Archive for the ‘literature’ Category

>New Orleans

May 19, 2010


We recently visited New Orleans where I took part in the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival, a new experience for me. I read from my novel (Those Others) and I sat on a panel that discussed incorporating history and activism into our LGBT writing.

While there, the Louisiana coastline was beginning to be affected by the BP oil spill. I wrote a short piece yesterday about the effect on the marshland at Bessemer Science and Nature.

Of course, any trip to New Orleans includes some wandering and picture taking.

We need a coffee shop that advertises in this way here in Bessemer

Here are three colorful roosters.

The river is peaceful. Every time I see the Mississippi river in New Orleans I am reminded of my great uncle who drowned in the river. Some say there was some scandal involved, (that it may have followed him from Birmingham to New Orleans) and that possibly the drowning was not accidental. This was decades ago, before I was born.

Some (maybe all) of the streetcars have been painted.

After your beneigts and coffee at Cafe du Monde a ride around town is in order.

And lunch at Clover Grill (with the staff wearing “Clever Girl” t-shirts) provided the best hamburger (cooked under an American hubcap) I’ve had in months.

We stayed in the Faubourg Marigny (we usually do) where the sense of neighborhood is strong and where coffee shops and small cafes are found on every other street corner in the otherwise residential area.

The historical marker says the area was created in 1805 when the Baron de Marigny began the subdivision of his plantation. Immigrants and free persons of color settled the area.

This picture was taken on our trip a few months after Katrina. The tree is in the pool area of the bed and breakfast where we stay.

New Orleans is one of my favorite cities in the world. I could imagine relocating to there (no, there are no plans in the works). But how does “New Orleans Opinions” sound for a blog name?

>Saints and Sinners Literary Festival

May 6, 2010

>Saints and Sinners Literary Festival 2010 will be next weekend in New Orleans and I will on the program.

The 4 day festival was founded in 2001 as a new initiative designed as an innovative way to reach the community with information about HIV/AIDS, particularly disseminating prevention messages via the writers, thinkers and spokes-people of the GLBT community. It was also formed to bring the GLBT literary community together to celebrate the literary arts.

Now in its eighth year, the Festival has grown into an internationally-recognized event that brings together a who’s who of GLBT publishers, writers and readers from throughout the United States and beyond. The Festival, held over 4 days each Spring, feature panel discussions and master classes around literary topics that provide a forum for authors, editors and publishers to talk about their work for the benefit of emerging writers and the enjoyment of fans of LGBT literature.

One of my opportunities will be reading from my book, Those Others, about 10 minutes, to others who are taking part. Other authors who will be reading during the session are Peter Dube, Collin Kelley, Linda Kay Silva, Shawn Syms, and Chavisa Woods. Other authors will be reading in other sessions.

The other part of the program that I am involved in is a panel discussion.

Activist, historian, writer – or all three? What happens when authors capture aspects of GLBT history in their fictional works? And how can they use their writing to both tell a story and to help move beyond the stone walls of injustice? Join these notable GLBT authors as they discuss the importance of documenting social, political, and personal issues that impact Queer life. These panelists have written about the turmoil of identity politics in the 1960s, the struggle for gay rights abroad, and the
search and fight for acceptance.

Other aspects of the festival include writing competitions (fiction and playwriting), master classes regarding emotions, characters, writers block, epublishing, marketing, intimacy in writing and more.

If you are interested in literature, prose or poetry, make your way to New Orleans next weekend for this event. There will be good food and lots of LGBT New Orleans fun.