OUTWRITE REPORT: Just got in from my reading at Outwrite Book Shop here in Atlanta. There was a great audience and some strangeness as well. About halfway during the reading three buses full of pro-life Stepford teens unloaded in front of the store and were all goggle-eyed at the homos in the gay book store. For those who've never been inside Outwrite, the coffee shop/performance area has a wall of windows looking out onto 10th and Piedmont, so all those scary kids were behind me. I felt like Tippi Hedren in The Birds. Then they all ran screaming down the street. Who the fuck knows what that was all about.

Before I ever got to Outwrite, I went to have my hair cut this afternoon so I'd look all spiffy. Here's a word of advice: avoid the Great Clips in Buckhead. I've had some shitty haircuts in my life, but this...oh my god...this was like a nightmare. It was Flock of Seagulls meets chemo. I actually had to wear a hat to the reading tonight. Luckily it was my old school Kangol (think Samuel L. Jackson and Pam Grier in Jackie Brown...or Quentin Tarintino anytime)so it worked out as a great prop for when I read Why I Want To Be Pam Grier. Tina's fabulous girlfriend Mandie worked on my hair after the reading to try and salvage it. Basically I have a glorified flat top now...the shortest my hair has ever been. It's very strange, but what the hell...it's summer.

So the reading went okay, but this week has been for shit because of changes at work, other projects and just not having a enough time. I think I was a bit distracted to start, but it got stronger. It was so great to see poet Franklin Abbott in the audience and my friend Michael Nentwich, who is the director at the Goethe Institut here in Atlanta. And so many friends too - Tina, Mandie, Lisa, Crystal, Kathy, Mark, Rupert, Malory, Stuart, Lady, Samia, Jennifer and Dustin. And even my old pal Andy from back in my theatre days dropped by to say hello pick up a book. Having everyone together, plus all the new people I met, made the evening worthwhile. Many thanks to Outwrite owner Philip Rafshoon for having me in the store and promoting it so well.

To cap off the evening, I picked up the big glossy national Gay Pride program and discovered my name in there under a heading for Atlanta called "Creative Combustion." Me, along with performance artist KT Kilborn and actor/playwright Topher Payne (who happens to work at Outwrite and we had a great laugh about him starring in this crazy drag play called "Eula May's Beauty, Bait and Tackle" which I have a history with - I'll get around to that story one day. And Topher's a cutie, too, which I know he won't mind me saying here)are featured. My little blurb says:

Collin Kelley: A mover and shaker in Atlanta's spoken word cirlces, Collin Kelley recently published a debut collection of his poems, Better To Travel. The moving, stark work has the makings of a rising star of Atlanta letters.

Wowsers. I sorta feel like a star...except for the lack of money. I know, bitch, bitch, bitch...

I did make an executive decision tonight (sorry to disappoint you Lisa). I'm pulling out of the Tampa gigs. They were still in the works, so no one will really miss me. After I get back from NYC at the end of the month, I just want some time off to refocus. I'll make it down to Tampa eventually. I have friends there, so they'll talk me into it eventually.


Anonymous said…
OK, I figured you needed at least one comment. I was hoping to make it to Outwrite - I live within walking distance - but I really wanted to see Tim Russert at Borders in Buckhead. If those teenage girls out on the sidewalk were real, you should write about them - maybe from 8 or 10 different angles. Anyway, glad to hear it was a good event.

BTW, I am listed as anonymous because I didn't take the time to set up an account. Oh, well, everybody with a computer knows what everybody else with a computer is doing . . . Sam Gainor

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