One of the great joys in writing about San Francisco's Civic Center is that I literally never have to look for interesting material since there is so much happening in the neighborhood at any one time. For instance, this post and the previous half-dozen are all about events that took place on the same Tuesday evening, when there was a public sculpture dedication, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition party, the San Francisco Ballet's New Works Festival, and god knows what else that I didn't manage to stumble across.
Early on Tuesday evening, my friend Steve Susoyev (above), the editor of Moving Finger Press, invited me to a reception and "readings" by various authors who had been nominated for a "Lammy" award in the basement of the Main Library.
Steve and the playwright George Birimisa (above) had been nominated for their "Return to the Caffe Cino" anthology which was published last year and has become something of an instant classic.
Even though the Lambda Literary Foundation gives awards in a bewildering array of categories focusing on "excellence in the field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender literature," the categories are becoming more porous every year (click here for their site).
As Steve wrote in his introduction to "Caffe Cino":
"For an early draft of this book, we pondered using the words "Dawn of Queer Theatre" in our title, and many participants ganged up to convince us that such a title limited and insulted the work that Joe Cino nurtured on his little stage forty-some years ago. William Hoffman wrote, "I'll be queer if it'll sell books," but in our first meeting he persuaded me that such was not necessary."
Before the readings, there was quite a sumptuous spread of food and drinks that didn't last all that long before the local homeless showed up to finish them off.
The proceedings were emceed by the ridiculously good-looking and well-spoken Christopher Rice (above right), son of vampire goddess Anne Rice and a highly praised author in his own right.
I didn't stay for the readings because I had to dash across Civic Center Plaza to get ready for the San Francisco Ballet, but according to Steve Susoyev, it was a smashing success, with special shout-outs to Mattilda (in the first photo of this post) and Trauma Flintstone reading a monologue by Tom Eyen from the "Caffe Cino" book. Good luck, everyone, on actually winning one of the awards later this month in Los Angeles.