Browsing: Thiry Years of HIV, Part I

March – April, 2011

Blog Posts

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A TRANSGENDER musician, animator, and filmmaker working in Seattle, Clyde Petersen has released ten albums with the band Your Heart Breaks. He regularly tours with Kimya Dawson, whose childlike voice sweetens the movie Juno’s soundtrack. Despite Petersen’s gentle guitar riffs and soft-spoken lyrics, his musical influences include jarring artists from the feminist punk movement known as Riot Grrrl, which emerged out of Olympia, Washington, in the early 1990’s. He has animated and directed videos for bands like Thao Nguyen & The Get Down Stay Down and the Shaky Hands. In 2010, Petersen released a documentary film, The Unspeakable, which explores the work of fifteen Northwest artists.

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WHEN the opening credits conclude in the biopic I Love You Phillip Morris with the bold announcement “This Really Happened,” one can’t help but speculate that the creators of this recently released movie knew that what was about to unfold onscreen would challenge credibility. What does happen in this based-on-a-true-story tale is …

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The challenge for photographers faced with portraying the AIDS epidemic was to produce an iconography that extended beyond a health story and to overcome the public’s habituation to graphic and shocking images. The photographs selected for this essay had to evoke the mood of the late 1980’s and early 90’s and capture the epidemic in the imagery of contemporary culture. The images reflect that time frame and are not meant to discount other periods in the epidemic.. …

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SAN FRANCISCO, APRIL, 1983. In one of the earliest spoken-word performances that theatrically represented AIDS in the United States, perhaps the first on the West Coast, an emerging playwright and stand-up comedian named Doug Holsclaw performed Eartha at the White House (later retitled Spice Queen) in a monologue competition sponsored by the One Act Theater Company at a county fair. Holsclaw wrote the piece after reading Larry Kramer’s impassioned call to action “1,112 and Counting,” which had been published in The New York Native on March 12. In an impeccably timed, angry, campy yet earnest soliloquy, Holsclaw’s saucy character narrated a story about his friend Jeffrey, a hustler who had died at a young age during the first year of the crisis. Describing their catty yet tender friendship, Holsclaw’s character joked about how Jeffrey, who “could be Cruella Deville sometimes,” would call him “paprika queen” or “Donna Reed like I’m bourgeois—because I garnish my salads” when they would picnic at Land’s End on Memorial Day. Pausing artfully for both comedic and dramatic effect…

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The More I Owe You by Michael Sledge
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Review of two books of poetry: The Secret Dublin Diary of Gerard Manley Hopkins by Robert Waldron and The More I Owe You by Michael Sledge.

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Binding the God Ursine Essays from the Mountain South by Jeff Mann
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“A WRITER’S OBSESSIONS are more obvious than most,” explains Jeff Mann in the opening sentence of Binding the God: Ursine Essays from the Mountain South. In this collection of seventeen first- person essays, the Lambda Literary Award-winner delineates his many passions, including a voracious leather-bear appetite for BDSM, an ardent fantasy affair with “Major Country-Music Boyfriend Tim McGraw,” and …

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