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by Ishmael Houston-Jones
FAT AND OTHER STORIES could also be subtitled “some writing about New York.” Here is the grime of the East Village apartment where the illegal tenant takes off his socks last; the brown walls of the Westside Club in Chelsea that offer little privacy; and the basement of the all male strip club in Times Square, now gone. New York is the final bedfellow in this sometimes frank, sometimes dreamlike collection. Houston-Jones choreographs the ghosts of this self-erasing city of lovers and strangers.
“I’ve been telling some of you for decades to trust me that Ishmael Houston-Jones is as brilliant and charismatic a writer as he is a dancer and choreographer. Now my trustworthiness is finally beside the point, and here’s all the proof you’ll ever need.”
author of Frisk, and The Sluts.
“Ishmael Houston-Jones is a figure revered for his perspicacity and his work in several cultural fields simultaneously ... He is a choreographer, author, performer, teacher, curator and arts advocate known for his improvisational dance and language work. But in his writing one feels one is coming to the man’s essence.”
—Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian
editors of Writers Who Love Too Much: New Narrative 1977–1997
ISHMAEL HOUSTON-JONES is choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and curator. His improvised dance and text work has been performed in New York, across the US, and in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Latin America. Drawn to collaboration as a way to move beyond boundaries and the known, Houston-Jones celebrates the political aspect of cooperation. He and Fred Holland shared a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Cowboys, Dreams and Ladders, which reintroduced the erased narrative of the Black cowboy back into the mythology of the American West. He was awarded his second “Bessie” Award for the 2010 revival of THEM, his 1985/86 collaboration with writer Dennis Cooper and composer Chris Cochrane. In 2017 he received a third “Bessie” for Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other Works by John Bernd. Houston-Jones curated Platform 2012: Parallels which focused on choreographers from the African diaspora and postmodernism and co-curated with Will Rawls Platform 2016: Lost & Found, Dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now. He has received a 2016 Herb Alpert, a 2015 Doris Duke Impact and a 2013 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Artists Awards.
Houston-Jones' essays, fiction, interviews, and performance texts have been anthologized in the books: Dance–Documents of Contemporary Art (Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press, 2012); Writers Who Love Too Much- new narrative 1977 – 1997 (Nightboat Books, 2017); Conversations on Art and Performance (Johns Hopkins, 1999); Footnotes: Six Choreographers Inscribe the Page (G+B Arts, 1998); Caught in the Act: A Look at Contemporary Multi-Media Performance (Aperture, 1996); Aroused, A Collection of Erotic Writing (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2001); Best Gay Erotica 2000 (Cleis Press, 2000); Best American Gay Fiction, volume 2 (Little Brown, 1997); and Out of Character: Rants, Raves and Monologues from Today’s Top Performance Artists (Bantam, 1996).
His work has also been published in the magazines: Farm; PAJ; Movement Research Performance Journal; Contact Quarterly; Porn Free and others.