by Lucian Childs
Last night we had a reading and panel discussion at the UAA Bookstore. You never know what kind of turnout to expect, so we were heartened by the thirty or so readers and writers who braved the elements to attend the event.
Rachel Epstein, Special Events Coordinator for the bookstore, does an incredible service to the community by putting together this reading series. Martha and I are very grateful to have been included.
After introductions and a brief overview by Martha and Lucian, contributors read work from the collection. Shelby Wilson and Susanna Mishler read their poems as well as those by Amber Flora Thomas, Kate Partridge and Elizabeth Bradfield. Mei Mei Evans concluded with an excerpt from her novella.
A lively discussion followed around the challenges and pleasures of writing about Alaska’s LGBTQ community. Of particular interest: does the publishing industry’s neglect of LGBTQ writing have a chilling effect on our work; and the intersection of literature and political action. The event is available as a podcast on iTunes (#61.)
It was great to meet so many enthusiastic people as we signed books after the Q&A. So enthusiastic that we sold all our copies!! Not to worry, Rachel says more are on the way. She is also talking about having us back for another event, one perhaps more focused on students. We’ll keep you posted should that come to pass.
Next on the docket is an event in Homer this Saturday. Martha, Dawnell Smith and Teeka Ballas will join Teresa Sundmark for a reading at the Homer Library.
Reviews and ratings
Chelsea Tremblay over at Capital City Weekly wrote a nice review of the book, one that also appears in the Juneau Empire. Our “little birds” tell us to expect a review soon in ADN’s We Alaskans.
And finally, Amazon has given the book a rating of “#1 New Release in Gay Poetry.” Still no reviews at Amazon, so if you’ve read the book please consider giving it a short review as it will help with our ratings.
That’s it for now. Talk to you next week.