Why There Are Words

Why There Are Words Presents the Gravity Readings, November 13, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on October 14, 2014

Why There Are Words presents the the following authors, reading from their works on the theme of “Gravity.” In considering gravity–a natural phenomenon by which all physical bodies attract one another; the only force acting on all particles with mass; it has an infinite range; it is always attractive and never repulsive; and it cannot be absorbed, transformed, or shielded against–we fall (as bodies with mass must) in love, deeply attracted to the metaphorical possibilities. Join us to have your solar system heated, transformed, evolved. November 13, 2014, at Studio 333 in Sausalito.  Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Julia Fierro

Julia Fierro

Julia Fierro is the founder of The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, which has been a home to over 2000 NYC creative writers since 2002. Her first novel, Cutting Teeth, ( St. Martin’s Press, May 2014), was picked by HuffPost Books, Flavorwire and The Millions as one of the most anticipated books of 2014. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow, her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Guernica, The Millions, Flavorwire, and other publications. She has been profiled in The L Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, The Observer, and The Economist. She lives on the Brooklyn waterfront with her husband and two children.

Molly Giles

Molly Giles

Molly Giles has published a novel, Iron Shoes, and three award-winning collections of short stories, Rough Translations, Creek Walk, and Bothered. Her ebook of three stories titled Three For the Road was recently published by Shebooks and is available from Amazon, and her newest collection, All the Wrong Places, just won the Spokane Prize and will be forthcoming from Willow Springs Press next January. She has current work in The New Flash Fiction Review and The Louisville Review. She has submitted to Glimmer Train seventeen times and has never even made the runners up list.

Don Mitchell

Don Mitchell

Don Mitchell is an ecological anthropologist, writer, and photographer, who grew up in Hilo, on the island of Hawai’i. He studied anthropology and creative writing at Stanford and earned a PhD in anthropology from Harvard. He taught anthropology for many years at a state college in Buffalo, NY. His story collection A Red Woman Was Crying (2013) takes the reader into the rich and complex internal lives of a South Pacific people called the Nagovisi, among whom he lived for several years in the 1960s and 70s. Through the narrators the reader knows the young anthropologist, himself struggling with his identity as a Vietnam-era American, who’s come to study their culture in a time of change. Don Mitchell lives in Hilo with the poet Ruth Thompson.

Antonya Nelson

Antonya Nelson

Antonya Nelson is the author of four novels, including Bound (Bloomsbury, 2010) and seven short story collections, including Funny Once (Bloomsbury, 2014). Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, Redbook and many other magazines, as well as in anthologies such as Prize Stories: the O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. She is the recipient of a USA Artists Award in 2009, the 2003 Rea Award for Short Fiction, as well as NEA and Guggenheim Fellowships, and teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program, as well as in the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. She lives in Telluride, Colorado, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Houston, Texas.

Ruth Thompson

Ruth Thompson

Ruth Thompson is the author of Woman With Crows (2013) and Here Along Cazenovia Creek (2011). Woman with Crows explores a new mythology of the divine feminine, from encounters with “hungry ghosts” to the fool-crone, “dancing what she does not know to dance.” The book was a finalist for the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s To the Lighthouse Prize, and includes poems that won the New Millennium Writings Award and the Harpur Palate Milton Kessler prize. Her chapbook Here Along Cazenovia Creek was the basis for “The Seasons,” a collaborative performance of poetry and dance with the great Japanese dancer Shizuno Nasu. Much of her new work explores the experience of dementia through figures like “The White Queen” and the mad Pythia of “Dementia,” and some of this new work appears in Poetry Flash and Tupelo Quarterly. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and received a BA from Stanford and a PhD from Indiana University. In a previous life, she was a college dean in Los Angeles. She now lives in Hilo, Hawai’i with writer-anthropologist Don Mitchell. She teaches writing, and meditation, yoga, and writing workshops throughout the US.

Peter Turchi

Peter Turchi

Peter Turchi‘s books include A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic ; Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as CartographerSuburban Journals: The Sketchbooks, Drawings, and Prints of Charles Ritchie, in collaboration with the artist; a novel, The Girls Next Door; and a collection of stories, Magician. He has also co-edited, with Andrea Barrett, A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft and The Story Behind the Story: 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work; and, with Charles Baxter, Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The Craft of Fiction and the Writing Life. His stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Story, the Alaska Quarterly ReviewPuerto del Sol, and the Colorado Review. From 1993 to 2008 he directed the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. Peter Turchi recently taught at Arizona State University, where he was director of the creative writing program, and he’s currently a professor of creative writing at the University of Houston.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay, the South Bay–everywhere–to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong into its fifth year.

Why There Are Words Presents Plenty, Oct. 9, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on September 12, 2014

Why There Are Words presents an eloquent bounty from the following authors, reading from their works on the theme of “Plenty.” Join us for the plentitude on October 9, 2014, at Studio 333 in Sausalito.  Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Katie Crouch

Katie Crouch

Katie Crouch is a New York Times bestselling novelist and essayist. Her books include Girls in Trucks, Men and Dogs, and Abroad. She has also written two novels for young adults, and has contributed to The London Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Slate, Salon, and Glamour. She has a regular column on The Rumpus called “Missed.” A MacDowell Fellow and alumnae of Brown University and the Columbia MFA program, she lives with her family in Bolinas, California.

 

Carol Edgarian

Carol Edgarian

Carol Edgarian is an author, journalist, editor, and publisher.  Her novels include the recent New York Times bestseller Three Stages of Amazement and the international bestseller Rise the Euphrates.  She is a frequent essayist for the Wall Street Journal, NPR, W, among others. In 2003, Carol co-founded Narrative, a leading digital platform for storytelling, publishing more than three hundred writers each year.  A graduate of Stanford, Carol lives with her family in San Francisco.

Anne Germanacos

Anne Germanacos

Anne Germanacos’s collection of short stories, In the Time of the Girls, was published by BOA Editions in 2010. Her novel, Tribute, was published by Rescue Press in 2014. Together with her husband, she ran the Ithaka Cultural Study Program in Greece on the islands of Kalymnos and Crete. She runs the Germanacos Foundation in San Francisco.

Joshua Mohr

Joshua Mohr

Joshua Mohr is the author of four novels, including Damascus, which the New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.”  He’s also written Fight Song and Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, as well as Termite Parade, an Editors’ Choice on the New York Times Best Seller List. His novel All This Life is due out Summer 2015 from Counterpoint/Soft Skull.

Bich Minh Nguyen

Bich Minh Nguyen

Bich Minh Nguyen (you can also call her Beth) is the author of the novel Pioneer Girl, published this year by Viking. She is also the author of the novel Short Girls, which received an American Book Award, and the memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, which received the PEN/Jerard Award. Her work has been included in numerous anthologies, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications. She teaches in and directs the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.

Ellen Sussman

Ellen Sussman

Ellen Sussman is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels, A Wedding in Provence, The Paradise Guest House, French Lessons, and On a Night Like This. She is the editor of two critically acclaimed anthologies, Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave and Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex. She teaches through Stanford Continuing Studies and in private classes.

Josh Weil

Josh Weil

Josh Weil is the author of the novel The Great Glass Sea (Grove, 2014) and The New Valley: Novellas (Grove, 2009), a New York Times Editors Choice that won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the New Writers Award from the GLCA, and a “5 Under 35” Award from the National Book Foundation. His short fiction has appeared in Granta, Esquire, Tin House, and One Story, among others, and his nonfiction in the Sun, Poets & Writers, and the New York Times. A recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, he has been the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Bowling Green State University and the Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. He lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills where he is at work on a collection of stories.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay, the South Bay–everywhere–to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong into its fifth year.

Why There Are Words Presents Treasure, Sept. 11, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on August 18, 2014

Join Why There Are Words on September 11 at Studio 333 in Sausalito with the following treasured authors reading on the theme “Treasure.” Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Faith Adiele

Faith Adiele

Faith Adiele is the author of Meeting Faith, a memoir about becoming Thailand’s first black Buddhist nun, which won the PEN Beyond Margins Award; writer/narrator/subject of My Journey Home, a PBS documentary about her international family; and co-editor of Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology. A graduate of Harvard University, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program, she has been profiled in periodicals like Yes!, Marie Claire, and O: The Oprah Magazine. A popular MC and speaker, she lives in Oakland and teaches at California College of the Arts, The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, and VONA Summer Workshops for Writers of Color. She recently published The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide To Lady Problems.

Lucy Corin

Lucy Corin

Lucy Corin is the author of the short story collections One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses (McSweeney’s Books), and The Entire Predicament (Tin House Books) and the novel Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls (FC2). Stories have appeared in American Short Fiction, Conjunctions, Ploughshares, Tin House Magazine, and elsewhere. She’s been a fellow at Breadloaf and Sewanee, and spent 2012-13 at the American Academy in Rome as the John Guare Fellow in Literature.

ali eAli Eteraz grew up speaking Spanish in the Dominican Republic; moved to Pakistan where he attended both a rural madrassa and a Catholic school; and eventually arrived in Brooklyn, from where he moved to eleven more states, ending up in California. Currently an inhabitant of the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto, he is the author of the short story collection Falsipedies and Fibsiennes (Guernica Ed), and the darkly comic memoir Children of Dust (HarperCollins), which received Honorable Mention at the San Francisco Book Festival. This year he won the 3QD Arts & Literature Prize judged by novelist and NYTimes book columnist Mohsin Hamid. This summer Eteraz’s short story about migrant laborers in the Persian Gulf was published by the Chicago Quarterly Review.

Mary-Rose Hayes

Mary-Rose Hayes

Mary-Rose Hayes is the author of nine novels, most recently What She Had to Do, and include the TIME/LIFE bestseller Amethyst and two political thrillers co-authored with Senator Barbara Boxer. Her books have been translated into sixteen languages. She has published short stories and articles in England and the US, and has written an original screenplay for legendary movie star Lana Turner. She has worked as a script editor for Thames Television, London, and as Associate Editor for Pacific News Service, San Francisco, and taught creative writing at the University of California, Berkeley; Arizona State University; the Squaw Valley Community of Writers at Lake Tahoe; and for the past five years has been co-director of an annual writers’ retreat in Tuscany, Italy.

Zahra Noorbakhsh

Zahra Noorbakhsh

 

 

 

Zahra Noorbakhsh is a comedian, writer, and actor. The New Yorker Magazine dubbed her one-woman show “All Atheists Are Muslim” a highlight of the Int’l New York City Fringe Theater Festival. Zahra is also a contributor to the NY Times Featured anthology, “Love Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women.” She’s currently touring her newest solo-show “Hijab and Hammerpants.” Zahra is a member of the SF Writer’s Grotto and teaches courses there in storytelling, and comedy.

Angela Pneuman

Angela Pneuman

Angela Pnueman, raised in Kentucky, is a former Stegner Fellow and teaches fiction writing at Stanford University. Her work has been included in The Best American Short Stories, the Virginia Quarterly ReviewPloughshares, and elsewhere. Her widely praised story collection, Home Remedies, was hailed as “call[ing] to mind Alice Munro” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Her most recent book is the novel Lay It on My Heart (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). She lives in Chicago and in the Bay Area of California.

Linda Gray Sexton

Linda Gray Sexton

Linda Gray Sexton is daughter of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Anne Sexton. She has written four novels and two memoirs, Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide and Searching for Mercy Street, both published by Counterpoint. Her latest is Bespotted: My Family’s Love Affair With Thirty-Eight Dalmatians.

Renee Swindle

Renee Swindle

Renee Swindle is the author of Please Please Please ( Dial Press/Random House) and Shake Down the Stars (NAL Trad / 2013). She earned her BA in English from UC Irvine and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Diego State University. She’s lived in Oakland, CA for the last fourteen years with her three rescue dogs and three cats. Swindle’s newest novel, A Pinch of Ooh La La, will be released on August 5, 2014 by New American Library.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay–everywhere–to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong into its fifth year.

Why There Are Words Presents Outlaw Readers August 14, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on July 14, 2014

Join Why There Are Words on August 14, 2014 at Studio 333 in Sausalito with the following authors reading on the theme “Outlaw .” Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Katy Butler

Katy Butler

Katy Butler’s groundbreaking memoir, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, examines her parents’ desires for “Good Deaths” and the forces that stood in the way. Based on an award-winning NY Times Magazine piece, it was named one of “the Ten Best Memoirs of 2013” by Publishers Weekly. An award-winning medical journalist, she has written for the New Yorker, The NY Times, and many “Best of” collections. She has guest-lectured on shared medical decision-making at Harvard Medical School, Ochsner Clinics, John Muir Medical Center, and other leading hospitals and medical centers nationally.  She is a prior finalist for a National Magazine Award and a recipient of the Science in Society prize from the National Association of Science Writers.

Gina Frangello

Gina Frangello

Gina Frangello is the author of three books of fiction: A Life in Men (Algonquin 2014), now in its third printing, which has been included in the Target Emerging Authors series and has been a book club selection for NYLON magazine, The Rumpus, and The Nervous Breakdown; Slut Lullabies (Emergency Press 2010), which was a Foreword Magazine Best Book of the Year finalist, and  My Sister’s Continent (Chiasmus 2006). She is the Sunday editor for The Rumpus and the fiction editor for The Nervous Breakdown, and is on faculty at UCR-Palm Desert’s low residency MFA program in Creative Writing. The longtime Executive Editor of Other Voices magazine and Other Voices Books, she now runs Other Voices Queretaro, an international writing program in the Central Highlands of Mexico.

Ann Gelder

Ann Gelder

Ann Gelder is the author of the brand new novel Bigfoot and the Baby (Bonafide Books, July 2014). Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly ReviewCrazyhorse, Flavorwire, The Los Angeles Review of BooksTin House, and other publications. She has taught literature at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked as an online producer and marketing consultant.

 

Sandra Hunter

Sandra Hunter

Sandra Hunter’s fiction has been published in a number of literary magazines and received awards including the 2014 H.E. Francis Fiction Award, 2012 Cobalt Fiction Prize, 2011 Arthur Edelstein Short Fiction Prize and three Pushcart Prize nominations. Her debut novel, Losing Touch, was released in July 2014 (OneWorld Publications). She lives in Simi Valley, CA, with her husband and daughter, and is always on the lookout for the perfect gluten-free cupcake.

Edan Lepucki

Edan Lepucki

Edan Lepucki is the author of the novella If You’re Not Yet Like Me and the novel California, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Reads pick for fall 2014 (Little, Brown, July 2014), which Stephen Colbert is promoting in his Stephen vs. Amazon segment. Her short fiction has been published in McSweeney’s and Narrative magazine. She is a staff writer for The Millions and the founder and director of Writing Workshops Los Angeles.

Kathyrn Ma

Kathyrn Ma

Kathryn Ma is the author of the novel The Year She Left Us  (HarperCollins, May 2014). Her story collection, All That Work and Still No Boys, won the Iowa Short Fiction Award (Univ. of Iowa Press), and was named an SF Chronicle “Notable” Book and an LA Times “Discoveries” Book. She received the Meyerson Prize for Fiction and has published her short fiction widely.

Kate Milliken

Kate Milliken

Kate Milliken‘s debut story collection, If I’d Known You Were Coming, won the John Simmons Award for Short Fiction, judged by Julie Orringer, and was published by the University of Iowa Press last October. The recipient of fellowships to Yaddo, VSC, and the Tin House Workshop, she has also written for television and commercial advertising.

 

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay–everywhere–to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong into its fifth year.

Why There Are Words and RHINO July 10, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on June 17, 2014

Why There Are Words welcomes readers from the Chicago-based lit journal RHINO, when Senior Poetry Editor Angela Narciso Torres blows into town from the Windy City. RHINO is an award-winning literary annual journal which invites traditional and experimental work reflecting passion, originality, artistic conviction, and a love affair with language publishing poetry, flash fiction, and translations. As if that weren’t enough, special guest Roy Mash (whose work was also published in RHINO) will read from his first book. Join us July 10, 7 pm, at Studio 333 in Sausalito for a night that will blow you away. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

 

Julie Levine

Julie Levine

Julia B. Levine has won numerous awards for her work, including the 2003 Tampa Review Prize, the 1998 Anhinga Poetry Prize, and bronze medal from Foreword magazine, and a Discovery/The Nation award. Her fourth poetry collection, Small Disasters Seen in Sunlight (2014), inaugurates a new poetry series for Louisiana State University Press.  She has work appearing in several new anthologies, including The Places That Inhabit Us, The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. She received a PhD in clinical psychology from UC Berkeley, and lives and works in Davis, California.

Karen Llagas

Karen Llagas

Karen Llagas is a recipient of the second Filamore Tabios, Sr. Memorial Poetry Prize, and her first collection of poetry, Archipelago Dust, was published by Meritage Press in 2010. She has an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers and a BA in Economics from Ateneo de Manila. The recipient of a Hedgebrook Residency and a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, she lives in San Francisco, where she works as a Tagalog interpreter & lecturer at UC Berkeley and a poet-teacher with the California Poets in the Schools (CPITS).

Roy Mash

Roy Mash

Roy Mash is a long time board member of Marin Poetry Center. He holds degrees in English, Philosophy, and Computer Science, though he currently doodles his time away staring out of café windows, dabbing up the seeds that have fallen from an everything bagel, and mentally thumbing over his poems that have appeared widely in journals such as AGNI, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, The Evansville Review, Nimrod, Passages North, Poetry East, RHINO, and River Styx. His first full-length book, Buyer’s Remorse (Cherry Grove Collections,) came out in 2014 to wild acclaim in his head.

Cintia Santana

Cintia Santana

Born in Madrid, Spain, Cintia Santana is the author of Forth and Back: Translation, Dirty Realism, and the Spanish Novel (1985-1995). She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and a PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. Her work has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, The Missouri Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, RHINO, Anti-, and Pleiades. Her homophonic poem, “Qasida of Grief,” was selected by C.D. Wright as the winner of The Sycamore Review’s 2013 Wabash Poetry Prize. Currently, she teaches fiction and poetry workshops in Spanish, as well as literary translation courses, at Stanford University.

Kevin Simmonds

Kevin Simmonds

Kevin Simmonds is a writer and musician originally from New Orleans. His books include Bend to it, Mad for Meat, and Collective Brightness. He wrote the music and co-wrote the script for “Emmett Till, a river,” commissioned by the Creative Work Fund and premiered at San Francisco’s Theatre of Yugen last November. He also wrote the musical score for the Emmy Award-winning documentary “HOPE: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica,” commissioned by the Pulitzer Center and featured on PBS NewsHour. He has received three San Francisco Arts Commission grants and recently received the Edward Stanley Award from Prairie Schooner. He teaches music privately in San Francisco’s Marina district.

Daniel Suarez

Daniel Suarez

Daniel Suarez is a first generation Cuban-American born and raised in Chicago and currently resides in San Francisco. He is an MFA candidate at SFSU for Creative Writing and Editor in Chief for The Gorilla Press. His poems have appeared in The Columbia Poetry Review, RHINO, Metonym, The Quotable, Samizdat Literary Journal, and elsewhere.

Angela Narciso Torres

Angela Narciso Torres

Angela Narciso Torres first book of poetry, Blood Orange, won the 2013 Willow Books Literature Award for Poetry. Recent work appears in Cimarron Review, Colorado Review, and Cream City Review. A graduate of Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Angela has received fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, Ragdale Foundation, and Midwest Writing Center. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Manila, she currently resides in Chicago, where she teaches poetry workshops and serves as a senior poetry editor for RHINO.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay–everywhere–to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong into its fifth year.

Why There Are Words Features The Fabulist June 12, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on May 11, 2014

Why There Are Words welcomes readers from The Fabulist, a journal for fables, yarns, tales and fantastical art, edited by Joshua Wilson. The Fabulist’s books, chapbooks, posters, and art prints have been featured in conventioneer goodie-bags at several World Fantasy Conventions and at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Nebula Awards Weekend. Join us June 12, 7 pm, at Studio 333 in Sausalito for a weird, wild, and wonderful night. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Jen Burke Anderson

Jen Burke Anderson

Jen Burke Anderson is a writer in San Francisco. She writes the blog Civilization Party, is a three-time Litquake reader, and is at work on her first novel, which involves Bartok, Occupy, and Zen Buddhism. She has been published in The Fabulist, Instant City, Kitchen Sink, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She is currently workshopping her fiction at Stanford Continuing Education.

Tantra Bensko

Tantra Bensko

Tantra Bensko teaches fiction writing through UCLA X Writing Program, Writers College, and her own academy. She has books out and a speculative novella being published by Bewildering Stories. She has a couple hundred stories in journals and anthologies such as Women Writing The Weird, Surreal South, Ironic Fantastic, and The Fabulist. She lives in Berkeley.

Jenny Bitner

Jenny Bitner

Jenny Bitner’s fiction has been published in Mississippi Review, The Sun, Fence, Corium, PANK, and The Fabulist. Her story “The Pamphleteer” was selected by Dave Eggers for Best American Nonrequired Reading and incorporated into an opera by The Paul Bailey Ensemble. Her nonfiction has appeared in Utne Reader, To-Do List, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Men’s Health.  She organized Irrational Exuberance, a cross-genre series combining music, visual art, writing, performance art and lectures, and a literary reading series, The Basement Reading Series. Pine Press published a chapbook of her poetry entitled Mother. She has finished a novel Here Is a Game We Can Play and is seeking a publisher. She earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Virginia.

James Hritz

James Hritz

James Hritz is a Northern California author who is eager to make the next great leap in his work. Previously published fiction can be viewed at So It Goes (A Tribute to Kurt Vonnegut), Southpaw Journal (Editor’s Choice selection), and The Fabulist, among other places.

Jeremy Adam Smith

Jeremy Adam Smith

Jeremy Adam Smith is an award-winning journalist, and the author or coeditor of four nonfiction books, most recently Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Fatherhood. His science-fiction novella The Wreck of the Grampus made numerous top ten lists in 2008, and his fiction has appeared in many literary and genre journals, including Conjunctions and The Fabulist. He lives in Berkeley with a wife, a son, and a tuxedo cat.

Maw Shein Win

Maw Shein Win

Maw Shein Win’s writing has appeared in journals such as 2River, No Tell Motel, Big Bridge, The Fabulist, and Forklift, Ohio, and has work forthcoming in Zocalo Public Square and the anthology Cross-Strokes (Otis Books/Seismicity Editions). She is currently a poetry editor for Rivet: The Journal of Writing that Risks for Red Bridge Press, a co-publisher for Stretcher, and was an artist in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts. She often collaborates with visual artists and musicians, and her latest poetry chapbook, Ruins of a glittering palace, with paintings by Mark Dutcher, was published by SPA/Commonwealth Projects. She is a freelancer at the SF Writers’ Grotto and lives in Berkeley.

John Zic

John Zic

John Zic holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College, and is working on a novel. His poetry appeared in Fierce Hunger, an anthology of poetry from Writing Ourselves Whole. He has been a director and actor with Aurora Theatre, Berkeley Repertory, TheatreWorks, and Young Performer’s Theatre, and he taught at the Academy of Art. His short story, “A Secret Mother,” is forthcoming in The Fabulist.

Josh Wilson, a journalist and editor in San Francisco, started The Fabulist in 2007 as a home for fantastical fiction and art of all sorts. The site reflects a certain omnivorous appetite for far-out stories that disregards genre, and instead breaks fiction down as “fables, yarns and tales.” By doing so, The Fab hopes to disrupt audience expectations and open up new terrain for the literature of the fantastic. Learn more about Josh’s nonfiction activities here.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay–everywhere–to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong into its fifth year.

Why There Are Words May 8, 2014: Contradiction.

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on April 14, 2014

Murkiness, muddiness, confusion, part truth, part fiction. We live between two poles. Join us May 8 when the following readers will read from their works exploring the theme Contradiction. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.  Studio 333 in Sausalito.

Natalie Baszile

Natalie Baszile

Natalie Baszile is the author of the debut novel Queen Sugar. An early version of Queen Sugar won the Hurston Wright College Writer’s Award, was a co-runner up in the Faulkner Pirate’s Alley Novel-in-Progress competition, and excerpts were published in Cairn and ZYZZYVA. She has had residencies at the Ragdale Foundation where she was awarded the Sylvia Clare Brown fellowship, Virginia Center for the Arts, and Hedgebrook. Her non-fiction work has appeared in The Rumpus.net, Mission at Tenth, and in The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9. She is a former fiction editor at The Cortland Review, and is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. She has a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA, and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers where she was a Holden Minority Scholar.

Belo Cipriani

Belo Cipriani

Belo Cipriani is the writer-in-residence at Holy Names University and the spokesperson for Earl, the new reading application for the Apple OS. His first book, Blind: A Memoir, is a multiple award-winner and has been listed on various high school and college reading lists. His writing has appeared in Business Insider, Yahoo, Matador, The Good Men Project, and elsewhere. He keynoted the 2011 A.D.A celebration in San Francisco, has guest lectured at Yale University, and is a sought speaker at GLBT, disability, Latino and literary organizations around the country. He is also one of very few blind Capoeira players in the world.

Maria Hummel

Maria Hummel

Maria Hummel is the author of the poetry collection House and Fire, winner of the 2013 APR/Honickman First Book Prize, and two novels: Motherland (Counterpoint, 2014) and Wilderness Run (St. Martin’s, 2003). Her poetry and prose have appeared in Poetry, New England Review, Narrative, The Sun, and The Believer. Her work was also featured in the 2012 Pushcart Prize anthology and the centenary anthology The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine. A former Stegner Fellow in Poetry, Hummel teaches at Stanford University.

David Kukoff

David Kukoff

A native Angeleno and graduate of Columbia University and UCLA Film School, David Kukoff has eleven produced film and television credits to his name. He has published two books on film and television writing, has been the subject of features in Variety, Entertainment Weekly, and The Hollywood Reporter, and has taught writing at Northwestern University. Though he does not currently reside in Laurel Canyon, he has spent the better part of his adult life trying to get himself, as Joni Mitchell put it, “back to the garden.” Children of the Canyon is his first novel.

Alice LaPlante

Alice LaPlante

 Alice LaPlante is an award-winning fiction writer and teacher of writing. Her novel Turn of Mind, was a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Wellcome Prize for Literature and the California Book Award as well as the silver medal for Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers prize. She was a Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University and has taught creative writing at both Stanford and San Francisco State University. Her new book, Circle of Wives, explores the mystery that is at the heart of every marriage through a story about a polygamous doctor.

Jessica Levine

Jessica Levine

Jessica Levine is the author of the debut novel The Geometry of Love (She Writes Press, April 2014). Her stories, essays, poetry, and translations have appeared in many journals, including Green Hills Literary Lantern, North American Review, The Southern Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. She earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Delicate Pursuit: Literary Discretion in Henry James and Edith Wharton (Routledge, 2002) and has translated several books from French and Italian into English.

Porter Shreve

Porter Shreve

Porter Shreve is the author of four novels: The Obituary WriterDrives Like a Dream, When the White House Was Ours, and the recently published The End of the Book. His novels have been named New York Times Notable Book, Chicago Tribune Book of the Year, San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book, among others. He is coeditor of six fiction and essay anthologies and a forthcoming book with Pearson on Creative Writing Craft. He has taught at the University of Michigan, and in the MFA programs at the University of Oregon, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Purdue and the University of San Francisco.

Jane Vandenburgh

Jane Vandenburgh

Jane Vandenburgh‘s latest book is The Wrong Dog Dream. She is the award-winning author of two novels, Failure to Zigzag and The Physics of Sunset, as well as the nonfiction works, Architecture of the NovelA Writer’s Handbook, and The Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century, A Memoir. She has taught writing and literature at U. C. Davis, the George Washington University, and, most recently, at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Callfornia. A native of Berkeley, she has returned to live with her family in the West, and with Wayne Thiebaud, her new dog.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay — everywhere — to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong into its fifth year.

Why There Are Words: April 10, 2014. Bloomsbury Poets & More.

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on March 14, 2014

Why There Are Words presents poets published in the The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry and special guest novelist Amrit Chima on April 10.  Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.  Studio 333 in Sausalito. Join us for this one of a kind event.

Amrit Chima

Amrit Chima

Amrit Chima is the author of the debut novel Darshan  (an IndieReader fiction selection). She’s a former freelance travel writer with featured articles in Global Traveler Magazine and on Untapped Cities with syndication on Flavorwire. Born into a family with a history of inspiring migratory adventures, she has followed suit, traveling to over thirty countries, most notably India and Fiji, both of which are settings in Darshan. She holds an MFA from Emerson College in Boston, and after two years in Budapest, teaching English, she is now back home in the San Francisco Bay Area. She spends her free time working on her second novel, as well as curating a new reading series called anthology.

Susan Cohen

Susan Cohen

Susan Cohen is the author of Throat Singing.  Her new poems appear or are forthcoming in Connotation Press, Hunger Mountain, The Los Angeles Review, Mudfish18, Salamander, Sou’wester,  and Harpur Palate which awarded her the 2013 Milton Kessler Memorial Prize, one of her many honors from literary journals. She lives in Berkeley, taught at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and was a contributing writer for the Washington Post Magazine before rediscovering poetry while on a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University, then earning an MFA from Pacific University. She’s also co-author of Normal at Any Cost,  a book about height that won awards from the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the National Association of Science Writers.

Lucille Lang Day

Lucille Lang Day

Lucille Lang Day is the author of a memoir, Married at Fourteen: A True Story, which received a 2013 PEN Oakland – Josephine Miles Literary Award and was a finalist for the 2013 Northern California Book Award in Creative Nonfiction. She has also published a children’s book and eight poetry collections and chapbooks, including The Curvature of Blue, The Book of Answers, and Infinities. Her short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in more than 100 literary magazines, such as Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, The Hudson Review, The Paterson Literary Review, and The Threepenny Review. She earned her MFA in creative writing at San Francisco State University and her PhD in science/ mathematics education at UC Berkeley. The founder and director of a small press, Scarlet Tanager Books, she also served for many years as the director of the Hall of Health, an interactive museum in Berkeley. She converted to Judaism in 1974. Twitter: @LucilleLDay.

Colleen McKee

Colleen McKee

Colleen McKee grew up with Russian Jews and Southern Baptists in a log cabin in rural Missouri (and lived to tell the tale). Colleen is the author of four collections of poetry, fiction, and memoir–including her new book, called Nine Kinds of Wrong. She now lives in Oakland and teaches at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.

Lee Slonimsky

Lee Slonimsky

Lee Slonimsky is the author of four books of poems, the most recent  Logician of the Wind (2012) from Orchises Press in Virginia.  A fifth, Wandering Electron, is forthcoming from Spuyten Duyvil Press in New York City in the fall of 2014.  Along with Santa Rosa CA poet and radio host Katherine Hastings, he is the co-author of a chapbook, Slow Shadow/White Delirium, published in the fall of 2013 by Word Temple Press.  Lee’s individual poems and essays have appeared in Best of Asheville Poetry Review, The Carolina Quarterly, The Classical Outlook, Measure, New Ohio Review, The New York Times, North Dakota Quarterly, Poetry Daily, 32 Poems, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and other journals.  And he is co-author, along with his wife, Hammett Prize winning novelist Carol Goodman, of Lee Carroll’s Black Swan Rising urban fantasy trilogy.

Melissa Stein

Melissa Stein

Melissa Stein is the author of the poetry collection Rough Honey, winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. Her work has appeared in Southern Review, Harvard Review, New England Review, Best New Poets 2009, and many other journals and anthologies. She is a freelance editor and writer in San Francisco.

Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet’s The Greenhouse is forthcoming from Bull City Press in 2014. Her first book of poems, Tulips, Water, Ash was selected for the Morse Poetry Prize and published by University Press of New England. Her poems have been awarded a Javits fellowship and a Phelan Award, and have appeared in journals including Cream City Review, At Length, Quarterly West, Blackbird, The Iowa Review, 32 Poems, and Third Coast and in the anthologies Best New Poets and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. She writes, edits, and teaches in Oakland, California.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay — everywhere — to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong into its now fifth year.

Why There Are Words: March 13, 2014. Name the Theme.

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on February 15, 2014

Why There Are Words wants you to name the theme. Join us March 13th when the following readers will read from their works. Listen closely and decide the evening’s theme. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.  Studio 333 in Sausalito.

Kirsten Chen

Kirstin Chen

Kirstin Chen is the author of Soy Sauce for Beginners. A former Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing, she holds an MFA from Emerson College and a BA from Stanford University. She has received awards from the Sewanee and Napa Valley Writers Conferences. Her short stories have appeared in Zyzzyva, Hobart, Pank, and others, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best New American Voices anthology. She was born and raised in Singapore and currently lives in San Francisco, where she’s at work on her second novel, set on a tiny island off the coast of southern China in 1958.

Adrianne Harun

Adrianne Harun

Adrianne Haruns prize-winning short fiction, essays, and book reviews have been published in numerous magazines and journals, including Story, the Chicago Tribune, Narrative MagazineOntario Review, The Sun, Willow Springs, and Colorado Review. Her first novel is A Man Came Out of the Door in the Mountain (Penguin Books, February 2014). Her short story collection, The King of Limbo (Houghton Mifflin), was a Sewanee Writing Series selection and a Washington State Book Award finalist. Stories from an upcoming collection have been noted as “Distinguished Stories” in both Best American Mystery Stories (2003) and Best American Short Stories (2009). She is also a member of the core faculty of the Rainier Writing Workshops, an MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University, as well as a faculty member at the Sewanee School of Letters at the University of the South. She lives with her husband in Port Townsend, Washington.

David Haynes

David Haynes

David Haynes is the author of seven novels for adults and five books for younger readers. He is an Associate Professor of English at Southern Methodist University where he directs the creative writing program. He teaches regularly in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and has taught in the MFA Programs at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Hamline University, and at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD, and at the Writers’ Garret in Dallas. His teaching interests include gender, class, race, and generational differences – all themes that he explores in great depth in A Star in the Face of the Sky, his most recent novel. He received a fellowship from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and several of his short stories have been recorded for the National Public Radio series “Selected Shorts.” In 1996 Granta magazine named him as one of the best young American novelists. For fifteen years David served as a teacher in urban schools, mostly teaching middle grades in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and was involved in the work of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, coordinating efforts of the nation’s finest educators to develop standards in the fields of social studies, vocational education, early childhood education and for teachers of students whose first language is not English. He is currently a director of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and is the Founder and Project Director for Kimbilio.

Maria Hummel

Maria Hummel

Maria Hummel is the author of the poetry collection House and Fire, winner of the 2013 APR/Honickman First Book Prize, and two novels: Motherland (Counterpoint, 2014) and Wilderness Run (St. Martin’s, 2003). Her poetry and prose have appeared in Poetry, New England Review, Narrative, The Sun, and The Believer. Her work was also featured in the 2012 Pushcart Prize anthology and the centenary anthology The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine. A former Stegner Fellow in Poetry, Hummel teaches at Stanford University.

Michael Nava

Michael Nava

Michael Nava, a third-generation Californian of Mexican descent, is the author of an acclaimed series of crime novels featuring Henry Rios, a gay Latino criminal defense lawyer. Published between 1986 and 2000, each new novel was greeted with greater critical acclaim until, about the last novel, Rag and Bone, the New York Times reviewer wrote simply:  “Nava is one of our best.” The series won six Lambda Literary Awards. In 2001, Nava received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in gay and lesbian literature. For the last 15 years, Nava has been working on a series of novels loosely inspired by the life and times of silent film star Ramon Novarro, a Mexican national who fled his homeland as a teenager during the Mexican Revolution and became one of the great stars of the silent era, known most memorably for his role in the original Ben Hur. The City of Palaces is the first novel in the series and is set in Mexico City just before and at the beginning of the Revolution of 1910.

Ethel Rohan

Ethel Rohan

Ethel Rohan is the author of two story collections, Goodnight Nobody and Cut Through the Bone, the latter named a 2010 Notable Story Collection by The Story Prize. She is also the author of the chapbook, Hard to Say. Her e-book, a short memoir titled His Heartbeat in my Hand, is forthcoming from Shebooks in 2014. Winner of Ireland’s 2013 Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award, her work has or will appear in The New York TimesWorld Literature TodayPEN America, Tin House Online, BREVITY Magazine, and The Rumpus, among many others. A former book reviewer for New York Journal of Books, she received her MFA in fiction from Mills College. Raised in Dublin, Ireland, she lives in San Francisco where she is a member of The Writers’ Grotto and PEN USA.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay — everywhere — to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong into its fifth year.

Why There Are Words & ZYZZYVA February 13

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on January 12, 2014

Why There Are Words teams up with ZYZZYVA – the last word: West Coast writers and artists as the journal marks its 100th issue this coming spring. Join us Feb. 13 when readers recently published in the journal, along with special guest Marian Szczepanski, will read from their latest works. Doors open at 7pm. $10.  Studio 333 in Sausalito.

First published in 1985, and marking its 100th issue in Spring 2014, ZYZZYVA is an acclaimed San Francisco literary institution. Counting among its contributors the likes of Po Bronson, Chitra Divakaruni, Haruki Murakami, Jim Gavin, F.X. Toole, Sherman Alexie, Molly Giles, Kay Ryan, Adrienne Rich, Raymond Carver, and many others, work appearing in ZYZZYVA has received the Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Award, and has been noted or included in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Essays, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading series. Editor Laura Cogan and Managing Editor Oscar Villalon have been editing the journal since 2011.

Heather_Altfeld

Heather Altfeld

Heather Altfeld is a lecturer in the English department at California State University, Chico. Her recently completed book of poetry is The Disappearing Theatre. She has published poetry in Pleiades, ZYZZYVA, Superstition Review, The Tule Review, The Squaw Valley Review, Antique Children, Clackamas, and The New Guard.

Troy Jollimore

Troy Jollimore

Troy Jollimore is Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Chico. He is the author of On Loyalty (Routledge), Love’s Vision (Princeton University Press), and two collections of poems: At Lake Scugog (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets) and Tom Thomson in Purgatory (Margie/Intuit House), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry.

Earle McCartney

Earle McCartney

Earle McCartney is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was awarded the Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship. He was published recently in ZYZZYVA and The Common, and holds a BA in mathematics from Williams College. He is currently at work on a novel and a collection of long stories. Earle McCartney is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and was awarded the Joseph Henry Jackson Award in 2013. His work has appeared in ZYZZYVA and the Common, and he’s currently at work on a novel and a collection of long stories.

Lori Ostlund

Lori Ostlund

Lori Ostlund‘s story collection The Bigness of the World (University of Georgia Press) was awarded the California Book Award, the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, and the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. The recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, she lives in San Francisco.

Dean Rader

Dean Rader

Dean Rader’s poetry collection Works & Days (Truman State University Press) was the winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize. His most recent book is Landscape/Portrait/Figure/Form (Omnidawn). He is a professor of English at the University of San Francisco. http://www.deanrader.com

Marian-Szczepanski

Marian Szczepanski

Marian Szczepanski holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and has won awards for short fiction and magazine feature writing. The granddaughter of immigrant coal miners, she grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania and lived as a young child in the Jamison Coal Company house where her mother and aunts were raised. Playing St. Barbara is her first novel. She lives in Houston, Texas.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay — everywhere — to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong for four years.

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