About this Event
Sponsored by Office of Economic and Workforce Development
Co-presented by San Francisco Public Library
The current fervor around book banning might feel like something that's happening elsewhere, but its stifling effects have hit writers right here at home. As part of Banned Books Week, a panel of children’s and YA authors discuss what it's like to write as a creator whose work has been banned or censored. Authors include MariNaomi, Sarah Hoffman, Gayle Pitman, and Jasmine A. Stirling, in a discussion moderated by Ian Hoffman. FREE
MariNaomi (they/them) is the award-winning author and illustrator of Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22 (Harper Perennial, 2011), Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories (2dcloud/Uncivilized Books, 2014), Turning Japanese (2dcloud, 2016; Extended edition Oni Press, 2023), I Thought YOU Hated ME (Retrofit Comics, 2016), the Life on Earth trilogy (Graphic Universe, 2018-2020), Dirty Produce (Workman Publishing, 2021), and I Thought You Loved Me (Fieldmouse Press, 2023). Their work has appeared in nearly 100 print publications and has been featured on websites such as the New Yorker’s Daily Shouts, the Washington Post, LA Times, The Rumpus, LA Review of Books, Midnight Breakfast, SF Examiner, and BuzzFeed. Their comics have been translated into French, German, and Russian. MariNaomi’s comics and paintings have been featured in the Smithsonian, the de Young Museum, the Cartoon Art Museum, the Asian Art Museum, and the Japanese American National Museum. MariNaomi is the founder and administrator of the Cartoonists of Color Database, the Queer Cartoonists Database, and the Disabled Cartoonists Database. MariNaomi lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with their partner and a menagerie of beloved rescue animals.
Sarah Hoffman (she/her) is the author, along with her spouse Ian, of Jacob’s New Dress, Jacob’s Room To Choose, and Jacob’s School Play: Starring He, She, and They! Their books have won awards from the American Library Association, Foreward Reviews, the Children’s Book Council, and Bank Street College of Education. Jacob’s New Dress currently holds the #72 spot on the ALA’s list of the Top 100 Most Banned Books of the Decade. As business partners and spouses, Sarah & Ian have been working together on building a better world for over 25 years.
Gayle Pitman (she/her), by day, is a community college educator and administrator, and by night, writes books for children and teens. Her teaching and writing focus on gender and sexual orientation, and she has worked extensively with the LGBTQ+ community, both as an educator and an activist. Her debut picture book, This Day in June, won the 2015 ALA Stonewall Award, and several of her books are on the ALA Rainbow List as Top Ten picks. Other books she has written include When You Look Out the Window, a picture book biography of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin; Sewing the Rainbow, about Gilbert Baker and the creation of the first rainbow flag; My Maddy, a child’s love letter to her nonbinary parent; and The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets, a middle-grade history of the uprising told through photos, news clippings, and period objects. Her most recent book, The Fairy Project, tells the story of psychologist Evelyn Hooker, whose work and activism contributed to the removal of the “homosexuality” diagnosis from the DSM. Gayle has lost count of how many times her books have been challenged and/or banned.
Jasmine A. Stirling (she/her) is the award-winning author of A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice (Bloomsbury, 2021), winner of the IPNE Book Award, and a Book Riot and Mighty Girl Best Book of the Year. Her new book: Dare to Question: Carrie Chapman Catt’s Voice for the Vote (Union Square & Co, 2023, starred review, Booklist), tells the story of the queer power couple who ignited the suffrage movement and won the vote for women. Her third book, about a botanist who became the first woman to circumnavigate the world—while disguised as a man—comes out in 2025. Jasmine was formerly an education technology executive, and designed products to make learning engaging. She also served on boards for education nonprofits serving low-income students of color. Jasmine lives in an old house in San Francisco with her spouse, two daughters, and an absurdly adorable dog.
Ian Hoffman (moderator; he/him) is the author, along with his spouse Sarah, of Jacob’s New Dress, Jacob’s Room To Choose, and Jacob’s School Play: Starring He, She, and They! Their books have won awards from the American Library Association, Foreward Reviews, the Children’s Book Council, and Bank Street College of Education. Jacob’s New Dress currently holds the #72 spot on the ALA’s list of the Top 100 Most Banned Books of the Decade. As business partners and spouses, Sarah & Ian have been working together on building a better world for over 25 years.
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street CA 94102, San Francisco, United States