Felice Picano was born in New York City in 1944. He was graduated cum laude from Queens College in 1964 with English department honors. He founded SeaHorse Press in 1977, and The Gay Presses of New York in 1981 with Terry Helbing and Larry Mitchell; he was Editor-in-Chief there. He was an editor and writer for The Advocate, Blueboy, Mandate, Gaysweek, and Christopher Street. He was the Books Editor of The New York Native. At The Los Angeles Examiner, San Francisco Examiner, New York Native, Harvard Lesbian & Gay Review and the Lamdba Book Report, he was a culture reviewer. He has also written for OUT and OUT Traveller. With Andrew Holleran, Robert Ferro, Michael Grumley, Edmund White, Christopher Cox, and George Whitmore, he founded The Violet Quill considered to be the pathbreaking gay male literary nucleus of the 20th Century.
In his memoir Men Who Loved Me, he describes his close friendship with the poet W. H. Auden. In his later memoir/history, Art & Sex in Greenwich Village, he writes about contacts with Gore Vidal, James Purdy, Charles Henri Ford, Edward Gorey, Robert Mapplethorpe and many contemporary and younger authors.
Among those who Picano introduced to the public via his publishing companies were Dennis Cooper, Harvey Fierstein, Jane Chambers, Brad Gooch, Robert Gluck, Doric Wilson, and Gavin Dillard. Several of his novels have been national and international best-sellers, and they have been translated into fifteen languages.
A long time resident of Manhattan and Fire Island Pines, Picano has resided for periods of time in Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, England, and Berlin, Germany. He now lives in West Hollywood, CA.
He won the Ferro-Grumley Award and Gay Times of England Award for best gay novel and the Syndicated Fiction/PEN Award for short-story. He was a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and was nominated for four Lambda Literary Awards.
Smart as the Devil, Arbor House (New York, NY), 1975.
Eyes, Arbor House (New York, NY), 1975.
The Mesmerist, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1977.
The Lure, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1979, Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 2002, Bold Strokes Books, Inc, (Valley Falls NY) 2008
Late in the Season, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1981, Bold Strokes Books, Inc, (Valley Falls NY) 2008
The True Story of Ganymede Sea HorsePress (New York, NY), 1981.
Slashed to Ribbons in Defense of Love and Other Stories Gay Presses of New York (New York, NY), 1983.
House of Cards, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1984.
To the Seventh Power, William Morrow (New York, NY), 1989.
Dryland's End, Masquerade Books, 1995, Harrington Park Press (New York, NY), 2004.
Like People in History, Viking (New York, NY), 1995.
Looking Glass Lives, illustrated by F. Ronald Fowler, Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 1998, Bold Strokes Books, Inc, (Valley Falls NY) 2008
The Book of Lies, Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 1999.
The New York Years: Stories (contains An Asian Minor and Slashed to Ribbons in Defense of Love), Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 2000.
Onyx, Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 2001.
Tales: From a Distant Planet (collection), French Connection Press (New York, NY), 2005.
The Secret Lives of Children, Gay Presses of New York
(New York, NY), 1985.
Men Who Loved Me: A Memoir in the Form of a Novel, New American Library (New
York, NY), 1989.
A House on the Ocean, a House on the Bay: A Memoir, Faber and Faber (Boston,
Fred in Love, University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, WI), 2005.
Art and Sex in Greenwich Village: Gay Literary Life after Stonewall, Perseus Publishing, 2007.
Carroll & **The Deformity Lover and Other Poems, Sea Horse Press (New York, NY), 1978.
Window Elegies, Close Grip Press, 1986.
'A True Likeness: An Anthology of Lesbian and Gay Writing Today (editor) ', Sea
8Horse Press (New York, NY), 1980.
One O’Clock Jump (one-act play), produced Off-Off Broadway, 1985.
Immortal (play with music; based on Picano’s novella An Asian Minor: The True Story of Ganymede), produced Off-Off Broadway, 1986.
The Bombay Trunk, produced in San Francisco, 2002.
Eyes, based on the novel of the same title (1986)
Universal Donor (2003)
Very Large Array (2007)
The New Joy of Gay Sex, co-authored with Charles Silverstein, preface by Edmund White, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1992, revised and expanded 3rd edition, illustrated by Joseph Phillips, HarperResource (New York, NY), 2004.
Reference and critical works including Felice Picano
The Cambridge History of American Literature: Vol. 7...Prose Writing, 1940-1990—Sacvan Bercovitch, Ed. Cambridge University Press, 1999
A Concise Companion to American Literature & Culture since World World II...Josephine Hendin, ed. Wiley-Blackwell, 2004
Eyewitness To America: 500 Years of American History In the Words Of Those Who Saw It...David Colbert, Vintage Books, 1998, New York
The Readers Catalog: An Annotated Listing of the 40,000 Best Books in Print—Geoffrey O'Brian, RC Publications, 1997