LGBT literary festival returns June 23-25

The fifth annual Atlanta Queer Literary Festival begins Thursday, June 23, 7:30 p.m. with an opening night reading at Charis Books & More in Little Five Points featuring Don Perryman, Sharon J. Sanders, Alice Teeter, Mose Hardin, Reginald Jackson, David Matthew Barnes, Iyana, Bailey White, Dustin Brookshire, Jef Blocker and Jessica Hand. Actress and poet Lisa Allender will host.

On Friday night, the action moves to the Decatur Library/Georgia Center for the Book auditorium for keynote addresses by Bryan Borland and Theresa Davis at 7:30 p.m. Borland is founder of Sibling Rivalry Press, which has quickly cemented its reputation in the LGBT publishing world with notable collections of poetry and the creation of Assaracus, a literary magazine devoted to the writing of gay men. Davis is a poet and spoken word artist who recently won the Women of the World Poetry Slam. The winner of the AQLF Broadside Contest, Brent Calderwood, will read and discuss his poem selected by National Book Award-winning writer Mark Doty.

On Saturday, there will be a full day of events at the Decatur Library, including readings, panels and workshops from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Award-winning Canadian author Daniel Allen Cox (Krakow Melt) will read at 4 p.m. and will also sit on a panel discussing LGBT fiction at 2 p.m. with Craig Gidney of Lethe Press, author David-Matthew Barnes and Collin Kelley. Outwrite Books’ Philip Rafshoon will sit on a publishing panel with Borland and Gidney to discuss the state of LGBT books at noon.There will also be panels on film, a poetry reading, social media for writers, a poetry workshop led by Akinfe Fatou and “Race & Gender in Queer Culture,” a discussion with Kerrie Cotton Williams, Akinfe Fatou, Bucky Motter, Charone Padgett, Craig Gidney and Bailey Lynn.

AQLF will close Saturday night with the Invitational Slam at Java Monkey Coffee House at 7 p.m. hosted by Karen G. and featuring Erin Northern, Fran Varian, Chris August and Theresa Davis.

For more about the festival and to see the full schedule, visit

Sign up for our emails

Enter your email and stay on top of local news!