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Thursday, February 28, 2008

'The Wire' in Atlanta

click to enlarge felicia-at-mms-typewriter.jpg

(Photo courtesy Margaret Mitchell House)

There were some past and present Creative Loafers in the crowd last night for an evening chat at the Margaret Mitchell House with “The Wire's” Felicia “Snoop” Pearson (that's her, posing at Margaret Mitchell's typewriter. Man, is she cute). Mara Shalhoup, currently working on her St. Martin’s Press book about the Black Mafia Family, was in attendance, along with former Loafer (and current Atlanta magazine senior editor) Steve Fennessy. IMAGE’s executive director Gabe Wardell was also in the house. He sat next to me and was clearly beside himself with excitement, being a huge "Wire” fan.

Literary Center Director of the Margaret Mitchell House Julie Bookman told me she had been trying to book Pearson as far back as April. She said she was happy to see that the crowd of 140 or so was composed of some new visitors to the space, attracted by "The Wire's" cachet. Let's just say the center named for a Southern white chick was looking very urban and cool with Pearson on the stage and a diverse crowd raptly following her every deadpan word.

The androgynous, cold-blooded gangsta “Snoop” on “The Wire,” Pearson was in town to promote her memoir, Grace After Midnight.

The book chronicles Pearson’s crack-addicted birth, her arrest at age 14 for self-defense murder, her prison time and her eventual 21st-century Schwab’s Drug Store discovery in a Baltimore bar.

As Pearson tells it, “The Wire's” Michael K. Williams (aka Omar Little) had been watching her at the bar all night and finally came up to ask her, “Are you a boy or a girl?” The rest is history.

Pearson was interviewed by Written’s publisher Michelle R. Gipson, who was funny and real, and made the evening fly along.

Pearson killed ’em. She had to temper some of her discussions of the homemade dildos she fashioned in prison, and the open abscesses and HIV that make finding love in prison a bit of an ordeal. There were, after all, children in the crowd. Those kids sure love “The Wire.”

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