Who was Harold Norse? Despite publishing over a dozen volumes of poetry between the early 1950s and the new millennium, until now, the Brooklyn-born Norse has been relegated to a footnote in accounts of twentieth century literary history. Harold Norse: Poet Maverick, Gay Laureate is the first collection of essays devoted to this enigmatic poet and visual artist. As this volume explores, Norse, who developed his craft while living in Europe during the 1950s and 1960s, is an important figure in the development of mid-twentieth century poetics. During the 1950s and 1960s, Norse was a notable figure in the plethora of little poetry magazines published in the USA and Europe through to skirmishes with respectability and acceptance (Penguin and City Lights). Norse is a key figure in the development of the cut-up process made famous by his friend, William S. Burroughs. His correspondence with his mentor, the poet William Carlos Williams, captures his poetic shifts from formalism to the development of his Brooklyn idiom, while his gripping autobiography, Memoirs
of a Bastard Angel, documents his transatlantic networks of writers and artists, among them James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg, and Charles Bukowski. And after returning to the US in the late 1960s, Norse emerged as leading figure in Gay Liberation poetry.
List of contributors: Jan Herman, Erik Mortenson, A. Robert Lee, Fiona Paton, Daniel Kane, Steven Belletto, Estíbaliz Encarnación-Pinedo, Ronna C. Johnson, Kurt Hemmer, Chad Weidner, Benjamin J. Heal, Tate Swindell, Andrew McMillan, Douglas Field, Jay Jeff Jones, Todd Swindell, andJames Grauerholz.
'Harold Norse: Poet Maverick, Gay Laureate is a major contribution to long overdue consideration and scholarly focus of an important participant in Beat and Gay poetry.' – Todd Swindell