Michael Nott - Thom Gunn: A Cool Queer Life, with Wendy Lesser

Fabulosa Books

489 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

From $0.00

Tue, June 18th, 2024 @ 7:00PM PDT

Join us at Fabulosa Books on June 18 to hear Michael Nott read from his new book, Thom Gunn: A Cool Queer Life!

About the Book:

A no-holds-barred biography of the great poet and sexual rebel, who could “give the dead a voice, make them sing” (Hilton Als, The New Yorker).

Thom Gunn was not a confessional poet, and he withheld much, but inseparable from his rigorous, formal poetry was a ravenous, acute experience of life and death.

Raised in Kent, England, and educated at Cambridge, Gunn found a home in San Francisco, where he documented the city’s queerness, the hippie mentality (and drug use) of the sixties, and the tragedy and catastrophic impact of the AIDS crisis in the eighties and beyond. As Jeremy Lybarger wrote in The New Republic, the author of Moly and The Man with Night Sweats was “an agile poet who renovated tradition to accommodate the rude litter of modernity.” Thom Gunn: A Cool Queer Life chronicles, for the first time, the largely undocumented life of this revolutionary poet. Michael Nott, a coeditor of The Letters of Thom Gunn, draws on letters, diaries, notebooks, interviews, and Gunn’s poetry to create a portrait as vital as the man himself.

Nott writes with insight and intimacy about the great sweep of Gunn’s life: his traditional childhood in England; his mother’s suicide; the mind-opening education he received at Cambridge, reading Shakespeare and John Donne; his decades in San Francisco and with his life partner, Mike Kitay; and his visceral experience of sex, drugs, and loss. Thom Gunn: A Cool Queer Life is a long-awaited, landmark study of one of England and America’s most innovative poets.

About Michael: Michael Nott is the author of Photopoetry, 1845–2015: A Critical History and an editor of The Letters of Thom Gunn. He was a Fulbright fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and a postdoctoral fellow at University College Cork. He lives in England.

Wendy Lesser, the founding and current editor of The Threepenny Review, is the authorof twelve nonfiction books and one novel; her latest book, entitled Scandinavian Noir: In Pursuit of a Mystery, came out from Farrar Straus & Giroux in May 2020. She has received awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy in Berlin, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and many other institutions, and she is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences as well as of the New York Institute for the Humanities.

Her journalistic writing about literature, dance, film, and music has appeared in a number of periodicals in America and abroad. Born in California and educated at Harvard, Cambridge, and UC Berkeley, Lesser now divides her time between Berkeley and New York.


Refund Policy:

We will refund your money if we have to cancel the event. No refunds otherwise.

Cancellation Policy:

We will notify if we have to cancel due to illness or other emergencies. This happens very, very rarely. If you cannot make the event, we will hold your book for a month, after which you will have store credit for the amount paid for the book, including tax.

Fabulosa Books
489 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA 94114