Thomas Disch's Tragic Love Poems Live On

The book-focused scifi gathering Readercon starts on Thursday, and includes guests of honor Jonathan Lethem and James Patrick Kelly. It also includes the first public showing of the late Thomas Disch reading his poem sequence "Winter Journey," which he wrote after the death of his partner Charles Naylor. Based on Schubert's lider cycle "Winterreise," the poems are bleak, funny and heart-rending according to Elizabeth Hand. Disch asked his friend, filmmaker Eric Solstein to film him reading the poems as a suicide note, and planned to kill himself at the end of the recording to help publicize it. But Solstein made a deal with him: he'd tape the reading, if Disch would postpone the suicide for an indefinite period. The poems, with a DVD of the reading, will be published later this year by Payseur and Schmidt. [Readercon, via Ellen Datlow]

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