Back to All Events

Since I Laid My Burden Down: Bureau of General Services

  • Bureau of General Services, Queer Division 208 W 13th St #210 New York, NY 10011 (map)

Brontez Purnell will be joined by special guests Joseph Whitt and William Johnson (of Lambda Literary)

"A complex. . .look at one man’s experience of being black, queer, smart, soft, tough, artistic, and constantly in motion between rural and urban cultures." —Kirkus Reviews

DeShawn lives a high, creative, and promiscuous life in San Francisco. But when he’s called back to his cramped Alabama hometown for his uncle’s funeral, he’s hit by flashbacks of handsome, doomed neighbors and sweltering Sunday services. Amidst prickly reminders of his childhood, DeShawn ponders family, church, and the men in his life, prompting the question: Who deserves love?

A raw, funny, and uninhibited stumble down memory lane, Brontez Purnell’s debut novel explores how one man’s early sexual and artistic escapades grow into a life.

Brontez Purnell has been publishing, performing, and curating in the Bay Area for over ten years. He is author of the cult zine Fag School, frontman for his band The Younger Lovers, and founder and choreographer of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company. Formerly a dancer with Gravy Train!!!, a queer electro indie band that gained national prominence in the mid-2000s, Purnell's other prominent artistic collaborations include his supporting role in the queer independent feature film, "I Want Your Love" (dir. Travis Mathews, 2012).

He was a guest curator for the Berkeley Art Museum's L@TE program in 2012, awarded an invitation to the 2012 Radar Lab queer arts summer residency, honored by Out Magazine's 2012 Hot 100 List and 2013 Most Eligible Bachelors List, and most recently won the 2014 SF Bay Guardian's Goldie for Performance/Music.

Joseph Whitt is an artist, writer, and independent curator living and working in New York City. He has performed at MoMA PS1, PPOW, Dixon Place, Eyebeam, Deitch Projects, Envoy Enterprises, and other venues of note. His writings have appeared in Art Papers, ArtUS, Useless Magazine, K48; and his work has been reviewed by The New York Times and Sculpture. He has released five chapbooks of poetry and is currently working on a sixth.

William Johnson is the Program Director for Lambda Literary, an organization dedicated to promoting LGBTQ literature. He is a contributing arts and culture writer for CrushFanazine and the publisher of Mary Literary, a literary journal dedicated to showcasing queer/gay writings of artistic merit.

Since I Laid My Burden Down

Brontez Purnell
An uninhibited exploration of growing up gay in 1980s Alabama.

Add To Cart