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By Kelly J. Cogswell

When Kelly Cogswell plunged into New York’s East Village in 1992, she had simply pop out. An ex–Southern Baptist born in Kentucky, she used to be tenting in an road B loft, scribbling poems, and taking part in in an underground band, attempting to work out her subsequent movement. a few months later she used to be ate up by way of the Lesbian Avengers, instigating direct motion campaigns, combating police officers on 5th road, mobilizing 20,000 dykes for a march on Washington, D.C., and consuming fire—literally—in entrance of the White House.

At as soon as streetwise and wistful, Eating Fire is a witty and pressing coming-of-age memoir spanning 20 years, from the tradition struggle of the early Nineteen Nineties to the warfare on Terror. Cogswell’s tale is an interesting mixture of picaresque experience, how-to activist instruction manual, and rigorous inquiry into questions of id, resistance, and citizenship. it's also a compelling, own recollection of friendships and fallings-out and of discovering real love—several occasions over. After the Lesbian Avengers imploded, Cogswell describes how she grew to become a pioneering citizen journalist, cofounding the Gully on-line journal with the groundbreaking target of delivering “queer perspectives on everything.”

The first in-depth account of the influential Lesbian Avengers, Eating Fire unearths the group’s courting to the queer artwork and activist scene in early ’90s big apple and establishes the media-savvy Avengers as an incredible precursor to teams akin to Occupy Wall highway and l. a. Barbe, in France. a unprecedented insider’s examine the method and perils of highway activism, Kelly Cogswell’s memoir is an uncompromising and finally empowering tale of artistic resistance opposed to hatred and injustice.

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Or even even though my mom had instructed me one million occasions what a mistake it were for her to get married, “and have you ever girls,” she stored enclosing marriage ceremony bulletins, births, and deaths well torn from the Louisville Courier-Journal. I’d forgotten approximately them. they're brittle yellow scraps that fall from previous letters as I retrace my steps. Little messages of craving and fury on her half, inspiring in me—what else are you able to name it? —but a surprising, overall grief. whilst i used to be too drained to stroll, too drained virtually to climb the steps, I’d stopover at tar seashore with our new roommates. Rennes was once relocating to London along with his boyfriends and Sinatra CDs. Boy Kelly, a thin younger ACT UP fag, used to be taking his outdated room dealing with the Korean deli. Cindra, a fire-eating Lesbian Avenger, claimed the workplace room in entrance. We swapped outfits, cutoff denims, sleeveless flannel shirts, necklaces and bracelets produced from leather-based strips and bits of thread. None people had typical jobs, and we’d occasionally spend entire days at the roof, roasting in our lingerie whereas Amy was once at her air-conditioned place of work on the advert corporation. At evening she’d prop an icepack on her head with or 3 enthusiasts going and edit the Avenger instruction manual, A convenient advisor to do-it-yourself Revolution. Sarah Schulman had whipped out the majority of the textual content, handing Amy a brown paper bag crammed with handwritten notes. “I’m quitting, too, after this,” Amy stated. “Seriously. i need   e at i ng f i r e to have a lifestyles. ” She’d discovered banjo and was once cooking up a bluegrass band. nonetheless, on Tuesdays, she and Cindra might burst off to the guts for the Avenger assembly, and I’d activate the tv and scribble in my pc, observing the Mets bobble balls or vehicles explode, till I heard them arise the steps. Boy Kelly was once not often round, busy with the needle trade or his ten million acquaintances from Brown that will cease him on the street if he ventured outside. once or twice his buddy John came around to the home with a bushel of capsules, and if he may perhaps carry it down, sipped a cocktail as he hooked up himself to the IV that used to be imagined to continue him from going blind earlier than he died of AIDS. I loved John much. He was once a flaming queen, with the fast wit, high-pitched voice, and all of the mannerisms humans make enjoyable of. He’d realized to sneer correct again. “Embrace your internal faggot,” he attempted to educate Boy Kelly, twirling his glass. “Never be ashamed. ” I bumped into Ana Simo round the Fourth of July. She appeared smaller than traditional, sweating there on the street, in her white sleeveless shirt. She advised me Tampa had long gone good. They’d prepare an excellent march on urban corridor and compelled the mayor to a minimum of make an announcement denouncing hate crimes. Tampa dykes had relatively opened their fingers to the Avengers, shaved heads and all. Then she requested why I hadn’t long past. both to Tampa or the Dyke March. “Weren’t you co-chair? ” and that i informed her what occurred on the marriage ceremony occasion in Baltimore. She received dissatisfied, needed I’d acknowledged anything. yet I simply shrugged. We stood awkwardly, transferring round.

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