexual abuse, and suicidal thoughts. Wolverton also reveals how she feels the center helped her turn her life around and make her a success. "With this work," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor, "Wolverton makes a welcome, major contribution to lesbian, feminist and art archives." Debra Moore commented in the Library Journal, "Wolverton provides an intimate look at the organizational struggles and triumphs of the Woman's Building."
Wolverton is also the author of Embers: A Novel in Poetry. Although fiction, the novel is based on Wolverton's dysfunctional family and their individual lives. "All the poems are Wolverton's impressions of these events, and when she wasn't sure of a detail, she made it up, creating a new poetic type of memoir that is powerful and stunning," according to Jane Van Ingen in the Lambda Book Report. Van Ingen went on to conclude, "Wolverton has transformed the memoir into a beautiful package."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Gay and Lesbian Literature, Volume 2, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1998.
Wolverton, Terry, Insurgent Muse: Life and Art at the Woman's Building, City Lights (San Francisco, CA), 2002.
Booklist, August, 1995, review of Hers: Brilliant New Fiction by Lesbian Writers, p. 1929; September 1, 1996, Whitney Scott, review of Bailey's Beads, p. 66.
Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, September-October, 2003, Martha E. Stone, review of Insurgent Muse: Life and Art at the Woman's Building, p. 45.
Lambda Book Report, September-October, 1995, Paula Martinac, review of Hers, p. 27; September-October, 1996, Rachel Astarte Piccione, review of Bailey's Beads, p. 23; November, 1997, Melissa Anderson, review of Hers 2, pp. 8-9; November, 1999, Keith Banner, review of Hers 3 and His 3, p. 22; November-December, 2002, Tee A. Corinne, review of Insurgent Muse, p. 34; March-April, 2004, Jane Van Ingen, review of Embers: A Novel in Poems, p. 15.
Library Journal, June 1, 1997, Roger W. Durbin, review of His 2, p. 153; June 15, 1997, Ina Rimpau, review of Hers 2, p. 100; June 1, 1999, Theodore R. Salvadori, review of His 3, p. 1982; June 15, 1999, Ina Rimpau, review of Hers 3, p. 111; September 15, 2000, Roger Durbin, review of Circa 2000: Gay Fiction at the Millennium, p. 115; December, 2002, Debra Moore, review of Insurgent Muse, p. 160.
Publishers Weekly, July 3, 1995, review of Hers, p. 57; August 14, 1995, review of His, p. 77; July 15, 1996, review of Bailey's Beads, p. 56; May 24, 1999, review of Hers 3, p. 66; June 21, 1999, review of His 3, p. 56; August 28, 2000, review of Circa 2000, p. 57; September 16, 2002, review of Insurgent Muse, p. 63.
City Lights, http://www.citylights.com/ (April 18, 2003), "Q & A with Terry Wolverton."
StoneWall Society, http://www.stonewallsociety.com/ (April 18, 2003), review of His 3.
Technodyke.com, http://www.technodyke.com/ (April 18, 2003), "Terry Wolverton Interview."