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Catherine Treadgold

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Coffeetown Press Announces the Release of Shorn: Toys to Men, a Memoir by Dennis Milam Bensie
Coffeetown Press announces the release of Shorn: Toys to Men, a memoir by Theatrical Hair Designer and Wigmaker Dennis Milam Bensie about his traumatic childhood and compulsion to cut hair., 12/16/2010 - Seattle, WA.—Coffeetown Press announces the release of Shorn: Toys to Men (268 pp, $17.95/paper ISBN: 978-1-60381-092-0), a memoir by Theatrical Hair Designer and Wigmaker Dennis Milam Bensie about his traumatic childhood and subsequent struggles with the compulsion to cut hair.

“A poignant read about a little-known issue,” writes Julie Kane in the Library Journal. “What I'm Telling My Friends: Particularly topical in these days of bullying stories and gay teens committing suicide, this brings to light just one man’s tremendous struggle.”

“Honest and triumphant! A must read for anyone battling darkness, seeking light,” says Justin Reed Early, Author of StreetChild: An Unpaved Passage. Other renowned memoirists who have endorsed Bensie’s book include Jeff Mann, Walter de Milly, Martin Moran, Jennifer Niven, and Joshua Daniel Phillips.

The release of the book precedes the theatrical version, entitled The Cut. The Cut premieres at the Open Circle Theater in Seattle’s Belltown area on January 14, 2011. On January 9, 2011, at 2 p.m., Elliott Bay Book Company on Seattle’s Capitol Hill will sponsor a reading/signing.

What shapes a man’s life more? Being molested at age seven, having a gruff father ashamed of him for being effeminate, or being humiliated by school bullies for being a sissy? In the memoir, Shorn: Toys to Men, author Dennis Milam Bensie chronicles his journey from damaged boy, self-medicating by cutting the hair of shoplifted Barbie dolls, to confused young man, paying hundreds of gay street hustlers to shave their heads. Bensie demonstrates how hair can be currency—a moral gauge for good and bad, male and female, lawful and unlawful. The world of theater is his backdrop, a sanctuary where he gradually spins fantasy into reality. After getting his start in community theater, Bensie moves up to professional houses throughout the United States, turning his private sexual conflict over haircutting into a successful career as a skilled theatrical wig designer. Humorous and honest, this book is a uniquely tangled love story, a triumphant quest for love, forgiveness and self-acceptance.

Dennis Milam Bensie holds a degree in Theatre Costume Design from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and completed an apprenticeship in theatrical wig construction at Los Angeles Opera. He has costumed and wigged shows all over the country. Dennis also teaches master classes in wigmaking and wig maintenance around the country. He has been on staff at Intiman Theatre in Seattle since 1992. Find Dennis on the Web at

Shorn is available in Kindle ($6.95), paperback, and cloth ($25.95) editions on,,,, and Amazon Japan. Other ebook versions are sold on Smashwords and through most major retailers. Bookstores and libraries can order through, Ingram, and Baker & Taylor.

ABOUT Coffeetown Press—Based in Seattle, Washington, Coffeetown Press has been publishing the finest fiction and nonfiction since 2005.

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