• .: About Ron Jackson Suresha :.

    Ron J. Suresha
    is a Lambda Literary Award finalist for his anthologies, Bi Men: Coming out (2006) and Bisexual Perspectives on the Life and Work of Alfred C. Kinsey (2010).
    His most recent book, coauthored with Scott McGillivray, is FUR: THE LOVE OF HAIR, from German publisher Bruno Gmünder. He also authored a collection of Turkish folk Tales, The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin, , which was named a Storytelling World Honor Book.
    Suresha self-published his first book, Mugs o' Joy: Delicious Hot Drinks, when he was 39. In 2002, he authored his first trade softcover, the nonfiction Bears on Bears: Interviews & Discussions. Under the name R. Jackson, he has edited the anthologies Bi Guys: The deliciousness of his sex (also a "Lammy" finalist), Bearotica, Bear Lust, Bears in the Wild, and Tales from the Den, published by Bear Bones Books, a Lethe imprint for which he serves as Acquisitions Editor. He also solo hosts and produces an occasional podcast for the adult men's Bear community, Bear Soup, which runs on BearRadio.net Monday & Wednesdays 10pm Eastern / Pacific.
  • Hibernation wins two top Rainbow Book Awards

    Posted By on December 9, 2014

    Hibernation and other poems wins two Rainbow Book Awards

    Hibernation, and other poems by bear bards has earned the top Rainbow Book Award this year in both the LGBT Poetry and Bisexuality categories.

    HIB Hibernation Suresha frcoverCongratulations to esteemed bear bards and contributors David Bergman, Albert Skip Brushaber, Alfred Corn, Michael G. Cornelius, Wayne Courtois-Seligman, Bob Cunningham, Jameson Currier, Lewis DeSimone, Gavin Geoffrey Dillard, Charles Flowers, Jack Fritscher, John Genest, Scott Rex Hightower, Charlie Hopwood, Daniel M. Jaffe, David Juhren, Owen Keehnen, Daniel Lewiston / David Gerard, Raymond Luczak, Ed Madden, Jeff Mann, Stephen Mead, Ron Mohring, Miguel M Morales, Jay Neal / Jeff Shaumeyer, Felice Picano, C.D. Reade, Dennis Rhodes, Rocco Russo, Gregg Shapiro, Jordan Shu, Jay Starre, Jim Stewart, Dan Stone, Shawn Syms, Chris Vaccaro, Jeff Walt, Scott Wiggerman, Randy Wyatt, and Emanuel Xavier!

    Thanks also to Steve Berman and Toby Johnson of Lethe Press, and to YogaBear Studio for the stunning cover photo.


    Check out Ron’s interview, discussing Hibernation, on the Cubs Out Loud podcast, from November 9th, 2014: http://cubsoutloud.com/?p=2206


    Get Hibernation on Amazon

    Get Hibernation on Kindle

    Get Hibernation on Goodreads

    Get Hibernation on Smashwords

    Strobing Limelight interviews Ron J. Suresha on Extraordinary Adventures

    Posted By on October 20, 2014

    Strobing Limelight interviews Ron J. Suresha on Extraordinary Adventures

    Reprinted from https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2013968-strobing-limelight-interviews-ron-j-suresha

    XNS frcoverfinalmedh/t to Gavin Atlas


    Ron J. Suresha is an award-winning author and editor of more than a dozen books, most recently, EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF MULLAH NASRUDDIN: NAUGHTY, UNEXPURGATED TALES OF THE BELOVED WISE FOOL FROM THE MIDDLE AND FAR EAST, published by Lethe Press. The book is the much-anticipated sequel to Suresha’s first, award-winning collection of Turkish folk tales. He lives in central-western Connecticut. Mr. Suresha, please tell us more.

    Ron J. Suresha: Thanks for asking. Extraordinary Adventures is a collection of more than 250 hilarious and completely authentic stories about the famous wise fool, Mullah Nasruddin. For more than eight centuries, this beloved character has been known in many countries by various names, including Afanti, Nastratin, Djuha, Giufá, Sheikh Nasruddin, Abu Nuwas, and, in Turkey, which claims him as a native, he is known as Nasreddin Hoca.

    LS: How did you come to be acquainted with Mullah Nasruddin?

    RJS: My mother had told me as a child some of the pithier jokes, usually to point out some aspect of my contrary behavior: “Why do you always answer a question with a question?” “Do I?” Fast forward to the 1980s, when for more than eight years I lived in a yoga ashram, and heard many more Nasruddin stories, which my teachers and fellow students included in daily lectures and discussions on spiritual life.

    LS: You’re not Turkish, so why did you decide to do a retelling of Nasruddin stories?

    RJS: Sufi writer Idries Shah had published several volumes of stories in the 1960s, but there had not been a comprehensive, modern retelling in English of the most popular stories since. The first book, The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin, published by Lethe Press in 2011, has more than 365 stories, and was honored with an Anne Izard Storyteller’s Choice Award and a Storytelling World Honor.

    LS: Congratulations. So, does the new book present more of the same or something different?

    RJS: Yes. I mean, both! Although the first book included some ribald jokes, most were written for a general readership. Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin has all the bawdy material excluded from the first work, plus many additional non-bawdy stories I unearthed while researching the folklore. So there’s more of the same, with dozens of new stories retold in English for the first time.

    LS: What is the readership for this book?

    RJS: Storytellers, folklorists, comedians, wisdom seekers, readers interested in Middle East culture and world literature — and everyone who loves to laugh.

    LS: Where did you locate these stories?

    RJS: Other than the Shah books, I obtained a number of Nasruddin story collections in English primarily oriented to young readers while visiting Turkey. Then I discovered additional books in French, Spanish, Hebrew, German, and Turkish. Finally, I was able to access scholarly writing on Nasruddin, including articles and theses that included many of the previously suppressed stories dealing with taboo topics.

    LS: Really? You didn’t make up any of these stories or jokes?

    RJS: Not a one. Indeed, every single story is completely genuine according to sources that are listed in the book’s extensive bibliography. I’ve taken very little artistic license with the storylines, though I’ve modernized and unadulterated the language.

    LS: What do you mean by “unadulterated’?

    Suresha2103DelhiRJS: Meaning, I call a spade a spade. In one academic source written in 1957, with stories presented in Arabic and Turkish and translated into English, a particular Turkish term translated often as “my good woman” was actually a common slur against women. The profane language in the stories here is commensurate with that used in the original source materials.

    The great American poet Walt Whitman wrote, “The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book.” Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin, as it says in the subtitle, is unexpurgated: all the content previously considered objectionable and removed has been restored. As well, stories dealing with racial and ethnic prejudice, abuse, and violence are included. So the book is decidedly inappropriate for children, but adults will find a lot to laugh at in these pages.

    LS: What topics do the tales deal with?

    RJS: The stories follow Nasruddin as he regularly interacts with his wife, family, donkey, village, and strangers in his travels. Some deal with sexual situations, but often the humor is found in the character’s foolish behavior, as if to warn, “Don’t behave like this.” If I were to draw two overlapping circles, one denoting “stories that are very funny” and another “stories that are really *wrong* (politically incorrect), there would be a significant overlap.

    LS: Finally, can you tell us your favorite Nasruddin story?

    RJS: Not really, in this format, because my favorites are several pages long but here’s a short one:

    One day, Nasruddin was sitting idly on a riverbank when a fellow approached. From the other side of the water, the stranger called out, “Say, Mullah, how do I get across the river?” Without looking up, Nasruddin simply replied, “You are across.”

    LS: How can readers find out more about these books as well as your other work?

    RJS: Head over to MullahNasruddin.com to discover more about these books and to read story excerpts, to my website RonSuresha.com, and to LethePressBooks.com.

    Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin — now in print!

    Posted By on September 11, 2014

    Now in print!

    Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin

    Naughty, unexpurgated stories of the beloved wise fool from the Middle and Far East

    collected & retold by Ron J. Suresha

    published by Lethe Press

    XNS frcoverfinalmedThe mullah rides his donkey again!

    This much-anticipated sequel to the award-winning folklore collection detailing the exploits of the beloved 800-year-old Turkish “wise fool,” Mullah Nasruddin (Nasreddin Hoca), presents well over 250 hilarious, authentic folk tales, dozens appearing in English for the first time.

    Author Suresha has done extensive research to unearth and retell these centuries-old “naughty Nasruddin” stories from around the globe. These ribald tales depict the Mullah as he daily interacts with his family, donkey, community, and strangers during his journeys. Many tales, previously suppressed for moralistic reasons, explore taboo themes. Mature readers will be amused and amazed by this unadulterated account of the truly Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin.


    ISBN-13: 978-1-59021-464-1 ~ ISBN-10: 1-59021-464-0

    Lethe Press, October 2014

    lethe logo_back

    Softcover: 208 pages • Includes glossary and bibliography

    ISBN-10: 1-59021-464-1 • ISBN-13: 978-1-59021-464-0 • eISBN: 978-1-59021-465-7

    Softcover: $20.00 USD • ebook, $9.99


    Categories: Humor / Folklore / World Literature / Middle Eastern Studies


     Where to get Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin

    Buy the book in softcover or digital formats directly from the Publisher here.

    Distributed by: Baker & Taylor, Ingram

    Also available for Kindle, iBook, PDF download, and all electronic book formats.

    Order the book from Amazon here.

    Order the ebook from Amazon Kindle here.

    Order the book from Amazon.uk here.

    Order the book from Goodreads here.

    Order the book from Omnilit here.

    Order the book from Smashwords here.


    Download a one-page flyer about the book below.

    XNS flyer2Check out cover illustrator Jaxinto here.


    RJS to return to Michigan for Hibernation readings

    Posted By on July 22, 2014

    Readings of Hibernation and Other Poems in Detroit and Ann Arbor

    HIB Hibernation Suresha frcoverAuthor Ron J. Suresha will return to his Motown roots this month when he comes to Detroit and Ann Arbor to read from his latest book, Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards.

    On Friday, July 25, 2014, at 7:00 pm, Suresha will read at Common Language Bookstore, 317 Braun Court, in Ann Arbor.

    On Sunday, July 27, 2014, at 6:30pm, Suresha will read at Hayloft Saloon, 8070 Greenfield Road, in Detroit.

    Suresha, who attended Oak Park High School and was graduated in 1976, edited his high school literary magazine and newspaper, and was named the Detroit News/Scholastic Student Writer of the year. He attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he lived from 1976 to 1981, at Alice Lloyd Hall Pilot Program and the LSA Residential College Creative Writing program, and received an Avery Hopwood Undergraduate Award for his poetry. Suresha attended college until shortly after the unexpected death in 1977 of his mother in Oak Park, Michigan, where he grew up.

    Despite this, during his Ann Arbor years, Suresha continued to be very active in the poetry and literary community. For more than a year, Suresha organized the popular Guild House Poetry Reading Series, which featured dozens of local writers from on and off campus. He also organized a complete, continuous reading of Walt Whitman’s poetry book, Leaves of Grass, on May 31, 1979, the 160th anniversary of the bard’s birthday, featuring 30 poets from around Ann Arbor and Detroit. A photo of Suresha reading at the event on the Diag was included in the LSA college bulletin the following year. In 1978-9 Suresha co-founded and co-edited a free alternative monthly newspaper, The Ann Arbor Alchemist, and also briefly edited a free “New Age” monthly magazine, Ann Arbor Pathways. During his Ann Arbor years, he was also very active in several housing and food cooperatives.

    In 1981, Suresha moved from Michigan to Atlanta for work, though he has retained his connection to both his hometown and alma mater. In the interim, Suresha lived in various cities around the USA, and continued to write and work in all aspects of publishing. He has edited or written more than a dozen books of nonfiction and fiction, mostly of interest to gay and bisexual men. Suresha is a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for his anthologies on bisexuality. A 2010 collection of traditional Turkish folk tales, The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin, won two national awards, The Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award and a Storytelling World Honor Award.

    Suresha’s ties with Michigan were renewed in 1998 when he returned as caregiver for his father, who passed from metastatic prostate cancer in 2001. In 2004, Suresha married Rocco Russo, a family doctor living in Connecticut, and the two presently reside in New Milford.

    BBB logo whtypeIn 2007, Suresha co-founded Bear Bones Books, an imprint of indie GLBTQ publisher Lethe Press based in Maple Shade, N.J. The imprint publishes Suresha’s work as well as other authors in the gay/bi men’s “Bear” community. Suresha, who has read twice before in years past at Common Language, will read from and sign copies of his most recent publication, Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, the 20th title from Bear Bones Books. Hibernation is an anthology of bear-themed poetry featuring 100 poems by 40 contributors including award-winning authors Felice Picano, Jeff Mann, Alfred Corn, and Jack Fritscher.

    Suresha2103DelhiKeith Orr, co-owner of the bookstore, stated, “We’re delighted to bring back prodigal poet and our friend, Ron Suresha, to Ann Arbor for his reading at Common Language. Ron is a Bear community pioneer, a well-respected name in GLBTQ literature, and an enthusiastic, fun reader. We invite everyone to join us for this free event to welcome him back to Ann Arbor.”


    Kilt tea @ Summer Bear Week 2014

    Posted By on April 30, 2014

    Kilt tea @ Summer Bear Week 2014


    Kiltbear Art by Mark Parmon


    Monday, July 14th,  4:00pm – 7:00pm
    Boatslip Resort

    161 Commercial Street, Provincetown, Massachusetts 02657

    For Summer Bear Week 2014 we’re trying a new optional dress theme for afternoon tea dance. It’s KILT time!

    Kilts are already a common sight during Bear Week but this year we want to get all the available kiltbears together.  So wear your kilt to Monday’s Boatslip Tea Dance. Be colorful, comfortable, and have fun. Whether you wear your clan colors, leather kilt, or just a simple Utilikilts, whether commando or not, please join us in beginning a festive new Bear Week tradition.

    Please share this invitation with your kilted buddies!

    Artwork by Mark Parmon


    Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/499843936781852/


    Answers for “What are you wearing under your kilt?”

    If you are looking for some ready answers to this age-old question, here are a few answers picked up mainly from the bagpipe newsgroup, rec.music.makers.bagpipe:. H/t to Bob G. for the original list, adapted here for Bear Week Berserkers to use in responding to men.

    Summer Bear Week responses to the query, “What are you wearing under your kilt?”

    • My Scottish pride.
    • My shoes and socks.
    • Nothing is worn, everything is in perfect working order.
    • How warm are your hands?
    • Play your cards right and you can find out.
    • My father once told me a real gentleman wouldn’t ask. He was right, God bless ‘im.
    • Tell me, sir, would you go jogging without a jock?
    • Same as you, only bigger.
    • Your husbear’s lip balm.
    • If I’m lucky, your lip balm.
    • Socks, shoes and a wee bit of talcum powder.
    • Bagpipes, wanna give ‘em a blow?
    • A wee set of pipes.
    • String — I had to tie it up so it didn’t hang below the kilt.
    • It’s the smallest airport in the world: two hangars and a night fighter.
    • How badly do you want to know?
    • Only what the good Lord graced me with.
    • Gi’e us your hand, sir, I’m a mon o’ few wurds.



    Hibernation and Other Poems reviewed by Amos Lassen

    Posted By on April 8, 2014

    HIB Hibernation Suresha frcoverSuresha, Ron J. (editor). “Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards”, Bear Bones Books, 2014.

    Bear Bards and Poetry

    Amos Lassen

    Editor Ron Suresha says that this anthology was three years in the making and I am sure that is not because bears don’t write poetry but because he wanted the very best and it sure looks like he got it.

    I fully believe that you can judge a people or a community but the literature it produces and while it may seem incongruous that bears who represent big burly men would write poetry, I feel that this book is very important for them and for the rest of us to be able to see what they can do. …  without a doubt bears can and should write poetry and all of us—bears, non-bears, gays and straight should read it. …

    The collection contains 100 poems most of which are written in free verse and every issue of life is contained here from the “changing standards of masculinity, male romance and lust, maturing men’s body issues, and what it means to live and love within the worldwide gay male bear community”. … What the poems share in common is the bear experience. What I love is the fun I had reading it. I also loved that I got a new picture of some of the authors I already knew. …

    If you have ever wondered what a “bear poem” is, you will get your answer right here. … There is a bear experience, which is shared among hundreds of thousands of bear-identified men. …

    Thank you, Mr Lassen!

    Read the entire review here:


    RJS on BearPodcast to chat about Hibernation

    Posted By on April 4, 2014

    HIB Hibernation Suresha frcoverI went on BearPodcast (show #512) to talk with the guys about my new poetry anthology, Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards. We had an interesting and fun chat, but not enough time to read any poetry aloud. Before long I hope to do a video of my reading some poetry from the book.

    Here’s the audio podcast: http://bearpodcast.com/show/?p=3320

    Here’s the YouTube video: