Poet, editor, and activist George-Thérèse Dickenson died June 15, 2021 in New York. The cause was a brain hemorrhage, according to her brother, John Dickenson.
With Will Bennett, Dickenson edited the magazine Assassin in the late 1970s. She published two books: Striations, from Good Gay Poets (Boston, 1976) Transducing, from Segue (New York, 1986)
George-Thérèse Dickenson was born October 23, 1951, in Napa, CA, daugher of Howard George Dickinson, a lawyer, and Joanne DePuy (maiden name Cardiff), a wine and travel entrepreneur from Altadena, CA. Dickenson was a graduate of Wellesley College. After a brief stint at UC-Berkeley, she moved to Vermont and then Boston in the early 1970s, where she became involved with the anarchist circle around Murray Bookchin. She also connected with a group of poets. In the late 1970s, she moved to lower Manhattan, where, over the next decade, Dickenson was closely involved with Larry Estridge and Peter Seaton. During that time, she taught poetry in the prisons through Janine Pommy Vega’s Incisions Arts Project. Her poems were included in a related anthology, Candles Burn in Memory Town: Poems from Both Sides of the Wall, edited by Vega (Segue/Incisions, 1988). While in New York, she struggled with substance abuse. During Dickenson's last decades, she was living in a mountaintop cabin in a nudist colony in Stockton, NJ. She is survived by her mother and her brothers John and Chuck (pictures above) and her longtime partner Bobby Astarita.
CETA (the Comprehensive Employment Training Act), from the 1970s, provided more jobs for artists than any government program since the WPA in the 1930s. Efforts are now underway to commemorate the program. CityLore has received an NEH grant and there is asuperb new website that chronicles the programs.
On April 16, 2021, Marjorie Perloff brought together Craig Dworkin, Odile Cisneros, Sergio Bessa, and Caetano Veloso for a tribute to Augusto de Campos, as part of the Brooklyn Rail’s New Social Environment Zoom series. As a tribute to Augusto, who joined the event, I did a new translation of one of the signature songs of bossa nova, “Desafinado.” Augusto had featured the lyric in his 1974 book BALANÇO DA BOSSA e outras bossas (image from this book):
On June 15, boundary 2 editor Paul Bové convened Yunte Huang (from California), Runa Bandyopadhyay (from India), Abigail Lang (from France), and me for b2’s webinar on Topsy-Turvy, focusing on non-U.S. perspectives, in anticipation of an issue of boundary 2 coming out in the fall. In the b2 issue, Runa gives a Vedic and Bengali spin to her reading of my poetics, Yunte writes about our ongoing mishmash of American and Chinese encounters, and Abigail continues her exploration of American/French poetry exchanges in an introduction to her translation of my work.