Talk of the Town - Book boys November 06 2002

Most guys are happy enough attracting the attention of women. But winning over the ladies was never the motivation behind Brother 2 Brother, a two-day literary symposium organized to encourage African-American men to get involved in the creative process — and find out why they aren't reading their books.

The event was spearheaded by Brian Egeston, Vincent Alexandria and Timmothy McCann, three African-American authors. With two self-published books to his credit, Egeston (pictured) says it's not uncommon for a reading featuring a black male writer to have 80 percent women in the audience. The symposium's goal is to help pinpoint why there aren't more black men reading fiction.

Egeston credits his own love of writing to a woman — his mother, who enrolled him in reading and writing programs starting at 9 years old.

"I've been telling lies ever since I was a little boy," he jokes. "And all writers are professional liars."

With discussion groups such as "The Futures of Fiction," "Learning About Love and Lust" and "Harvesting the Next Generation of Readers and Writers," Egeston and the others are looking to attract a large and involved group to the Clark Atlanta University campus, in hopes that they'll leave with the motivation to create better fiction for the male market.

Free. Nov. 8-9. Fri. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Clark Atlanta University, 223 James P. Brawley Drive. 404-880-8000. www.theliteraryevent.com/symposium.??