Since meeting Michael Broder at 2013’s Rainbow Book Fair, we’ve become friends and I’m delighted to have him on the podcast again. Since our last podcast, Michael launched the HIV Here & Now Project that includes a significant presence on Facebook. The Project combines poetry with HIV advocacy and serves as the platform for an upcoming anthology.
The seed of this project was an LGBTQ reading I participated in during AWP 2015 in Minneapolis in April. Some of the poets, particularly the gay male poets, were reading poems about HIV or AIDS. Not poems about the beginnings of AIDS or the devastating havoc, personal and communal, wreaked by AIDS in the 1980s and 90s. But about HIV now, being HIV-positive, often for a long time, being on lifesaving meds, getting your life back, wondering what your life meant, what your past meant, your present, how to process having lived through that and living in this life now …
… And so the HIV Here & Now website was born to complement the HIV Here & Now anthology, and together they constitute the HIV Here & Now Project. The game plan is a moving target; that’s just how my mind words, for better or worse. But please stick around. I’m planning on an interesting ride.
Michael’s book of poetry, This Life Now, from A Midsummer Night’s Press, was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband Jason Schneiderman and describes himself as “the oldest new voice in contemporary poetry.” Great energy, terrific poet and an inspiring friend.
“Michael Broder’s moving and lucid poems have heart, music, audacity—and they give a quiet, lasting pleasure, like an ancient Greek torso reshaped for the space age. THIS LIFE NOW is full of salt, sex, TV, and other riveting varieties of poised explosiveness, to which his lucky reader blissfully surrenders.”—Wayne Koestenbaum
“Dare I confess that this wise and sassy and heartbreaking collection made me scour YouTube for past episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Such are the subtle, ethereal, and playful gifts of Michael Broder’s poems that a reader won’t want to miss any allusion. No matter how bittersweet or fleeting, these poems, which span more than thirty years of an emerging queer consciousness, chart an unflinching poetics for the missing and unaccounted for. The book makes so many foundational moments and episodes of a thriving culture reappear and cohere, with such grim acceptance and celebration, that it takes our breath away.”—Peter Covino