He earned a B.A. in Landscape Architecture in 1979 from the University of West Virginia, where he also pursued an interest in writing. He then moved to Minneapolis, where he continued his literary pursuits, frequenting the Loft writing center and joining the Writers Support Group for Men.
When The James White Review (TJWR) was founded in 1983, members of the Support Group formed the core of original contributors, and the first issue, published in October 1983, included poetry and graphics by Lindahl. He served as an editor of TJWR from 1985-1989, and toured to promote the TJWR and poetry.
He also contributed prose, poetry, and graphics to Streamlines, Evergreen Chronicles, Hungry Mind Review , and Equal Time. As a performance artist, Lindahl wrote and performed his own works, including benefits for various community AIDS organizations. Additionally, he served on the staff of the Minnesota AIDS Interfaith Council and was a co-founder the Radical Faerie HIV Action Group.
Lindahl died on August 26, 1994, in Minneapolis. His papers are held at ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives: Journals, performance pieces, poetry, prose, and plays, primarily 1980-1989, relating to the life, literary and artistic careers of David M. Lindahl (1957-1994), author, AIDS activist, graphic and performance artist, and assistant editor of The James White Review.
Keri Pickett first encountered the Northwoods Band of Radical Faeries in 1993, when Mpls/St. Paul magazine hired her to photograph people caring for David Lindahl, the Kawashaway founder who had AIDS. Many of his caregivers were radical faeries. Before Lindahl's death in 1994, she visited the sanctuary with him and was so taken by its spirit that she started attending and documenting the group's 10-day "gatherings" each August. "She's not an outsider taking pictures," Rocky said. "She's very much an active participant, so . . . you get a truer sense of the community because her engagement is so much stronger." In the book and interviews, Pickett candidly acknowledges that she abandoned journalistic objectivity and "went native" with the faeries, whose ideas she believes "have a lot of potential for healing individuals on their personal journeys.
Faeries: Visions, Voices and Pretty Dresses by Keri Pickett
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Aperture; 1 edition (June 30, 2000)
Amazon: Faeries: Visions, Voices and Pretty Dresses
Faeries, photographer Keri Pickett's latest project, welcomes us into a secluded community in the wooded Minnesota sanctuary of Kawashaway, home of the self-proclaimed "radical faeries," a name chosen by a group of mostly gay men to express pride and solidarity in their differences. Here, in this idyllic, remote setting, an annual retreat takes place: a week of camp fires, communal bonding, and gender bending.
Pickett's photographs span six years of these summer gatherings, at which people from across the country join together as friends and family. This group forms a circle of souls, individuals seeking to find their place in a culture that seems to prize individuality but frequently distrusts those who are different. As the book relates through interviews with participants of the gatherings, the faerie community provides for much more than a frolic in the woods. It has become a stabilizing support network--a new radical means of extended family.
Pickett's elegant black-and-white images are intimate records of the spiritual exploration and the unique closeness found far away from everyday life. Her photographs convey comfort and comedy, solace and joy, exuberance and contemplation. The surprising sight of men in drag against the backdrop of a forest lends the volume an unusual visual drama. She captures the poignant gesture of an embrace, the naturalness and beauty of naked bodies, and a gleefully chaotic abundance of fancy frocks. Through these details Faeries reveals the cautious and joyful evolution of a community with members across the United States.
An extended text, transcribed and edited from conversations with members of the faeries, accompanies the photographs. In their own words, they discuss friendship, the process of coming out, magic, religion, and ritual. The voices speak of self-discovery, personal growth, and a sought-after sense of safety--themes gracefully and effectively echoed by Pickett's classically beautiful and often humorous photographs.
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