Essays and Articles

“The Queer Crime that Launched the Beats” (Paris Review)

“What is Our Offense: How Decades of Queer True Crime Fueled the Stonewall Uprising” (Slate)

The History of True Crime and the Legacy of Tom Ripley” (Crime Reads)

How True-Crime Stories Reveal the Overlooked History of Pre-Stonewall Violence Against Queer People” (TIME)

“What Did Anti-LGBTQ Violence Look Like Before Stonewall?” (NewNextNow)

“The Story Of Hate Gay Men Faced Before Stonewall Changed Everything” (Huffington Post, UK)

Before Stonewall: Secret Scrapbooks Uncover How Gay People Were Criminalised” (Irish Times)

“Manet in Tunisia” (The New Inquiry)

“The Baldwin of Giovanni’s Room (Gay and Lesbian Review)

“The Afterlife of George Platt Lynes" (Gay and Lesbian Review)


“Queers Deserved It: New Book Chronicles Antigay Crime Pre-Stonewall” (Advocate)

'Indecent Advances' Chronicles Violence Gay Men Experienced Before Stonewall Riots” (NPR/WBUR)

“The Killer Crooner And The Death Of A Thrill-Killer: LGBT True Crime Of The Past” (Oxygen/NBC)

“Crimes Against Sexuality: How true crime stories were used to fan the flames of homophobia—and let killers get away with murder” (Smarty Pants Podcast/ American Scholar)

“Queer true crime stories of the past show how the press stoked fear of gay men” (VOX)

“How Sensationalizing True Crime Criminalized Queer People” (Crime Reads)

“Homosexual Panic: PW Talks with James Polchin” (Publishers Weekly & The Millions)

“Reading with James Polchin” (Shelf Awareness)

Reviews at The Gay and Lesbian Review

“Interpretations of a Sexual Assault” (review of History of Violence: A Novel by Édouard Louis) August 2018

"The Fall Of Jeremy Thorpe" (review of A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies, and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment by John Preston) April 2017

“When Warhol Came to Look for America” (review of The Trip: Andy Warhol’s Plastic Fantastic Cross-Country Adventure by Deborah Davis) March 2016

"The Killer with Something Extra" (review of Murder Most Queer: The Homicidal Homosexual in American Theater by Jordan Schildcrout) September 2015

“Slipping Glimpse of the Narrative Eye” (review of Storytelling: The Photographs of Duane Michals) May 2015

“A Gay Writer’s Turn to Paris” (review of Inside a Pearl by Edmund White)  April 2014

"Sympathy for the Rulled" (review of The Rise of Gay Rights and the Fall of the British Empire: Liberal Resistance and the Bloomsbury Group by David A. J. Richards) October 2013

“Art of the Male Form” (review of two books on the painter Keith Vaughan) August 2013

"Sex and Other Subtexts" (review of Sacred Monsters by Edmund White) July 2012

"How 'the Artist' Became an Aesthete" (review of Art and Homosexuality: A History of Ideas by Christopher Reed) January 2012

"Modernism Comes to the Old Albion" (review of Radical Bloomsbury: The Art of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, 1905-1925 at Brighton Museum of Art) November 2011

“Bigger Than Any Gender Could Hold” (review of The Life of Sarah Bernhardt by Robert Gottlieb) March/April 2011

“The Secret is Out Now” (review of Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade by Justin Spring) November/December 2010

“Gertrude Stein’s Muse of Prose” (review of Gertrude Stein by Lucy Daniel)  May/June 2010

“Baldwin Does Istanbul” (review of James Baldwin’s Turkish Decade: Erotics of Exile by Magdalena J. Zaborowska) January/February 2010

"Hello, South of France" (review of Goodbye, Wisconsin by Glenway Wescott) March 2009]

"Banned in Milan!" (review of Art and Homosexuality: From von Gloeden to Pierre and Gilles, Florence Italy) May 2008.

 “Eighty Years of Gross Indecency” (review of Queer London: Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-1957 by Matt Houlbrook and Sodom on the Thames: Sex, Love, and Scandal in Wilde Times by Morris Kaplan) May/June 2006

"Drag Kings of Paris" (review of Don’t Kiss Me: The Art of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, edited by Louise Downie) May 2007

"America's Gore Vidal" (review of Gore Vidal's America by Dennis Altman) November 2006 

"Men in Black and White" (review of Queer Cowboys and Other Erotic Male Friendships in 19th Century American Literature by Chris Packard) November 2005

Visual Studies Column at The Smart Set

“Public Eyes” (Photography at the New York Public Library) December 2014

“Looking Good” (Thomas Struth: Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) October 2014

“Burn the Paintings” (“Art Under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm” at the Tate Britain) December 2013

“In the Buff” (Masculine/Masculine: The Nude Man in Art from 1800 to the Present / Musee D’Orsay) November 2013

“Culture Shock” (Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art at the British Museum) November 2013

“A Way of Looking” (Julia Margaret Cameron at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) October 2013

“The Detroit Effect” (Walker Evans at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) September 2013

“Defining the Masses” (Mass Observation: This is Your Photo at the Photographer’s Gallery, London) August 2013

“Social Scenes” (Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life at the Tate Britain) July 2013

“The World We Can’t See” (Saloua Raouda Choucair at the Tate Modern) June 2013

“The British Circuit” (Meet British Art at the Tate Britain) June 2013

“Western Exposure” (Salgado at The Natural History Museum, London) May 2013

"Picasso In the Future" (Becoming Picasso at the The Courtauld Institute of Art) April 2013

“Modernism’s Margins” (George Bellows: Modern American Life at the Royal Academy of Art, London) April 26, 2013

"The Power of a Brushstroke" (Lichtenstein: A Retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) April 2013

“The Gaze”  (Manet at the Royal Academy of Art, London) March 2013

"Candid Camera" (A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance at the Tate Modern) February 2013

“Into The Canvas” (Matisse at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) January 2013

“Artist or American?”  (Edward Hopper at the Grand Palais) November 2012

“Artificial Paradise” (Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity at the Musee D’Orsay) December 2012

“Industrial Comfort” (Pre-Raphaelites at Tate Britain) November 2012

“Some Enchanted Evening” (Chirster Stromholm: Les Amies de Place Blanche at the International Center for Photography) August 2012

"Skin Problems" (Lucien Freud Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery) April 2012

"Face Time" (Eugene Meatyard at the Philadelphia Museum of Art) February 2012

“Sherman’s March” (Cindy Sherman retrospective at Museum of Modern Art) May 2012

“Bi-Curious”  (Whitney Biennale) April 2012

“Skin Problems” (Lucian Freud at the National Portrait Gallery) April 2012

"Point and Shoot" (Radical Camera: New York Photo League, 1930-1951 at the Jewish Museum) March 2012

"A Portrait of the Merchant as an Important Man" (The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) February 2012

"Selective Memory" (Youth and Beauty: Art of America Twenties at the Brooklyn Museum) January 2012

“If it Bleeds” (Weegee photographs at the International Center for Photography) January 2012

“The Painter and His Process” (de Kooning at the Museum of Modern Art) December 2011

"Oh Really" (Real/Surreal at the Whitney Museum of American Art) December 2011

“Creative Class” (Picasso’s Drawings, 1890-1920: Reinventing Tradition at the Frick Collection) October 2011

“American Dreamer” (Peter Sekaer: Signs of Life at the International Center of Photography) October 2011

“World Views” (Lyonel Feininger: At the Edge of the World at the Whitney Museum of American Art) October 2011

“Tiny Dancer” (Toulouse-Lautrec’s paintings of Jane Avril at the Courtauld Gallery) August 2011

“Burning Down the House” (Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape at the Tate Modern) August 2011

“Creative Forces” (Claude Cahun at the Jeu de Paume) July 2011

“Murky Muybridge” (Eadweard Muybridge at the Tate Britain) January 2011

“Going Hungary” (20th century Hungarian photography at the Royal Academy) September 2011

“Flash!” (“Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance & the Camera” at Tate Modern) September 2010

Other Writings

"Paris Haunts" (short story) (Ducts)

Review of Three Kinds of Motion by Riley Hanick (Brevity)

Review of ‘Diaghilev: A Life’ by Sjeng Scheijen (Lambda Literary)

Review of ‘Grant Wood: A Life’ by R. Tripp Evans (Lambda Literary)