Honey, I Queered the Narrative Book Club with Piper

April 19th
McNally Jackson Downtown Brooklyn
RSVP Required - see below

Hey, you look like someone who's attempting to build community and discover a shared history with your LGBTQIA+ peers. Why don't you pull up a chair? Join us at City Point for our monthly reading of a gay non-fiction offering. No quizzes, no grades; anyone and everyone can participate however they please. I'll be here and queer if you need me!

This month we'll discuss Brontez Purnell's brutal, brutally honest, and perversely addictive memoir-in-verse, Ten Bridges I've Burnt.

"This memoir in verse makes me enormously happy. To the things I know about Brontez Purnell add astral poet (in terms of imagination and scale) and classicist (elegant concerns). Witness it here. Lines leap out of themselves like light eruptions from the funniest angel you ever saw. I could listen to this poet for hours, drive for days on a single thought: 'in my defense/I just had to signify/that poetry/is still dangerous.'" —Eileen Myles

“I have been a fan of Brontez Purnell since I first saw him on video skipping gaily through San Francisco's streets in an early 2000s Younger Lovers video, and since then I’ve watched with pleasure as he’s shared with the wider world his numerous talents, as a performance artist, fiction and nonfiction writer, curator, and, not least, a lyricist and poet. Ten Bridges I’ve Burnt is Purnell’s first collection of poetry, and it crackles like a live wire with his unique voice: Black, playful, gay, Southern, militant, joyful, queer, sexy, real, Bay Arean, and indisputably his own. Providing glimpses of the exciting life he’s lived, Ten Bridges I’ve Burnt also suggests options for how to live in the world now.” —John Keene, author of Punks: New and Selected Poems, winner of the 2022 National Book Award for Poetry

In Ten Bridges I’ve Burnt, Brontez Purnell—the bard of the underloved and overlooked—turns his gaze inward. A storyteller with a musical eye for the absurdity of his own existence, he is peerless in his ability to find the levity within the stormiest of crises. Here, in his first collection of genre-defying verse, Purnell reflects on his peripatetic life, whose ups and downs have nothing on the turmoil within. “The most high-risk homosexual behavior I engage in,” Purnell writes, “is simply existing.”

The thirty-eight autobiographical pieces pulsing in Ten Bridges I’ve Burnt find Purnell at his no-holds-barred best. He remembers a vicious brawl he participated in at a poetry conference and reckons with packaging his trauma for TV writers’ rooms; wrestles with the curses, and gifts, passed down from generations of family members; and chronicles, with breathless verve, a list of hell-raising misadventures and sexcapades. Through it all, he muses on everything from love and loneliness to capitalism and Blackness to jogging and the ethics of art, always with unpredictable clarity and movement.

With the same balance of wit and wisdom that made 100 Boyfriends a sensation, Purnell unleashes another collection of boundary-pushing writing with Ten Bridges I’ve Burnt, a book as original and thrilling as the author himself.


Reserve your place with a $5 voucher, redeemable on the night of the book club meeting on any product in store.

Price: $5.00