A decade after the Stonewall rebellions, a small, all-gay press named Seahorse began along with Calamus Books and JH Press, which all came together to form Gay Presses of New York. Gay Presses of New York was not only the most successful gay press of its day, but the founders had made their move at the right time and place. Gay Presses of New York also played apart in the growth of what is now gay culture, consisting of bookstores, magazines, newspapers, theater companies, and art galleries. Many aspects of the arts, as they swirled around New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco during the 1970s through 1991 were connected to Gay Presses of New York.
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Felice Picano's first book was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Since then he has published twenty volumes of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Considered a founder of modern gay literature along with the six other members of the Violet Quill Club, Picano also founded two publishing companies: the SeaHorse Press and Gay Presses of New York. He's been a regular writer for the San Francisco Examiner, The Lesbian & Gay Review, and the LAMBDA Book Report. Among his many award-winning books, are the novels, LIKE PEOPLE IN HISTORY and THE BOOK OF LIES. His most recent novel, ONYX, was published to acclaim in 2001. His exhibit "Early Gay Presses of New York," debuted at the ONE Institute in L.A. appeared in San Francisco's Central Library from November 15, 2002 until years end. In 1986, his one-act play, "One O'Clock Jump", was co-winner of the Jane Chambers Play Award, and has been produced in New York, at Seattle Rep and at the 2000 Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans. In the fall of 2002, San Francisco's New Conservatory Theatre premiered Picano's new comedy-thriller, "The Bombay Trunk" to acclaim. Picano books out in 2003 were THE NEW JOY OF GAY SEX, Third Edition, 2003, with Charles Silverstein (HarperCollins) and Haworth Press reprints, in a uniform edition of Picano's memoir-trilogy, AMBIDEXTROUS, MEN WHO LOVED ME, and A HOUSE ON THE OCEAN, A HOUSE ON THE BAY. http://www.felicepicano.com/From Publishers Weekly:
Aprogenitor of the gay literary movement, as well as a poet, author and publisher, Picano recounts the creatively rich, landmark period during the 1970s and '80s when the first dedicated gay presses arose in New York City. Focusing primarily on SeaHorse Press and the Gay Presses of New York, both founded or cofounded by Picano, he covers the two decades following the 1969 Stonewall riots, outlining how he (and others) fostered a GLBT literary tradition that continues today, with writers such as Edmund White, Andrew Holleran, Larry Kramer and, of course, Picano. Although evocative details thrust the reader immediately into the scene, there's no larger narrative to anchor them. Dense with information, the book is weighed down by page after page of authors' names, dates and titles of books, almost like a veteran's memorial. Writing informally, Picano also has a tendency to digress and jump confusingly forward and back in time. This highly personal account of an important and often neglected area of gay history offers compelling material that makes a reader long for a more objective account. But until that book is written, this is the most complete document of the gay book publishing movement to date. (Aug.)
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