2014 Spring Keynote: Franklin Abbott

Franklin Abbott
Franklin Abbott

One of the original radical faeries to gather at Running Water Farm in 1978, Franklin Abbott keynoted the first Gay Spirit Visions conference twenty-five years ago. We’re happy to welcome him back to keynote in preparation for GSV’s 25th Anniversary year. In addition to helping organize the early GSV conferences, he attended the first faerie gathering at Short Mountain Sanctuary and coordinated ritual and process at the first Eurofaerie gathering on Terchelling Island in the Netherlands.

Franklin is an Atlanta-based psychotherapist, poet and community organizer who has led numerous workshops on issues of gay identity, spirituality, and creativity. A clinical social worker by training, Franklin has been in independent private practice in Atlanta since 1979. He co-founded the Atlanta Circle of Healing, a monthly circle for the early years of the epidemic, and also co-founded and chairs the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival.

He has travelled broadly and written about his experiences in stories and poems published in his two books of poetry, Mortal Love and Pink Zinnia. He is a contributor to Radical Faerie Digest (RFD) and was its poetry editor for a number of years, also working as poetry editor of the profeminist men’s journal Changing Men. His first anthology, New Men, New Minds was collected from both RFD and Changing Men as well as other sources. Published in 1987, it brought together work by Essex Hemphill, Thomas Moore, Assotto Saint, James Broughton, Harry Hay and Robert Bly among others.

Franklin currently works with Special Collections at Georgia State University, both on his own papers and on a virtual symposium for the centennial of James Broughton. He has an ongoing interest in personal narratives drawing on Harry Hay’s three questions: who are we, where do we come from, and why are we here? He lives just outside of Decatur which is just outside of Atlanta with a cat and five fish.


Why We Pray

if your luck goes bad
get a witch to give you
a bath
get a shaman to cook
your supper
get a high priestess
to do your hair
get a siren to sing you
a lullaby
all ritual is illogical
and impractical
but when it works
the absurd
the sublime

—Franklin Abbott, Pink Zinnia