20140506-145534.jpgDear New Orleans friends:

I’ll be in your city May 14-21, 2014,  and would enjoy seeing you. I’ll be reading from my new book of poems, Velvet Rodeo, at the Blood Jet Poetry Series and at the Saints and Sinners conference. Velvet Rodeo won a contest prize, and I look forward to sharing it, especially since many of the poems are inspired by adventures I had during my time in the UNO MFA program. –Kelly

BLOOD JET POETRY SERIES. May 14, 2014. B.J.’s Lounge, 4301 Burgundy St., New Orleans, Louisiana 70117. 8 pm.  Hugh Behm-Steinberg is the author of Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books) and The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press), as well as two Dusie chapbooks, Sorcery and Good Morning! He teaches  in San Francisco, where he edits the journal Eleven Eleven.Chris Champagne is the author of The New Yat DIctionary from Lavender Ink.  He is also the author of Roach Opera from Portals Press. Kelly McQuain grew up surrounded by the mountains of West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest and he received his MFA from the University of New Orleans. His poetry has appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, The Pinch, Assaracus, Kin, Mead, Bloom, Chelsea Station, American Writing and the anthologies Poems for the Writing and Rabbit Ears: TV Poems.

EVENTS AT SASFEST: Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. Right in the heart of the French Quarter! This is the nation’s liveliest GLBTQ and friends literary event. There are literary parties, panels and readings, with Violet Quill writers Andrew Holleran, Edmund White and Felice Picano serving as three of the esteemed guests this year. The conference starts on Thursday and lasts throughout the weekend.

  • Saturday, May 17. 2:30 PM. SLIPPING INTO COSTUME: TELLING OTHER PEOPLE’S STORIES THROUGH POETRY. Whether from newspaper headlines, media coverage, or something witnessed personally, other people’s stories can provoke as strong a desire to respond creatively as can the details of our own lives. However, writing another’s story also raises questions of responsibility, appropriation, and strategy. This panel will consider questions of voice, persona, research, accuracy, and the challenges and great freedoms to be found in writing outside the self. Panelists: Sally Bellerose, Jeff Mann, Brad Richard, and Kay Murphy. Moderator: Kelly McQuain. Hotel Monteleone, Royal Salon B
  • Saturday, May 17, 4 PM. SAINTS AND SINNERS READING SERIES: WRITERS READ. Festival authors debut their latest works in our annual reading series. Expect to be entertained, engaged and thrilled by the written word read out loud by authors Dale Chase, Mary Griggs, William Holden, David Holly, Thomas Keith, Kelly McQuain, and Jerry Rabushka. Sponsored by The John Burton Harter Charitable Trust.Hotel Monteleone, Cabildo Room
  • Sunday, May 18. 2:30 PM. WRITING ALONE, GROWING TOGETHER, CREATING YOUR OWN WRITING COMMUNITY. Facing and filling the blank page (or Word document) can be the loneliest of pursuits. Writers, editors, and readers are your allies in the solitary pursuit that is the writer’s life. Writing communities, such as our Festival’s gathering, as well as writers groups, offer benefits that include encouragement, critique, networking opportunities, and perhaps most crucially, a resource to help maintain sanity in good and bad times! Join Jameson Currier, who has shaped a unique community as a writer and as publisher of Chelsea Station, for a conversation on how to find your compatriots, create online and offline literary groups, and maintain mutually beneficial connections. He is joined by contributors to the recent anthologies With: New Gay Fiction and Between: New Gay Poetry. Panelists: Jeff Mann, Kelly McQuain, David Pratt, Shawn Syms, and William Sterling Walker. Moderator: Jameson Currier. Hotel Monteleone, Royal Salon C,D



VELVET RODEO is the recent winner of the Bloom Chapbook Prize, judged by poet C. Dale Young, who wrote of it: “‘The tongue I try to master / is a sticky one, forked and full of tricks,’ is the opening of a poem in Velvet Rodeo, and it becomes a point of return for the collection. These poems understand that to tell the truth, one must lie, play tricks, and even dare to say the unbelievable. Careful and exacting, these poems exact a price from a reader. They linger with you long after you have finished reading them.” Order for only $8 at:

If you’d like a sneak peak at one of the poems in the collection, here’s one that appeared in Bloom:



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