April 29th, 2012

andrew potter

C.P. Cavafy (April 29, 1863 – April 29, 1933)

Constantine P. Cavafy, also known as Konstantin or Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis, or Kavaphes (April 29, 1863 – April 29, 1933) was a renowned Greek poet who lived in Alexandria and worked as a journalist and civil servant. He published 154 poems; dozens more remained incomplete or in sketch form. His most important poetry was written after his fortieth birthday.

Cavafy was born in 1863 in Alexandria, Egypt, to Greek parents, and was baptized into the Greek Orthodox Church. His father was a prosperous importer-exporter who had lived in England in earlier years and acquired British nationality. After his father died in 1870, Cavafy and his family settled for a while in Liverpool in England. In 1876, his family faced financial problems due to the Long Depression of 1873, so, by 1877, they had to move back to Alexandria.

In 1882, disturbances in Alexandria caused the family to move again, though temporarily, to Constantinople. This was the year when a revolt broke out in Alexandria against the Anglo-French control of Egypt, thus precipitating the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War. Alexandria was bombarded by a British fleet and the family apartment at Ramleh was burned.

In 1885, Cavafy returned to Alexandria, where he lived for the rest of his life. His first work was as a journalist; then he took a position with the British-run Egyptian Ministry of Public Works for thirty years. (Egypt was a British protectorate until 1926.) He published his poetry from 1891 to 1904 in the form of broadsheets, and only for his close friends. Any acclaim he was to receive came mainly from within the Greek community of Alexandria. Eventually, in 1903, he was introduced to mainland-Greek literary circles through a favourable review by Xenopoulos. He received little recognition because his style differed markedly from the then-mainstream Greek poetry. It was only 20 years later, after the Greek defeat in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), that a new generation of almost nihilist poets (e.g. Karyotakis) would find inspiration in Cavafy's work.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.P._Cavafy

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andrew potter

John Donovan (1928 - April 29, 1992)

John Donovan (1928-1992) was the President of the Children's Book Council from 1967-1992 and the author of several young adult novels. He pushed for new authors to be published as well as rallying towards new and challenging subjects to be tackled in the field of children's books. The most well known one of his own books is 1969's I'll Get There, It Better Be Worth The Trip. This book is often cited as being the first mainstream teen novel to deal with homosexuality. It concerns a boy named Davy who feels rejected. His parents are divorced, his mother's an alcoholic and his closest companions are his grandmother and dog. Later in the story he has a brief sexual encounter with one of his male classmates. In the story, this part is told with sensitivity and presented in a way that is not extraordinary. In a sense, it's presented as if this were a natural part of growing up. The book was recently reprinted in 2010 with a new introduction.

Donovan wrote four other novels dealing with characters suffering from loss and loneliness. The oddest of these is Remove Plastic Coating A Little At a Time from 1973. This is a short novel at about 90 pages and concerns the relationship between a young teenager named Harry and a 72 year old homeless lady who is squatting in an abandoned apartment building. Again, sexuality is presented here in a matter of fact manner with Harry's friends casually inviting him to X-rated movies and the like.

Harry feels isolated from his peers and his parents. Living in New York, Harry's parents are having relationship problems and his mother is suffering from depression. His isolation from his family contributes to him meeting Amelia, an eccentric bag lady, in the park. She presents him with an alternative view of life that he admires over what he sees from others in his middle class upbringing. The relationship allows him to feel emotional and bring him into a world of meaningful communication.

His other books include Wild In the World (1971), Good Old James (1974) and Family (1976).

Source: http://discardtreasures.blogspot.it/2011/07/john-donovan.html
Published in 1969 — the year of the Stonewall Riots — John Donovan‘s I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip. was the first Young Adult novel to deal with homosexuality. Ushered into print by the legendary children‘s book editor Ursula Nordstrom (she has been called the Maxwell Perkins of children‘s literature), the novel is an honest, sensitive, funny, sharply written, and very moving coming-of-age novel narrated by a 13-year-old boy who is, most likely, gay.
[...]
It‘s a subtle and honest story told by an appealing and confused young man. Again, remember that this novel was published in 1969, just as gays were becoming more visible in this country, standing up for their rights, refusing to be invisible. Donovan‘s book, in that light, is remarkable and daring. But now, with gays more visible in ―mainstream culture‖ than ever before, it is even more remarkable that this eloquent novel still rings true as a portrait of a young gay man, inching toward adulthood, searching for his place in the world. I like to think that Davy got there — and that it was worth the trip. --The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered
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andrew potter

LGBT Ebook and Print Releases April, 2012

69 Positions of Joyful Gay Sex Special E by Bel Ami
A Bird in the Hand, a Velvet Glove story by Sean Michael (Torquere Books)
A Cowboy's Heart by J. M. Snyder
A Hole in God's Pocket by K.Z. Snow (Dreamspinner Press)
A Night of Hunger by Wayne C. Rogers (JMS Books)
A Queer Pattern of Murder by Tom Jemielity (JMS Books)
A Time for Secrets: Boystown 4 by Marshall Thornton (MLR Press)
A Time to Embrace: Same-Sex Relationships in Religion, Law, and Politics, 2nd edition by William Stacy Johnson
A Token of Time by Ethan Day (MLR Press)
Abandoned Paradise by A. J. Llewellyn
Acceptance of Homosexuality in the Netherlands, 2011: International comparison, trends, and current situation SCP-publication 2011-29 (The Netherlands Institute for Social Research) by Saskia Keuzenkamp
After Dark by Luisa Prieto (MLR Press)
After the Fall by Talia Carmichael (Total-e-Bound)
All the Things I Didn't See by Cindy Sutherland (Dreamspinner Press)
American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism: More Than a Prayer (Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture) by Juliane Hammer
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