Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends - Silas Weir MitchellThis week Inside Reader is Mark Thompson. Mark Thompson is the author of eight books on gay history and culture, including the internationally acclaimed trilogy Gay Spirit, Gay Soul and Gay Body. He most recently edited The Fire in Moonlight: Stories from the Radical Faeries (White Crane Books), a collection with 50 contributors from all over the world. Here, he discusses his current favorite book of poetry.
I let poetry come to me like a hot summer rain; by chance, providentially, rarely at all. But Trebor Healey's Sweet Son of Pan hit all those dry spots and have kept them moist in the five years since its first publication. Recently reissued in a new edition by a small gay press, Queer MoJo, Sweet Son of Pan really zings. At once lusty and learned, this bright book of erotic verse never fails to evoke a gleeful laugh and sometimes even a blush. These candid and delightful poems declare in the most Whitmanesque way odes to men loving men: good-hearted and horny, sacred and profane, here and right now in the all-together.
Sweet Son of Pan by Trebor Healey
Paperback: 138 pages
Publisher: Queer Mojo (A Rebel Satori Imprint) (August 15, 2010)
Amazon: Sweet Son of Pan
Sweet Son of Pan is a collection of erotic poems, born of crushes, love affairs, fantasies, dreams, and real experiences with men from around the world. These poems are written in a mood of devotion, a praise through language of the sweetest garden we enter as physical beings. They are a response to the sadness that is often a consequence of sex; the fear that so unnecessarily surrounds it; the disrespect that is visited upon it. They are wishes; elegies for our lost brothers and for the parts of ourselves that our lost; parts we rediscover. They are a reaffirmation of sexual freedom and the wisdom that can be gained from the journey along that path glimpses of paradise, our oneness and timelessness and if we are lucky, of a small horned creature with cloven hooves who reminds us we came here only to share, and to share joyfully.
I suggest you to read the interview Mark Thompson and his partner Malcolm Boyd gave to White Crane editors Bo Young, Dan Vera and Andrew Ramer. You can find it here: http://www.markthompsongayspirit.com/interview.html
The Rev. Canon Malcolm Boyd is poet/writer-in-residence at Los Angeles' Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul. Born in Manhattan in 1923, his colorful and diverse career includes work in the motion picture industry where he was a production partner of film legend Mary Pickford. He served as president of the Television Producers Association of Hollywood. But in 1951, Boyd left this brilliant success, this "Hollywood heyday" glamour to enter seminary and was ordained a priest in 1955. He went on to serve parishes and college chaplaincies in Indianapolis, Colorado, Detroit, Washington, D.C. and Santa Monica. Life magazine selected him as one of the "100 Most Important Young Men and Women in the United States" in 1962.
Both accomplished authors in their own "write" well before they met in 1984 (as Thompson documents in Gay Soul), they have shared their lives for the last twenty-one years.
The Fire in Moonlight: Stories from the Radical Faeries 1975-2010 edited by Mark Thompson
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: White Crane Books March 1, 2011)
Amazon: The Fire in Moonlight: Stories from the Radical Faeries 1975-2010
The most valuable possession a people have is their story...their history. Many years in the making, with over fifty contributors from around the world, The Fire in the Moonlight is the first anthology of its kind. Beginning with Walt Whitman and Edward Carpenter in the nineteenth century and moving through the liberation movements of the late twentieth, Dancing in the Moonlight speculates far into the twenty-first. It offers a timely compendium of culture wisdom, provocative wit and challenging sensuality. Dancing in the Moonlight gives witness to a groundbreaking movement that painstakingly emerged from the Gay Liberation era. Rooted in the history of radical visionaries, this little known, essential community informs the modern world with new meaning, offering fresh definitions of faith, identity, purpose and gender. Fire in the Moonlight is a series of personal reflections on who the Radical Faeries are, where they've been and where they are going: Radical Faeries in their own words. It is about how a movement has changed lives--and how Radical Faeries contribute to healing a fractured Earth.