What others have to say about BentBoyBooks:
At the lovely, dearest Green Arcade in the “hub” of San Francisco we encountered this store-exclusive Lit Crawling from Bentboybooks, a tiny publisher of whom we are, as usual, the shit-last to learn.
Funny enough this October 2017 zine, besides being exclusive to Green Arcade, is not listed on Bentboybooks’ website. Turns out to be a survey of their recent zines.
The collection of mostly poetry begins with an anthology, complete with CV beginning in 1972, of Jan Johnson Drantell, whose work evidently has been rediscovered and put into the zine. Her poems could be called provocative: her voice earnestly and compassionately pushes against the ideas and word-bunches of her time, beginning in the Vietnam era. I really can’t pick a favorite poem, they are all so precise and on-point.
Then comes Pam Martin, who is quite joycean, and I’m a sucker for anything joycean that pulls it off, so I’m in. She’s apparently a big deal in the local art-organizing scene, and I mean the upper echelons, the museums and so forth.
Drew Cushing closes the collection out, and he seems to be the ringleader of Bentboybooks. His selections have a lot of political allusions that will have to remain over my head until sometime after I finish this zine review.
I’m finally excited to say that the book turned me on (ha ha) to the devotedly naked Ronald Palmer, whose books I will be investigating soon. Apparently he’s complex, capable and raunchy, so I’m looking forward to it. His story Manikin is very San Francisco-completist, lots of locations named, five-Os bleaching sidewalks. He’s always naked in his promotional photos, so it’s got to be good.
Check out Bentboybooks every time you spot one!
32. Ghosts- Stephen Boyer
Don’t remember if Stephen sent me this book. Or if Bent Boy Books sent me this book. Or if Stephen handed it off to me in person. I think Bent Boy Books sent me this book. I love this chapbook, especially the Craigslist bars/clubs reviews. Cause it’s Stephen, and he actually posted these amazing reviews (nod to Killian) on Craigslist. Stephen invited me to read with him and Jennifer Blowdryer at Dog Eared Books for the release reading. I’ve never written about that reading and what took place afterward…but let me just say…there were beautiful girls, there were boys, there was a band playing in the Mission, there was an art opening, there was El Rio and The Makeout Room, there was an “appropriated” car on Market St, there was hot tubs, there was a lot of nudity, there was rooftops, there was missing pants, there was blackouts, there was making out and whiskey and a wet cab ride home with two of my best homies at 5 in the morning…and then a lot of hilarious text messages the next day/afternoon…pretty much the epic’ist after party to a poetry reading I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. There is a line in Stephen’s book that goes something like “I want to read poetry with Lindsey Lohan in the Hollywood Hills…”…it was like that. You should read Ghosts.
From Chuck Forester in Lambda Literary Review
The next book, NTOUCH, is a small one of twenty-five pages. It’s stapled together, the kind of book that can be made at home or Kinkos. It comes from BentBoyBooks. I received three of their books. Each is interspersed with photographs from early physique magazines, historical shots of San Francisco and early Twentieth Century pornography. NTOUCH, a bar story tells a tale of a boy’s search for the perfect Asian bartender he meets at the R&G Lounge. It’s short enough for a ride on Muni.
The cute go-go boys and newly arriving boys provide pleasant distraction. He likes watching the boys strut down along the bar and spill out onto the dance floor full of energy and excitement. The regulars always come in just before eleven. Right on schedule the old queen in the classic seventies drag strolls in head turned defiantly up, quickly followed by “the “hobbit,” a small grinning bouncing boy who appears suddenly, tears off his shirt and dances…