Dodie Bellamy is an American novelist, nonfiction author, journalist and editor. Her work is frequently associated with that of Dennis Cooper, Kathy Acker, and Eileen Myles. She is one of the originators in the New Narrative literary movement, which attempts to use the tools of experimental fiction and critical theory and apply them to narrative storytelling.
Killian is also co-founder of the Poets Theater, an influential poetry, stage, and performance group based in San Francisco.
He was raised Roman Catholic. He attended a Roman Catholic parochial school run by Franciscan monks, where he suffered what he has described as routine abuse. He discussed these experiences in an essay in the edited work Wrestling With the Angel, which describes 21 gay men's experiences with religion. He was also the New York City spelling bee champion. He attended graduate school at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (SUNY-Stony Brook) in the 1970s, and moved to San Francisco in 1980. Although he is gay and Dodie Bellamy is a lesbian, the couple married and have an active heterosexual sex life. Killian admired the work of JT LeRoy (later to be revealed as the pen name and persona of author Laura Albert), and held public readings of LeRoy's work in 2000.
Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian, 1989, by Robert Giard
Kevin Killian (born 1952) is an American poet, author, and playwright of primarily LGBT literature. My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer, which he co-edited with Peter Gizzi, won the American Book Award for poetry in 2009. Although he is gay and Dodie Bellamy is a lesbian, the couple married and have an active heterosexual sex life (they met in the 1980s). Dodie Bellamy featured him as a partially-fictional character in her vampire novel, The Letters of Mina Harker.
As a beginning novelist, he tied for first place in the "Hamming Up Hammett" Dashiell Hammett bad writing contest in San Francisco in 1988. Author Dodie Bellamy featured him as a partially-fictional character in her vampire novel, The Letters of Mina Harker. His poetry has appeared in the anthology The Best American Poetry 1988, the magazine Discontents, and the anthology Good Times: Bad Trips. He once based an entire volume of poetry on the work of horror film director Dario Argento (motivated to do so as a response to the AIDS epidemic). He also helped author Alvin Orloff polish chapters of his novel Gutterboys. Noted author Edmund White, writing in The New York Times, described his work as "a kind of mandarin American casualness that is peculiar to ... West Coast writers ... a school of refined but deceptively offhand stylists." The Village Voice called My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer, which he co-edited with Peter Gizzi, "impeccably edited". The work was also highly praised by The New York Times.
His 2009 collection of short gay erotic fiction, Impossible Princess, won the Lambda Literary Foundation Award for best gay men's erotica. It was his third collection of short fiction.
Killian is founder and former director of Small Press Traffic. He now edits the poetry 'zine Mirage.
Killian also has some acting experience. His interest in theatre emerged in the early 1980s when he saw experimental plays by Carla Harryman. Harryman and Tom Mandel subsequently cast him in their play, Fist of the Colossus. He co-founded the Poets Theater in San Francisco, and has acted in as well as written pieces for staging by the group. As of 2001, he had written 31 plays. He co-authored the performance art piece The Red and the Green in 2005 with cinemtographer Karla Milosevich. In 2009, Killian and David Brazil co-edited a collection of Poets Theater pieces, The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theatre: 1945-1985.
Killian is also active in bringing attention to important LGBTQ artists and writers of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. He has held poetry readings of a wide number of influential poets and writers, and participated in a number of panels, art installations, retrospectives, and memorials. For example, in 2008 he was a featured speaker at a University of Maine "Poetry of the 1970s" conference. He and artist Colter Jacobsen also helped organize a major tribute to the Kiki Gallery ("Kiki: The Proof Is in the Pudding"), a highly influential art gallery in San Francisco in the 1980s which featured the work of LGBTQ artists.
Dodie Bellamy, 1988, by Robert Giard
Kevin Killian, 1988, by Robert Giard
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/digital
Impossible Princess by Kevin Killian
Paperback: 164 pages
Publisher: City Lights Publishers (November 1, 2009)
Amazon: Impossible Princess
“Whatever his subject matter, Killian maintains full authority—offering up a homoerotic interpretation of Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find and a brilliant imagined history of Hank Williams. Here, under the author’s careful control and easygoing charisma, everything seems up for grabs, and almost anything seems possible.”—Time Out New York
Impossible Princess is the third collection of gay short fiction by PEN Award–winning San Francisco–based author Kevin Killian. A member of the “new narrative” circle including Dennis Cooper and Kathy Acker, Killian is a master short story writer, crafting campy and edgy tales that explore the humor and darkness of desire. A former director of Small Press Traffic and a co-editor of Mirage/Periodical, Killian co-wrote Jack Spicer’s biography, Poet Be Like God, and co-edited three Spicer books, including My Vocabulary Did This To Me: Collected Poems. His latest book, Action Kylie, is a collection of poems devoted to Kylie Minogue.
More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices
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