Adrian Brooks (b. 1947) is an American writer and activist who's been in the vanguard of progressive political, spiritual and social movements since the 1960s. An international traveler, poet, performer, playwright, painter and designer, he is, also, a novelist and non-fiction writer.
Born in Philadelphia, Brooks was raised Quaker. After graduating Episcopal Academy in 1966, as an early hippie and anti-war protester, he attended the international Friends World Institute- a radical Quaker school intent on its students becoming non-violent "agents of social change." In 1968, he volunteered for Martin Luther King in Washington, DC. Following Dr. King's assassination Brooks did field work in Mexico and East Africa before attending Woodstock in 1969.
In 1970-1972, Brooks was part of the nascent SOHO scene in New York. Here, he knew Andy Warhol, who cast him in an film and invited him to be the front person at 'the Factory,' an offer Brooks declined, choosing, instead, to go to India.
In late 1972, Brooks moved to Inverness, California, and began writing poetry. In 1974, he moved to San Francisco and was prominent in the gay lib movement. He organized what may have been the first public gay poetry reading on September 18, 1974. In late 1974, Harold Norse published Brooks' poetry and drawings with works of Allen Ginsberg, Jean Genet and William Burroughs, among others. During this era, Brooks' poems also appeared in: "Gay Sunshine"; "Manroot"; and "Mouth of the Dragon," etc.
Most visibly, Brooks became scriptwriter/star of an iconic free theater: "The Angels of Light." From 1974-1980, he scripted all their epics but one; these included the two smash hit productions: "Paris Sites Under the Bourgeois Sea", in 1975; and in 1979 and 1980, "Holy Cow!"
In 1980, "The Glass Arcade," Brooks' first novel, was published by Pocket Books in the US and Star Books in the UK. In 1983, Brooks starred in "Leni Riefenstahl', his trial drama about the 1945 interrogation of the famed German film director by the US Army.
In 1985, Brooks left the US. In London, he worked as a designer at Chelsea Harbor. In Holland and Goa, India, Brooks often appeared with "the Amsterdam Balloon Company"- the forerunner of Burning Man festivals.
In India, Brooks' focus grew more spiritual. From 1986-1991, he was an adept of Siddha Yoga. After meeting H.W.L. Poonja, and receiving his Grace in 1995, Brooks returned to the US to study with Poonja's American disciple, Gangaji.
In 1998, Brooks experienced an Awakening and began offering free counseling for men's groups, AIDS hospices, and Death Row at San Quentin. His satirical novels- "Roulette" and "Black and White and red all over"- were published in 2007 and 2009, while his theater memoir- "Flights of Angels"- was published in 2008.
In 2009, Brooks collected his poetry and drawings for "In the Land of Opposite Time"; collated fifty-two volumes of journals dating to 1967 in "Black Cargo," and wrote "The Sea Horse", a fairytale, which came to him in a dream.
In 2010, Brooks began living in India again for four months a year. In Goa, he assists a home for orphans with hiv and in educating village children in Goa. In the US, he continues to edit other works and offer (free) spiritual counseling.
In 2013, Brooks has written text for internationally celebrated theater artist, Sha Sha Higby, and is currently working on an anthology about LGBT activism.
In 2015, Brooks published his anthology "The Right of History: 100 Years of LGBTQI Activism"
The Right Side of History: 100 Years of LGBTQ Activism
- By: Adrian Brooks
- Narrated by: Risa Pappas
- Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
The Right Side of History tells the 100-year history of queer activism in a series of revealing close-ups, first-person accounts, and intimate snapshots of LGBT pioneers and radicals….
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