Mary Norwood, In Her Own Words

Mary Norwood answers questions.

If you missed my previous posts on Mary Norwood, I hope you will take a few minutes to read them: State Senator Orrock Calls Out Mary Norwood and More on Atlanta Mayor Hopeful, Mary Norwood.

The bottom line:  In a Facebook note, State Senator Nan Orrock wrote, “Norwood walked out on them.  That’s what she does; she walks out.”  “Them” refers to Atlanta’s LGBT community.

Today, I attended a grass roots event in Grant Park, and I was able to obtain Mary Norwood’s response to Senator’s Orrock’s Facebook statement.  Take a moment to listen; you will hear the response directly from Norwood:

One attendee at the grass roots event stated that she had been impressed with Norwood as an Atlanta City Council Member because of a quick response and resolution to a problem that went unattended by Mayor Shirley Franklin’s office.  The attendee asked Norwood if she would remain accessible if elected mayor.  Norwood pledged to be a mayor that “does not hide in the weeds.”  She stated she will be visible and quick to act to the needs of Atlanta and its citizens.

I was interested in Norwood’s search plan for filling the position of Atlanta’s Chief of Police.  Many people have suggested she start a nationwide hunt; however, she wants to start the search by looking within. She stated the people of Atlanta need someone who already knows the ins and outs of Atlanta, not someone who will have to spend months learning the city.  Norwood wants to do an online poll with APD officers to see who they feel should fill the spot.  She also wants to involve members of the Atlanta City Council to be part of the interview process.  And, to top it off, when it comes to time for the interviews, Norwood wants candidates to come with a written plan of action of what needs to be done.

Here is a link to a video from tonight’s WSBTV debate:
Candidates on Saving City Services

More On Atlanta Mayor Hopeful, Mary Norwood

Norwood having fun while showing her support for the LGBT community at the '09 Atl Pride Festival.

In case you didn’t see it, I wrote a post titled “State Senator Orrock Calls Out Mary Norwood.” (Check out the link if you missed Senator Orrock’s comments, which were taken from one of her Facebook notes.

On 11/25/09, around 1pm, I sent an email with Senator Orrock’s comments and two questions to the Norwood campaign:

  1. What is your response to Senator Orrock’s statement?
  2. More importantly, why did you abstain from voting on such an important issue for Atlanta’s LGBT community?

I received an email from Roman Levit, Norwood’s campaign manager, around 6pm on 11/25/09.  Even with the runoff around the corner o and each candidate is utilizing every second of the day until then, I wasn’t expecting a response from the Norwood campaign on the same day that I sent the email.

Today, I was not able to get back in touch with Mr. Levit.  We went from email to phone conversation.  He gave a thorough reply to the comments made by Senator Orrock.

I am not going into detail about Mr. Levit’s reply; tomorrow, I will have a few minutes for a face to face interview with Mary Norwood to discuss Senator Orrock’s comments.

More to come tomorrow evening!

Double Ds: Kurt Brown

Kurt Brown joins the Double Ds!

Brown is the founder of the Aspen Writers’ Conference and edited the Aspen Anthology.  His poems have appeared in the Ontario Review, Massachusetts Review, Crazyhorse, Southern Poetry Review, Harvard Review, and many more. His books include Sincerest Flatteries: A Little Book of Imitations, Return of the ProdigalsFables from the Ark, Future Ship, and More Things in Heaven and Earth.  No Other Paradise, Brown’s latest collection, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. Click here for more information on Kurt Brown.

Denise Asks:
Who is your favorite actor and why?

Kurt Brown:
This is a hard one —  I want to say anyone who makes me forget who they really are and convinces me that they are really the character they are playing. But that’s way too general. I could list a number of actors who always convince me — Richard Burton, Meryl Streep, Anthony Hopkins, Cate Blanchett, Laura Linney, early Jack Nicholson, much of Brando, Helen Mirren, Tom Hanks in one scene from “Punchline,” Jeremy Irons, John Hurt, Vanessa Redgrave, among others  (actors who have never convinced me of anything: Keith Carradine, Tom Cruise, Dennis Hopper, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Redford, Kathy Bates, Sylvester Stallone, all clunky and painfully self-conscious). But these are all English speaking, contemporary actors. Sometimes (often) totally unknown actors will sweep me away with their performances, and the best actors in any film are frequently not the stars but those in supporting roles. What about actors from other countries and other cultures? And what about the great actors of the past, even silent film actors? I love everything about Chaplin but his sentimentality. Kurosawa’s actors are stylized, but great. Sometimes, in some films, Gerard Depardieu; and the new French sensation, Audrey Tatu.  I think Claire Danes has great tragic potential. Dustin Hoffman has entertained me for years, but only as a comic actor. Some Australian actors whose names escape me at the moment. The brilliance of Antonio Mastroianni. But I’m only running on. I haven’t answered your question, only circled it. I hope that’s sufficient.

Dustin asks:
What book(s) had the most influence on you as you started to write poetry?

Kurt Brown:
This is easy: Edith Hamilton’s book about Greek mythology, “Timeless Tales…” etc. I read this book in high school on my own (one of the first books I read that wasn’t assigned) and it blew my mind. What thrilled me was the drama, violence, sudden metamorphosis, and surprisingly human character of the gods. But what really happened, without my knowing it at the time, was that the book opened me to the power of imagination. Film, television, and radio hadn’t done this, at least not as well. But readingabout the gods expanded the possibilities, for me, of what imagination can do. Text was far more powerful for me than objectified art because I had to create a world myself, not just observe someone else’s version of one. Somewhere in his work Thoreau boldly asserts that no great poetry has been written since the Greek myths. This shocked me: what about Shakespeare, Milton, The Romantics, and so on. But I can see now where he was coming from: the primal, uncivilized imagination untouched by culture and Tradition. Later, in college, Dante’s “Inferno” took me even farther, deeper into the possibilities of the imagination. I was stricken with the power of it, and I’ve never recovered.

State Senator Orrock Calls Out Mary Norwood

It started with a Facebook status update on 11/22/09 at 11:05pm:

Nan Grogan Orrock Compare record on GLBT issues of Kasim Reed and Mary Norwood. Norwood walked out on a Council vote to provide domestic partner benefits for Atlanta employees, police & firemen. She had no

explanation for her walk in tonight’s debate. See their records compared in my Note

Then came Senator Orrock’s Facebook note; please note this is only part of the FB notet:

It was March 20, 2006 – before Norwood had time to calculate whether it was in her political best interest be a voice for

the LGBTQ community. Norwood was at the beginning and ending of that council meeting. She voted for the legisl

ation immediately before and immediately following this HISTORIC BILL. But Norwood decided she would chose to NOT VOTE for extending these benefits to Domestic Partners.

Procedurally, if she had a conflict of interest on other legislation, Norwood could have requested that these

three items be included in a separate vote. But, she didn’t! When the LGBTQ community had an issue come before the Atlanta City Council that had a direct impact on their daily lives and those of their partners, Mary

Norwood walked out on them. That’s what she does; she walks out.

I noticed a comment to the note: “Mary ‘Walk Out’ Norwood.”  OUCH!

When I sent an email inquiring about the Atlanta Eagle Raid, Norwood responded promptly.  I never received an email from Kasim Reed or Lisa Borders.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to compliment Norwood’s response time once again— I sent her an email in regards to Orrock’s statement.

Let’s see what happens!

Workshop w/ Denise Duhamel

Limp Wrist presents a workshop with Denise Duhamel!

Only 7 spots left;  reserve your spot today!

PLEASE, share the information below…

Description: MEMORY AND DESIRE: This generative workshop will focus on writing exercises and prompts that focus on obsessions and the poetic forms they can take.
Date: 2/26/10
Time: 6pm to 9pm
Cost: $75*
Location: TBA (will be in the city of Atlanta or at least ITP)

Anyone interested should send an email to; put “Workshop w/ Denise Duhamel” in the subject line.

*Part of the proceeds from the workshop will fund the Limp Wrist Scholarship.

SoVo/David, You’ll Be Missed

[Southern Voice] employees arrived at the newspaper’s offices off of Briarcliff Road early Monday to find the door locked and a sign posted on the front:

“It is with great regret that we must inform you that effective immediately, the operations of Window Media LLC and Unite Media LLC have closed down.”


The websites to Southern Voice and David, which were online early Monday, were shut down by 8:30 a.m. Visitors to the sites received an “unexpected error” message. Myers and Kitchens could not be immediately reached for comment Monday morning.