Baltimore reads NYC
Below are some photos from yesterday afternoon's reading by Charm City poets, Chris Toll, Barbara DeCesare and Reggie Harris, who dropped into to read and perform their poems at the Bowery Poetry Club yesterday. One of the highlights was hearing Reggie's new work (or work I'd never heard before), especially a moving pantoum that included the image of one lover stroking another's back "like a guitar," a poem that I imagined snaked down the page like the faintly rhymed images that constituted it, and the pieces from his ongoing boxing series. Also in the house were Reggie's partner, Mark C., who came up with Reggie from Baltimore, and fellow bloggers-writers Bernie and Steven.
Chris Toll starting off the afternoon
The often hilarious Barbara DeCesare
Reggie Harris, with his Cave Canem bag at right
Reggie reading one of his boxing poems
Audiologo on Young and Trethewey
Also on the poetry tip: A few days ago I added poet and scholar Audiologo to the blogroll at right, and today, flipping through her blog, I saw she'd posted on two poets I know very well and really admire, Kevin Young and Natasha Trethewey. Both Kevin and Natasha teach at Emory and both are fellow former Dark Room Writers Collective members. If you like poetry at all, I highly suggest out both of these poets' works; Kevin has four superb collections of poetry out and recently put out an anthology of jazz poetry with Everyman Library (and it includes one of my poems too), and Natasha's brilliant new book, Native Guard, uncovers yet another hidden aspect of American history. Audiologo links to Kevin's books and Natasha's appearance just the other day on PBS, so click away!
Direland on International Day against Homophobia
Doug Ireland has a great post on the second annual International Day against Homophobia (IDAHO) this Wednesday, May 17, and its founder, French scholar and activist Louis-Georges Tin (photo at left, Direland). In addition to penning an informative précis of Tin's life, including mention of his founding the Representative Council of Black Associations (Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noires) in France after the riots last fall, and appending a short interview with him, Ireland again calls US national LGBT organizations on the carpet for their failure to participate in a worldwide effort on a pressing topic. Homophobia, heterosexism and anti-gay violence take many forms across the globe, from state-sponsored killings of LGBTs in Iran and Saudi Arabia to indifference over anti-gay violence in Jamaica to the push for a federal amendment banning gay marriage in the United States, where less than a half a decade ago, sex between consenting adults of the same sex (or in some states, of the opposite sex) was criminalized.
For those who read French, there are French interviews with Louis-George Tin at:
Homoedu: Portrait d'un intellectuel militant
Le Mague Journal: Interview de Tin
And at Les mots sont importants, an essay by Tin, "Êtes-vous communautaristes?" (Are you communitarians?).
Also, if you are opposed to a US-led war against Iran and to theocratic oppression in that country, you can add your name to a growing petition hosted by the Campaign for Peace and Democracy (CPD's) here, and check out the CPD's other activities at www.cpdweb.org.
Rod 2.0 on Line of Beauty, Morehouse Case and Anglin's Standing Down
I'd meant to post a version of this yesterday but ran out of time: Rod 2.0 as always has a cornucopia of news, tidbits, hot shots and much more. Three items in particular caught my eye.
The first was his mention of the resentencing, a reduction, based on a judge's whimsy, for former Morehouse student Aaron Price, who brutally attacked fellow student Gregory Love because he thought Love was making (homo)sexual overtures towards him in the showers. The judge supposedly was initially angered at the initial trial by Price's attorney's use of a gay panic defense, which led to the original 10-year sentence. Because of the change, Price could get out of jail very soon, if the parole board does the wrong thing.
The second was his post on Charles Anglin (left, photo Rod 2.0), the Liberal Democrat city councilor from London's Lambeth borough who lost his seat when his profile on a gay website was discovered. Rod covers blogger-scholar Larry Lyon's compelling response and some of the commentary it generated. Echoing many of the comments on Larry's blog, I personally have no problem with politicians seeking companionship, in whatever venue they see fit, so long as it's legal, is not expected to result in a legislative favor, and is with a consenting adult or adults. They're human too, and in my opinion it's better if they're open about who they are and what they're into and seeking than repressing it. If Anglin, an out, pro-gay politician, wants to meet men for wrestling and sex and admits it, why on earth would this be an impediment to him doing his job, and doing it well? Better Gaydar.com than the Watergate Hotel, no?
Last was his mention of British actor Don Gilet's appearance in the BBC2's version of Alan Hollinghurst's resplendant 2004 Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Line of Beauty. What a book! As verbally dexterous a text as this would prove daunting to all but the most skilled of filmmakers, I imagine, so I hope whoever's taken it on has superhuman directing gifts and a poet's eye. Then again, on sheer plot points alone, if the acting is at all competent, it could still be riveting.
And to all Jstheater readers who fit the bill: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!