elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Felice Picano (born February 22, 1944)

Felice Picano (born February 22, 1944) is an American writer. He graduated cum laude from Queens College in 1964 with English department honors. He founded SeaHorse Press in 1977, and The Gay Presses of New York in 1981 with Terry Helbing and Larry Mitchell; he was Editor-in-Chief there. He was an editor and writer for The Advocate, Blueboy, Mandate, Gaysweek, and Christopher Street. He was the Books Editor of The New York Native. At The Los Angeles Examiner, San Francisco Examiner, New York Native, Harvard Lesbian & Gay Review and the Lamdba Book Report, he was a culture reviewer. He has also written for OUT and OUT Traveller. With Andrew Holleran, Robert Ferro, Michael Grumley, Edmund White, Christopher Cox, and George Whitmore, he founded The Violet Quill considered to be the pathbreaking gay male literary nucleus of the 20th Century. (Picture: Felice Picano, portrait by Christopher Oakley)

In his memoir Men Who Loved Me, he describes his close friendship with the poet W. H. Auden. In his later memoir/history, Art & Sex in Greenwich Village, he writes about contacts with Gore Vidal, James Purdy, Charles Henri Ford, Edward Gorey, Robert Mapplethorpe and many contemporary and younger authors.

Among those who Picano introduced to the public via his publishing companies were Dennis Cooper, Harvey Fierstein, Jane Chambers, Brad Gooch, Robert Gluck, Doric Wilson, and Gavin Dillard. Several of his novels have been national and international best-sellers, and they have been translated into fifteen languages.

A long time resident of Manhattan and Fire Island Pines, Picano has resided for periods of time in Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, England, and Berlin, Germany. He now lives in West Hollywood, CA.

He won the Ferro-Grumley Award and Gay Times of England Award for best gay novel and the Syndicated Fiction/PEN Award for short-story. He was a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and was nominated for four Lambda Literary Awards.

True Stories won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best LGBT Non Fiction.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felice_Picano
The cover blurb from Edmund White calling Like People in History a “gay Gone with the Wind” is a bit hyperbolic, but this is one of my all-time favorite gay novels. Sweeping from the late 50’s through the early 90’s, it is the story of two gay cousins and their dysfunctional but loving friendship. With scenes at Woodstock to Fire Island in its 70’s heyday to ACT UP demonstrations, this book and its characters follow the development of gay culture from the closet of the 50’s/60’s through the hedonistic early days of freedom and pride through the horror of the AIDS plague. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and when you finish it, it will continue to resonate in your mind long after. A masterpiece from one of the community’s greatest writers. --Greg Herren
Felice Picano pretty much tops every writer´s (and reader´s) list of favorite gay authors, myself included. Ambidextrous, the first of five of Picano´s noted memoirs, was also the first coming out book I read that was as unapologetic as it was zany and sexy. It offers a slice of life completely different from my own, yet one I could wholly relate to. But it´s Picano´s style and flair that really stand out here, making this the one book I read in my twenties that grabbed me and shook me and made me want to become a writer myself. Fortunately, I´ve been able to tell that face-to-face with the author himself - numerous times now. --Rob Rosen
If you want to learn what gay men do in bed, The Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein & Felice Picano is the book. (Although I prefer the illustrations in The Gay Kama Sutra – but sadly, it’s OOP.) If you want to see it in action – watch gay porn! --Cat Grant

Felice Picano, 1985, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1124018)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/giard.html)

Further Readings:

True Stories, Portraits from my past by Felice Picano
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Station Editions (March 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984470778
ISBN-13: 978-0984470778
Amazon: True Stories, Portraits from my past

From author Felice Picano, co-founder of the path breaking Violet Quill Club, comes a new collection of memoirs, many of which have never appeared in print. Picano presents sweet and sometimes controversial anecdotes of his precocious childhood, odd, funny, and often disturbing encounters from before he found his calling as a writer and later as one of the first GLBT publishers. Throughout are his delightful encounters and surprising relationships with the one-of-a-kind and the famous-including Tennessee Williams, W.H. Auden, Charles Henri Ford, Bette Midler, and Diana Vreeland

More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices

More Spotlights at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels

More Rainbow Awards at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, Rainbow Awards/2011

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Tags: author: felice picano, in the spotlight, particular voices, rainbow awards 2011

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