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Have You Seen This Man? The Castro Poems of Karl Tierney

The first decades of the AIDs crisis tore through Gay communities, robbing all of us of musicians, actors, artists, and writers. Some voices - already then famous - we have culturally mourned. But there were so many others just rising into their art.

Poet Karl Tierney was just establishing his career when he died in 1995, and his work has remained unpublished as a book until this year. Tierney's literary executor, Philadelphian Jim Cory, has gathered Tierney's work so that we may all re-discover it.

Jim Cory

Jim Cory

At Big Blue Marble, Jim will be sharing Karl's poems and discussing his life and legacy. He'll be introduced by poet and LGBT literary critic Janet Mason. Following the reading there will be a Q&A.


“Reading Karl Tierney’s collection is like entering a portal into San Francisco in the ’80s and ’90s, a time when it was still dirty and sexy and alive, even as men across the city were dying. With sharp intimacy, Tierney’s poems had me laughing and crying in recognition for all that we lost. And I’m deeply grateful to the editor and publisher for rescuing his work from the dustbins of history. This is vital reading.” - ALYSIA ABBOTT, author of FAIRYLAND


Karl Tierney was born in Westfield, Massachusetts, in 1956 and grew up in Connecticut and Louisiana. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Emory University in 1980 and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arkansas in 1983. That same year, he moved to San Francisco where he dedicated himself to poetry. He was twice a finalist for the Walt Whitman Award, a finalist for the National Poetry Series, and a 1992 fellow at Yaddo. Though unpublished in book form during his lifetime, his poems appeared in many of the best literary magazines of the period, including Berkeley Poetry Review, American Poetry Review, and Exquisite Corpse. He published more than 50 poems in magazines and anthologies before his death. In December of 1994 he became sick with AIDS and took his own life in October of 1995. He was 39 years old.

ABOUT THE EDITOR: Jim Cory’s most recent publications are Wipers Float In The Neck Of The Reservoir (The Moron Channel, 2018) and 25 Short Poems (Moonstone Press, 2016). He has edited poetry selections by contemporary American poets including James Broughton (Packing Up for Paradise, Black Sparrow Press, 1998) and Jonathan Williams (Jubilant Thicket, Copper Canyon Press, 2005). Poems have appeared recently in Apiary, unarmed journal, Bedfellows, Cape Cod Poetry Journal, Capsule, Fell Swoop, Painted Bride Quarterly, Skidrow Penthouse, Trinity Review, Have Your Chill (Australia), and Whirlwind. Recent essays have appeared in Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, New Haven Review, and Chelsea Station. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Pennsylvania Arts Council, Yaddo, and The MacDowell Colony. He lives in Philadelphia.