Donna Minkowitz & Bina Sharif at Women’s Poetry Jam Donna Minkowitz’s memoir in progress, “Marvelous Toy,” is a funny, sexual, and disturbing story of a woman coming of age at 40, when a disabling injury makes her, paradoxically, become emotionally independent for the first time. Bina Sharif’s prose poems titled “Manhattan Spleen” are about the daily struggle to find the meaning or lack of it in life, infused with biting black hilarious humor. Hosted by Vittoria repetto. Open mike sign-up at 7 p.m., with an eight-minute limit. Bring poetry, prose, songs, and spoken word. $3-$5 sliding scale donation. Bluestockings Books, 172 Allen St. btwn. Stanton & Rivington Sts. 212-777-6028. Tue. Oct. 25 7-9 p.m.
Drunken! Careening! Writers! The Pussy Poets were a gang of five loudmouthed women out to prove feminists didn’t have to be Puritans. They got together in 1992, made a big splash, performed throughout the city, got their pictures in a few magazines, and then, having used up their 15 minutes of notoriety, imploded in 1993. Three of the former members will be reading—Gloria, now vocalist for the band Kanipchen-Fit, Janice Erlbaum, author of “Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir,” and Anne Elliott, now ukulelist, fiction writer, and publisher of Big Fat Press. Drunken! Careening! Writers! is a monthly reading series dedicated to the proposition that readings should be excellent, well-read pieces that have at least one thing in them that makes people laugh (nervous laughter counts), and don’t run more over 15 minutes each. Free. KGB Bar, 85 E. 4 St. at Second Ave. 212-505-3360 or kgbbar.com. Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.
Raising Boys Without Men In her first book, Dr. Peggy Drexler addresses the much-debated but little-researched subject of same-sex and single-parent households and concludes that lesbian and single moms (or “maverick moms,” as Drexler calls them) are producing the “next generation of exceptional men.” This will hardly come as much of a surprise to the estimated 10 million single mothers living in the United States, but the book marks the first in-depth, scholarly study on the matter and debunks various myths surrounding the welfare of boys reared in all-female households. Unfortunately, Drexler’s also ultimately reinforces many of the same stereotypes she presumably wishes to challenge. (Eileen McDermott)
ALEC GUINNESS: THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY Talent is a deep mystery, but in Guinness’ case, the secret of his celebrated range is exposed in Piers Paul Read’s new biography, one of the best actor’s biographies ever written. Read gives a full, rich portrait of the man’s long, teemingly busy life and, given the vast biographical materials, makes convincing, never over-weaning, psychological deductions which reveal his complex inner life. Read makes clear that Guinness’ chameleonic gift at submerging himself under the skin of diverse personalities was nothing less than an essential survival tactic for him. (David Noh)
THE LIFE OF POETRY Imagine a lost literary treasure so essential that a publishing house is established to mine its neglected riches. Such is Muriel Rukeyser’s book of essays. Ten years ago, poet Jan Freeman founded Paris Press with the purpose of bringing “The Life of Poetry” back into print. Muriel Rukeyser—lesbian, feminist, Communist, activist, and most of all poet—was the author of 15 volumes of poetry, plays, children’s literature, and biographies. Her body of work includes numerous poems with a special resonance for gay and lesbian readers, including “Despisals,” which implores its reader to resist all forms of hatred, including homophobia, and to embrace things otherwise hated and hidden for their usefulness. (Betsy Andrews)