Loved seeing Michael Signorile in New York today to talk about The Pox Lover. Here's an audio clip of our convo.. Enjoy!
Author-activist Anne-christine d'Adesky blogs about her memoir, The Pox Lover: An Activist's Decade in New York and Paris, and current events at thepoxlover.com.
I'm excited to report that friends are getting copies of The Pox Lover in the mail. We're official now! And the tour is about to begin - -next week LA, then NY (three events, great convos planned, one big party June 22-24) in time for NYC Pride and the Dyke March ...
Here is a excerpt from the memoir, just out in this month's issue of POZ.
The book is based on my actual diaries of the decade -- I call it a hybrid memoir. This excerpt recalls some of my 90s journey with a close friend and popular POZ columnist, Kiki Mason, a fierce AIDS activist, who died in 1996.
We're about to launch a new HIV Journalist's Scholarship on June 23, 12-2, at The Center in his name -- The Kiki -- to honor his legacy and that of over 125 American journalists who died of AIDS, many community reporters.
The event is titled "Bodies on the Line: AIDS Journalists Memorial Event" and will feature NYT columnist Samuel G. Freedman (book: Dying Words, about the late NYT writer Jeffrey Schmalz, who died of AIDS) as our keynote speaker, several planned tributes, and a catered reception. The Elton John AIDS Foundation is supporting this event. POZ, PLUS, TheBody.com, HIVandHepatitis.com, Positively Living, PrideLife magazines are cosponsors, along with the NLGJA - Association of LGBT Journalists. Note: Space is limited - RSVP suggested.
Check out all our events at the TOUR link, and RSVP for this - tell journalist pals
Wanna help?: If you want to help us develop our vision and legacy for the Kiki scholarship and to support excellence in HIV reporting, please consider supporting this nascent annual scholarship with a tax exempt donation. The more we get, the more we can give to deserving journalists committed to covering the epidemic -- not fake news. It's one concrete way you can help assure media attention to HIV/AIDS and the voices of embattled communities fighting to end the epidemic.
Amusez vous! - ac
I got back from the first pre-tour events in LA to find a gorgeous finished copy hot off the press of The Pox Lover. I'm so pleased. Those of you who are creatives -- writers, artists, makers of visions of things long dwelling in your head -- will understand the deep pleasure like a smile that spreads within when you finally see the finished product, the fruit of a long labor. I'm so very pleased to be holding my new book. I like its heft and colors. I like opening it and seeing the names of friends, those lost, those still here who sent me lil tweets today to say, Guess What Just Showed Up In The Mail? I wrote most of this book as my working diary, and now it is another creature -- a handsome book -- and soon it will morph into a running public conversation with friends and activists and writers across the country.
There's more to say about the great LA events that I just attended. But first, some pure unadulterated pleasure - and a shout out to the U of Wisc Press team - for this trop beau livre. Thank you. It's an honor and a pleasure. The reality is its own dream.
I’m excited to report that The Pox Lover has arrived at the distribution warehouse – and is soon en route to readers who pre-ordered the book. I got to see my galleys this weekend – what a special thrill to hold a book that has finally taken shape for others to read. Chouette!
Note: Big Discount til June 27 – official pub day. Here is the pre-order link:
Click on CART icon on right side of online book page to order. USE PROMO CODE AA064 for 30% DISCOUNT UNTIL JUNE 27.
I’m also excited by the coming together of my 10-city national tour, In Bed With the Pox Lover. First the West Coast, then the East Coast, then the Northwest by summer’s end, with planned fall tour dates in the Southwest and Midwest.
Public Conversations: I’ve thought a lot about what a wonderful opportunity this book and the tour offers to engage with longtime colleagues – journalists, activists, artists – who I’ve known since the 80s and 90s, and also to meet newer millennials – lotsa new dynamos out there.
That’s why I’ve set up the tour as a running public conversation – a collective journey with my bigger activist and social circles– from Act Up in New York to Paris and beyond. From the feminist and LGBTQ organizing that saw my friends evolve, like me, from peace movement protests in the early 80s to anti-nuke protests (Seneca Peace Camp, remember that? – Greenham Common?) to the first gay pride rallies, to ACT UP die-ins, to the Dyke Marches with the Lesbian Avengers and other groups that transform our cities every summer with wild celebration.
When I read through my diaries to prepare this book for publication, I thought: I really moved through some zeitgeist moments. The people I met in the 90s changed our world – and they continue to. I wonder what they’ve done since the 90s, how they’ve survived, what art they are making, what bloggers they read, what they are carrying forward, what matters most to them now. I want to find out and I’ll report back in this blog.
The Pox Lover, as you’ll read, is a book of unfurling connections: how one moment leads to the next in our organic journeys of life, including our protest lives. Today, AIDS continues to be a challenge and a lesson and a kind of teacher – a social and political and deeply personal battle waged by many of us for the bulk of our adult lives now. We have learned a lot fighting AIDS. We’ve learned a lot fighting hate and homophobia. We’ve learned to love ourselves, to love our sexual selves and celebrate our rainbow culture. And that learning has continued to manifest in other overlapping social and protest movements that mark the frontlines, from #Occupy and #Ferguson, to #NoDAPL and #BLM. I’m not surprised to find longtime LGBTQ leaders at the forefront of all these movements, and that includes the feminist queer women.
I’m so jazzed already with the early tour lineup of colleagues who are joining me for these conversations – fab activists and thinkers and creatives. I anticipate lots of dish, debate, laughs and strategic reflection on how to move ahead.
On Friday (June 2) I’m headed to Los Angeles – first leg of the tour. Fittingly, I’m starting with a party, and I hope to have a party at every stop of this summer tour. (Invite me; throw a Pox Lover after party – we’ll all come). That’s how we survived the 90s: with humor, and fun, and dancing. So I invite you to join me in the fun ahead.
First stop: Plummer Park, Friday night, 7 pm, for the launch party of Lesbians To Watch Out For (LTWOF), a twinned exhibit of LA queer women’s 90s activism, and the traveling Avenger 25 exhibit marking the 25 year anniversary of the Lesbian Avengers, a direct action (and spunky fun) group I cofounded with old pals I’ll see in New York soon, and some in LA, too. I can’t wait to see the zines and photos and posters the many LA groups, some from the Mazer Archives (thank you Mazer board & staff!) , one of the cosponsors, along with the City of West Hollywood (a special thank you to Mike Che and Andrew Campbell, of WEHO Arts).
Gotta give a special thank you and shout out to graphic designers Sergio Gomez (LA LTWOF) and Lutzka Zivny (Avenger 25) for helping us visually present this exciting history!
Then on Saturday, June 3, I’ll head over to the arts and lit Beyond Baroque bookstore in Venice at 1 p.m. to chat about girls, sex, and the eternal pleasure of being a flaneuse in Paris – one who strolls – with Renate Stendhal, author of Kiss Me Again, Paris, a collection of sexy affairs from her life there in the 1970s and 1980s. We’ll both be reading short pieces. It’s a pre-tour fun event.
After that I head back home for the official Bay Area (Oakland and SF) book launch events – on June 17 at Laurel Book Store, and June 20 in the Castro, at the GLBT Museum – a public conversation and a panel with writers and activists about what we make of our shared history, our current difficult times, the future we will cleave with our collective protest, our art, and our vision for a brighter future.
And before I go, I want to especially invite all readers and visitors to join the tour via the internet. Do share your 90s experiences, pictures, thoughts, losses, loves, views, lessons – with us all. I’ve created the Pox Lover Readers Blog - Rants & Raves for that purpose, so that I can see how our stories might be connected and where they diverge, to show the world more of our splendid Poxed Generation. You can directly share that here. Let’s especially honor and celebrate our fallen comrades.
As I write in The Pox Lover, the 90s are over; the 90s live on. Let’s talk about what worked before, what can be done now, and what we hope to look back on in another twenty years – long after Trump is gone….
So now, what are you waiting for? Let’s get this party started….
As we brace ourselves for the possible odious outcome of tomorrow’s first round presidential battle, and the prospect of an initial victory by the National Front’s female president, Marine Le Pen, I‘m sharing a short excerpt below, culled from the epilogue of my 90s memoir, The Pox Lover: An Activist’s Decade in New York and Paris [due out in June from the University of Wisconsin Press]. I began tracking Le Pen's ascent then, asking the question on many lips tomorrow: Will France elect a fascist?
‘…That takes me to the bigger questions of crime and justice I was asking myself in 1992. Today, Jean-Marie Le Pen is out of power, sidelined, having ceded power to his lawyer daughter, Marine. She and her niece Marion Maréchal-Le Pen lead the strongwomen of the National Front; followed by ever-fashionable Catherine Mégret. They’re poised to do well, if the current political tide holds. We’re now close to the end of 2016. By the time my book is published next spring, Marine may be in power. So too, may the euroskeptic Alliance for Democracy in Germany, closely allied with PEGIDA, a newish neo-Nazi, anti-Muslim front. Against the odds, a new crop of fascists advance.
They’re getting help and money from Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the emerging power-broker of the world. His regime is enjoying a new empire moment, using the fight against Islam and illegal immigration to gain political hegemony, to reshape Europe. Over the past three years, a human tide of suffering has crossed into Europe from Syria and Iraq, fleeing religious and civil wars, fleeing ISIS and the butcher of Syria, Assad. We’ve witnessed horrific attacks by Jihadist terrorists in Paris, in Lyon, in Nice; bombings in Brussels; bombings in Berlin – the latest this past week. We’ve witnessed Jihadist attacks here in the United States, too, as at the Boston Marathon. With every explosion, the alt-right, as the US white fascists have sought to rebrand their cause and appear more mainstream (the word is less scary then neo-Nazi Jew hater) has benefited. The ordinary citizens are afraid. Here and in Europe, we’re witnessing a true spasm of political xenophobia. Fear is driving the global body politic.
The wolves are uniting, then, as they did before. That was Sel muttering, but it came out of my mouth. They’re out in the daylight now, more emerging daily, and pushing forward their snarling young….’