Born: January 7, 1921, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States
Died: January 18, 1975
Books: W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman: Libretti and Other Dramatic Writings by W.H. Auden, 1939-1973, more
Education: Brooklyn College
University of Michigan
Libretti: The Rake's Progress, Elegy for Young Lovers, The Bassarids, The Visitors, Love's Labour's Lost
Lived: 77 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003, USA (40.72795, -73.98559)
Wystan Hugh Auden, who published as W.H. Auden, was an Anglo-American poet, born in England, later an American citizen, regarded by many critics as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. His work is noted for its stylistic and technical achievement, its engagement with moral and political issues, and its variety in tone, form and content. In 1939, at the Yorkville apartment on 81st St in NYC, two days after a League of American Writers reading, Auden met the poet Chester Kallman, who became his lover for the next two years (Auden described their relationship as a "marriage" that began with a cross-country "honeymoon" journey). In August 1941, Kallman ended their sexual relationship because he could not accept Auden's insistence on a mutual faithfulness, but he and Auden remained companions, sharing houses and apartments from 1953 until Auden's death. Kallman died less than two years after Auden, seemingly of a broken heart.
Together from 1939 to 1973: 34 years.
Chester Simon Kallman (January 7, 1921 – January 17, 1975)
W.H. Auden (February 21, 1907 – September 29, 1973)
Anniversary: April 8, 1938
Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: September 21, 2014
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8th Street is a street in the New York City borough of Manhattan that runs from Sixth Avenue to Third Avenue, and Avenue B to Avenue D; its addresses switch from West to East as it crosses Fifth Avenue. Between Third Avenue and Avenue A, it is named St. Mark’s Place, after the nearby St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery on 10th Street at Second Avenue.
Address: 77 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003, USA (40.72795, -73.98559)
Type: Private Property
St. Mark’s Place is considered a main cultural street for the East Village. Vehicular traffic runs east along both one-way streets. St. Mark’s Place features a wide variety of retailers. Venerable institutions lining St. Mark’s Place include Gem Spa, Yaffa Café, the St. Mark’s Hotel, St. Mark’s Comics, and Trash and Vaudeville. There are several open front markets that sell sunglasses, clothing and jewelry. There are also a number of restaurants and bars, as well as several record stores. Wouter van Twiller, colonial governor of New Amsterdam, once owned a tobacco farm near 8th and Macdougal Streets. Such farms were located around the area until the 1830s. Nearby, a Native American trail crossed the island via the right-of-ways of Greenwich Avenue, Astor Place, and Stuyvesant Street. Under the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, a city grid for much of Manhattan was defined. Eighth Street was to run from Sixth Avenue in the west to Third Avenue and the Bowery to the east. The area west of Sixth Avenue was already developed as Greenwich Village. Mercer, Greene, Wooster, Thompson Street, Sullivan Street, and Macdougal Streets, as well as Laurens Street (present-day LaGuardia Place), extended to Eighth Street until the 1820s, when the construction of Washington Square Park severed Laurens, Thompson, and Sullivan Streets south of 4th Street. After the Commissioners’ Plan was laid out, property along the street’s right of way quickly developed. By 1835, the New York University opened its first building, the Silver Center, along Eighth Street near the Washington Square Park. Row houses were also built on Eighth Street. The street ran between the Jefferson Market, built in 1832 at the west end, and the Tompkins Market, built in 1836, at the east end. These were factors in the street’s commercialization in later years. Eighth Street was supposed to extend to a market place at Avenue C, but since that idea never came to fruition. Capitalizing on the high-class status of Bond, Bleecker, Great Jones, and Lafayette Streets in NoHo, developer Thomas E. Davis developed the east end of the street and renamed it "St. Mark’s Place.” Davis built up St. Mark’s Place between Third and Second Avenues between 1831 and 1832. Although the original plan was for Federal homes, only three such houses remained in 2014.
Notable queer residents at St. Marks Place:
• No. 33: Home to poet Anne Waldman in the late 1960s/mid-1970s. In 1977, the storefront was occupied by Manic Panic, the first U.S. boutique to sell punk rock attire, which developed its own line of make-up and vibrant hair dyes; notable patrons have included performers David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry, and Joey Ramone.
• No. 51: In the early 1980s, this was home to 51X, a gallery that featured graffiti art, representing artists such as Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
• No. 57: Club 57 was an important art and performance space in the late 1970s and early 1980s; notable people, such as Ann Magnuson, Keith Haring, Klaus Nomi, John Sex, Kenny Scharf, David Wojnarowicz, Wendy Wild, The Fleshtones, and Fab Five Freddy, performed or showed there.
• No. 75: The Holiday Cocktail Lounge has had a range of visitors including W.H. Auden, Allen Ginsberg and other Beat writers, Shelley Winters, and Frank Sinatra, whose agent lived in the neighborhood.
• No. 77: Home to W.H. Auden (February 21, 1907 –September 29, 1973) for almost 20 years, from 1953 to 1972. Born in England, the poet Wystan Hugh Auden, arrived in New York City in 1939. After stints at the George Washington Hotel on East 23rd Street and in Brooklyn Heights, he and companion Chester Kallman settled into a second-floor apartment at this location. His living quarters were described as being so cold that the toilet no longer functioned and he had to use the toilet in the liquor store at the corner. Auden is regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the XX century. The building now houses a restaurant, La Palapa. The basement of this building was the location where the newspaper Novy Mir ("New World" or "New Peace"), a Russian-language Communist paper, was founded in 1916. It was edited by Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin, and Leon Trotsky worked there; the paper stopped publishing after the Russian Revolution of October, 1917.
Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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