Anisfield-Wolf Award-winning novelist Peter Ho Davies and writer/filmmaker and former co-director of the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival Jenni Olson read from their work as part of the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series presented by the Program in Creative Writing.
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Jenni Olson is an independent writer and non-fiction filmmaker based in Berkeley, California. Her two feature-length essay films — The Joy of Life (2005) and The Royal Road (2015) — premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and, like her many short films, have screened internationally to awards and acclaim. Jenni’s work as a film historian includes the Lambda Award nominated The Queer Movie Poster Book (Chronicle Books, 2005) and her many vintage movie trailer presentations (Homo Promo, Afro Promo, etc.). Her film criticism has appeared in numerous publications including Filmmaker Magazine, The Advocate and the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and she is currently a film columnist for Logo TV’s NewNowNext. Her reflection on the last 30 years of LGBT film history, found in The Oxford Handbook of Queer Cinema, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2021. Jenni served for more than a decade as director of marketing at Wolfe Video and she is currently co-director of The Bressan Project, devoted to restoring and re-releasing the films of pioneering gay filmmaker Arthur J. Bressan, Jr. Jenni is a former co-director of the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, the oldest and largest queer film festival on the planet, and she co-founded the pioneering LGBT online platform, PlanetOut.com as well as the legendary Queer Brunch at Sundance. She is also the proud proprietor of Butch.org. Jenni has been widely honored for her creative writing and innovative non-fiction storytelling. She holds a BA in Film Studies from the University of Minnesota and is currently an independent consultant in marketing and digital film distribution. A 2018 MacDowell Colony Fellow, Jenni is now in development on her third feature-length essay film, The Quiet World and an essayistic memoir of the same name.
Photo by Lynne Raughley
Peter Ho Davies’ most recent novel is A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself and his first work of non-fiction, The Art of Revision: The Last Word, is forthcoming. Other books include The Fortunes, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; The Welsh Girl, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and a London Times bestseller; as well as two critically acclaimed collections of short stories. His work has appeared in Harpers, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, and Granta and been anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. Born in Britain to Welsh and Chinese parents, he now teaches in the MFA program at the University of Michigan.