Fiction. LGBT Studies. Like the orchids that provide their leitmotif, these interwoven stories by Kenward Elmslie are exquisite, exotic, and oneiric, as if they had been written in another world. Although each of THE ORCHID STORIES stands alone, their characters and moods recur frequently, in a swirl of visual echoes and the bewildering clarity of a dream. Even the characters themselves—Phil, the little boy gigolo; Mummers and Mummy who "adopt" him; the alluring Diana Vienna; the eccen-tric Dr. Schmidlapp and his wives who plot to capture the "Native Innards" orchid at the stroke of midnight—have an illusive reality that enhances the pleasure of these tales.
The Song Cave is honored to present this new edition of Kenward Elmslie's out–of–print masterpiece, first published by Paris Review Editions in 1973. With an introduction that provides a fresh sense of Elmslie's oeuvre by Michael Silverblatt, host of KCRW's "Bookworm," this spectacular and spectacularly overlooked book is at last available to a new generation of adventurous readers.
Poet, librettist, novelist, editor, and performance artist Kenward Elmslie was born in New York City in 1929. Elmslie became a central figure in the New York School and, as the editor of Z magazine and Z Press books, promoted the work of fellow poets John Ashbery, Bill Berkson, Joe Brainard, Edwin Denby, Joanne Kyger, James Schuyler, Anne Waldman, and numerous others. Among his many poetry collections are Pavilions, Girl Machine, Motor Disturbance (winner of the Frank O'Hara Award), Tropicalism, and Routine Disruptions: Selected Poems & Lyrics. Elmslie is also the author of six opera librettos, including Lizzie Borden, as well as the musical plays Lola, The Grass Harp (based on the work by TrumanCapote), Palais Bimbo, and POSTCARDS ON PARADE. Elmslie's honors include a grant from the Ford Foundation, the Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Poetry, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in New York City and Calais, Vermont, in a home he shared with his longtime partner and artistic collaborator, Joe Brainard.
Author City: USA