About The Author Perry Brass

Author Perry Brass

Perry Brass

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, poet, writer, playwright, essayist and activist Perry Brass was born on Sept. 15, 1947, and grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, in equal parts Southern, Jewish, economically impoverished, and very much gay. To escape the South’s violent homophobia, he hitchhiked at seventeen from Savannah to San Francisco—an adventure, he recalls, that was “like something out of Mark Twain with drag queens.” He has published nineteen books and been a finalist six times for Lambda Literary Awards in Poetry, Gay Science Fiction and Fantasy, Spirituality and Religion. His novels Warlock (2001) and Carnal Sacraments (2007) garnered Ippy Awards for Best Gay and Lesbian Fiction from the Jenkins Group/Independent Publisher, the most competitive book award program in the world. His non-fiction bestseller The Manly Art of Seduction won a Gold Medal Ippy Award in 2010; in 2013 his novel King of Angels, A Novel About the Genesis of Identity and Belief won an Ippy for Best Young Adult Fiction, and was also a finalist for a prestigious Ferro-Grumley Award from New York’s Ferro-Grumley Foundation. Carnal Sacraments was also a finalist for a Best Book of the Year Award from ForeWord magazine.

Gay Pride Parade New York 2013

He has been involved in the gay movement since 1969, when he co-edited Come Out!, the world’s first gay liberation newspaper. In 1973, with two friends he 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-Lorde Community Health Center. In 1984, his play Night Chills, one of the first plays to deal with the AIDS crisis, won a Jane Chambers International Gay Playwriting Award. Brass’s 70+ collaborations with composers include the poetry for “All the Way Through Evening,” a five-song cycle set by the late Chris DeBlasio from which “Walt Whitman in 1989” was selected for “The AIDS Quilt Songbook,” premiered at Alice Tully Hall in New York; “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, premiered at Carnegie Hall and featured it on its Gay Century Songbook CD; “Three Brass Songs” set by famed composer/pianist Fred Hersch; “Five ‘Russian’ Lyrics,” set by Christopher Berg, commissioned by Positive Music; and “Waltzes for Men,” also commissioned by the DCF for the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus, set by Craig Carnahan; and “The Restless Yearning Towards My Self,” set by Paula Kimper, and choreographed by Sasha Spielvogel, commissioned by Downtown Music Productions. His newest collaboration is “What We Did Not Know,” a series of 5 songs about the unsettling human interaction with our environment and the natural world, set by the young Chicago composer Scott Gendel.

Perry Brass with writers from New York

Perry Brass is an accomplished reader and authority on gender subjects, gay relationships, and the history and literature of the movement towards GLBT equality. His work has often presaged the current interests in same-sex marriage (which he openly discussed in How to Survive Your Own Gay Life, Belhue Press 1999), the environment, and the often difficult role of sexual minorities in society. He currently regularly blogs for The Huffington Post, is a founding coordinator of the New York Rainbow Book Fair, the largest lgbt book event in the US, and has taught workshops and classes in lgbt writing and publishing, and on the hidden roots of gay culture. He can be reached through his website www.perrybrass.com.

More links for Perry Brass

Perry Brass author page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APVFO0

Perry Brass at Huffington Post: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/perry-brass/

Perry Brass on WordPress: https://perrybrass.wordpress.com/tag/perry-brass/

Perry Brass on Queer New York: https://queernewyorkblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/perry-brass-lost-gay-new-york-alexander.html

Perry Brass on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perry_Brass

Selected list of publications: (please see CV.)

 

CURRICULUM VITAE
Summer 2015
PERRY BRASS, Writer

EDUCATION: New York University, Dept. of Education
B.S. Education with a minor in Art, 1974
New York, NY
MAGNA CUM LAUDE

Savannah High School (Advanced Placement Graduate),
Savannah, GA, 1961-1964

Publications:

(Books) Sex-charge,
Collection of poetry, 1991. Finalist Lambda Literary Award, Gay Male Poetry, 1992
Belhue Press, Ridgefield, CT. ISBN 0-9627123-0-2

Mirage,
Gay science fiction, finalist Lambda Literary Award, Science Fiction, 1992. Belhue Press, Ridgefield, CT.
ISBN 0-9627123-1-0

Works and Other “Smoky George” Stories
Short story collection, 1992
Belhue Press, ISBN 0-9627123-2-9

Circles,
Gay science fiction (2nd book in Mirage trilogy of novels), 1993. Belhue Press, Bronx, NY. ISBN 0-9627123-3-7

Out There
Stories of Private Desires. Horror. And The Afterlife.
Horror and Alternative Reality short stories, 1994
Belhue Press, Bronx, NY. ISBN 0-9627123-4-5

Albert or The Book Of Man
Gay science fiction, (3rd book in Mirage trilogy of novels), 1995. Finalist Lambda Literary Award, Science Fiction. Belhue Press, ISBN 0-9627123-5-3

Works and Other “Smoky George” Stories
Expanded Edition, 1996
Finalist, Benjamen Franklin Award, Gay & Lesbian category, 1997
Belhue Press, Bronx, NY. ISBN 0-9627123-6-1

The Harvest
a “science/politico” novel, 1997
Finalist, 1998 Lambda Literary Award,
Gay and Lesbian Science Fiction.
Belhue Press, Bronx, NY. ISBN 0-9627123-7-X

The Lover of My Soul
A Search for Ecstasy and Wisdom,
Poetry , 1998. Finalist, Ippy Award, Independent Publisher Magazine,Gay & Lesbian category.
Belhue Press, Bronx, NY. ISBN 0-9627123-8-8

How to Survive Your Own Gay Life
An Adult Guide to Love, Sex, and Relationships, 1999
Finalist, 1999 Lambda Literary Award in Gay and Lesbian Religion and Spirituality.
Belhue Press, Bronx, NY. ISBN 0-9627123-9-6

Angel Lust,
A Novel of Time Travel, 2000
Finalist, 2000 Lambda Literary Award in Gay and Lesbian
Science Fiction and Fantasy. Belhue Press, Bronx, NY.
ISBN 1-892149-00-1

Warlock, A Novel of Possession, 2001.
Winner, Ippy Award from Independent Publisher Magazine, Gay & Lesbian Category 2002
Belhue Press, Bronx, NY. ISBN 1-892149-03-6

The Substance of God, A Spiritual Thriller, 2004.
Finalist, 2004 Lambda Literary Award in Gay and Lesbian
Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Belhue Press, Bronx, NY. ISBN 1-892149-04-4

Carnal Sacraments,
A Historical Novel of the Future, 2007
Belhue Press, Bronx, NY. ISBN 978-1-892149-05-3
Finalist ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award
Winner IPPY Award from Independent Publisher

The Manly Art of Seduction,
How to Meet, Talk to, and Become Intimate with Anyone, 2010
Belhue Press, Bronx, NY. ISBN 978-1-892149-06-0
Finalist ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award
Winner: Gold Medal, Ippy Award from Independent
Publisher, The Jenkins Group

King of Angels,
A Novel About the Genesis of Identity and Belief, 2012
Belhue Press, Bronx, NY. ISBN 978-1-892149-14-1
Winner: Bronze Medal Ippy Award from Independent
Publisher, The Jenkins Group; Finalist: Ferro-Grumley Award for Gay and Lesbian Fiction
from the Ferro-Grumley Foundation, the Publishing
Triangle.

The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love,
Your Guide to Life, Happiness, and Emotional and Sexual Fulfillment in a Closed-Down World, 2015
Belhue Press, Bronx, NY. ISBN 978-1-892149-20-6

(Anthologies): The Male Muse, A Gay Anthology, 1973
edited by Ian Young, Crossing Press, Trumansburg, NY (The first recognized anthology of gay poetry, with major writers like Allen Ginsberg, Thom Gunn, Edward Field, Tennesee Williams, and Christopher Isherwood.) Poem: “I have this vision of madness.”

Out of the Closets, Voices of Gay Liberation. 1972
edited by Karla Jay and Allen Young. Douglas Books, New York. (Later reprinted by New York University Press).
Essay: “Games Male Chauvinists Play.”

The Gay Liberation Book, Writings about Gay Men’s Liberation. 1973
compiled by Len Richman and Gary Noguera, Foreword by Bruce Voeller. (with inclusions by John Lennon, William Burroughs, Alan Watts, and John Rechy) Ramparts Press, Palo Alto, CA. Essay: “Games Male Chauvinists Play.”

Angels of the Lyre, A Gay Poetry Anthology, 1975
edited by Winston Leyland. Panjandrum Press and Gay Sunshine Press , San Francisco (significant anthology of poetry, including Allen Ginsberg, Charles Henri Ford, Paul Goodman, and Frank O’ Hara.) 3 poems: “In loving you,” “Fairy,” and “I think the new teacher’s a queer.”

Orgasms of Light, The Gay Sunshine Anthology, 1977
edited by Winston Leyland. Gay Sunshine Press , San Francisco. (International collection of poetry, with work by Cavafy, Lorca, and Russian poets) 2 poems: “Sitting in a Central Park Meadow,” and “Recollection.”

The New Gay Liberation Book, Writings about Gay Men’s Liberation. 1979
edited by Len Richman and Gary Noguera, Foreword by Bruce Voeller. (with inclusions by Tom Hayden, William Burroughs, Alan Watts, and John Rechy) Ramparts Press, Palo Alto, CA. Essay: “Games Male Chauvinists Play.”

The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse, 1983.
Edited by Stephen Coote, Penguin Books, UK. (First major anthology of gay poetry from a large press, presenting a complete survey of gay and lesbian poetry.) Poem: “I think the new teacher’s a queer.”

The Bad Boy Book of Erotic Poetry, 1995
Edited by David Laurents, Bad Boy Books, New York.
5 poems, including: “Riding Around in Cars with Boys” and “Wet Pink.”

Grave Passions, Tales of the Gay Supernatural. 1997.
Edited by William J. Mann. Masquerade Books, New York. Short Story: “The Black Dog.”

The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature, Readings from Western Antiquity to the Present Day. 1998.
Edited by Byrne R. S. Fone, Columbia University Press, New York. 3 poems including: “Only Silly Faggots Know,” “I have this vision of madness,” and “There Isn’t Any Death.”

Quickies, Short Short Fiction on Gay Male Desire. 1998.
Edited by James C. Johnstone. Arsenal Pulp Press, Vancouver, Canada. Short Story: “Sucking Is Not Permitted.”

Queering Elementary Education, Advancing the Dialogue about Sexualities and Schooling. 1999.
Edited by Williiam J. Letts IV and James T. Sears. Roman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Lanham, MD. Poem: “Matthew’s Lullaby (for Matthew Shepherd).”

And What Rough Beast, Poems at the End of the Century. 1999
Edited by Robert McGovern and Steven Haven. The Ashland Poetry Press, Ashland University, Ashland, OH.
2 poems including: “Seven P.M. in San Francisco” and “The Poets Do Not Sing Songs Anymore.”

Bend Sinister, The Gay Times Book of Disturbing Stories. 2002
Edited by Peter Burton. Millivres Prowler, London.
Short Story: “The Weeds.”

Death Comes Easy, The Gay Times Book of Murder Stories. 2003
Edited by Peter Burton. Millivres Prowler, London.
Short Story: “Takey’s War.”

Serendipity, The Gay Times Book of New Stories. 2004
Edited by Peter Burton. Millivres Prowler, London.
Short Story: “A Small Triumph.”

Charmed Lives, Gay Spirit in Storytelling, 2006
edited by Toby Johnson and Steve Berman. White Crane Gay
Wisdom Series, Lethe Press, Maple Shade, New Jersey
Essay: “The Story Behind the Story.

Identity Envy, Wanting to be Who We’re Not: Creative Nonfiction by Queer Writers. 2007
Edited by Jim Tushinski and Jim Van Buskirk. Harrington Park Press, Binghamton, NY. Essay: “A Serene Invisibility: Turning Myself Into A Christian Girl.”

Return to the Caffe Cino, A Collection of Plays and Memoirs. 2007
Edited by Steve Susoyev and George Biramisa, with an Introduction by Edward Albee. Moving Finger Press, San Francisco, CA. Essay: “A Kid at the Cino: A Distant, Distinct Memory.”

Smash the Church, Smash the State! The Early Years of Gay Liberation. 2009
edited by Tommi Avicolli Mecca, City Lights Publishers, San Francisco
Essay: “A Writer Hungers for Family”

Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys, Professional
Writers on Life, Love, Money, and Sex. 2009
edited by David Henry Sterry and R. J. Martin, Jr.
Soft Skull Press, imprint of Counterpoint, Berkeley, CA
Essay: “Something About the Boy”

Short Plays to Long Remember, 2010
compiled and edited by Francine L. Trevens
T’nT Classic Books, New York, New York
Play: “Bar None,” a one-act

Ganymede Unfinished, 2010
Gay Men’s Culture from New York
A Tribute to John Stahle.
Edited by Bryan Borland, Sibling Rivalry Press,
Little Rock, Ark.
Essay: “A Distant Memory: Andrew Bifrost
and The Mouth of the Dragon”

Johns, Marks, Tricks, and Chickenhawks, Professional and
Their Clients Writing About Each Other, 2011
Edited by David Henry Sterry and R.J. Martin, Jr,
Soft Skull Press, imprint of Counterpoint, Berkeley, CA
Essay: “The Professional Chicken”

Hot August Night, 1970, The Forgotten LGBT Riot, 2012
Edited by Steven F. Dansky
Christopher Street Press, Las Vegas, NV
Short untitled essay on this event

The Other Man: 21 Writers Speak Candidly About Sex, Love,
Infidelity, & Moving On, 2013
Edited by Paul Alan Fahey, JMS Books, Glen Allen, VA
Essay: A Pitiless Love

The Queer South: LGBT Writers on the American South, 2014
Edited by Douglas Ray, Sibling Rivalry Press, Little Rock, Ark.
Essay: An Indelible Mark

Art & Understanding: Literature from the First Twenty Years
of A & U, 2014
Edited by Chael Needle and Diane Goettel, Black Lawrence Press, Upstate New York .
Poem: Phoebus Apollo Anoints

Critical Studies Gay and Lesbian American Plays, An Annotated Bibliography
Ken Furtado and Nancy Hellner,
1993, privately published
ISBN: 0-8108-2689-5

Perodicals: Mouth of the Dragon Issue One, 1974 [First nationally
distributed small magazine devoted exclusively to gay male poetry]

Come Out!, Gay Sunshine, Christopher Street, The Long Island Connection, Stern Magazine (Germany), White Crane Journal, Lambda Book Report, Alfred Hitchcock Magazine, The New York Native, LGNY, Gay City News, and other periodicals.

Plays Night Chills, A Drama in One Act [later expanded to two
acts], 1984. One of the first dramas to deal with the AIDS Crisis, produced as staged reading by the Contermporary Arts Center, New Orleans, and Meridian Gay Theatre.

Here, There, and Yonder, A Trilogy of One Act Plays
[set in New York, Provincetown, and New Orleans, respectively]. Winner Jane Chambers International Gay Playwriting Contest, 1987. Produced in New Orleans, 1985,
Theatre Marigny, and by Meridian Gay Theatre, 1986.

Disco, A Play in Two Acts, set in the 1970s, performed as a
staged reading by Meridian Gay Theatre, 1987.

Bar None, A Play in One Act [about the Mattachine
Society’s historic “Sip-In” opening the gay bars in New York in 1963], 1990, commissioned and produced by LionHeart Gay Theatre, Chicago, 1990.

Musical Collaborations Five Prayers, set by Chris DeBlasio, for soloist and chorus
and soloist, 1985, commissioned by the New Orleans Gay Men’s Chorus; arranged by Harry Huff for solist and piano 2004.

Villagers, suite of 5 songs for piano and voice, set by Chris
DeBlasio, 1990. Poems: “The Heart Does Not Care” and “Lyric 4.”

All the Way through Evening, Five Nocturnes for Baritone
and Piano, set by Chris DeBlasio, 1990. Poems: “The Disappearance of Light,” “Train Station,” “An Elegy to Paul Jacobs,” “Poussin,” “Walt Whitman in 1989.” “Walt Whitman in 1989” included in the groundbreaking AIDS Quilt Songbook performed at Alice Tully Hall, and recorded by Harmonia Mundi France. “Walt Whitman in 1989” was also included in Minnesota National Public Radio’s CD Heartbeats; and on Lamour Bleu CD produced by Tom Bogdan.

Three Brass Songs, set by Fred Hersch for voice and piano,
1993, commissioned by the Fund For Contemporary Opera, premiered at Weil Recital Hall.

The Angel Voices of Men, set by Ricky Ian Gordon for
chorus, commissioned by the Dick Cable Fund for the New York Gay Men’s Chorus, 1994, premiered at Carnegie Hall for the 1995 Stonewall 25 Concert. Recorded by the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus in their “Gay Century Songbook CD.”

Walzes for Men, set by Craig Carnahan for chorus and
piano, commissioned by the Dick Cable Fund for the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, 1995. Premiered at Alice Tully Hall.

The Human City, 4-song cycle, set by Mary Carol Warwick,
1997, commissioned by Downtown Music Productions, for voice and piano.

A Lullaby for the Earth, set by Judith Cloud, 2007, for small
chorus and piano, premiered at Northwestern Arizona University.

The Restless Yearning Towards My Self, set by Paula
Kimper, commissioned by Downtown Music Productions, for counter tenor and string quartet, premiered by Downtown Music Productions, 2008.

12 Musical Figures, set by important film and dance composer Gerald Busby, 2011, unpremiered at this point.

What We Did Not Know, set by Scott Gendel, premiered in Los Angeles, April, 2015 by Nathan Stark.

[Note: This is a selected list from approximately 70 poems set to music.]

Film Appearances Out in the City, 2009. 30-minute film directed by George
Hickenlooper, produced by New York City &
Company, also featuring Kate Clinton, Issac Mizrahi, and
Michael Musto, and other personalities, to promote gay and lesbian tourism in New York City.

Fierté Gay (“Gay Pride”), 2010, 52-minute film directed by
Sylvain Desmille, about the international LGBT movement, shot in New York, San Francisco, Paris, Moscow, Israel, and other places, with extensive interviews with Edmund White, John Giorno, and Perry Brass. Produced by Planète French TV, YLE Belgian television, and RTBF, international documentary collective.

All the Way Through Evening, 2011, 80-minute film
directed by Australian filmmaker Rohan Spong about composers who have died of AIDS, with extensive interviews with Perry Brass, and other collaborators of composers. Produced by Rohan Spong and Brad Heard in associations with Downtown Music Productions

History Does Not Have to Repeat Itself, 2014, 90-minute film
directed by French filmmaker Stephane Gerard about the radical history of the LGBT movement, from its inception to the present, with emphasis on the importance of keeping history alive.

HONORS:

Jane Chambers International Gay Playwriting Award,
Awarded by Meridian Gay Theater, New York,
1984 for Night Chills, a one-act play about the AIDS Crisis, and for Here, There, and Yonder, 1986.

Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, Playwriting Award, 1984, for Night Chills, a one-act play about the AIDS Crisis. Judged by Megan Terry.

Ippy Award from Independent Publisher Magazine, for Warlock, A Novel of Possession (2001), Carnal Sacraments, A Historical Novel of the Future (2008), and The Manly Art of Seduction (2010), King of Angels (2013)

Lambda Literary Awards, Lambda Literary Foundation. Six-time finalist for “Lammies,” for Mirage (Science Fiction), Sex-charge (Poetry), 1992; Albert or the Book of Man (Science Fiction), 1995; The Harvest (Science Fiction), 1998; How to Survive Your Own Gay Life (Spirituality), 1999; Angel Lust (Science Fiction), 2001.

Ferro-Grumley Gay and Lesbian Fiction Award, Ferro-Grumley Foundation, New York, finalist: King of Angels, 2013.

RELATED ACTIVITIES: Former secretary
THE PUBLISHING TRIANGLE, New York (1995-1997)

Current Member, and Treasurer
Greater New York Independent Publishers Association
an Association of Publishers, Writers, and Others in the Book Arts.

Founding and current Coordinator: RAINBOW BOOK FAIR (Oldest exclusively LGBT Book Fair in the US,
sponsored by Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at CUNY (City University of New York)

Full professional member of PEN International.

Member: BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) licensing organization for composers and lyricists.

BIRTHDATE: Sept 15, 1947

BIRTHPLACE: Savannah, Georgia

ADDRESS: 2501 Palisade Avenue, # A-1
Bronx, NY 10463

TELEPHONE & FAX: (718) 884-6606
Mobile Phone (917) 301-3417

Email: belhuepress@earthlink.net
Website: www.perrybrass.com

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