elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Perry Brass (born September 15)

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, I am an author/poet/playwright and certainly an activist--a lot of my work originated in my own early political activism in the movement for Gay and Lesbian Liberation. I grew up in the nineteen fifties and early nineteen sixties, in equal parts Southern, Jewish, economically impoverished, and (very much) gay. To escape the South's violent homophobia, I hitchhiked at age 17 from Savannah to San Francisco--an adventure, I like to say, "like Mark Twain with drag queens." As a young man I worked as an artist's model, on the floor of an aircraft factory, and, in the "Mad Men" period of knife-to-the-throat-anything-goes-advertising in the art departments of Madison Avenue ad agencies.

I have published 16 books and been a finalist six times in 3 categories (poetry; gay science fiction and fantasy; spirituality and religion) for Lambda Literary Awards, as well as winning numerous awards for my poetry, plays, fiction, and other writings, including 4 prestigious "IPPY" Awards from Independent Publisher. My novel KING OF ANGELS was named a finalist for a prestigious 2013 Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction from New York's Ferro-Grumley Foundation, the first time a novel from a small press like mine was ever named a finalist. I feel that my work is unique in that it combines frank depictions of human sexuality, deep spiritual values, emotional depth, political insight, and (often) outrageous humor. Fortunately, this has given me a wonderful following of readers who don't pigeonhole themselves---or my writing.

I've been involved in the gay rights movement since November of 1969, soon after the Stonewall Rebellion, when I co-edited "Come Out!," the world's first gay liberation newspaper. All the issues of Come Out! can now be read online at Outhistory.org [http://www.outhistory.org/wiki/Come_Out!_Magazine,_1969-1972]. "Come Out!," one of the most powerful documents of the early Liberation phase of the LGBT movement, is also available as The Come Out Reader, published by Christopher Street Press, on Blurb [http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3229148?alt=The+Come+Out!+Reader%2C+as+listed+under+Gay+%26+Lesbian].

Later, in 1972, with two friends I started the Gay Men's Health Project Clinic, the first clinic for gay men on the East Coast, still surviving as New York's Callen-Lourde Community Health Service. In 1984, my play "Night Chills," one of the first plays to deal with the AIDS crisis, won a Jane Chambers International Gay Playwriting Award.

As a poet, I have collaborated with many composers. These collaborations include the words for the much-performed "All the Way Through Evening," a haunting cycle of five songs evoking the tragedies of the AIDS epidemic, set by the late young Chris DeBlasio; "The Angel Voices of Men," set by Ricky Ian Gordon, commissioned by the Dick Cable Fund for the New York City Gay Men's Chorus which premiered it at Carnegie Hall and featured it on its "Gay Century Songbook" CD; "Three Brass Songs," with famed composer-pianist Fred Hersch; "The Restless Yearning Towards My Self," with New York City Opera composer Paula Kimper; and lately, "Twelve Musical Figures," a series of short songs set by Gerald Busby, the marvelous composer of the score for Robert Altman's classic movie "Two Women."

I am currently treasurer of the Greater New York Independent Publishers Association, and a coordinator of New York's Rainbow Book Fair, the oldest book fair and cultural conference in the U.S. solely devoted to the books of LGBT authors and publishers. I also write for the Huffington Post, and have a blog on Wordpress. These blogs are linked to my Author's Page, so you can see what I'm doing there.

Right now I am working on a book about desire--how it shapes us, despite our fears--and the deeper, more secret forms of it that we either allow or deny. I want this book to be a companion book to my popular THE MANLY ART OF SEDUCTION, and I hope that readers who followed that book will pick up this one, too.

I love to do readings, and I have been included in several documentaries about the lgbt movement and its culture. I am featured in "All the Way Through Evening," a documentary about young composers who died of AIDS, directed by Australian filmmaker Rohan Spong. I live in the Riverdale section of "da Bronx" with my partner of 32 years, but as I like to say, I can cross bridges to other parts of America without a passport. I love hearing from readers, and you can find out how to reach me in any Belhue Press book.

Further Readings:

Angel Lust : An Erotic Novel of Time Travel by Perry Brass
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Belhue Pr; 1st edition (March 15, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1892149001
ISBN-13: 978-1892149008
Amazon: Angel Lust : An Erotic Novel of Time Travel
Amazon Kindle: Angel Lust : An Erotic Novel of Time Travel

Angel Lust combines the mystical atmosphere we see in Ann Rice's classics of dark eroticism with Brass's more open, full-throttle gay sexuality. What makes this book different from other gay "erotic" novels of fantasy is that the characters are totally real. Despite being angels, despite the element of Time travel, Bert and Tommy, the two angels who have been together since eternity, could be your neighbors. They worry about making a living, about their landlord throwing them out, and about the day-to-day struggles that all humans have. Although they have powers far beyond most of us (for instance, they can revive the dead), they understand that their human side can get them into trouble, both with the law and their own deeper feelings, just like anyone else.

More Spotlights at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels

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Tags: author: perry brass, in the spotlight

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