This week in the LGBT-themed arts:

A $5,000 award, a first-publication deal with Graywolf Press and a residency in Umbria, Italy now make the Academy of American Poets‘ Walt Whitman Award for poetry debuts the most valuable such award in U.S. literature.

The Washington Post profiles Essex Hemphill, the late African-American gay poet whose work has mostly gone out of print and fallen into obscurity, but whom many academics are trying to resurrect. (Here is his poem “American Wedding”.)

Out profiles Fifi Howls From Happiness, Mitra Farahani’s documentary about Bahman Mohasses, the expatriate gay artist who faced equal parts praise and censorship in his native Iran before becoming reclusive and emigrating to Italy.

Photojournalist Jean-Pierre Laffont, one of the foremost recorders of gay pride in New York and San Francisco from the 1960s through the ’80s, is the subject of an extensive retrospective volume, Photographer’s Paradise.

A photo gallery at the Daily Beast collects images from dioramas created by LGBT artists, depicting events from the first works of literature that exposed them to their fictional queer counterparts and helped them form their queer identities.

Laverne Cox gave her support to Monica Jones, a transwoman who was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona for taking an invitation to ride in a police vehicle. This enforcement of a vaguely worded state law insultingly implied transsexuality as an indicator of prostitution.

On the occasion of his HBO film The Normal Heart scoring sixteen Emmy nominations, director Ryan Murphy is interviewed by Deadline on the decades-long process that went into getting Larry Kramer’s stage play onto celluloid.

Fun Home, the Jeanine Tesori-Lisa Kron musical inspired by Alison Bechdel’s memoir about the outing of multiple generations of a family, will receive a Tony-qualifying run on Broadway in April 2015.

The Huffington Post recognizes Alexia Kosmider’s documentary TransJourneya showcase at this weekend’s Rhode Island International Film Festival.

Shortlist compiles thirty quotes from authors such as Anne Rice, E. Annie Proulx and Bret Easton Ellis critiquing film adaptations of their novels.

Apogee interviews Christopher Soto, the founder of Nepantla, an upcoming Internet journal dedicated to works of LGBT poetry from non-whites.

Thomas Mallon and Pankaj Mishra offer the New York Times competing perspectives on the worth–or lack thereof–of determining “brow” levels in art.



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  • Michael Craft

One Response to “The Walt Whitman Award, Essex Hemphill, ‘Fun Home’ on Broadway, and More LGBT News”

  1. John A. Davis 15 August 2014 at 12:19 PM #

    The Lonely Heart? The HBO film and Larry Kramer play is entitled The Normal Heart.



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