SUNY Canton to Host LGBTQ Activist, Renowned Author For First Virtual Living Writers Series Event


SUNY Canton invites the community to watch the first virtual Living Writers Series event featuring an LGBTQ activist who left his family and home country of Syria to seek asylum in Canada.

Award-winning author Ahmad Danny Ramadan will read from his acclaimed book, “The Clothesline Swing” at 6:30 p.m. (EST) Wednesday, April 22 via Zoom.

Participants will be asked to enter the following:

Meeting ID: 980 0826 3096

Password: 1W6aZD

The reading will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

“Mr. Ramadan's novel is a moving tale about love and loss that takes us inside the Syrian Civil War and refugee crisis on a human and emotional level that is so often missing from our national dialogue,” said Living Writers Series creator and Associate Professor Phil K. LaMarche. “I am so pleased that he can join us from his home in Vancouver and share his story.”

Danny Ramadan

Ramadan made the difficult decision to leave Syria when his family cut ties with him after he revealed that he was gay. He was subsequently jailed by the Syrian government for six weeks. Upon his release, he said, he became a persona non grata and fled to Lebanon.

After he was granted asylum in Canada, Ramadan became an advocate for LGBTQ refugees from Syria also seeking escape persecution.

“The Clothesline Swing” is his first novel. It tells the story of two elderly lovers anchored to the memory of a dying Syria, according to the publisher. One is a “hakawati,” a storyteller, keeping life in forward motion by relaying remembered fables to his dying partner. Each night, he weaves stories of his childhood in Damascus, of the cruelty he has endured for his sexuality, of leaving home, of war, and of his fated meeting with his lover.

The novel won the Independent Publisher Book Award for LGBT+ Fiction, The Canadian Authors Association’s award for Best Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Evergreen Award, Sunburst Award and a Lambda Award.

Ramadan was named among the Top Immigrants to Canada 2017 and was awarded the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Award for Excellency.

For more information view The Living Writers Series website.

About SUNY Canton

Discover SUNY Canton, where innovation meets opportunity. The college’s career-focused educational programs emphasize hands-on and applied learning opportunities in digital design, engineering technology, health, information technology, management, public service, and veterinary technology. Faculty members bring real-world experience and exceptional academic expertise to the classroom. As a leader in online education, SUNY Canton offers unmatched flexibility with hundreds of courses and 23 comprehensive degree programs offered completely online. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete at the NCAA Division III level and will be transitioning to the SUNYAC in Fall 2024. In addition to its 15 traditional teams, SUNY Canton offers coed varsity esports and cheerleading.