There's a bit of a double-meaning for Wednesday, Nov. 4th....It was the 35th Birthday Celebration for Charis Books and More, AND it was my own birthday(and I'm not saying which one it was for me).
I was honored to get to Emcee the event for Featured Poets for the kick-off to AQLF(Atlanta Queer Literature Festival).
The visionary Franklin Abbott, incredibly dedicated Megan Volpert and Collin Kelley(co-directors of AQLF) and many others created a festival that is already surpassing previous festivals.
Reading on Wednesday night were, in order:Your host(me),Malika, Kristyl Dawn Tift, Alice Teeter, Louisa Merchant, Maudelle Driskoll(who was generous in giving us her time, after Sharon Sanders had to cancel), Charlene Ball, Libby Ware.
I ended the evening with a few newer poems of my own, and to round out the evening, Ken J. Martin, who treated us to some soulful music and his warm voice.
We had a very attentive audience, and approximately 50 total present, which is super!
Special thanks to all the performers, and to Charis Books and More, for sharing their celebration, and space with us(AQLF).And big hugs to Dan Morrison, who kindly filmed the entire event, and snapped a few pictures of some of us.
Afterwards, several of us landed at Brewhouse Cafe', a British pub, for decidely un-British food(wings, Greek salad, gyros, burgers)and quite a round of conversation--politics, the defeat for LGBT in Maine, and what-do-we-feel-about-President-Obama.(Me? I'm in the please-give-him-time-camp)
Thursday night(only a few hours ago, as I type this), a wonderful mix of styles at Outwrite Books' presentation of "My Diva: 65 Gay Men On The Women Who Inspire Them", a landmark piece of literature incorporating essays(some quite poetic!)by gay men recounting the influence or mentorship of a certain woman(icons, all!) in their lives.
Well-known poets Cleo Creech and Collin Kelley were featured contributors, along with the dynamo who launched this collection, Michael Montlack, as well as featured contributors Reggie Cabeco, and Jim Elledge. Delightfully, wickedly funny, and deeply poignant as well, I know the book(which I immediately purchased) will be as affecting as the reading was!
Props to Philip Rafshoon, owner of "Outwrite Books", for his great space, and his full, unending support of our(LGBT)community!
Coming up? Too many events to list, but read all about them, at the official AQLF site, below!