Writer Kirk Read collaborated with Magnet and seven inter-generational LGBT writers to produce “The Biggest Quake,” live literary performances examining the personal and cultural impact of the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco—focusing on the years between 1981 and 1990. Free performances were presented during the 2012 National Queer Arts Festival, and work-in-progress events were presented at Magnet Health Clinic.
Writers collaborating with Kirk Read were Pat Califia, Justin Chin, Michael Nava, Brontez Purnell, Carol Queen, Julia Serano, and Ed Wolf. Over group meals and workshops and through research at the GLBT History Museum, they developed the drafts of their respective works. Camaraderie among the writers was strong and they chose to meet more often and produce more writing than originally planned.
Kirk Read, author of the award-winning novel How I Learned to Snap, has been an active participant in San Francisco’s LGBT community since the late 1990s. He has worked as a counselor at the Saint James Infirmary and has curated more than 200 literary readings. Magnet, a program of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, operates a free health clinic at 18th and Castro Streets and has staged visual and literary arts programs as a strategy to introduce gay men to its health services.