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Penny Arcade & Bruce Benderson
The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church
New York, NY
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Penny Arcade & Bruce Benderson
Penny Arcade debuted in 1968 at 18 with New Yorks explosive Play-House of the Ridiculous, the seminal, rock and roll, queer, glitter/glam, political performance theater that influenced everything from Hair to Punk to Bowie and beyond. She became a Warhol Superstar at 19 featured in the 1972 Warhol/Morrissey comedy, Women in Revolt.

She is the author of over 16 full length works and hundreds of solo performance pieces. She is that rare independent artist who has created a career over 50 years, contributing to new art forms for every decade since the 1960s. A highly influential performance and experimental theatre artist whose magnetic stage presence has brought her international renown, her compassionate yet unflinching honesty has influenced generations of artists all over the world, making her an icon of artistic resistance.

Known for her highly quotable writing, her text based work is based on her poetic practice and has always focused on the other and the outsider, on individuality and authenticity. Her focus on community building as the goal of performance and performance as a transformative act marks her as an original on the world stage.

Since 1992 she has collaborated with former architect and video producer Steve Zehentner in all her theatre work and since 1999 they have co-helmed Stemming The Tide Of Cultural Amnesia The Lower East Side Biography Project that has broadcast weekly since 1999. The LES Biography Project is an oral history video project that interviews highly self individuated people, edits Penny the interviewer out and presents a one on one experience for the public with remarkable people, preserving fragile and marginalized histories.

Penny Arcade is also an essayist and cultural critic. Her writings have been published in numerous newspapers, journals and catalogs and book prefaces: Howl Happening, Film Culture, Found Object, Verses That Hurt, Please Kill Me (The Oral History of Punk), Out of Character, Raves, Rants and Monologues from Americas Top Performance Artists, Monologues for Women, Monologues for Cold Reading, Writing Your Own Monologues, PAJ Journal among others. Bad Reputation, a hard cover book on Pennys work, was published by Semiotext(e)/MIT in 2010.

Bruce Benderson is most known for his seventh book, a memoir called The Romanian: Story of an Obsession (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006), which won Frances literary award, the Prix de Flore, in translation. He is also the author of the novel User (Dutton, 1994) and the story collection Pretending to Say No (Plume, 1990). His most recent English-language novel is Pacific Agony, published by Semiotext(e) (2009). A collection of his essays from the last ten years, Sex and Isolation, was published by University of Wisconsin Press in 2008. Benderson is bilingual, writes in both English and French, and all eight of his books have been republished in translation by Editions Payot & Rivages in France.

As a journalist, Benderson has written in English or French for The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, nest, French Vogue, Vogue Hommes, Beaux Arts Magazine, LHumanité, Madame Figaro, Blackbook, and Libération, among others. For five years, he was the author of a monthly column for the French gay magazine Têtu.

Benderson is a literary translator from the French. In the last three years, his many published translations have included works by Grégoire Bouiller for Houghton-Miflin, Martin Page for Penguin, Tony Duvert for Semiotext(e), David Foenkinos for Harper, Philippe Djian for Simon & Schuster and Beatrix Preciado for The Feminist Press.

In 2007, Benderson published a personal encyclopedia of the American counterculture for a French audience, entitled Concentré de Counterculture (Scali). Four years ago, Bendersons first book written directly in French, Transhumain, about the future interfacing of technology and biology, was published by Payot. A satirical essay, Against Marriage (Semiotexte, 2014), was published to become part of an installation at the Whitney Biennale.

Benderson has also worked closely with three Hollywood personalities: Leslie Caron, for her 2010 memoir Thank Heaven; Hill Harper, for his 2013 book Letters to an Incarcerated Brother; and Raquel Welch, for her book Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage. In 2014 he wrote the subtitles for the French film Race dep, to be released on DVD by Artists Space.

He has taught creative writing, urban culture and French literature during three separate terms at Deep Springs College in Dyer, Nevada. He has also lectured or taught workshops at Brown University, Evergreen College, and Sarah Lawrence.


The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church (View)
131 E. 10th St.
New York, NY 10003
United States


Arts > Literary

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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