Brad Gooch with D. A. Powell / Radiant: The Life and Line of Keith Haring

The Booksmith

1727 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

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Mon, March 18th, 2024 @ 7:00PM PDT

Booksmith is thrilled to host the acclaimed biographer of Flannery O'Connor and Frank O'Hara, Brad Gooch, for his new book Radiant: The Life and Line of Keith Haring, built on authorized access to the extensive archives of the iconic American artist and interviews with those who knew him best. Brad will be in conversation with poet and USF professor D. A. Powell. Join us!


About the book

In the 1980s, the subways of New York City were covered with art. In the stations, black matte sheets were pasted over outdated ads, and unsigned chalk drawings often popped up on these blank spaces. These temporary chalk drawings numbered in the thousands and became synonymous with a city as diverse as it was at war with itself, beset with poverty and crime but alive with art and creative energy. And every single one of these drawings was done by Keith Haring.

Keith Haring was one of the most emblematic artists of the 1980s, a figure described by his contemporaries as “a prophet in his life, his person, and his work.” Part of an iconic cultural crowd that included Andy Warhol, Madonna, and Basquiat, Haring broke down the barriers between high art and popular culture, creating work that was accessible for all and using it as a means to provoke and inspire radical social change. Haring died of AIDS in 1990. To this day, his influence on our culture remains incontrovertible, and his glamorous, tragically short life has a unique aura of mystery and power.

Brad Gooch, noted biographer of Flannery O’Connor and Frank O’Hara, was granted access to Haring’s extensive archive. He has written a biography that will become the authoritative work on the artist. Based on interviews with those who knew Haring best and drawing from the rich archival history, Brad Gooch sets out to capture the magic of Keith Haring: a visionary and timeless icon.


Advance praise for Radiant

“It’s all here: the grade school Walt Disney and Dr. Seuss; the adolescent acid trips; the fondness for Post-it notes and flying saucers; the long tails of Dubuffet and Burroughs; the encounters with Madonna, Warhol, and one game-changer of a subway Johnny Walker Red poster. Brad Gooch takes us deep into Keith Haring’s imagination while somehow managing to fix the aura and energy of the 1980s New York art scene to the page. A keen-eyed, beautifully written biography, atmospheric, exuberant, and as radiant as they come.” – Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Revolutionary: Sam Adams


About the authors

Brad Gooch is a poet, novelist, and biographer whose previous ten books include Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and New York Times bestseller; City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O’HaraGodtalk: Travels in Spiritual America; and the memoir Smash Cut. He is the recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships and lives in New York City. Photo by Jack Pierson.

D. A. Powell's books include Cocktails (Graywolf, 2004) and Chronic (Graywolf, 2009), both finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, and Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf, 2012), winner of the 2013 Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. He is also co-author, with David Trinidad, of an experimental autobiography entitled By Myself (Turtle Point, 2009). Powell's awards include the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Kingsley Tufts Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, and the California Book Award. He has taught at Columbia University, University of Iowa, and Harvard University. Photo via USF.


Please note:

  • Our space is ample but limited: the best way to make sure you get a space is to reserve a spot with a ticket. If we've sold out of tickets, though, we have a limited number of seats set aside for walkups on the day of the event, first come / first served starting half an hour before showtime. Check in with a host when you arrive about availability and/or potential waitlist options.
  • We are happy to offer *signed copies* of Radiant: order a Book + Seat ticket bundle if you'd like to pick up a signed copy at the event, or order here if you just want a signed copy and no admission.
  • You can order books by D. A. Powell here.
  • Safety protocols are subject to change. If we feel it is not safe to gather, as the event gets closer, we will pivot to a virtual event and your registration will remain valid.
  • Questions? Write [email protected].


Policies

Refund Policy:

No refunds or returns.

Cancellation Policy:

In the event of cancellation, you will be refunded the price of your ticket within 4 business days.

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Directions
The Booksmith
1727 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117
415-863-8688