December 4th, 2013

andrew potter

Best LGBT Non Fiction: Love Christopher Street by Thomas Keith

This was a compelling reading. It’s not my first book with a real-life New York setting, if you want to consider your e-reader the modern bedside table, I have Gay New York and Gay Metropolis on my shortlist, plus Eminent Outlaws, another nonfiction I love, is mostly set in this same city, but Love, Christopher Street shift the perspective to more contemporary times, mostly of these stories are about the ’70-’80-’90, pre and post AIDS, with everything it implied. So this was a nice addition to my collection, and another reason to browse some authors I wasn’t aware of. I raise my hand, there are some friends among the contributors: Christopher Bram, Aaron Hamburger, Fay Jacobs, Shaun Levin, Felice Picano and Justine Saracen; I was already aware of the fiction and nonfiction by them, as I said Bram’s Eminent Outlaws is one of my reference texts, and so it’s True Stories by Felice Picano. Moreover there are authors I don’t personally know but admire, Thomas Glave, Jewelle Gomez, Charles Rice-Gonzalez (I was even to a reading of Mr Rice-Gonzalez, his puppy stole the scene at that one) and Bob Smith. For all the other it was a wonderful chance to “meet” them, and I’m sure this will be not the last time I will enjoy their experience.

What is probably the most important thing is that these women and men are not hiding anything to the reader, nor happiness or sadness, nor fears or hopes. There is love and death, mourning and joy, blood families and those built to substitute the ones who didn’t want you (and sometime they are stronger and more important than those made of relatives.)

Sure, the feeling is mostly bittersweet, but I also know of about at least four, if not more, of these contributors who found an happily ever after in real life, so there has to be a reason for everything it happened. I know that I must sound as ingénue, but for me love is one of the essential pushing forces of life.

And then we haven’t to forget the most important character of all the book, the city, New York City. She is like a great dame, not so old to be agé, but still old enough to be fashionable. She is at the same time like a spider that when she has you on her net, doesn’t let you go, and like a big mother bosom, suffocating with her love embraces. Someone once told me that you are never alone in this city, and even if it’s a big metropolis, sometime it seems to live in a Village (reference to the various “villages” in the city totally intended). Even if most of those authors aren’t originally from New York, they now consider it their city… and that is New York to you.

Paperback: 408 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Station Editions (May 29, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937627071
ISBN-13: 978-1937627072
Amazon: Love, Christopher Street
Amazon Kindle: Love, Christopher Street



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andrew potter

John Giorno & Ugo Rondinone

John Giorno (born December 4, 1936) is an American poet and performance artist. He founded the not-for-profit production company Giorno Poetry Systems and organized a number of early multimedia poetry experiments and events, including Dial-A-Poem. He became prominent as the subject of Andy Warhol's film Sleep (1963). He is also an AIDS activist and fundraiser, and a long-time practitioner of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1998, Giorno met his partner, the Swiss multimedia artist Ugo Rondinone—who transitioned Giorno into another era of his career and into the folds of the current visual-art world.

Giorno was born in New York. He graduated from Columbia University in 1958, where he was a "college chum" of physicist Hans Christian von Baeyer. In 1962, while in his early twenties he briefly worked in New York as a stockbroker. In 1962 he met Andy Warhol during Warhol's first New York Pop Art solo exhibit at Eleanor Ward's Stable Gallery. They became lovers and Warhol remained an important influence for Giorno's developments on poetry, performance and recordings. Giorno and Warhol are said to have remained very close until 1964, after which time their meetings were rare. Their relationship was revived somewhat in the last year before Warhol's death. Inspired by Warhol, and subsequent relationships with Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, Giorno began applying Pop Art techniques of appropriation of found imagery to his poetry, producing The American Book of the Dead in 1964 (published in part in his first book, Poems, in 1967). Meetings with William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin in 1964 contributed to his interest in applying cut up and montage techniques to found texts, and (via Gysin) his first audio poem pieces, one of which was played at the Paris Museum of Modern Art Biennale in 1965.

Inspired by Rauschenberg's Experiments in Art and Technology events of 1966, Giorno began making "Electronic Sensory Poetry Environments", working in collaboration with synthesizer creator Robert Moog and others to create psychedelic poetry installation/happenings at venues such as St. Mark's Church in New York. In 1965, Giorno founded a not-for-profit production company, Giorno Poetry Systems in order to connect poetry to new audiences, using innovative technologies. In 1967, Giorno organized the first Dial-A-Poem event at the Architectural League of New York, making short poems by various contemporary poets available over the telephone. The piece was repeated to considerable acclaim at the Museum of Modern Art in 1970, and resulted in a series of LP records compiling the recordings, which were issued by Giorno Poetry Systems. Some of the poets and artists who recorded or collaborated with Giorno Poetry Systems were Burroughs, John Ashbery, Ted Berrigan, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Mapplethorpe.


John Giorno is an American poet and performance artist. He founded the not-for-profit production company Giorno Poetry Systems and organized a number of early multimedia poetry experiments and events, including Dial-A-Poem. He became prominent as the subject of Andy Warhol's film Sleep (1963). In 1998, Giorno met his partner, the Swiss multimedia artist Ugo Rondinone—who transitioned Giorno into another era of his career and into the folds of the current visual-art world.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Giorno

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

More LGBT Couples at my website:
http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance

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