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Legend Series: Felice Picano

felice-picano-never-apart

This past November, Never Apart helped me bring literary legend Felice Picano to Montreal for a frank on-stage discussion about his work.

I was thrilled they trusted me with this, and I hope it’s the beginning of many more such events. There are so many great writers I’d like to bring to town, and it’s great to have a community partner ready to lend a hand to make that happen.

I first discovered Picano in the pages of The Violet Quill Reader, an anthology featuring work from the storied group of seven gay male writers that met in New York in the early 1980s. Even though the group got together met a handful of times, some of their members went on to write the most important books of the post-Stonewall era.

I’ve now met all three of the surviving members: Felice Picano, Andrew Holleran and Edmund White. Picano is by far the most prolific of the group. Not only did he publish more than 30 books, he was also the co-owner of two of North America’s first gay presses: Seahorse and Gay Presses of New York (you can read all about this time in the fascinating Art and Sex in Greenwich Village).

Felice Picano was generous enough to agree to come to Montreal to speak with me about his legacy in front of an audience. Never Apart filmed the interview and uploaded it online. You can watch it below.

Writing

NOVELS

Pluto_coverThe Geography of Pluto

Cormorant Books (Spring 2014)

The Geography of Pluto

What started out 14 years ago as scribbles on cocktail napkins in gay bars turned into a very personal story about love and loss.

The Geography of Pluto examines the complex relationships that gay men have with their mothers. It tells the story of Will, a Montreal geography teacher who struggles to have an open and honest relationship with his mother while also coming to terms with the end of his first serious relationship.

You can read more about it here.

 

SHORT STORIES

I Like It Like That: True Stories of Gay Male Desire

Arsenal Pulp Press (Fall 2009)

Edited by Richard Labonté and Lawrence Schimel

I Like It Like That: True Stories of Gay Male Desire

My story in this anthology is called “The Weight of My Desire”. It’s about a crush I had on this boy I could never bring myself to talk to (except on this one evening). The book was short-listed for a Lambda Literary Award and a TLA Gaybie Award.

“Christopher DiRaddo offers what is perhaps the most touching entry… in which he eloquently recounts his youthful yearning for one of his first and most painful crushes (any girl will relate).” – Montreal Mirror

 

First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far)

Arsenal Pulp Press (Fall 2007)

Edited by Richard Labonté and Lawrence Schimel

First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far)

First Person Queer is a collection of personal essays about the queer experience. My contribution was called “Shirts Versus Skins”. The story is about playing basketball with the other boys in high school, and my struggle to come to terms with my body hair. The book won a Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBT Anthology and a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

 

Quickies 3

Arsenal Pulp Press (Fall 2003)

Edited by James C. Johnstone

Quickies 3: Short Short Fiction on Gay Male Desire

Two of my stories appear in this collection of short short fiction on gay male desire. “Closet” is a queer take on the classic teen party game, and “When I See Him Maybe I’ll Know” is about the morning after the night before.

“His entries…are economically told, tight, funny and sexy – standing up well against some of the more seasoned and prominent writers in the book.” – Montreal Mirror

 

 

ARTICLES

Globe and MailHow to protect my parents from shock over the sex in my novel? Post-it notes!

The Globe and Mail (May 13, 2014)

Self-censorship was something I struggled with from time to time while writing Pluto. The book is about relationships so there was going to be some sex in there. I just needed to make sure that my desire to not have my parents change the way they saw me did not interfere with telling the truth of the story. Read the essay here.

 

June 2012Everyone Loves a Parade

enRoute magazine (June 2012)

Provincetown is one of my favourite cities on the planet. Greg and I try to go ever year, and it never gets boring. One year I pitched a short travel piece to enRoute and they bit. This article tries to capture what it is I love most about this very cosmopolitan seaside town. Read it here.