I write about the intersection of popular
culture, sex, and politics. I’ve been working this “beat” for nearly 40 years,
most amply at The Village Voice, where I was the arts editor and then the
executive editor until 2004, when the paper purged me along with the rest of
its progressive staff. I am currently an adjunct professor at Hunter College of
the City University of New York. My memoir, Another Little Piece of My
Heart: My Life of Rock and Revolution in the Sixties, has been published by Bloomsbury.
In 1966, I became the first critic to write
regularly about rock music in a major publication. My column, “Pop Eye,” which
appeared in the Voice, argued, well before the idea became commonplace, that rock
was an art form. My books on music and on the counterculture that nurtured it
include The Poetry of Rock (Bantam), Goldstein's Greatest Hits (Tower) and Reporting the Counterculture (Routledge). I am widely
regarded as a founder of rock criticism.
In the late ‘70s, I began to write about the
lives of artists, in a new Voice column, “Art Beat.” I covered the rise of
artists such as Keith Haring and David Wojarnowicz as well as the rise of art
neighborhoods like SoHo and the burgeoning subway graffiti scene. In the early
‘80s, my focus shifted to the struggle for sexual liberation. As an editor, I
coordinated the Voice’s well-known LGBT coverage as well as originating and
editing its annual Queer Life issue. In my writing, I became a critic of male
power and the cultural politics that girds it. I am the author of Homocons:
Liberal Society and the Gay Right (Verso), and the winner of a GLAAD award as
columnist of the year.
Over the years, my writing has appeared in
numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles
magazine, Harper’s, Artforum, The Guardian, The Advocate, Esquire, Vogue, and online on The
Huffington Post, Salon, and Atlantic.com. My media experience includes appearances on CNN (Crossfire), MSNBC, Fox News (Hannity and The O’Reilly
PBS, ABC (Nightline), NY1, and National Public Radio, where I wrote and
As an editor at the Voice, I hired and/or worked
closely with many young journalists who went on to have major media careers,
including the screenwriters Mark Boal and Michael Tolkin, the critics J.
Hoberman and Cynthia Carr,the
Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Mark Schoofs, the journalist Randy Shilts, and
the commentator Peter Noel. I have taught at five colleges and universities:
Columbia, NYU, The City College of New York, The School of Visual Arts. I am currently an adjunct professor at Hunter
College, where I currently teach courses on pop-culture theory and on
understanding the Sixties. .
I live in New York with my spouse, Tony Ward.