June #71 : Words to Live By - by Staff

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Longtime Companion

Generation AIDS

It's A Small AIDS World After All

Marsha Burnett

Ruben Rodriguez

How They Shot AIDS: A Viral Video Roundup & Takedown

AIDS Movie Must-Haves

Words to Live By

Memento Mori

Quotes: 20/20 Hindsight

Birth of a Notion

About Face

Life After Birth

Serostim Sabotaged!

Herb Of The Month: Hawthorn

Warning: A Riff on Amps

Natural Woman

The Right Angle

Hotline Help Me!

Under My Skin

Editor's Letter


First Case Scenario

Songs In The Key Of Life

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

June 2001

Words to Live By

by Staff

POZ staffers dug through their at-home libraries and dusted off the tomes most likely to stand the test of time.

The Normal Heart
by Larry Kramer
1995 (Penguin)

I was looking to direct a play at Brooklyn College when Kramer's tour-de-force closed at New York City's Public Theater. My late partner, Nick Pippin, founder of the PWA Theater Workshop, had recently been diagnosed, but still our eyes had to be opened. Kramer even brought an entourage to the play's non-professional debut. Now, much of it is dated, even irrelevant. But because it so powerfully illustrates the genesis of AIDS activism, it's crucial information. A new production might show us all how far we have -- and haven't -- come.

-- Dennis Daniel

Surviving AIDS
by Michael Callen
1990 (HarperCollins)

I paid $9 for this now out-of-print gem at a musty used-book store in Chicago in 1993. Recently diagnosed, I could barely fathom what the title boldly stated. I studied the text as if my life depended on it. Callen scoured scientific journals and recorded hours of personal and physician testimonials to present a vision of hope. You can imagine my shock when I heard that he had died that year. When the despair passed, I still had the ability to live.

-- LeRoy Whitfield

The Invisible Epidemic
by Gena Corea
1992 (HarperCollins)

Alone in my cell, I cried a flood of relief after finally reading about all I'd witnessed: rapid deaths of women inside as the media called AIDS a men's disease, prison medics refusing Pap smears for HIVers. I cherish the detailed anger: "AIDS thrives on the notion of 'otherness,'" Corea wrote, "[of] sexism, racism and homophobia -- words too puny to convey the savagery they represent." Today, its pages remind me of the activism needed to take on this damned epidemic.

-- Laura Whitehorn

Last Watch of the Night
by Paul Monette
1994 (Harcourt Brace)

A WASPy poet with classical pretensions whose nonfiction is decidedly fierce, Monette taught me a lasting lesson in mistaken first impressions. I first read his bearing-witness memoirs in a gay-history class, his work finally canonized alongside his own favorite (and out-after-death) writers. No act of institutional neglect of AIDS goes unscathed in this autumnal collection of essays and still the grand passion for his life's three loves (twice an AIDS widower before his own 1995 death) seeps into every spare, perfect metaphor.

-- Shana Naomi Krochmal

In the Shadow of the Epidemic
by Walt Odets
1995 (Duke)

"Do you want to get infected?" my therapist asked in 1993 during another session about unsafe sex. So I finally started to untangle how HIV had grown in me into a mission, identity, fetish and fate. My guru in this lesson was Odets, a gay psychologist I'd never met. His deep, deeply felt book analyzes "the psychological epidemic" causing infections and worse among us neggies. It immediately electrified or enraged a community so overwhelmed that it had only contempt for our ambivalence about surviving mass death. Odets' most radical insight -- that the highest value is not remaining uninfected but living fully now -- still makes preventionistas reach for their guns.

-- Walter Armstrong

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.