Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-03-03
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Gerard Wozek: 'Postcards' from the Edge
2007-06-20

This article shared 5829 times since Wed Jun 20, 2007
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


By Ross Forman

After Gerard Wozek wrote a couple of short pieces for an anthology published a few years ago, a New York-based editor, Michael Luongo, read his work and was impressed.

Luongo contacted Wozek, a Chicago native and local literature professor, to see if Wozek ever considered doing a book of short travel stories. No, Wozek said, 'but what a great idea.'

And so was born Wozek's toughest literary adventure. Wozek's Postcards From Heartthrob Town: A Gay Man's Travel Tales was released earlier this year by Haworth Press, Southern Tier Editions.

Wozek examines the link between geographical locale and the compass of his own heart. A mix of personal memoirs and fiction, the book contains 19 compelling, poignant short stories that serve as both a travelogue of various locations and a guide to the interior life of a man searching for meaning in the world, redefining travel as both an inner pilgrimage and as a sensuous trek across the globe.

'The best part of the book … well, I tend to like the pieces that were written last the best,' said Wozek, 47, who teaches at Robert Morris College in Chicago and lives in suburban Naperville. 'A lot of the stories were published elsewhere. The editor collected [ the stories ] and put them together. I have a fondness for all of the stories, but, for some reason, the stories that are new, I tend to like them better.'

About 50 percent of Postcards consists of Wozek's memoirs, while the other half is fiction. All destinations are places he's been to; some situations are not his personal experiences.

Wozek, author of the poetry collection Dervish ( Gival Press, 2001 ) , has compiled these emotional short stories that are sojourns to emotional and geographical destinations. He meanders through the desolate plains of his hometown in the Midwest or treks through the lurid trappings of underground Paris, all with a poet's eye for detail. Wozek's stories illustrate the dislocation of the heart and the hunger of the erotic body as it transits through varied frontiers. He tells of a cryptic encounter with a healer in Oaxaca, Mexico; a series of sensual exchanges with a provocative stranger in Vienna, Austria; and a spiritual pilgrimage to the top of Mount Brandon in Ireland.

'I wanted to write a book that looked at travel from a gay perspective, and tried to look at what are the unique characteristics to gay men in particular who travel and what are they looking for,' Wozek said. 'One theme that seemed to emerge is, home. Are we always fleeing home? Are we escaping from home? And I wanted to look at how home that impacts gay men.

'Traveling is really important because it's not just about seeing other places; it's really about encountering yourself in different situations.'

Despite the title, and the author himself being gay, Wozek is convinced the book will expand beyond the LGBT community. 'I've had straight people read the book, and they tell me that there are universal themes in the book that they can relate to as well,' he said.

Wozek, who attended West Aurora High School and then Loyola University and eventually received his Master's degree from DePaul University, said his favorite travel destination is Paris, where he lived and taught English for just over a year. 'I have a lot of fond memories of Paris,' he said. 'There's something about Paris that really resonates with me, that really captures something in me.'

Some of the book's characters are traveling with companions, much the way Wozek has, at times, traveled with companions.

'Hopefully, through this book, you can get a better idea of home—why we leave home and what we're looking for when we cross borders. What is it we're really seeking when we get on a plane and go to a different country?' Wozek said.

So why is the collection called 'Postcards from Heartthrob Town?'

'The title of the collection is derived from the second story in the collection,' he said. 'That story revolves around a young boy who is just becoming aware of his queerness. Within the plot of that particular story, the boy, growing up in the late 1960s, creates actual 'postcards' for himself, fashioned from cut-outs from magazines. He pretends that the postcards have been sent to him from 'Heartthrob Town,' or from the men in popular culture with whom he wishes he could have an encounter with: Elton John, Simon and Garfunkel, Marlon Brando, Bobby Sherman [ and ] Davy Jones as well as 'beefcake' muscle posers such as Armando Vega, Steve Reeves and Jack LaLanne.'


This article shared 5829 times since Wed Jun 20, 2007
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WORLD Court rulings, trans kids' books, activist dies, Naomi Campbell 2021-03-07
- A Chinese court upheld a ruling that a textbook description of homosexuality as "a psychological disorder" was not a factual error but merely an "academic view," according to the South China Morning Post. The Chinese LGBT ...


Gay News

Pride and Less Prejudice to host panel on LGBTQ media representation March 20 2021-02-21
- On Saturday, March 20, at 1 p.m. CT, Pride and Less Prejudice (PLP)—which provides free, age-appropriate, LGBTQ-inclusive books to pre-K-3rd grade students in order to foster LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance—will ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: LGBTQ authors, paczki, skin-care items, Keto Mylk 2021-02-05
- —Tempest, by Ryan Meyer (NothingPeak.com): In Tempest, young LGBTQ writer Meyer departs from the horror themes in his 2018 poetry collection, Haunt. Using fictional vignettes and surreal personal accounts, he ...


Gay News

BOOKS Author examines James Beard's life in 'The Man Who Ate Too Much' 2021-01-24
- Any established person in the food/restaurant industry or true foodie has surely heard of James Beard (1903-85), who many feel revolutionized cuisine in the United States more than any other individual. In The Man Who Ate ...


Gay News

Research shows racial bias denied social reformer Ada S. McKinley her due in history 2021-01-19
--From a press release - (Jan. 19, 2021; Chicago, Ill.) Newly released scholarly research about Chicago social reformer Ada S. McKinley indicates her contributions to Chicago and to the field of human services have been ignored and marginalized due to her ...


Gay News

'Mombian Database' released 2021-01-13
- Mombian columnist Dana Rudolph has released the Mombian Database of LGBTQ Family Books, Media, and More, with more than 500 books, music albums, movies, games and toys for and about LGBTQ families. The site offers multiple ...


Gay News

BOOKS: The best of 2020 2020-12-23
- You've got a little extra time this month, and you don't want to waste it. You want to read something good, the possibilities are endless, and the best place to begin is with these Best Books ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Wentworth Miller, Whitney, lesbian author, Mark Wahlberg 2020-11-16
- Out actor Wentworth Miller said he doesn't want to be involved in a new season of the TV show Prison Break if it happens, according to Deadline. On Instagram, he thanked fans for his support and ...


Gay News

Booksellers launch "Boxed Out" campaign, a look at consumer choices 2020-10-22
--From a press release - (New York, New York) 20% of independent bookstores across the country are in danger of closing. Today, theAmerican Booksellers Association launched the "Boxed Out" campaign to draw attention to the high stakes indie bookstores face this ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son 2020-10-22
- By Richie Jackson $24.99; Harper; 163 pages Like father, like son. When you were small, people said you looked just like your dad. As you grew up, they said you had his sense of humor or his temper, you laughed alike, ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Cicada' flies into virtual film festivals this fall 2020-09-25
- Set in New York City, a queer-centered movie called Cicada is now hitting virtual film festivals and explores complicated relationships with a backdrop of childhood trauma. Ben and Sam meet at a bookstore and a journey ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN True stories, trans tales and more in new picture books 2020-09-16
- New books can be a delightful relief in these days of quarantine. Here are some of the many new LGBTQ-inclusive picture books that just came out last month. (See Mombian.com for even more.) The Fighting Infantryman, ...


Gay News

Ally opens Diverse Little Free Library in Norridge 2020-08-19
- Former elementary school teacher and healthcare non-profit education manager Lauren Erbach Barnfield is on a mission to bring diverse children's books to her Norridge neighborhood—with a Diverse Little Free Library located in ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS 'All Boys Aren't Blue' is the audacious memoir of a Black queer man 2020-07-22
- George M. Johnson could not have known about this moment in history when he wrote his memoir, All Boys Aren't Blue, but for this white male reader, the sounds of courageous protestors in our streets were ...


Gay News

Women & Children First delaying, cancelling events 2020-03-13
- Because of coronavirus-related concerns, most of the March events at Women & Children First bookstore, 5233 N. Clark St., have been rescheduled for late spring and summer dates. In addition, events with Eli Clare, Nadina LaSpina, ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.