I had dinner with Cecilia Woloch and a group of fellow writers and poets Friday night at Agave, the fabulous southwestern restaurant in Cabbagetown. The cayenne fried chicken will make you snap into the fetal position it's so good. Among the writers at the table were Rita Golden Gelman – author of Tales of a Female Nomad, about how she gave up all her possessions, a fixed address and went on a global odyssey to rediscover herself – and Kelly Hayes-Raitt, a former Democratic candidate for the California General Assembly, who is now the writer in residence at the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians in Columbus, Ga. It was a very lively evening, punctuated by lots of political talk.
On Saturday afternoon, Cecilia and I read together at Wordsmiths Books in Decatur. We had about 25 or 30 people there and sold a fair number of books. Cecilia read mostly from her new chapbook Narcissus, which is absolutely brilliant. After the reading, Megan Volpert, her wife Mindy and I went over to Ted's Montana Grill for bison burgers. I'd never been to Ted's (and that's Ted as in Ted Turner) and never had bison. It was unbelievably good. One of the best burgers I've put in my mouth.
Today, was our final strategy meeting for the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival, which kicks off with a pre-festival slam on Tuesday night. Programs are being printed, poets and writers are driving and flying in from all over the country and we're as ready as we're going to be. It'll be posting more about the festival on Tuesday.
I also received an email from Michael Montlack, who is editing the "divas" anthology featuring my essay on Jeanne Moreau. The official title of the book is now My Diva: 65 Gay Men On The Women Who Inspire Them. Dorothy Allison, Eileen Myles and Marie Ponsot are writing the blurbs. The University of Wisconsin Press has the book on the Spring 2009 release calendar.
The presidential campaign has gotten seriously ugly over the last week and if you want proof of just how scary and ignorant McCain and Palin's supporters are just watch this video of them filing in to one of his campaign rallies. "Faggot, socialist, commie, scumbag, baby killer" are just some of epithets hurled at the camera crew asking questions about Obama. Ignorance and fear a dangerous combination. It really is the "sidewalk to nowhere." I love how Palin is just pretending she did nothing wrong, despite violating Alaska's ethics code, and the media seems to be giving her a pass well, focusing on the negative campaign instead. The New York Times had a great article yesterday about how McCain's campaign is adrift and he and his handlers are basically just throwing stuff at the wall to see what will stick.