Tom Carey & Jaime Manrique

Tom Carey was born in Santa Monica CA, and grew up in Sherman Oaks, a suburb of L.A. in the San Fernando Valley.  His father and grandfathers were western movie actors, and Tom himself studied theater at the Actors’ and Directors’ Lab and with the Stella Adler Theater Studio.  You can catch a glimpse of him in the films Plaza Suite (1970); The Late Liz (1971); The Day of the Locust (1975); and in a couple of televisions episodes.  In 1975 Tom moved to Toronto, Canada, and then to New York.  For five years or so he fronted for various punk/new wave bands, the most enduring being The Beeks, whose underground hit “The Pills Aren’t Working” is a testimony to Tom’s state of mind at the time.  During this period he also was literary assistant to the Pulitzer Prize winning poet, James Schuyler, and briefly, for John Ashbery as well.  After getting sober in 1982, Tom discovered the Episcopal Church and as part of his discernment for ordination to the priesthood, also discovered the Brothers of the Society of St. Francis, then living at St. Elizabeth’s Friary in Brooklyn.  Tom became a Franciscan brother early in 1988.  Since then he has run a theater program for city kids, The Bushwick Play Project; served at various parishes in New York and beyond, and he taught poetry in NYC public Schools for ten years, as well. He graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Spanish and studied theology at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Tom’s book of poems Desire (1996 Painted Leaf Press) was a Lamda Literary Award Finalist; his poems have appeared in various anthologies, magazines and journals, including, Word of Mouth, the KGB Bar Book of Poems, Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry, and the Portable Lower East Side.  He is the author of three novels; two as-yet-unpublished novels and many songs.  He was ordained a priest in 2003.  He currently lives at St. Francis Friary in Los Angeles and is the Vicar of the Church of the Epiphany.

Jaime Manrique is a Colombian author who has written both in English and Spanish. Among his publications in English are the volumes of poems My Night with Federico García Lorca; Tarzan, My Body, Christopher Columbus; the novels Colombian Gold, Latin Moon in Manhattan, Twilight at the Equator, and Our Lives Are the Rivers; and the memoir Eminent Maricones: Arenas, Lorca, Puig, and Me. His work has been translated into ten languages. His honors include Colombia’s National Poetry Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has taught in the MFA programs in writing at Columbia University, Long Island University and Rutgers University. Mr. Manrique’s new novel, Cervantes Street, will be published in 2012 by Akashic Books.