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Essex Hemphill & Dennis Carney

Essex Hemphill (April 16, 1957 - November 4, 1995) was an American poet and activist. He was a 1993 Pew Fellowships in the Arts.

Poet, editor, and activist Essex Hemphill was born April 16, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois. He was raised in Southeast Washington, DC, and began to write poems at the age of fourteen. He was educated at the University of Maryland.

Hemphill's first books were the self-published chapbooks Earth Life (1985) and Conditions (1986). He first gained national attention when his work appeared in the anthology In the Life (1986), a seminal collection of writings by Black gay men. In 1989, his poems were featured in the award-winning documentaries Tongues Untied and Looking for Langston.

In 1991, Hemphill edited Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men, which won a Lambda Literary Award. In 1992, he released Ceremonies: Prose and Poetry, which won the National Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual New Author Award. His work also appeared in numerous anthologies including Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our Time (1986) and Life Sentences: Writers, Artists and AIDS (1993). He was a visiting scholar at The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities in 1993. On November 4, 1995, Hempill died from complications relating to AIDS.

He was survived by his lover Dennis Carney, Chair of Black Gay men's Advisory Group in London. Carney is currently partner of photographer Robert Taylor.

Dennis has worked with groups, over the last two decades, in a wide variety of different settings primarily as a freelance trainer, consultant and thearpeutic groupworker, focussing on Communication and Relationship Skills, Self Esteem, Diversity, Sexual Orientation, Team Building and HIV issues in the workplace.


Dennis Carney And Essex Hemphill in Brixton by Rotimi Fani-Kayodé
Essex Hemphill was an American poet and activist. He was a 1993 Pew Fellowships in the Arts. In 1991, Hemphill edited Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men, which won a Lambda Literary Award. In 1992, he released Ceremonies: Prose and Poetry, which won the National Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual New Author Award. Hempill died from complications relating to AIDS. He was survived by his lover Dennis Carney, Chair of Black Gay men's Advisory Group in London.

Since 2001 Dennis has worked facilitating therapeutic workshops aimed at gay/bi men at PACE in London and he leads the development of workshop programmes targeting Black and Minority Ethnic gay and bi men.

Dennis has trained in humanistic psychotherapy at Spectrum since 2001 and is a member of the Spectrum Post-Graduate professional community. He teaches part-time at the City Literary Institute in London within the Counselling and Psychotherapy department.

Dennis appeared in the Channel Four documentary ‘Trainers, Reggae and The Olympics’ that explored, amongst other things, homophobic lyrics in dancehall music. Dennis is also the current Vice-Chair of the Black Gay Men’s Advisory Group (BGMAG).

Source: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/481 & http://lovingmen.org/dennis-carney.php


Essex Hemphill, 1991, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1081957)
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:

Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men by Essex Hemphill
Paperback: 389 pages
Publisher: RedBone Press (October 26, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0978625110
ISBN-13: 978-0978625115
Amazon: Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men

Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men, begun by Joseph Beam and completed by Essex Hemphill after Beam's death in 1988, is a collection of now-classic literary work by black gay male writers. This new edition includes an introduction by Dr. Jafari Sinclaire Allen.

Ceremonies: Prose and Poetry by Essex Hemphill
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press; Second Edition edition (May 9, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1573441015
ISBN-13: 978-1573441018
Amazon: Ceremonies: Prose and Poetry

Ceremonies offers provocative commentary on highly charged topics such as Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs of African-American men, feminism among men, and AIDS in the black community.

Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology by E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Duke University Press Books (October 11, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0822336189
ISBN-13: 978-0822336181
Amazon: Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology

While over the past decade a number of scholars have done significant work on questions of black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered identities, this volume is the first to collect this groundbreaking work and make black queer studies visible as a developing field of study in the United States. Bringing together essays by established and emergent scholars, this collection assesses the strengths and weaknesses of prior work on race and sexuality and highlights the theoretical and political issues at stake in the nascent field of black queer studies. Including work by scholars based in English, film studies, black studies, sociology, history, political science, legal studies, cultural studies, and performance studies, the volume showcases the broadly interdisciplinary nature of the black queer studies project.

The contributors consider representations of the black queer body, black queer literature, the pedagogical implications of black queer studies, and the ways that gender and sexuality have been glossed over in black studies and race and class marginalized in queer studies. Whether exploring the closet as a racially loaded metaphor, arguing for the inclusion of diaspora studies in black queer studies, considering how the black lesbian voice that was so expressive in the 1970s and 1980s is all but inaudible today, or investigating how the social sciences have solidified racial and sexual exclusionary practices, these insightful essays signal an important and necessary expansion of queer studies.

Contributors. Bryant K. Alexander, Devon Carbado, Faedra Chatard Carpenter, Keith Clark, Cathy Cohen, Roderick A. Ferguson, Jewelle Gomez, Phillip Brian Harper, Mae G. Henderson, Sharon P. Holland, E. Patrick Johnson, Kara Keeling, Dwight A. McBride, Charles I. Nero, Marlon B. Ross, Rinaldo Walcott, Maurice O. Wallace.

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


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