Launch for Beautiful Aliens: A Steve Abbott Reader

Join us in celebration of Beautiful Aliens: A Steve Abbott Reader (Nightboat Books, 2019) edited by Jamie Townsend, with an afterword by Alysia Abbott. In this long awaited, first ever retrospective of Steve Abbott‘s work you’ll find writing, illustrations, and comics by this Gay Liberation hero and foundational Bay Area underground writer. Throughout the night we’ll hear from the book’s editor Jamie Townsend; Steve Abbott’s daughter, Alysia Abbott; as well as friends, correspondents, and admirers of Abbott including Nayland Blake, Alexander Chee, Todd Colby, CA Conrad, Ariel Goldberg, Hugh Ryan, Rakesh Satyal and Sarah Schulman.

Beautiful Aliens: A Steve Abbott Reader is the first retrospective collection of writing, illustrations, and comics by a hero of the Gay Liberation movement and Bay Area underground writing. Beautiful Aliens: A Steve Abbott Reader is a landmark collection representing the visionary life’s work of beloved Bay Area luminary Steve Abbott. It brings together a broad cross-section of literary and artistic work spanning three decades of poetry, fiction, collage, comics, essays, and autobiography, including underground classics like, Lives of the Poets and Holy Terror, rare pieces of treasured ephemera, and previously unpublished material, representing a survey of Abbott’s multivalent practice, as well as reinforcing his essential role within the contemporary canon of queer arts.

Steve Abbott (1943–1992) was a poet, critic, editor, novelist, and artist based in San Francisco. Jamie Townsend is a genderqueer poet, publisher, and editor living in Oakland, California. They are half responsible for Elderly, a publishing experiment and persistent hub of ebullience and disgust. They are the author of several chapbooks including, most recently, Pyramid Song (above/ground press; 2018) as well as the full-length collection SHADE (Elis Press; 2015). An essay on the history of the New Narrative magazine Soup was published in The Bigness of Things: New Narrative and Visual Culture (Wolfman Books; 2017).