Author : Tennessee Williams

by Feb 19, 2019Queer Syllabus

The Queer Syllabus is a joint project from The Rumpus and Foglifter Press that allows writers to nominate works for a new canon of queer literature. When we identify our roots, when we point to the work that shaped us as writers and as people, we demonstrate that our stories are timeless, essential, and important—and so are we. The Queer Syllabus is edited by Wesley O. Cohen and Marisa Siegel.

 

The plays and movies seem always to dance around the subject. What’s the story with Brick and his old football buddy Skipper in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”? What can Sebastian Venable’s female cousin mean when she says he used her as “bait” on their trip to Italy in “Suddenly Last Summer”?

Tennessee Williams’ short stories, by contrast, pull no punches. His collections One Arm (1948) and Hard Candy (1954) are startlingly frank for their time. Take the opening lines of the title story in “One Arm”: “In New Orleans in the winter of ’39 there were three male hustlers usually to be found hanging out on a certain corner of Canal Street and one of those streets that dive narrowly into the ancient part of the city. Two of them were just kids of about seventeen and worth only passing attention, but the oldest of the three was an unforgettable youth.”

Williams proceeds with a sex-charged tale of a one-armed former boxer on death row for murder whose cool instructions to a visiting Lutheran minister wanting to give him some jail-cell comfort are barbed, titillating, and hilarious. (“Rub the sweat off my back” is just the start of it.) In “Two on a Party,” from Hard Candy, a companionable Times Square hooker and male hustler team up to offer a full menu of sexual services to sailors on shore leave—that is, when they’re not roaming the country, unsuccessfully searching for seven “legendary” connecting glory-holes in Corpus Christi, Texas, and other erotic attractions.

The tales are sassy, pointed, headlong, and innocent in their way. They’re also “out” in a manner that wouldn’t become common until the 1970s. That makes them essential gay-lit reading.

Cover for Foglifter
1,556
Foglifter

Foglifter

Foglifter is a biannual compendium of the most dynamic, urgent queer writing today.

Wow! We had the best time at this past Sunday's reading with the San Francisco Public Library Thank you so much to our fantastic readers—@emo.ocean (Lio Min), @real_james_cagney, @charliejaneanders, and Lydia Elias—for sharing their incredible writing and starting a warm dialogue on the importance of queer spaces.We'd also like to give a huge shoutout to the amazing folks who helped make our event as accessible as possible! Thank you to our ASL interpreters Heidi Woelbling and Benny Llamas, and to our live-captioner Jen Schuck. We're so grateful for your hard work!Keep an eye out for a recording of this event on the SFPL Youtube page! We'll announce when it's ready. Until then, please go follow and support these writers and their work!Image Description: A screenshot of a Zoom room with Lio Min, James Cagney, Lydia Elias, and Charlie Jane Anders. They are all smiling and listening to each other. There is some closed captioning towards the bottom, that says "I'm really struck by how much vulnerability you all shared. As a writer, I'm curious how you know when you're ready to put a story to the page?" End description. ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Our virtual reading with the San Francisco Public Library is tomorrow! Join us at 2PM PT for Generational Treasures: An Afternoon of Queer and Trans Storytelling.This fantastic event will feature James Cagney, Lio Min, Charlie Jane Anders, and Lydia Elias! RSVP here: on.sfpl.org/foglifterFoglifter is excited to collaborate with @sfpubliclibrary for Generational Treasures: An Afternoon of Queer and Trans Storytelling! Join us on Sunday, September 25th at 2PM PT for a virtual reading with @charliejaneanders, @emo.ocean, @real_james_cagney, Lydia Elias. In mainstream society, when we hear the word "generations" we may immediately presume biological progeniture. In the Queer/trans community, however, generations can refer to chosen family, drag mothers, drag dads, ball houses, aesthetic legacies, just to name a few. In either context, generations suggest an era. Foglifter has invited four writers—Charlie Jane Anders, James Cagney, Lydia Elias, and Lio Min—who span generations to illustrate their "era" and the power of queer/trans literature. Live-captioning and ASL interpretation will be provided. RSVP here: on.sfpl.org/foglifterSee you then! Image Description: This is an invitation for the reading, “Generational Treasures: An Afternoon of Queer and Trans Storytelling,” presented by the James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center & Foglifter Journal and Press. This free and virtual reading will take place on Sunday, September 25th at 2PM PT. The photos of James Cagney, Lio Min, Charlie Jane Anders, and Lydia Elias are in the middle of the graphic. The SFPL and Foglifter logos are on the bottom. This background has a colorful gradient of pastel hues and various shapes and swirls, with a square containing all of the text and photos in the middle. ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

Submit to Foglifter

Foglifter is now open for submission —and we're a paid market!

Support Foglifter

Help us continue providing a platform for intersectional queer and trans writing. Donate today!

Follow @foglifter
on instagram

[simple-instagram caption=”true” limit=”1″]

Follow @foglifter
on twitter

There's just ONE WEEK until IT CAME FROM THE CLOSET is available wherever books are sold!!! Have you ordered your copy yet? https://bit.ly/3xAnz9k @joevallese @homohorror

WWS Around Town: This Saturday join this workshop with traci kato-kiriyama (@traciakemi) at @BBLitArts from 12pm-4pm.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/navigating-without-instruments-a-workshop-with-traci-kato-kiriyama-tickets-400498530887

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This