ISU Headlines

Nationally acclaimed author to visit ISU for Transgender Day of Remembrance

Posted November 17, 2008

Award-winning writer J. Ely Shipley will discuss his personal experiences as a transgendered person during a free public lecture Nov. 19, 6 to 8 p.m., in the Bear River Room of the Idaho State University Pond Student Union Building. The event is sponsored by the Janet C. Anderson Gender Resource Center and the ISU Department of English and Philosophy.

National Transgender Day of Remembrance is held in November to honor Rita Hester, who was murdered Nov. 28, 1998, and to memorialize victims who’ve died due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. Shipley’s first book of poems, “Boy with Flowers,” won the 2007 Barrow Street Press book prize. He also won the Utah Writer’s Award in Poetry from the Western Humanities Review and the Virginia Faulkner Award from Prairie Schooner.

He was a finalist for the Academy of American Poets’ Levis prize in 2007 and for the James Hearst Award from the North American Review in 2003.

Shipley’s poems have appeared in Willow Springs, Florida Review, Phoebe, Greensboro Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Diagram, Gulf Coast, Barrow Street, Third Coast, LTTR and Bloom.

He has taught creative writing, literature, and gender studies at Purdue University and the University of Utah, and frequently facilitates workshops with queer youth.

He lives in Salt Lake City, where he is a doctoral candidate in the creative writing program at the University of Utah.

Organizers hope the event will bring awareness to the issues surrounding transgender identity. 

The Anderson Center at Idaho State University serves as the focal point on campus for the consideration of gender issues.  

“In our efforts, we are especially guided by the ideal of diversity which allows us to envision a future free of the limitations imposed by our culture's standard definitions of gender and other categories of difference,” says Heidi Harold, Anderson Center assistant director.

For more information about this event or the Anderson Center, contact Heidi Harold or Dr. Rebecca Morrow, center director, at 282-2805 or e-mail