Some people are funny. Most people are not. Those of us who are, and who find humor essential to managing life’s many hills and valleys appreciate other funny people. A lot. Humor breathes life into our days, whether we realize it or not. (more…)
In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the release of each of their first books of poetry, Boys Have Been… and Purpose and Devil Piss, poets Christopher Gaskins and Robert Siek have a discussion about their collections, focusing on the themes and styles in their work. (more…)
Mischief Night. Halloween. Day of the Dead. Howling winds. Footsteps in the leaves. Murder most foul. Mysteries and autumn just go together. There’s nothing better than curling up with a good mystery on a chill autumn night. (more…)
Thomas H. Wirth, a noted gay scholar and archivist, has died. Wirth, 76, died of respiratory failure on October 10, 2014, at the Overlook Medical Center, Summit, New Jersey. (more…)
This week in the LGBTQ-themed arts:
Moroccan filmmaker and activist Abdellah Taïa discusses the social and political stigmatization of homosexuals in Arab and Muslim countries, on the heels of the release of his semi-autobiographical film Salvation Army.
This month, Vintage Entity Press is releasing the long-awaited collection Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call, an anthology examining the legacy of author and editor Joseph Beam. To celebrate the collection’s launch, Lambda Literary is reposting a conversation between Black Gay Genius‘ editors Charles Stephens & Steven G. Fullwood, which ran on the Lambda site last year.
Our anthology Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call (Vintage Entity Press) was born out of a series of conversations, panel discussions, debates, and dinners with friends, colleagues and comrades over the years, assessing the impact and legacy of Joseph Beam and the writers of the In the Life generation. We wanted to bring that dazzling history of the black gay arts movement of the 1980s front and center to contemporary black gay life. Black Gay Genius consists of a series of writers, scholars, and activists responding to In the Life and the influence of Joseph Beam.
We wanted to create a text to celebrate with those that remember and know, and introduce to the ones that don’t, this important literary legacy. This dialogue was an opportunity for us, the editors of the anthology Black Gay Genius, to describe the process and development of Black Gay Genius.
Rage / Making / Love. Trans, working-class, femme Columbian-Puerto Rican poet Morgan Robyn Collado splits her debut collection, Make Love to Rage, into these three sections that, when read alongside the book’s title, prompt essential questions: How does one “make love to rage,” how does one embrace their righteous furor at the injustices of the world and turn it something new, rather than simply explode or burn out? And how can we imagine “rage making love”–anger begetting healing? (more…)
Michael Denneny: On Working in Publishing During the 1970s, Starting ‘Christopher Street Magazine,’ and the Future of Gay Literature
“[...] 1978 was a banner year for gay writing; it really marked the dawn of the new gay literary movement that would swell into a torrent over the next fifteen or twenty years.”
When I started in publishing more than twenty years ago, answering phone calls at a customer service desk, the only gay man in the industry whose name I knew was the renowned editor Michael Denneny. This says as much about Michael as it does about me. I’d been hired for the position literally off the street when I walked in and asked if the company had any job openings for someone with no experience. Michael, on the other hand, had been operating his famed Stonewall Inn Editions imprint out of St. Martin’s for years and produced some of the best-known gay titles of the 1980s and the early ’90s, including books by Randy Shilts, Larry Kramer, Ethan Mordden, Larry Duplechan, Malcolm Boyd, Michael Nava, Paul Monette, and Quentin Crisp, among others. I can’t remember where I’d first heard about Michael or how I’d even come to know about an editor in New York when I was a publishing newcomer in California, but he was what you’d call today a brand: someone known almost more for who he was than the books he published. Put another way, he stood out. In case you’re wondering, this is not standard stuff in publishing circles. Most editors spend their career, however distinguished, unknown to the average person—sometimes even unknown to their fellow publishing colleagues. Michael was different and so were his books.
It’s a story as old as Tennessee’s Chickasaw Bluffs: two young lovers who plan to elope are torn apart by their disapproving families, and bloodshed ensues. What makes the title pair of Alexis Coe’s Alice + Freda Forever worth writing about is the confluence of their era and their sex. In 1892, 19-year-old Alice Mitchell slashed the throat of 17-year-old Freda Ward, whom she had planned to marry and support by posing as a man before Ward’s sister intercepted their plans and forced her to cut off contact. The murder trial drew swarms of national reporters to Memphis, where Mitchell’s lawyers built a successful insanity defense on the premise that her belief that two women could live together as spouses was itself delusional. (more…)
This month, Crown Archetype is releasing actor Neil Patrick Harris’ unconventional “memoir” Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography. (more…)