Tuesday, November 13, 2018, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
Opening statement by Amy Scholder
celebrating the release of
By Karen Finley
published by OR Books
In a breathless cascade of poetry and prose, celebrated performance artist Karen Finley here lays bare the psychosexual obsessions that have burst to the surface of today's American politics.
Based on her widely praised performance piece Unicorn Gratitude Mystery ("Wickedly funny"—The New York Times), Finley explores the Shakespearean dynamics that surface when libidos and loyalties clash in the public and private personas of Donald Trump, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, and latterly Harvey Weinstein.
Standing in the tradition of Allen Ginsberg's Howl, Finley's words jolt the reader into new insights about the ways the darkly private can drive the public realm in dizzying twists and turns. The aggression of intimacy, the disparity of gender, and the vital importance of hair are all encompassed in Finley’s exhilarating canter.
Karen Finley is a performance artist whose work has long provoked controversy and debate. She has performed at the Lincoln Center (NYC), the ICA (London), the Steppenwolf (Chicago), and the Bobino (Paris). Her art is in the collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, among other places. She has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Obies, two Bessies, and a Ms. magazine Woman of the Year Award. Her previous books include Shock Treatment, Enough is Enough, Living It Up, A Different Kind Of Intimacy, George and Martha, and The Reality Shows. Finley is a professor in the department of Art and Public Policy at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.
Amy Scholder has been editing and publishing progressive and literary books for over twenty-five years. Her visionary style has brought high visibility to her authors, and has been praised for its contribution to contemporary literature and popular culture. She has served as editorial director of the Feminist Press, editor-in-chief of Seven Stories Press, US publisher of Verso, founding co-editor of HIGH RISK Books/Serpent’s Tail, and editor at City Lights Books. Over the years, she has published the work of Sapphire, Karen Finley, June Jordan, Kate Bornstein, Kathy Acker, David Wojnarowicz, Dorothy Allison, Mary Gaitskill, Joni Mitchell, Kate Millett, Elfriede Jelinek, Muriel Rukeyser, Laurie Weeks, Justin Vivian Bond, Virginie Despentes, Ana Castillo, and many other award-winning authors.