Browsing: Elsewhere

May – June, 2004

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WHETHER FOUND in the alleys of Seattle’s Skid Row, the lumber camps of the Cascade Mountains, or the locker rooms of the Portland YMCA, homosexual men were on the move in the turn-of-the-century Pacific Northwest. Peter Boag surprises modern readers with his richly textured account of the region’s thriving homosexual communities of nearly a century ago. …

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… On the surface, Cleopatra’s Wedding Present seems right out of the “mad dogs and Englishmen” school of travel writing, a relative of Robert Byron’s Road to Oxiana. …

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Reviews of of Collected Stories by David Leavitt, Original Youth by Keith Fleming, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy by The Fab Five.

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THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE began in the early 1920’s and ended some ten or fifteen years later, depending on whom you ask. That short time span saw the emergence of writers, artists, art collectors, and bon vivants of all colors, genders, and sexual orientations. There’s still a lot that we don’t know about the era’s gay writers, …

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… The author of Warrior Poet, Alexis De Veaux, is a poet, playwright, novelist, and the chair of the women’s studies department at the University of Buffalo, New York. In a short and serviceable introduction, De Veaux explains that she divides Lorde’s life into two lives, “before cancer” and “after cancer.” …

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FIRST you fall in love with the title. You imagine mismatched pieces of fragile china, translucent, in delicate greens and floral pinks. Your mind hand-feeds you memories of sweet petit fours, frosted pastel lavender and yellow, you smell jasmine tea steeping in a perfectly shaped tea pot, steam blooming from the spout like fragrant ghost petals.

Then …

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IT IS OFTEN ASSUMED that same-gender relationships followed a stereotypical pattern and set of protocols in ancient society. In classical Greece this would take the form of pedagogical pederasty associating a man (usually before the age of marriage) and a freeborn boy, while in Rome it would take the form of a merely physical relationship between a Roman citizen and a young slave. However, the texts reveal …

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THE TITLE of Brian Teare’s debut volume of poetry, The Room Where I Was Born, proves apt: it is indeed about origins, about confronting how the room, house, family, town, and finally trauma of our childhood can shape our relationship to self, language, and even our view of history. …

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IT MAY SEEM difficult to say anything new and fresh about same-sex desire and love in the ancient Greek and Roman world. After all, the publication of Sir Kenneth Dover’s Greek Homosexuality in 1978, … was followed by a veritable outpouring of books and articles which continues today. … But, apart from refining what Dover said a quarter-century ago, have any new insights emerged? …

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… In Liquor, Poppy Z. Brite has set out to chronicle the lives of some New Orleans residents in a more realistic way than most other writers, including Brite herself, have done in the past. …

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