Tim Dlugos (1950-1990)
Tim Dlugos (1950-1990) published ten books of poetry, three of which appeared posthumously. He attended LaSalle College where he was a Christian Brother, then moved to Washington, D.C., where he participated in the Mass Transit poetry readings. He later moved to New York City and worked as a contributing editor to Christopher Street magazine and on the Poetry Project staff. Dlugos learned that he was HIV positive and began studying at Yale University Divinity School to become an Episcopalian priest. He died of AIDS-related complications in 1990. In 2011, painter Philip Monaghan paired his own work with Dlugos’s poem “Gilligan’s Island” in a project called At Moments Like These He Feels Farthest Away. It was shown at New York University’s Fales Library. A few of Dlugos’s poetry books include High There (1973), Strong Place (1992), and Powerless: Selected Poems 1973-1990 (1996). His poetry is known for its sharp wit, its observations of the mundane, and his firsthand account of his experience with AIDS.
Written by Word Works intern Monica Root October 2013
Tim Dlugos (August 5, 1950 – December 3, 1990) was born in Springfield, MA and grew up in Arlington, VA. From 1968 to 1971, he was a member of the Christian Brothers, a Catholic religious order. When he could no longer reconcile his political activism or the fact of his gay identity with his religious commitment, he quit the order and moved to DC, where he became involved with the Mass Transit poets and published his first book of poems, High There, with Some Of Us Press. He worked in DC for Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen until his move to New York City in the late 1970s.
In New York, Dlugos edited and contributed to such journals as Christopher Street, New York Native, and The Poetry Project Newsletter. After his HIV positive diagnosis, Dlugos decided to return to train for the Episcopalian priesthood. He studied at Yale School of Divinity, but was unable to complete his degree, dying of AIDS-related complications at age 40.
Dlugos published five books of poems in his lifetime; three books of his have been published posthumously. His books include: A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos, edited by David Trinidad (Nightboat Books, 2011), Entre Nous (Little Caesar Press, 1982), Je Suis Ein Americano (Little Caesar, 1979), and For Years (Jawbone Press, 1977).
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Written by Kim Roberts, January 2016