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Steven Reigns, A Quilt for David
Steven Reigns, A Quilt for David

Thu, Apr 11


Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse

Steven Reigns, A Quilt for David

The hidden history of a vulnerable gay man whose life and death were turned into tabloid fodder. Steven Reigns will be in conversation with Marshall Martinez, Executive Director, Equality New Mexico (EQNM).

Date, Time & Location

Apr 11, 2024, 6:00 PM MDT

Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 202 Galisteo St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA

About the Event

"One of the most important roles a poet can assume is that of emotional historian. Reigns certainly understands that notion in this necessary and genre-bending book which powerfully blends poetry, non-fiction, and reportage to reexamine the maligned story of David Acer and arrive at a truer truth with compelling honesty and the utmost compassion for all." Richard Blanco, 2013 Presidential Inaugural Poet, author of How to Love a Country

"'A Quilt for David' breaks traditional structure and cracks open what we thought we knew of the past. Through poetry and prose we glean a deep understanding into a life misunderstood and mischaracterized. Reigns goes to the mat to find out what really happened, and with his expert pacing we're right there with him."

Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones and Three Simple Lines

This will be an in-store event and will be live streamed to Zoom, register for Zoom here.

Pre-order A Quilt for David ($16.95, paperback) from CW online here or call the store to order (505) 988-4226. 

About A Quilt For David

In a small conservative Florida town in the 1980s, eight patients alleged that Dr. David Acer, their dentist, infected them with HIV. David’s gayness, along with his sickly appearance from his own AIDS-related illness, made him the perfect scapegoat and victim of mob mentality. In these early years of the AIDS epidemic, when transmission was little understood, and homophobia rampant, people like David were villainized. Accuser Kimberly Bergalis landed a People magazine cover story, while others went on talk shows and made front page news.  

With a poet’s eulogistic and psychological intensity, Steven Reigns recovers the life and death of this man who also stands in for so many lives destroyed not only by HIV, but a diseased society that used stigma against the most vulnerable. It’s impossible not to make connections between this story and how the twenty-first century pandemic has also been defined by medical misinformation and cultural bias. 

 Inspired by years of investigative research into the lives of David and those who denounced him, Reigns has stitched together a hauntingly poetic narrative that retraces an American history, questioning the fervor of his accusers, and recuperating a gay life previously shrouded in secrecy and shame.

About the Author

Steven Reigns is a Los Angeles poet and educator and was appointed the first Poet Laureate of West Hollywood. Alongside over a dozen chapbooks, he has published the collections Inheritance and Your Dead Body is My Welcome Mat. Reigns holds a BA in Creative Writing, a Master of Clinical Psychology, and is a sixteen-time recipient of The Los Angeles County’s Department of Cultural Affairs’ Artist in Residency Grant. He edited My Life is Poetry, showcasing his students’ work from the first-ever autobiographical poetry workshop for LGBT seniors. Reigns has lectured and taught writing workshops around the country to LGBT youth and people living with HIV. Currently he is touring The Gay Rub, an exhibition of rubbings from LGBT landmarks. His newest collection A Quilt for David was published by City Lights and is the product of ten years of research regarding dentist David Acer’s life.

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