Paying It Forward… and Backward

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Elise McMullen_The Galavant Girl

Elise McMullen, The Galavant Girl

Elise McMullen is one of the most beautiful and insightful writers I’ve had the pleasure to publish as editor of TrekWorld. Read no further than her articles “The Young Woman and the Sea” and “Thanking the Animals We Eat” and you will instantly know what I mean.

 

But before Elise ever contributed to TrekWorld, she established herself as The Galavant Girl, an extraordinary journalist and photographer devoted to Read more

Happy Birthday, David Amram!

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Larry Closs_Beatitude_David Amram  Larry Closs_Beatitude_David Amram

A tip of the cup to composer, conductor, author, mentor and Beat legend David Amram on his 82nd birthday! Amram generously provided incredible support for Beatitude early on with an awesome testimonial.

 

I finally met him in September when Amram’s Quartet performed at the Cornelia Street Café in the West Village. Of course I asked him to sign a copy of Beatitude, which, of course, he did: “With joy to meet you and read your wonderful book. More, more,more!! Author, Author. David Amram.” Needless to say, that copy of Beatitude is now “the” copy of Beatitude for me.

 

Kerouac and the Woodcutter

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Larry Closs_Beatitude_Jack Kerouac_Loren KantorOne of the best things Beatitude has brought to my life is the connection with like-minded souls whom I might otherwise never have met. Most recent case in point: Loren Kantor, “a passionate, curious Woodcutter/Writer living in Hollywood with a love for movies, music and old Los Angeles.” Kantor discovered Beatitude through my author site and emailed to tell me about his most recent project: a woodcut of Jack Kerouac.

 

That alone was reason enough to visit his site but I was taken aback by what else I found there. Read more

Transcending Beat with David Amram

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David Amram signs Beatitude

Last night, at the Cornelia Street Café in the West Village, I finally got to meet David Amram, the composer, conductor, author and Beat legend who was not only one of the first to read Beatitude but provided a testimonial for the cover as well. “A daring, honest writer with a gritty urban flair,” wrote Amram, who added that he hoped Beatitude would not be “categorized (or imprisoned) by being considered a ‘Beat’ book. It stands on its own. And it transcends Beat.”

 

Playing to a near fire-hazardous crowd in the Cornelia’s cramped basement, Amram’s Quartet (featuring Kevin Twigg on drums and glockenspiel, John DeWitt on bass, Adam Amram on congas) burned through an incredible two-hour set, with Amram singing, scatting and switching between piano, flute, French horn, tin whistle, talking drum and tambourine. Standouts included the theme from Read more

Beatitude: “Thoroughly enjoyable”

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Larry Closs_Beatitude_Beatdom_David S WillsBeatitude’s Harry, Jay and Zahra rub shoulders with Patti Smith, Tom Waits and Richie Ramone on Beatdom, the all-things-Beat literary journal. In a new review of Beatitude, Beatdom’s founder and editor David S. Wills (author of The Dog Farm) writes that he had been meaning to read the novel for a while and when he finally did he “read through it in a thoroughly enjoyable evening.” Wills describes Beatitude as “complex and artfully woven,” noting that narrator Harry reminded him of William S. Burroughs, “from constantly putting himself into relationships where he knows he’ll get hurt, to his fondness of cats.”

 

You can read the full review here.

 

Love Story

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Larry Closs_Beatitude_Barnes & Noble_Greenwich VillageLove, love and love! In the Greenwich Village Barnes & Noble, Beatitude is featured in the Staff Recommendations end-of-aisle display with a sign applauding the novel’s distinctive appeal as well as the, ahem, author:

 

“A love story in all definitions—true love, brotherly love, unrequited love, how love differs between two lovers, and a labor of love from a talented writer.”

 

To top it off, Beatitude is sitting right next to A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor, one of my favorite writers of all time. O’Connor inspired the name of my cat Flannery who, in turn, inspired the perceptive, loyal and loquacious cat named Flannery in Beatitude.

 

Many thanks, once again, to B&N’s Kyle-Steven Porter, who selected Beatitude for the display, wrote the recommendation and invited me to the store—twice!—to sign copies.

 

Beatitude, the Beats and the Truth

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Larry Closs_Beatitude_Jack Kerouac_Tom PalumboTom Palumbo
Jack Kerouac

New York City-based journalist and critical theorist Edward Truth penned a beautifully perceptive piece titled “Bringing Back the Beats with ‘Beatitude’” for Lambda Literary, in which he proposes that Beatitude not only cuts to the heart of the Beat Generation’s ongoing popularity but carves out its own unique sensibility:

 

“Stylish, descriptive and emotionally raw, Beatitude is a calling card for both Larry Closs, the author, and Larry Closs, the man—intrinsically removed, abruptly convincing and familiar—one whose intimate recollection of madness in his own mind surfaces when least expected. To lose yourself in the unrehearsed authenticity of Closs, you’ll have to pick up the novel. And luckily for us, his engine is revving for future work. It was beat poet Allen Ginsberg who now infamously wrote, ‘I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.’ Indeed, time to level the field.”

 

You can read the full story on Lambda Literary.

 

Follow Edward Truth on Twitter @EdwardTruth and on his site.

Window-Shopping at Barnes & Noble

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Larry Closs_Beatitude_Barnes & Noble_Greenwich Village_New YorkIn honor of Pride Month, the Barnes & Noble in New York’s Greenwich Village (396 Avenue of the Americas at 8th Street) has a window dedicated to notable LGBT books-of-interest and I’m happy to say that Beatitude is among them, sharing the space with My Two Moms by Zach Wahls, In One Person by John Irving, Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany, Ivan and Misha by Michael Alenyikov and Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson.

 

A huge thanks to B&N’s Kyle-Steven Porter for including Beatitude in the mix, and for inviting me—not once, but twice!—to sign copies of Beatitude for the store.

 

Available now!

 

“Love, obsession, jealousy and the experiences that make us human”

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Larry Closs_Beatitude_Allizabeth Collins_The Paperback PursuerBook-lover Allizabeth Collins has been reviewing and writing about books since 2001! She just reviewed Beatitude on her long-running blog, The Paperback Pursuer:

 

“What would happen if you found your soulmate in someone you could never have? The interactions between Harry and Jay describe the depth of this conundrum from the beginnings of an innocent friendship to the eventual depression following unrequited love. I was pulled into the reality of their lives as soon as I “met” them, their characters fully-developed and easy-to-relate to. Everyone has their secret loves, suspicions and fears, and sometimes those feelings can drive us to our most vulnerable points—this is evidenced in Larry Closs’ novel. His writing style captivates the reader… The subplot about Kerouac and the Beat Generation adds to the overall tone; a welcome and interesting addition to the novel… Beatitude brought a generation that I had never heard of back to life… Overall, Beatitude is a well-researched and artfully-written novel about love, obsession, jealousy and the experiences that make us human.”

 

You can read the full review here.

Beatitude at the 2012 IPPY Awards

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The IPPY Awards were a blast! Held at Providence NYC on June 4, the annual Independent Publisher Book Awards played to a packed house of authors and agents, publishers and publicists—a few from Australia!—gathered to celebrate the best in indie publishing. It was an exhilarating, electric evening. I barely remember accepting the Gold Medal for Best LGBT Fiction for Beatitude, but, thankfully (John!), there are photos documenting the whole affair. Here are a few.