elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Paul Mariah (1938 - January 12, 1996)

Paul Mariah was a pioneer of the gay literary scene in San Francisco during the 1960s and 1970s.

Paul Mariah was born in Whittington, Ill. but long resided in the Bay Area. He had served time in prison before coming to San Francisco. In a 1977 newspaper article, his prison experiences were cited as crucial to his personal and literary development.

He started Manroot Books and a literary magazine with the same title in 1969. A dozen issues of the magazine appeared, along with 30 monographs. His enterprise published many leading writers of the time, including notable editions of such major poets as Jack Spicer, James Broughton, Robert Peters, and Thom Gunn.

Mr. Mariah also issued bilingual editions of Jean Cocteau and Jean Genet, and revived interest in the work of Robert Ingersoll, the 19th century prison reformer and social critic.

His own poetry appeared in two collections, "Personae Non Gratae" in 1971 and "This Light Will Spread" in 1978.

Mr. Mariah was also prominent in the movement for prisoners' rights.

Mr. Mariah died of pneumonia January 12, 1996. He was 58.

Source: http://articles.sfgate.com/1996-01-25/news/17766247_1_thom-gunn-literary-magazine-prisoners-rights

Paul Mariah at Small Press Traffic, 1988, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1121527)
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:

Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance by Lewis Ellingham & Kevin Killian
Hardcover: 459 pages
Publisher: Wesleyan; 1st edition (May 15, 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0819553085
ISBN-13: 978-0819553089
Amazon: Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance

Jack Spicer, unlike his contemporaries Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Gary Snyder, was a poet who disdained publishing and relished his role as a social outcast. He died in 1965 virtually unrecognized, yet in the following years his work and thought have attracted and intrigued an international audience. Now this comprehensive biography gives a pivotal poet his due. Based on interviews with scores of Spicer's contemporaries, Poet Be Like God details the most intimate aspects of Spicer's life--his family, his friends, his lovers--illuminating not only the man but also many of his poems.

Such illumination extends also to the works of others whom Spicer came to know, including the writers Frank O'Hara, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Helen Adam, Robin Blaser, Charles Olson, Philip K. Dick, Richard Brautigan, and Marianne Moore and the painters Jess, Fran Herndon, and Jay DeFeo. The resulting narrative, an engaging chronicle of the San Francisco Renaissance and the emergence of the North Beach gay scene during the 50s and 60s, will be indispensable reading for students of American literature and gay studies.

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

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Tags: author: paul mariah, particular voices

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