Photography by Ryan Pfluger in San Francisco on August 16, 2015.
D.A. Powell has earned accolades for his experimental poems, which combine the historically covert sexuality of gay culture with powerful subjects like longing and AIDS. Although his work transcends the queer experience, his first three books of poetry — Tea, Lunch, and Cocktails, now available in a single volume, Repast — are considered by many to be a trilogy on the AIDS crisis. “I never thought we’d have marriage equality before we had job equality,” Powell says, “but I celebrated just the same.” Still, he hopes we continue to run counter to convention, since “one of the glorious things about queer culture is that, in resistance to accepted ideas of normalcy, we have made a space for otherness in all sorts of ways — a safe haven.”