Painting is for everyone. Harold Norse reached the place of his pictures by a special route which he is now prepared to reveal so that others can travel there. Hopefully future scholars will find interest in these dusty gems from a forgotten time of vibrant North American expatriate activity.
It also exposes readers to regional movements such as the Cleveland based artists like D. Levy and T. Collage by D. With the Becks, Morea joined in serving free food to the poor with Dorothy Day and the radical activists at the Catholic Worker, along with their protests against nuclear warfare. His sexually provocative writing differed from that of L. The work varies in format from sculpture, paintings, to stencils, collage and installation. Alan Kaufman is to be commended for publishing his own extensive curation.
Collage by Winston Smith. Collage by Steve Dalachinsky. Silkscreen poster by Jeff Kramm. In the architect Basil Champneys designed the striking gothic building, which took ten years to build and was opened to public readers on 1 January My impressions of the conference can be read at Beatdom. I asked him for some words about the exhibit. Norse and Nuttall corresponded in the s, displaying a warmth and camaraderie. The Rylands Library is open seven days a week and admission is free. This is a rare opportunity for travelers in England to purchase books by Harold Norse, yet another reason to not miss this incredible exhibition.
An attentive audience of nearly forty people gathered last Wednesday, July 6 to commemorate the th birthday of American Beat poet whose groundbreaking work forged a new voice for gay liberation, free of bigotry and hypocrisy.
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With wine available from the bar, this elegant room with professional light and sound equipment was a beautiful setting to recall and evaluate the life and work of the Bastard Angel from Brooklyn. The first speaker was San Francisco based writer Kevin Killian whose friendship with Norse began in the early s. He spoke of how Harold was always keen on visiting with artists whom he had known from his earlier days, from Tennessee Williams to John Cage, who were passing through San Francisco to participate in one event or another.
Thanks to all those who attended the presentation. Next up is a return to the Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice Beach where Harold lived for a couple of years following his return to America after fifteen years abroad. In a previous post , I looked at some of his connections from that time including Anais Nin and Charles Bukowski. Last summer Beyond Baroque was the host of a reading for my release of the selected poem of Harold Norse. This time around the featured participants are Southern California based writers Thomas Livingston, S. Griffin and Michael C Ford.
The event will be held on Saturday, July 23 from P.
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Venice Blvd. Members of Beyond Baroque are free. As this upcoming event he will share stories about The Living Theater, meeting William Burroughs at the Beat Hotel and his decades long friendship with Harold. Thomas was among the contributors to The End is the Beginning — my memorial collection of poetry for Harold. His loving remembrance concludes with this paragraph,. Harold introduced my to Burroughs and Gysin, McClure and Ginsberg and, of course, Bukowski before they had their falling out. He enriched my life through our friendship, which was very often spiked with wine and laughter.
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Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher. Griffin lives, loves and works in Los Angeles. He is the progenitor of Elsie The Poetry Bomb which he took on a five week tour of the United States in in an effort to foster civil disagreements. Lane Bruner, published on his own Rose of Sharon imprint. Beyond Baroque, Venice Beach, July 17, James was recently profiled in the award-winning documentary Big Joy. I first encountered the phenomenally talented Jason Jenn last summer in Los Angeles during my book tour for the selected poems of Harold Norse.
Homo-centric is a monthly reading series in Echo Park curated by Hank Henderson. During the busy preparations for next week, Jason and I had a chance to chat over email. What can those who attend the Norse Centennial events look forward to during your performance? Hopefully those familiar with Harold will see him in a compellingly fresh way and those unfamiliar will be turned on by how relevant, moving and provocative his poetry is. It will be a somewhat unique interpretation that honors the Beat generation as a vocal performance tradition mixed in with my own contemporary queer spirit.
I hope it encourages others to dive more into his work. You provided assistance and friendship to the elder gay artist and poet William Emboden who recently died. What did you gain from an intergenerational queer connection? Literally and figuratively. The value of intergenerational queer connection is infinite and worthy of further attention. William gave me insight into what he gained from his life experience; he was a bridge to other generations.
Through our discussions from typing up his handwritten poems, plays, and manuscripts, I learned so much about the queer cultural icons about whom he encountered, admired, and wrote. Writing kept him going day by day through his challenging decline, but he carried himself with such grace and cheer up until the last time I saw him. That was another big lesson. How do you choose these artists? What have you learned from them? And oddly enough, in all cases, I never chose the artist — it happened rather serendipitously.
Tony invited me to create a short performance piece for a book release and gallery opening of photographs by Stathis Orphanos called My Cavafy. Each poet has encouraged me to continue my own poetry. They become my teachers and I certainly draw upon them in my writing subconsciously, whether I want to or not. How has that changed your perception of the neighborhood? Working with Stuart on the tour deepened my appreciation not only of West Hollywood, but how I look at queer history.
When I found out the city was seeking artists to help create events for its 30 th Anniversary, I immediately thought about working with Stuart to complete tour. I imagined different performers stationed around the city in some wild period costumes delivering the history. It was a bigger endeavor than either of us intended but ended up being so much fun that the city keeps asking us back to do it again. What place do you think queer rage and anger has in the current discussion about violence against the LGBTQ community? We need to really go there and share that rage in order to counteract and move beyond the horrors brought against us throughout history.
We have to stand up to, be strong, all while staying true to other aspects of our queerness like compassion, creativity, wisdom, vision, service, community — you name it, we contain multitudes.
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Anger has a valid, important place in the spectrum, but only in unison with the rest. You can be sure there will be some of the rage I feel right now about the world in the performance. My dear friend Robert Patrick Playwright is an enormous inspiration to many of us. He and I both have a knack for creating our own a cappella songs since neither of us can play an instrument.
Ian MacKinnon is a mega-talent component of a fierce queer renaissance who shares queer history lessons in a wild and sexy way unlike anyone else. You can find the greatest inspiration from any number of the regulars who perform at the monthly Planet Queer event Ian co-produces with Travis Wood. Flights of Angels: My Life with the Angels of Light is his memoir of that glittered encrusted period when gay liberation in San Francisco was a heady mixture of political, social and artistic movements. First, after being put in touch with novelist Christopher Isherwood, who liked my poems and invited me to visit him in Santa Monica, Gerard [Malanga] suggested I telephone a local Beat poet.
Happy Harold Birthday
At fifty-six, Harold Norse was a stumpy ex-bodybuilder with a bad toupee and a huge chip on his shoulder about being overlooked. I loved his earthy New York humor and ballsy work. On September 18, , he organized what may be the first all-gay poetry reading at the Fellowship Church on Larkin Street. Against this yardstick, poets measured their importance. I found it ridiculous. For all its much-vaunted status as the coolest hotspot in the country, the San Francisco poetry worlds was sophomoric.
Even so, I admired the poets, well known names like Jack Hirschman, Gregory Corso, and Diane di Prima as well as lesser-known luminaries such as Jack Micheline, a poet and painter whose bellicose, belligerent manner and crudely fashioned verse—rarely edited—belied an unusual sensitivity. And in the background, Bob Kaufman wafted, a burned-out Beat star, like a disembodied ghoul of Goya.
Jim first met Harold in the early s, resulting in a warm and supportive friendship between two gay poets from different generations. In fine form, it remains one of the premier recordings of Harold reading his work.