Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, he grew up in Arlington, Virginia.
In 1968, Dlugos joined the Christian Brothers, a Catholic religious order and entered their college, La Salle College, in Philadelphia. He left the Brothers in 1971 to openly embrace a politically active, gay lifestyle. He eventually left La Salle before graduating and moved to Washington, D.C..
Dlugos worked on Ralph Nader's Public Citizen and become heavily involved with the Mass Transit poetry scene. His first book of poetry, High There, was published by the groundbreaking Some of Us Press.
Describing his poetry in None of the Above, an early anthology in which Dlugos appeared, he stated: "1. I try to write out of the time & space I find myself in. 2. My best work takes the 'timeless' -- spontaneous goofs, flights, body motions -- & drags it onto timeline, the 'real world' where most of us live. I am 'successful' when the language (clean combination of words) takes me or someone else back to the original combination of feelings & perceptions 'out there,' or somewhere equally nice. 3. My work is part of the nostalgia craze; all of it reminds me of where I used to be. 4. Grace, in a very orthodox sense, is my major preoccupation."
Dlugos moved to New York City in the late 1970s where he edited and contributed to such magazines as Christopher Street, New York Native and The Poetry Project Newsletter. He read everywhere and with almost everyone involved in the downtown scene. Whether writing about pop culture, New York, being gay, alcoholism or AIDS, content always came secondary to style in Dlugos' poetry. His poetry was published widely in various journals including BOMB magazine, The Paris Review and the Washington Review.
Sometime after being diagnosed HIV positive, Dlugos decided to abandon his career as a fundraiser to become a priest in the Episcopalian church where he could utilize and express his experiences as a gay man.
While studying at the Yale School of Divinity, Dlugos died of AIDS-related complications on December 3, 1990.
In 1996, David Trinidad released a selected edition of Dlugos' poetry. In, 2011 Nightboat Books published Dlugos' A Fast Life: The Collected Poems, edited by David Trinidad.
A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos edited by David Trinidad
Paperback: 632 pages
Publisher: Nightboat Books (May 10, 2011)
Amazon: A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos
Poetry. LGBT Studies. Edited by David Trinidad. A FAST LIFE establishes Tim Dlugos—the witty and innovative poet at the heart of the New York literary scene in the late 1970s and 1980s and seminal poet of the AIDS epidemic—as one of the most distinctive and energetic poets of our time. This definitive volume contains all of the poems Dlugos published in his lifetime, a wealth of previously unpublished poems, and an informative introduction, chronology, and notes assembled by the volume's editor, poet David Trinidad. "The Frank O'Hara of his generation"—Ted Berrigan.
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