The launch of a new visiting author series highlights a 2012 spring season ripe with events featuring both local and out-of-town LGBT authors.
With the closing of Outwrite earlier this year, local bookstores and businesses are working to fill the void. On March 22, Brushstrokes will begin its new author signings with Mixx Atlanta (both of which are near each other in Ansley Mall) with an appearance by Totally Tyler and his book “Your Boyfriend & Other Guys I’ve Kissed: The Tails of Totally Tyler.” Tyler, a former Atlantan whose blog about his dating life caught on, has now published a book about his experiences. Tyler remembers his years living here by Madonna albums. “I moved here in 1998, when ‘Ray of Light’ came out, and moved in 2008,” he says. “I was living alone in Midtown, the gay mecca of Atlanta, and I started writing about my bad dates.”
“Your Boyfriend & Other Guys I’ve Kissed” covers the year 2005 and Tyler says the next chapter will cover the following year of his dating escapades. According to Tyler, the first book is PG-13, the second R and the next in the series “risqué.” He says he’s changed the name of some of his “dates” but the encounters are all true.
Brushstrokes co-owner Tom Schloeder feels Tyler is a good fit for their first event. “He lived in Atlanta for a decade and knows the city and its gay life well and has written an extremely funny take on our zany gay lives,” says Schloeder, who owns Brushstrokes along with his partner Mark Jackson. Schloeder feels the collaboration with Mixx will be a successful one. “Since we do not have enough space in either of our stores, the collaboration with Mixx to use its event space for our author readings-signings is a dream solution,” he says. “The smoke-free bar is just across the parking lot from our stores and it couldn’t be a better solution to accommodate our book readers.”
Schloeder expects to bring in other authors this season, starting with Big Meach, author of “Awakening, Epiphanies Along A Spiritual Journey.”
Charis Books and More is also hosting a season full of big author events. According to program director Elizabeth Anderson, Charis will have as much queer literary programming as possible with the demise of Outwrite, including events for gay men. Trystan Cotten will be the first of their spring guests, to talk about his new “Transgender Migrations” book on March 28 and continue what Anderson calls a “commitment to trans programming.” Kelli Dunham, author of four books and a frequent Gay Pride performer, will be part of a queer comedy show collaboration with Charis and Atlanta Pride on April 26. Another upcoming guest is lesbian sex writer and columnist Diana Cage, who edited the landmark lesbian magazine “On Our Backs.” Her new book is “A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Ecstasy.” Cage – scheduled for May 11 — has long been a Charis favorite, according to Anderson. Several more spring events are being planned and will be available on Charis’s website soon, such as a three-part community discussion about Bayard Rustin’s life and legacy.
Two events are slated for East Atlanta’s Born To Be Read Books. On March 30, the LGBT friendly bookstore is bringing in lesbian poet Megan Volpert, who recently re-located to Atlanta from Chicago with her wife, to read from her fourth poetry book, “Sonics in Warholia.” On April 1, the bookstore will host a reading from two local LGBT authors, Collin Kelly and David-Matthew Barnes. Kelly will be reading from his second novel “Remain in Light” – a finalist for the 2012 Townsend Prize for Fiction – and Barnes is expected to read from one of his upcoming books. Kelly welcomes the opportunity to appear with Barnes and feels their styles are similar. “It’s a great opportunity,” he says. “I think he and I each have our own fan base and an event like this gives people more bang for the buck.”
March 22: Totally Tyler with “Your Boyfriend & Other Guys I’ve Kissed” at Brushstrokes/Mixx
March 28: Trystan Cotten with “Transgender Migrations” at Charis
March 30: Megan Volpert with “Sonics in Warholia” along with Chris Shipman and Vince Cellucci at Bound To Be Read Books
April 1: Collin Kelly and David Matthew-Barnes at Bound To Be Read Books
April 26: Queer comedian Kelli Dunham’s “Good Ol’ Fashioned Queer Comedy Revival Show” with Atlanta Pride at Charis Books & More.
May 11: Diana Cage with “A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Ecstasy” at Charis.
1510 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30324
Charis Books & More
1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307
Bound to be Read Books
481-B Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316
Top photo: Totally Tyler (publicity photo)