Friend, poet, activist, Radical Faerie, former White Crane Managing Editor and co-creator of this Daily GayWisdom, DAN “MAHATMA” VERA, was born in South Texas on this day. He has studied and received degrees in history, anthropology, theology, and justice & peace studies. He is a graduate of Southwestern University and Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado.

In Vera’s early 20s Pablo Neruda “whispered in his ear” and his world went Technicolor. Consequently he’s had a hard time seeing in black and white ever since. A writer of poetry for over a decade, his poetry has been featured in Shaping Sanctuary: Proclaiming God’s Grace in an Inclusive Church, DC Poets Against The War: An Anthology, Red Wheelbarrow, and Raddish and the chapbook, Crepusculario. His poetry has also been featured on Pacifica Radio’s nationally broadcast Democracy Now program. He is a founding member of Brookland Area Writers & Artists and a member of the Triangle Artists Group and Poets Against the War.  Most recently he won the Oscar Wilde Poetry Prize. Dan is also an accomplished watercolorist.

Dan has worked in advocacy for working poor and homeless people in Denver, Colorado, and as field director and trainer for the LGBT-welcoming Reconciling Ministries Network in the United Methodist Church. In 2000 Dan authored the groundbreaking statement “United Methodists of Color for a Fully Inclusive Church” which lead to the first denominational people of color organization for LGBT inclusion, which he served as director. He served as poetry editor for RFD magazine.

He’s a hell of a knitter, a fine, sweet friend and an indispensible colleague. His other interests include cooking, gardening and occasionally walking the dog. He lives in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC with his husband Peter Montgomery and their dog Blossom. The Tejano Cubano Radical Faerie poet had been a contributor to White Crane since 1998 and as its managing editor oversaw its redesign in the Summer of 2003. He has recorded his work for Grace Cavalieri’s Poet and the Poem program at the Library of Congress.

Check it out here: http://www.loc.gov/poetry/poetpoem.html

Dan won the Red Hen Press Letras Latinas Prize for his book, Speaking Wiri Wiri. It can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/Speaking-Wiri-Dan-Vera/dp/1597092746