# 43133

SMITH, David Emerson

I promise you this. A collection of poems for Harvey Milk (signed presentation copy)

$125.00 AUD

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San Francisco : David Emerson Smith for the Poets and Artists, February 1979. Octavo, colour printed wrappers (light edge wear and toning), pp. [iii]; 29, stringbound, black and white illustrations. Presentation copy, signed and inscribed inside the upper wrapper ‘To David, in homo-erotic boy love David Emerson Smith’ and also inscribed ‘Love & Eros, the universe is born & lives in ecstasy, Dennis Dunn’ (one of the contributors).

‘This collection of poems is in part a response to the homophobic murder of Harvey Milk and George Moscone (a passionate homophile). 

New York born Harvey Milk moved to San Francisco in 1972 where he opened a camera ship with his boyfriend in Castro Street. Disillusioned with the bureaucracy of the city and a history of police harassment of the gay community, Milk decided to run for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, launching campaigns in 1973, 1975, and 1977, where, after intense campaigning over several years and a gradual growth of community support, he was successfully elected as Supervisor. Milk’s election was a historic event both in San Francisco and the nation, with Milk becoming the openly gay man in the United States to win an election for public office. Less than twelve months after his election win, Milk would be assassinated by Dan White, a former fellow member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, an event which shocked the gay community and broader sense of civic order. While on trial for murder, White would be convicted on lesser charges, resulting in civil unrest and riots in San Francisco. Milk’s legacy as gay community advocate, City Supervisor and tragic victim of a political assassination would be vast and continuing, resulting to changes in the local political system and greater representation of the gay community and other community groups in local politics. A series of books and movies on the life of Harvey Milk has ensured the story of his life, death, and struggle for social justice remain of continuing influence, with Milk emerging as a legendary cultural figure both at home and internationally.