Memoirist, poet, and gay rights activist Paul Monette was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and earned a BA at Yale University. He taught at Milton Academy and Pine Manor College before moving to Los Angeles with his longtime partner, Roger Horwitz, in 1977, where he became active in the city’s gay rights movement.

Frequently elegiac, Monette’s poems narrate the trauma and pain of the AIDS crisis. His poetry collections include West of Yesterday, East of Summer: New and Selected Poems 1973-1993 (1994), Love Alone: 18 Elegies for Rog (1988), and The Carpenter at the Asylum (1975). Monette is also the author of the memoirs Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir (1988) and Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story (1992), which won the National Book Award. His novels include Halfway Home (1991) and Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll (1978).

Monette died at his home in West Hollywood of AIDS complications in 1995. The Monette-Horwitz Trust, which he and Horwitz founded, offers awards to individuals working to eradicate homophobia. Monette’s papers are archived at the University of California, Los Angeles, library.