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Felice Picano (born 1944) is an American writer, publisher, and critic who has encouraged the development of gay literature in the United States. His work is documented in many sources.
Felice Picano graduated cum laude from Queens College in 1964 with English department honors. He founded SeaHorse Press in 1977, and The Gay Presses of New York in 1981 with Terry Helbing and Larry Mitchell; he was Editor-in-Chief there. He was an editor and writer for The Advocate, Blueboy, Mandate, Gaysweek, and Christopher Street. He was the Books Editor of The New York Native. At The Los Angeles Examiner, San Francisco Examiner, New York Native, Harvard Lesbian & Gay Review and the Lambda Book Report, he was a culture reviewer. He has also written for OUT and OUT Traveller. With Andrew Holleran, Robert Ferro, Michael Grumley, Edmund White, Christopher Cox, and George Whitmore, he founded the literary group The Violet Quill, considered to be the pathbreaking gay male literary nucleus of the 20th Century.
In his memoir Men Who Loved Me, he described his close friendship with the poet W.H. Auden. In his later memoir/history, Art & Sex in Greenwich Village, he wrote about contacts with Gore Vidal, James Purdy, Charles Henri Ford, Edward Gorey, Robert Mapplethorpe and many contemporary and younger authors. In True Stories, Picano wrote about other people including Bette Midler, Diana Vreeland, as well as friends and acquaintances from his childhood and early adulthood. In his newest book, Nights at Rizzoli, Picano writes about being a book clerk and bookstore manager in the early 1970s with Salvador Dalí, Jerome Robbins, Jackie Onassis, Gregory Peck, Mick Jagger and S.J. Perelman.
Among those who Picano introduced to the public via his publishing companies were Dennis Cooper, Harvey Fierstein, Jane Chambers, Brad Gooch, Doric Wilson, and Gavin Dillard. Several of his novels have been national and international best-sellers, and they have been translated into fifteen languages.
A longtime resident of Manhattan and Fire Island Pines, Picano has resided for periods of time in Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, England, and Berlin, Germany. He now lives in West Hollywood, CA.
He has received the Ferro-Grumley Award and Gay Times of England Award for best gay novel and the Syndicated Fiction/PEN Award for best short story, as well as the Jane Chambers Play Award in 1985. He was a finalist for the first Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and was nominated for five Lambda Literary Awards. He received the Lambda Literary Foundation's Pioneer Award in 2010, and the City of West Hollywood's Rainbow Award and Citation in 2013.
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