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Michael Lassell (born July 15, 1947; New York City) is a professional writer and editor. Michael Lassell has been one of the best-kept secrets of contemporary gay poetry. His books Poems for Lost and Un-Lost Boys and Decade Dance are treasured by those who know them.

Michale Lassell is the only child of Michael Joseph Lassell (1917-2006) and Catherine Lassell (b. 1920). He studied at Great Neck South High School (grad. 1965), Colgate University (B.A. 1969), California Institute of the Arts (MFA 1973) and Yale School of Drama (MFA 1976).

Lassell has written extensively in the fields of design, travel, the arts (especially theater), and GLBT studies. His poetry, stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in newspapers, magazines, books, journals and anthologies in the U.S. and abroad, as well as numerous college and university textbooks. He has been most often anthologized for his poem, written at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, "How to Watch Your Brother Die." His work has been translated into numerous languages, including French, Dutch, Spanish, German, Catalan, and Braille. His work behind the scenes on Broadway with Disney have been described as some of the most honest accounts of production life.

He served as features director of "Metropolitan Home" from 1992 until 2009. Prior to that, he served as managing editor of Interview and L.A. Style magazines, also as a theater critic for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and L.A. Weekly.

Lassell currently resides in Greenwich Village, New York City, with his rescued dachshund mix, Schuyler.

He won a Lambda Literary Award for Poetry, Decade Dance (1990), and was nominated for Poetry, A Flame for the Touch That Matters (1998), and The World in Us: Lesbian and Gay Poetry of the Next Wave (2001). He was a Society of American Travel Writers Foundation Lowell Award, Gold Medal.


Michael Lassell, 1988, by Robert Giard (
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (

Further Readings:

Glamour: Making it Modern by Michael Lassell
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Filipacchi Publishing; First Edition edition (May 20, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1933231564
ISBN-13: 978-1933231563
Amazon: Glamour: Making it Modern

Glamour. It's hard to define yet most know it when they see it. Today, glamour may still invoke the sophistication and refinement of the golden years of Hollywood art deco, but country, industrial and even nature glamour have joined the more traditional modes.
The 21st century has brought glamour and her sisters, decoration and ornamentation back into home design news. Today's most cutting-edge homes embrace design of every kind from every corner of the globe. It's a marriage of disparate styles that finds no contradiction. Glamour is in vogue in homes that are castles (literally) and in one-bedroom rentals at the fringes of downtowns.

Two Hearts Desire: Gay Couples on Their Love (Stonewall Inn Book Series) edited by Michael Lassell
Hardcover: 86 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (January 15, 1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312152396
ISBN-13: 978-0312152390
Amazon: Two Hearts Desire: Gay Couples on Their Love

Two Hearts Desire is a glance at gay romance through the eyes and pens of couples. With a mix of prose, poetry, journalism, and even memos, the pieces celebrate the bonds between men. From current lovers and past lovers to long-term lovers and those in new relationships, Lassell and Schimel offer a fresh look at the many varieties and flavors of gay male love.

Decade Dance by Michael Lassell
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Alyson Books; 1st edition (September 1990)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1555831796
ISBN-13: 978-1555831790
Amazon: Decade Dance

Poems for Lost and Un-Lost Boys by Michael Lassell
Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: Amelia; 1st edition (December 1985)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0936545003
ISBN-13: 978-0936545004
Amazon: Poems for Lost and Un-Lost Boys

A Flame for the Touch That Matters by Michael Lassell
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Painted Leaf Press (March 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0965155897
ISBN-13: 978-0965155892
Amazon: A Flame for the Touch That Matters

Michael Lassell has been one of the best-kept secrets of contemporary gay poetry. His books Poems for Lost and Un-Lost Boys and Decade Dance are treasured by those who know them. With A Flame for the Touch That Matters, Lassell again demonstrates his ability to move, startle, and enchant. As in all of Lassell's work, the themes concern not simply gay sex and love, but also gay desire and passion. Whether he is mourning friends who have died, bemoaning the problems of finding erotic love as an older gay man, or fantasizing about sex with a young naked man being tattooed by a rough-looking biker, Lassell understands how deeply sex and eroticism runs in all of our lives. With vibrant language and images that disturb as much as they console, Lassell's poetry works its way into our consciousness and dreams like memories and visions over which we have little control.

The Name of Love: Classic Gay Love Poems edited by Michael Lassell
Hardcover: 88 pages
Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1st edition (February 1995)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312118635
ISBN-13: 978-0312118631
Amazon: The Name of Love: Classic Gay Love Poems

The World in Us: Lesbian and Gay Poetry of the Next Wave (Stonewall Inn editions) edited by Michael Lassell & Elena Georgiou
Paperback: 420 pages
Publisher: Stonewall Inn Editions; 1st edition (April 14, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312273339
ISBN-13: 978-0312273330
Amazon: The World in Us: Lesbian and Gay Poetry of the Next Wave

The first substantial collection of gay/lesbian poetry to be published in over a decade, The World in Us features several established voices as well as emerging talents. Marilyn Hacker, J.D. McClatchy, Eileen Myles, Letta Neely, and Mark Wunderlich are but a few of the many artists included in this rich, varied, and contemporary anthology.

More Particular Voices at my website:, My Ramblings/Particular Voices


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