Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Votes Are In!

Thanks to everyone who voted on the titles collectively nominated by our group for the next iteration of the reading list.  Below, you’ll find the list of “winners” that will be slotted into our discussion schedule beginning this fall and going into next year.

FICTION
The Sparsholt Affair  by Alan Hollinghurst.
Lily and the Octopus  by Steven Rowley.
Very Recent History  by Choire Sicha
The Immoralist  by Andr茅 Gide

NON-Fiction
Rednecks, Queers and Country Music  by Nadine Hubbs
Masked Voices : Gay Men and Lesbians in Cold War America
by Craig M. Loftin
Insult and the Making of the Gay Self  by Didier Eribon

BIOGRAPHY / MEMOIR
True Homosexual Experiences: Boyd McDonald and Straight to Hell
by William E. Jones
Becoming a Londoner  by David Plante

POETRY
Don’t Call Us Dead  by Danez Smith
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror  by John Ashbery
(All the poems before the title poem, which we discussed 3/17/18.)

ANTHOLOGIES
The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle  by Lillian Faderman

Happy 19th Anniversary to Us!

The exact date of our group's first meeting is lost in the mists of history, but it was in May 1999.  Tim Walton, our blogmaster extraordinaire, has diligently maintained the running list of the 271 (and counting) books we've read over that period (thanks!), which you'll find at the bottom of the homepage.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

LOC celebrates Gay Pride Month!

In honor of LGBT Pride Month (June), the Library of Congress is putting on two free events featuring authors whose novels have been turned into successful films. You'll find full details at this link, but here is the basic info.

Unfortunately, the first event, featuring Call Me by Your Name author Andre Aciman, is on Wed., June 6, at 7 p.m., when we'll have our regular meeting. Darn! However, the second presentation, featuring Becky Albertali, whose young adult novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was the basis for the movie "Love, Simon," is the following night, Thursday, June 7, also at 7 p.m.

Tickets are not required for either event, but are recommended.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Looking Back on 100

Filmmaker Paul Oremland, a gay man of a certain age, reflects on four decades of gay history and culture by recalling 100 Men of his sexual encounters in his native New Zealand, Britain, the United States, and other points in between. Netflix subscribers will find the 94 minutes well spent: entertaining, informative, and insightful.

Remembering Donald Britton

Last August, we discussed In the Empire of the Air, a collection of Donald Britton's poetry edited by our very own Philip Clark.  If you've joined Bookmen since then, or happened to miss that session, I warmly encourage you to check it out—though I see that the paperback is currently sold out on Amazon.馃槉

Whether you've already read the book or are waiting to order it, you may find this tribute to Britton on the Poetry Foundation website of interest:    "The Only Immortality Is in Not Dying".  I certainly did!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Our Mammograms

I had thought of including Hazmat on some earlier nominating list but failed to for reasons I can now not only not remember, but even not imagine. The next nominating list will contain Plundered Hearts.


Meanwhile here's a poem from a quarter century ago that harrowed my midlife masculinity:  My Mammogram

Remembering J.D. McClatchy

The Washington Post reports that J.D. McClatchy, "a tireless champion of verse who taught, edited, criticized and wrote poetry for more than four decades," died on April 10. He is survived by his husband, Chip Kidd.

Although we have never read any collections of McClatchy's poetry, back in 2002 we did read a book he edited, Love Speaks Its Name.

Harrison Smith's obituary in the Post quotes the opening lines of McClatchy's last published poem, "My Plot":

  It seemed as good a time as any to buy
  A cemetery plot. The price is bound
  To spike, the local real estate being what it is
  For both the living and the dead, and seeing
  How few opportunities to make a sound
  Decision are left as our debilities multiply,
  I signed up for a double bed.

Rest in peace, Mr. McClatchy.