Thursday, May 6, 2010

Poets 11 Finale Reading at the SF Main Library this Saturday, plus What's New in LGBT Lit

As many "The Defibrillator" readers know, April was National Poetry Month, and the City of San Francisco, a major contributor to Modern and Postmodern Poetry, was well-represented. Among the many poetry-related events in April were the SF Public Library's branch readings, at which laureates from each of San Francisco's eleven districts, as selected by poet laureate at Beat hero Jack Hirschman, were invited to read their winning contributions to the 2010 Poets 11 anthology, a handsome volume published each year by the Public Library.

This Saturday, May 8, yours truly will be among the laureates invited to read at the Poets 11 Finale in the Koret Auditorium at the Main Library at 1pm. Yes, that's right. I was named a winner for the Sunset District—I love the beach, and am happy to call the Sunset home. I was even happier to call it home when I found out about my Poets 11 honor!

The San Francisco Library system has been keeping busy with events for readers of all stripes, and among its recent events was a celebration of the latest batch of Lambda Literary Awards nominees, hosted by Christopher Rice, scion of Anne Rice, as well as lesbian mystery writer and editor extroardinaire Katherine V. Forrest.

Tony Valenzuela and Katherine V. Forrest. Photo by Rink

Also in attendance were Lambda's new, handsome E.D. (that's Executive Director, boys) Valenzuela, and many of the Bay Area finalists who are currently under consideration for this year's Lammies, to be held Thursday, May 24 in New York City: Tommi AvicoLli-Mecca, Patrick Latellier, Randall Mann, Minal Hajratawa (who has a poetry project about unicorns in the works!), charismatic Portland artist and zine grrrl Dexter Flowers, the always urbane Kevin Killian ("purring like a cat or a vibrator" stood out from his reading) and many more!

Lambda has been good to me—I've won two fellowships to study with great teachers like Dorothy Allison, D.A. Powell, and Eloise Klein Healy at Lambda's annual Writer's Retreat in L.A. In fact, for over 23 years, Lambda has been good to a lot of LGBT writers, awarding the established literati and nurturing the careers of emerging talents. Support Lambda by visiting their website, donating to the Writer's Retreat, or becoming a member!

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