Announcing the 2017 publication of
DESCENT OF THE DOLLS: PART 1
by JEFFERY CONWAY, GILLIAN MCCAIN, and DAVID TRINIDAD
Epic retelling of Valley of the Dolls
Just in time for the 50th anniversary of Jacqueline Susann’s bestselling novel Valley of the Dolls, and the Criterion Collection’s reissue of the 1967 film version, comes Descent of the Dolls. Dante’s Inferno meets Valley in this collaborative descent into a Hollywood camp classic. Over ten years in the writing, the first installment of this epic poetic trilogy sees poets Jeffery Conway, Gillian McCain, and David Trinidad pair up with their respective Virgil-esque guides: Frank O’Hara, Sharon Tate, and Anne Sexton. Our three poets follow the film’s heroines—Anne, Neely, and Jennifer—backstage into the murky circles of Showbiz and PoBiz, where anything can happen: Allen Ginsberg kicks a talented poet out of the show, Joan Crawford makes a drunken visitation, the heads of ambitious M.F.A. poetry students roll!
Jeffery Conway and David Trinidad collaborated (with Lynn Crosbie) on the groundbreaking Phoebe 2002: An Essay in Verse, a mock epic about the 1950 film All About Eve, which Publishers Weekly described as “astonishing and hallucinogenic . . . the most preposterous book of the season turns out to be one of the finest.”
Jeffery Conway’s books also include Showgirls: The Movie in Sestinas, The Album That Changed My Life, and also with Crosbie and Trinidad the collaboration, Chain Chain Chain. His work can be found in Dream Closet: Meditations on Childhood Space, Rabbit Ears: TV Poems, and This Business of Words: Reassessing Anne Sexton.
With my peeps—Frank, Tate, Monroe and Harlow,
I’ve found courage to go deeper into the abyss, let wigs fly
And fall where they may: hell or bust.
David Trinidad’s latest book is Notes on a Past Life. His other books include Dear Prudence: New and Selected Poems and Peyton Place: A Haiku Soap Opera. A new collection of Trinidad’s poems, Swinging on a Star, is forthcoming in 2017. A former archivist for the Jacqueline Susann estate, Trinidad was instrumental in bringing the book Valley of the Dolls back into print. Trinidad lives in Chicago, where he is a Professor of Creative Writing/Poetry at Columbia College.
She wants a maid to follow her with a Dirt
Devil sucking up her candy bar wrappers, her cigarette butts,
her nose-pickings, and dandruff. She wants the audience’s love
to rise up and wash over her like a tsunami. She wants, I want.
Gillian McCain co-authored, with Legs McNeil, the cult classic Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, which was named one of the Top Ten books of 1996 by both the New York Daily News and Time Out New York. McCain and McNeil also co-edited the young adult book Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose. She is the author of two books of poetry: Tilt and Religion.
Send her a plane ticket, book her a bungalow at the Beverly,
and then get Lotte Burke on the phone
Its time to slenderize. Goodbye profiteroles, hello Obetrals!
Descent of the Dolls, Part I
Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] ISBN-10: 1609642600
Paperback, 7.5 x 9.2 in. / 271 pages
Publication Date: February 2017
Jonathan Marder + Company
Jack.Meyer@gsmltd.net / 212.847.9890
As part of Guild Hall’s 2017 JDT Lab Series, a reading of Descent of the Dolls with Jeffery Conway, Gillian McCain, and David Trinidad will be held on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 7:30pm at Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, NY