- Paperback: 206 pages
- Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (August 5, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0595366732
- ISBN-13: 978-0595366736
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,793,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Holding Me Together: Essays and Poems 0th Edition
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"Duane Simolke's seminal work Holding Me Together is a gratifying mixture of scholarship, art, and personal expression." -- Ronald L. Donaghe, best-selling author of the gay novels All Over Him and Common Sons
From the Publisher
Long before the 1999 publication of Duane Simolkes book Holding Me Together, many of its poems and essays had appeared in publications and on Web sites. Simolke began finding readers from around the world, especially for the long essay that opens Holding Me Together, "Reactions to Homophobia."
Dann Hazel used "Reactions" as one of the resources for his book Witness: Gay and Lesbian Clergy Report from the Front. Edited by Paul Harris, the book From Our Own Lips: The Book of GLBT Quotations includes a quote from "Not Worth Dying Over," another essay from Holding. Not long after Holdings publication, StoneWall Society gave the book a Pride in the Arts Award.
Now, Simolke presents a revised, second edition. The updated version of "Reactions to Homophobia" integrates new research, from hate crimes in Canada to the ex-gay movement in the United States. With the first edition of Holding, Simolke had left out some poems he wanted to add, because he felt they needed more work; those poems appear in the second edition. He also added introductory notes that give background to some of the works.
While not all the books essays and poems focus on gay issues, the overall collection reflects gay pride, celebrates gay relationships, and embraces a more universal desire for tolerance and understanding.
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Top customer reviews
First off, I want to let you know that I'm not a professional reviewer. I am a person that just loves to read. If my reviews get at least one person to read a book then I've done what I have set out to do.
The latest book is "Holding Me Together" by Duane Simolke. The largest part of the book is an essay titled Reactions to Homophobia. This work is very thought provoking. One of my favorites is "Gay Sex is unnatural. Yes, for a heterosexual." This essay is full of ideas along this line. Duane has taken homophobic statements and given his take on them. Others include: "Homosexuals are just a bunch of men dressing up like women", "The average gay male has 5000-15,000 different partners per year." ... "Homosexuality is a Mental Illness", and "The Parts don't fit." Duane has done his research. He has many references and interesting answers to scriptures, websites, books, etc. Once you have read his essay you will want to pick up your copy of King James and check it out in a different light.
There is also a collection of poems. Now I'm not normally a big poetry person however, there were a couple that touched me, as the style is tight and the imagery wonderful. Faces parts I - VII, really aroused my heart. Or in Bareback, Duane hits some, where they don't like it.
If you want something to say when someone says a Homophobic remark? Well, try some of Duane's.
I would recommend this to anyone. Someone that is just coming to terms with their own sexuality and they need answers to remarks they have grown up hearing. Or to the person that is making ignorant homophobic remarks.
Duane Simolke's writings have appeared in several of publications, including; The International Journal On World Peace, Midwest Poetry Review, Perception, Caprock Sun, Community Voice, The New Voice of Nebraska, The Amarillo Bridge, and The Electronic Gay Community Magazine
Duane is also the author of; The Acorn Stories, Holding Me Together, and New Readings of Winesburg, Ohio. Just click his Name - Duane Simolke to see his website and or purchase information on any of Duane's titles.
You can order Duane Simolke's books at most local or on-line bookstores.
So Check it out. You will be pleased. Till next time, Be Safe, Be Proud, and most important, Be Yourself!
But Holding Me Together is more than a refutation of homophobia. It is also a quite brilliant and accessible apologia for those who know that the Bible of Judeo-Christian heritage is chock full of contradictions yet are unable to point them out so well as Simolke does. At the same time, Simolke does not bash the Bible, but shows how it is truly utter nonsense to interpret its scripture so literally.
The long essay is actually divided into a delightful collection of short pieces, focused around the notion that he is speaking to homophobes, fundamentalists, concerned (but ignorant) heterosexuals, and others. A short list of the subtitles of "Reactions to Homophobia" indicates what the reader can look forward to. "Unlike gay people, I don't tell people what my wife and I do in bed." "If a normal guy or a white guy gets beat up, hate crimes laws can't help him. That isn't fair." "Homosexuals can't be Christians." "The parts don't fit." "Gay people should try to be cured."
But this book is more than the long essay. Part Two is a collection of poems that are both soft-spoken and interior to the writer and yet so forceful, reading them is like being knocked over with a feather-you feel a gentle touch, but are left stunned as in the multi-part poem "Faces, Parts I-VII." You cannot simply contemplate the devastation of AIDS on its innocent victims. Simolke will not let you merely feel the gentle touch of his poem about Jessica and other faces; you must also confront those who "Thank God for AIDS."
In short, Duane Simolke's voice is gentle, reasoned, assured, but will leave you gasping for breath. Ultimately, you will be more knowledgeable at the end of the work than you were at the beginning.
Ronald L. Donaghe is a technical writer and novelist from New Mexico. He has been published by Dutton, Edward William Publishing Company, New Mexico Council for the Arts, Xlibris Corporation and by Writer's Club Press (an imprint of iUniverse.com). His growing body of work includes essays in three anthologies, a book of essays, two novels, and a full-length autobiography.