The 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Finalist Reading, Part II…

And now, here I continue and conclude this two-part post on the lovely evening I had last Thursday, May 15, 2014, at Giovanni’s Room, in Center City, Philadelphia, attending the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Finalist Reading.

As I mentioned in Part I (SEE, as per Ed Hermance’s instruction, the authors would introduce the next finalist to read from his or her nominated work.  Brian Teare continued to go in reverse alphabetical order, and he introduced Michael Klein, author of The Talking Day.

I found Mr. Klein to be so funny!  There were moments when I felt as though I was not at a bookstore, but at a comedy club.  Mr. Klein also has this raspy voice, that has a touch of sweetness to it.  He, too, I found engaging, and he certainly made most everyone in attendance laugh.

I must confess that, of the poems Mr. Klein read, the only one I remember most was one that is not in his book, The Talking Day.  He actually read three poems that are not in the book, but were new and he wanted to share them.  and, in his funny, engaging, raspy way made perfectly clear that it was his right to read them!  The poem he wrote and read that I loved most is entitled “New York Story.”

As someone who loves Manhattan, and that has close friends and loved ones that love Manhattan, too, it was easy for me to be so impressed by this poem.  I found it poignant, heart-felt, and most insightful.

After Mr. Klein, we have Ms. e. E. Charlton-Trujillo.  After she went to the front of the room, my first note about her (one of the few that I could easily read and understand) was “She so funny!”

Recently, I had a conversation with a fellow professional Lightworker, about how I AM not free-spirited.  She said that I AM, but I do not know myself to be free-spirited.  I have met free-spirited people, people who howl at the Full Moon, people who literally dance in the streets.  This is not a criticism, simply stating a factual observation about myself.

However, I do know myself to be Self-Expressed, but being Self-Expressed and being a free spirit are not the same to me.  Perhaps they are, but I know them to be quite different.  And, according to, they are, but I digress.

Mr. Charlton-Trujillo read from the beginning of her novel, Fat Angie, but before she did so, she shared that she remembers going to bed one night, early, and the following morning, she had so many voicemail messages and text messages on her cell phone that she thought her cell phone was going to blow up!

She lost count of how many people congratulated her.  She had no idea why, so she asked them, and she found out that she won the Stonewall Book Award for Fat Angie (her third novel).

However, Ms. Charlton-Trujillo is most certainly a free spirit!  And a master of Self-Expression.  If she taught a class on either one or both, I have no doubt I would be offering private Readings with me at a fifty per cent discount to raise the monies to pre-register!

I had a wonderful time listening to e speak.  And I found her to be so engaging, that when she asked if she could take a selfie with me (and some of you know how much I loathe that word!), I said yes.

She said it would be on her Facebook page within a day.  No, I have not looked; I have been spending as little time on Facebook as possible, and my lowered blood pressure is proof of that.

After Ms. Charlton-Trujillo (I know she told me to call her Eunice, but while I AM writing this blog post, I wish to be formally respectful), she introduced Larry Benjamin, author of Unbroken.

Earlier in the evening, when I had gone up the stairs of Giovanni’s Room after my coffee and snack at Toast, I remembered seeing Mr. Benjamin taking a photograph of a display that featured his book prominently.

He read a few excerpts from Unbroken, which were lovely and poignant.  One of the excerpts detailed the main character, Lincoln, and how frustrating his life is, growing up, because people are always telling him what boys are and are not supposed to do.

I found Mr. Benjamin quiet and reserved, but brimming with great Energy.

At the end of the night, people could ask questions.  One attendee asked Ms. Charlton-Trujillo to share more about her program for mentoring kids to write.  Rather than begin to butcher her own words, I highly recommend you read her article on The Huffington Post “The Clearance Kids,” by visiting

Before I conclude this blog post, let me take a moment to inform you that both Ms. L. C. Chase, author of Pickup Men, and Amber Dawn, author of How Poetry Saved My Life, were unable to attend.  I AM sure there were several of us that wondered why, but we were too polite to ask (especially yours truly, the wanna-be journalist).

And, as for the books I purchased, I must confess, the moment I saw the cover of the book Unbroken, by Larry Benjamin, I knew that I was going to purchase it.  I once referred to myself as an unbroken man, and was immediately drawn to the title.

And because I found him so beautiful, and so insightful, I purchased Brian Teare’s book, Companion Grasses.  I must admit, I was also drawn to his “bearish” good looks, and the cover of the book, too.  The art work was quite unique.

And, finally, I was more than happy to purchase e. E. Charlton-Trujillo’s novel, Fat Angie.

And so, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, blog followers and blog readers.  Thank you for honoring who you are and what you do, and thank you for honoring who I AM and what I do, too.

For those of you who wish to visit the author’s Websites, you may do so by visiting the following:


Brian Teare–

Larry Benjamin–

e. E. Charlton-Trujillo–



Finally, stay tuned, for another Giovanni’s Room update, in the next day or two.

Larry Benjamin
Larry Benjamin


Brian Teare
Brian Teare


e. E. Charlton-Trujillo
e. E. Charlton-Trujillo



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