Browsing: Thiry Years of HIV, Part I

March – April, 2011

Dunstan Thompson: On the Life and Work of a Lost American Master Edited by D. A. Powell and Kevin Prufer
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Dunstan Thompson: On the Life and Work of a Lost American Master collects a number of poems from [his] early books, along with a selection from Thompson’s later, posthumously published works, to yield a folio of over forty pages of his poetry. 

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I STARTED TEACHING courses on hiv/aids literature to undergraduates after spending more than five years researching the subject for my doctorate. The period in which I initially sought out and devoured any and all types of “AIDS literature” was uneven enough. During my first year as a graduate student, 1990–91, it felt like a narrowly delimited topic with a few score works of creative literature in all genres, and just a handful with substantial literary interest.

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Reviews of Derek Jarman’s Angelic Conversations, Gay Shame, Ballets Russes Style:  Diaghilev’s Dancers and Paris Fashion, and Mustn’t Do It.

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HOW DOES one tell the story of Sergey Pavlovich Diaghilev, the impresario whose artistic accomplishments over three decades beginning at the turn of the 20th century seem to surpass what is humanly possible? How did this homosexual Russian émigré who spent the majority of his life exiled in Europe do it?

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The Flamboyant Life and Forbidden Art of George Quaintance by Reed Massengill
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FEW ARTISTS, even those of great fame or historical importance, receive such magnificent treatment in a published monograph as George Quaintance (1902-1957), painter of beefcake images from the 1940’s and 50’s, receives in this volume. Known mostly to bodybuilders and physical culture fans of those decades and to legions of gay men of the pre-Stonewall years who were starving for images of hot men, Quaintance’s paintings graced the covers of many now-classic physique magazines. …

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The Sixties Diaries: 1960–1969 by Christopher Isherwood
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Katherine Bucknell, certainly has a commanding knowledge of [Christopher Isherwood’s diaries] and the details; she provides helpful footnotes and a comprehensive glossary of who’s who.

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The International Homosexual Conspiracy by Larry-bob Roberts
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The International Homosexual Conspiracy is a testament to Larry-bob’s consistent growth as a writer. Always curious and never complacent, this collection may just attract that larger audience of readers who will find themselves challenged, examining their assumptions, and frequently laughing out loud.

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EVEN those who consider themselves well informed about 20th-century art have probably never heard of Bruce Sargeant (1898-1938). A sculptor, draftsman, and painter (not to mention a sometime poet), Sar-geant’s beaux arts training comes through in works that are focused almost exclusively on beautiful young men. While Sargeant’s art has long been prized by elite collectors in Europe and the U.S., it has never been featured in any major exhibition or survey. Mark Beard, an artist and distant relative of Sargeant, has devoted twenty years to collecting and studying the neglected artist’s work. The result of this effort, Bruce Sargeant and His Circle goes a long way toward rectifying this state of neglect.

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THE KIDS Are All Right deals in matters of sexual ambiguity and raises some bold questions about desire and identity-questions that the movie then ignores for the most part. Let me say that I enjoyed watching these fine actors in this artfully written script. It will succeed for many in presenting a normalized portrait of two women in love who are raising a family.

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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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