Iory Allison, Blogger, Collage Artist and Author of "Glamour Galore Trilogy" Calls Libraries "the Great Cultural Achievement of Our Country" and Public Lending "An Invention"

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Iory Allison, whose profile’s adjectives include world traveler, blogger, and husband to Leo Romero of Back Bay's Casa Romero where he was a host for 20 years. He came to the South End library in early September to talk about his Glamour Galore Trilogy , newly completed with Book Three, titled The Mermaid and the Sailor? 

He described it as a sequence of mystery, farce and romance, a set of gay novels “to escape from the mundane drudgery.” Each book shows different characters, starting with those in an old Bostonian family which loses its jewels, and the subsequent books in the series shifting locale to gay clubs and its visitors.

  Iory Allison speaking about his life’s work at the South End library in September

Iory Allison speaking about his life’s work at the South End library in September

Allison grew up in New Canaan, CT, with a father plying his trade as an advertising man who wrote theatre and nightclub reviews for local papers on the side, in a house where family life “was centered around the library.” He began his trilogy in 1990 in the Boston Atheneum, where he wrote mornings, five days a week. Relying on his imagination but using material from his own life, he took three years for each novel in the series. Exhibiting an affinity for words, which he describes as “ancient magic,” he suggested that “the history of a word will reveal much of its meaning to you.” The name “Iory” is Welsh, Allison explained, with an original meaning of ‘fair lord.’

Almost two decades ago, Allison learned how to build a website from a certain Vlad, who he described as ‘a tech-savvy refugee from the newly collapsed USSR.’ Acquiring website skills allowed Allson to develop a blog and, eventually, another skill, namely digital collages. The blog illuminates “subjects near and dear to me,” Allison said, including adventures by himself and husband Leo. The collages can be found on the covers of his books which he designed himself but were influenced by, among other artists, Joseph Cornell. Once familiar with it, he found himself able to work more precisely and to discover a treasure trove of images to use. “So after resisting it for a long time, I’m now ok with digital collaging,” Allison said. “I especially like edges that are faded out.”

In this being, at the end of his talk, Allison wanted to say something about libraries: “Libraries, public or private, are the great cultural achievement of our country,” he said. “And free public lending is an invention.”