6:30 PM18:30

Exhibition Preview: The Oscar Wilde Temple by McDermott & McGough

Private view of The Oscar Wilde Temple, a major new commission by celebrated artists McDermott & McGough.

Studio Voltaire, 1A Nelsons Row London SW4 7JR

Twenty years in the making, The Oscar Wilde Temple is a wholly immersive work of art and secular space honouring one of the earliest forebears of gay liberation whilst commemorating contemporary LGBTQ+ martyrs and those lost to the AIDS crisis. For this, the most ambitious commission in Studio Voltaire’s history, the entirety of the Victorian former chapel has been dramatically transformed to create an environment that entirely celebrates the Irish poet and author. Period wallpaper, stained glass windows, hangings and 19th century chandeliers and furniture adorn the space, evoking the provocative sensuousness of the Aesthetic Movement.

This is the first–ever institutional exhibition of McDermott & McGough's work in the UK and will provide audiences with an important opportunity to experience the artists’ groundbreaking work first–hand.

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7:00 PM19:00

The Oscar Wilde Bookshop: A Conversation on Forgotten LGBTQ History with Jim Downs, PhD.

Join us for a conversation with historian Jim Downs, Ph.D., author of Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation, on LGBTQ history centered around the Oscar Wilde Bookshop. Stand By Me explains how the outbreak of HIV in the early 1980s caused many historians, journalists, and others to portray the 1970s as a period of unfettered sex in order to explain the outbreak of HIV in the 1980s. Stand By Me corrects this misinterpretation by uncovering forgotten episodes from the decade, and includes a chapter on the bookstore devoted to gay and lesbian authors that existed in Greenwich Village until 2009, The Oscar Wilde Bookshop. The conversation will be moderated by COTV member Lina Landström. 

Jim Downs is a historian, author, and Associate Professor of History at Connecticut College. In 2016, Downs published Connexions: Histories of Race and Sex in North America, which he co-edited with Jennifer Brier and Jennifer L Morgan, and in 2012, Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction, which tells the largely unknown story of how many former slaves died at the moment of freedom.

While a graduate student at Columbia, Jim Downs organized a number of conferences on the politics and history of social change. He has published two edited books based on the conference proceedings, Why We Write: The Politics and History of Writing for Social Change, and Taking Back the Academy: History of Activism, History as Activism.

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5:30 PM17:30

The Thousand-Petaled Lotus: Growing Up Gay in the Southern Baptist Church

Michael Fields will read from his poignant, thought-provoking, and hilarious memoir, The Thousand-Petaled Lotus: Growing Up Gay in the Southern Baptist Church. He writes of his sexual awakening and awareness through an adolescence filled with anguished prayers that Jesus would cure him of homosexuality and make him “a normal boy.” Fields’ personal and spiritual journey, includes metaphysical pondering, questioning faith, associating with erudite mentors and friends, and ultimately, arriving at his final destination in the kingdom of heaven. And it’s all woven together with his charm and distinctly Southern wit. 

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7:00 PM19:00

Three Rather Queer Poets

R. Nemo Hill is the author of a novel, Pilgrim’s Feather (Quantuck Lane); a book-length poem based on an H.P Lovecraft story, The Strange Music of Erich Zann (Hippocampus Press); a chapbook, Prolegomena To An Essay On Satire (Modern Metrics); and two collections of poems, When Men Bow Down (Dos Madres Press), and In No Man’s Ear (Dos Madres Press, 2016). He is the editor and publisher of EXOT BOOKS, www.exot.typepad.com/exotbooks. He's lived in San Francisco, Portugal, traveled extensively in Southeast Asia, and after decades in New York City is living temporarily in the house he grew up in on Long Island.

Jee Leong Koh is the author of Steep Tea (Carcanet), named a Best Book of the Year by UK's Financial Times, and a Finalist by Lambda Literary. He has published three other books of poems and a book of zuihitsu. Originally from Singapore, he lives in New York City, where he heads the literary non-profit Singapore Unbound, dedicated to freedom of expression and equal rights for all. 

John Marcus Powell is a poet and an actor. He is the author oftwo poetry collections, Loony Lovers and Glorious Babe, both from EXOT BOOKS. A third, Veil On, Veil Off, is forthcoming in 2018. Born in Wales, he has lived in London, Paris, Rome, Algeria, and for the past twenty-eight years, in New York City where he performs his poetry extensively.

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6:30 PM18:30

Gut Feelings: Miracle or Myth

We all have inner voices that reveal what is in our heads and our hearts. But do we listen? Too often we tune out our greatest instincts as nonsense or wishful thinking and then regret the decision. Now in this memorable workshop by novelist, Saralee Rosenberg, you'll learn simple ways to tap into your intuitive thoughts so you can achieve happy endings like the characters in her books. Ms. Rosenberg explores where intuition comes from (the same place as creativity!) and how it can give us clarity and peace of mind when we need it most. The program also includes group interaction and intuition testing. It's fun and empowering and shows the value in trusting the wisdom from within. 

"I recently attended Saralee Rosenberg's Intuition workshop at Hofstra and it was one of the most enlightening, engaging and inspirational programs I've ever attended. Saralee was hilarious, but also very informative and grounded about a topic that transcends our usual boundaries. She taught me how to open myself to accepting the things I already sense, and that was incredibly eye-opening. I want everyone I know to take this workshop!" Ellen Mogavero

Saralee Rosenberg is the author of four high spirited novels about the afterlife and a well known speaker on mediumship and intuition. She is at work on her latest novel, WHEN WE COME BACK, a story about reincarnation and soulmates.

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5:00 PM17:00


Join us on October 24 from 5 to 7 pm for a wide-ranging set of readings held in the Oscar Wilde Temple, located in The Church of the Village at 201 W. 13th Street (at 7th Avenue) in the West Village, New York City. The program is curated by Alan Baxter.

Eight poets and writers will read original sketches concerning sexual liberation and its relevance to human interaction, as well as paying homage to the great writer Oscar Wilde. Most of the literary selections will be poetry, but selections will also be read from published Gay plays, from Oscar Wilde’s writings, and from the transcript of his trial. Finally, a few pages will be read from Wilde’s essay on Socialism and Christianity.



ALAN BAXTER has been quite active in the NYC Poetry circuit for the last 18 years. He has been frequently featured in Evie Ivy’s Dance of the Word, also reading in such venues as Bowery Poetry Club, Smalls Jazz Club, and Cornelia Street Cafe. He has also been featured at The Brownstone Poets and at the Green Pavilion. World Audience has published his first book of poetry entitled Shall We Have Magic? He is also an independent film-maker, having directed the feature film Barriers now available on Netflix. His Gay play Juan and Emmett has been performed in many small theaters here in New York City. He has had his own reading series Kairos Poetry Café, which is now hosted by Marvin Camillo. He is an English/Literature Professor at Ramapo College in New Jersey, and a long-time member of Church of the Village.

FRANK COSENTINO is a retired literature/religion professor and Christian educator who taught at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. He is also the co-founder of The Foundation for Developmental Medicine, Inc., and an incredible lover of Oscar Wilde Fairy Tales, which he will read selections from.

EVIE IVY is considered the Queen of Poetry in Brooklyn, and her book The First Woman Who Danced has sold many copies. Evie is the current host of The Green Pavilion, one of the longest running poetry venues in New York City, and her show Dance of the Word is a tremendous favorite at the Cornelia Street Café. She is also the editor of the verse anthology The Venetian Hour, and has written many poems about Oscar Wilde, as well as having performed in most of the Poetry Clubs here in New York City.

ROBIN SMALL-McCARTHY is a well-known poet, singer, and performing artist in New York City's underground poetry scene. With extensive credits in theatre and the performing arts, Robin has been a featured poet in such venues as the Bowery Poetry Club, Nomad's Choir, the Green Pavilion, the Brownstone Poets, the A.I.R. Gallery, the KGB Bar, the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe, the Cornelia Street Cafe, the Yippie Museum Cafe, 5C Cultural Center and Cafe, and Kairos Poetry Cafe, which was founded by Robin over twenty years ago.

Her writing has been published in numerous journals and books, including the Journal of Cultural Studies, Nomad's Choir, and Sound Identities. Robin has also performed on two CDs: Kairos Poetry Cafe Presents Selections of Poetry & Music (AB Film Productions) and Brant Lyon & Friends' Beauty Keeps Laying Its Sharp Knife Against Me (LogoChrysalis Productions).

Her first book of poetry is entitled Love During Wartime (Cengage); the second edition has been released via CreateSpace.com, a subsidiary of Amazon.com. Starseed: The Cosmic Sutra has also been released via CreateSpace.com. Cold Winter Days and Dark Nights of the Soul: The Madison Chronicles will be released this winter.

MARVIN CAMILLO has now started a small theater company here in New York City called The Family Repertory Theater. It is based mostly on the drama group started by his father back in the 1970’s, out of which came the play Short Eyes, which his father co-wrote and originally produced and directed. Marvin will read excerpts from his original drama, Etiquette Now, a short comic play about the tribulations of drag queens and their quest for social equality. He is also the present curator of Kairos Poetry Café.

HELEN PETERSON is a member of the Church of the Village, and a Cuban poet who has performed at many of the poetry venues here in New York City: Kairos Poetry Café, The Green Pavilion, and Brownstone Poets. She is also a great admirer of Oscar Wilde.

SAL ANZALONE is one of the resident playwrights of SAGE, who has authored many plays such as Marvin’s Fetish, Justin’s Secret, and Random Outbursts. Marvin’s Fetish (winner of a Tennessee Williams festival award) has been published both by AB Film Publishing and Off the Wall Plays, and has been performed throughout the world in small theaters. He is an ardent fan of Oscar Wilde.

EREK QUINONES is a free-spirited performer who has attended Kairos events in the past and who wishes to honor the memory of a great writer such as Oscar Wilde.

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