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Dust redux


Three years ago Brennan Collins had a pleasant surprise. The UGA student and his friend Suzi Cooper had published the small literary journal Figdust. Collins' professor, Coleman Barks, contributed a poem to the journal, a gesture of goodwill from the much-celebrated Rumi expert. Little did any of them guess that Barks' donation would later be selected for Scribner's The Best American Poetry 1999.

"We didn't know we were in Best American Poetry until months after the first issue came out," Collins says. "I checked our P.O. box and we had received tons of submissions."

Now, Collins and Cooper have followed up the success of that first issue with Figdust No. 2. The collection includes poetry and prose mostly from students in Georgia State University's MFA program, in which Collins is now enrolled. Also featured is an interview by local Radiorockstars diva Lila King with Criminal Records' owner Eric Levin. An odd inclusion, but an interesting read.

The journal's writing overall can be sophomoric, but Figdust No. 2 does deliver a few hidden gems. Jarret Keene's heart-wrenching "Gifted Students" tells of a childhood friend's suicide. Death also comes into play in Marc Pietrzykowski's "Life on the Cube Farm," which details a co-worker's breakdown.

And yes, the second issue offers another Barks contribution, "Shovel Throw." The delightful little staccato poem feels altogether removed from the author's Rumi work. It's possible that Collins is in for another surprise.

Figdust No. 2 ($5) is available locally at Java Monkey, Jupiter Coffee and Criminal Records. www.figdust.com.

Thirsty book lovers looking for a literary oasis in Roswell have a new stopping place. Coffee Buy the Book opened last weekend in the town's historic district.

The independent bookstore will serve coffee (duh!), and a broad selection of new and used books. It's the first foray into the book business by sisters Dana and Mimi Barrett, who co-own the shop with Phil Boynes.

Whether or not the subtle subliminal message in the store's name will actually work remains to be seen. 1132 Canton St., Roswell. 770-594-0822.

Shelf Space is a weekly column on books and Atlanta's literary scene.

Readings & Signings
Atlanta Writer's Club Atlanta Writer's Club. Networking and a organized program. Every third Thurs., 6:30 p.m. Meal served for $13. 404-377-3588.

Barnes & Noble Norcross John Dunson. Author of Keeper of Secrets leads a writer's workshop. Tue., June 17, 7 p.m. 5141 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 800, Norcross. 404-209-4244.

Borders-Buckhead Linda West Eckhardt, Katherine West DeFoyd. Discussion and signing of Half Scratch Magic. Thu., June 12. 3637 Peachtree Road. 404-237-0707.

Charis Books & More Meliza Banales. Latina poetry slam champion. Fri., June 13, 8 p.m. Free. 1189 Euclid Ave. 404-524-0304.

DeFoor Centre an Evening of Poetry and Music at Kodac's Cool Corner. Includes poetry readings, music and performance art. Sponsored by The Spoken Word public radio series and Kodac's Cool Corner. Sat., June 14, 9 p.m. 1710 DeFoor Ave. 404-591-3814.

Dunwoody Library Jaclyn Weldon White. Georgia Writers meeting features the author of Whisper to the Black Candle, Voodoo, Murder and the Case of Anjette Lyles. Sat., June 14, 2 p.m. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. 770-512-4640.

Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery Language Harm. Poetry as essay and other experimental language presentations. Third Wednesday of every month, 8 p.m. $3. 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 8. 404-522-0655.

Java Monkey Open mic. Poetry open mic hosted by Kodac Harrison. Sundays, 8:30 p.m. 205 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 404-378-5002.

Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse Brad Gooch. Author of Dating the Greek Gods. Wed., June 18, 7:30 p.m. 991 Piedmont Ave. 404-607-0082.

Peachtree Highway Books Bunkie Lynn. Humorist author of A Comedy of Heirs. Sat., June 14, 2 p.m. Free. 1373 McClendon Ave. 404-581-9789.

Starbucks Decatur Square Atlanta Screenwriters Circle. Bi-weekly focus groups for Atlanta-based screenwriters. First Monday of every month, 7-9 p.m.; Third Monday of every month, 7-9 p.m. 133 E. Court Square, Decatur.

Waldenbooks, CNN Dr. Trevy A. McDonald. Author of Time Will Tell. Thu., June 12, 11:30 a.m. One CNN Center. 404-659-1949.

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