Descent of the Dolls: Part One
Authors: Jeffery Conway, Gillian McCain, and David Trinidad
Publisher: BlazeVox [books] (2017)
Dante’s Inferno meets the 1967 movie Valley of the Dolls in this collaborative descent into a Hollywood camp classic. Over ten years in the writing, the first installment of this epic poetic conversation 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. Down, down, down they go. 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! An impressive array of contemporary poets guest star: D.A. Powell (with his guide Tennessee Williams), Wayne Koestenbaum as Joey Bishop, Denise Duhamel as Sharon Tate’s mother, and Aaron Smith as the messenger boy—and what a message he delivers! There’s nothing else like it.