Accusations of sexual misconduct began surfacing against artist and poet Steve Roggenbuck on Tuesday. Roggenbuck, 30, is a major figure of the alternative literature movement whose videos were featured in the New Museum’s 2015 triennial, “Surround Audience”.
The most prominent accusations were made by a Twitter user who goes by the handle Christlover2000. In a series of tweets that includes screenshots of alleged Facebook message exchanges between her and Roggenbuck, the user claims that when she was 16 and Roggenbuck was 24, he attempted to groom her for sexual abuse.
“Today some really disgusting things have been publicly exposed about past actions of mine,” Roggenbuck wrote in a statement he posted Tuesday evening. “I do not deny or defend what I did. I do not think it was okay the way I talked to a 16-year-old when I was in my 20s, and I have been ashamed about this for years.”
Roggenbuck rose to prominence in the early 2010s as a leading figure of the alt-lit movement, gaining renown for material posted on YouTube and his blog, and earning him major profiles on Gawker, in the New Yorker, and elsewhere. He is currently an editor at poetry publisher Boost House.
In response to this week’s accusations, the International Socialist Organization, of which Roggenbuck is a member, said that he has been suspended “pending an investigation which may result in expulsion.”