Why There Are Words

Why There Are Words and Joyland, with Daniel Handler, May 14, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on April 15, 2015

Why There Are Words presents a collaboration with Joyland, along with special guest Daniel Handler. Join us May, 14 2015, at Studio 333 in Sausalito. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Based on the idea that fiction is an international movement supported by local communities Joyland is a literary magazine that selects stories regionally. Editors work with authors connected to locales across North America.

Kara Levy, editor

Kara Levy, editor

Kara Levy has been the San Francisco editor of Joyland for six years. A former Steinbeck fellow at San José State University, she earned her MFA at Columbia University. Her stories have been published in the Alaska Quarterly Review, TriQuarterly, and the Mississippi Review, and she was a winner of Narrative’s 30 Below contest.

Zoe Ferraris

Zoe Ferraris

 

Zoë Ferraris moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in the aftermath of the first Gulf War. She lived in a conservative Muslim community with her then-husband and his family, a group of Saudi-Palestinians. In 2006, she completed her MFA in Fiction at Columbia University. Her debut novel, Finding Nouf, won the LA Times Book Award. That novel and its follow-upsCity of Veils and Kingdom of Strangers, have been international bestsellers, published in over thirty-five countries. She currently lives in San Francisco.

Ruth Galm

Ruth Galm

Ruth Galm’s debut novel, Into the Valley, will be out from Soho Press in August 2015.  Her writing has also appeared or is forthcoming in the Kenyon ReviewIndiana Review, and Joyland.  She holds an MFA from Columbia University and is a past resident of the Ucross Foundation.  She was born and raised in San José, California, spent time in New York City and Boston, and now lives in San Francisco.

Rachel Khong

Rachel Khong

Rachel Khong is the senior editor of Lucky Peach, and has worked for the publication since its inception in 2011. In addition to Lucky Peach, her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Believer, The Rumpus, American Short FictionJoyland, and California Sunday. She is currently at work on a novel. She lives in San Francisco.

Marian Palaia

Marian Palaia

Marian Palaia is the author of The Given World, a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” pick for summer 2015, forthcoming in April from Simon and Schuster. Marian has lived in San Francisco, on and off, since 1985, and has also lived in Maryland, Montana, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, and Nepal, where she was a Peace Corps volunteer. In past lives, she has been a teacher, a truck driver, a bartender, and the littlest logger in Lincoln, Montana.

Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Maggie Tokuda-Hall has an MFA in writing and a tendency to spill things. She splits her time between writing for kids and adults, and her debut picture book, And Also an Octopus, is due out next year. You can find her short fiction on JoylandMidnight Breakfast, The Tusk, and Boing Boing, or on her website, prettyokmaggie.com.

Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler

SPECIAL GUEST Daniel Handler is the author of five novels, most recently Why We Broke Up, which won a Michael L. Printz Honor, and the just-published We Are Pirates. As Lemony Snicket, he is responsible for numerous books for children, including the thirteen-volume A Series Of Unfortunate Events, the four-volume All The Wrong Questions, and The Dark, which won the Charlotte Zolotow Award.  He has received commissions from the San Francisco Symphony and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is collaborating with artist Maira Kalman on a series of books for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, including Girls Standing on Lawns and Hurry Up and Wait.  His regular column for The Believer, “What The Swedes Read,” investigates the Nobel Prize for Literature, and he continues to serve as the adjunct accordionist for the Magnetic Fields, among other musical projects. His books have sold more than 60 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages, and have been adapted for screen and stage, including a Netflix television version of the entirety A Series of Unfortunate Events, currently in development.

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 for five years.

Why There Are Words Presents “Sure”, April 9, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on March 17, 2015

Why There Are Words presents “Sure,” an evening of readings free of doubt about their quality from these unwavering authors. Join us, and be convinced. April 9, 2015, Studio 333 in Sausalito. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

George Higgins

George Higgins

George Higgins is the author of a book of poems, There, There, (White Violet Press, 2013). His work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Nimrod, Pleiades, Fugue and many other literary journals. He is the recipient of a Holden Fellowship in the Warren Wilson MFA Program, a Cave Canem Fellowship, and a scholarship to the Westchester Poetry Conference in 2014. He practices law with the Alameda County Public Defender, performs dramatic improvisation at Berkeley Rep and with the long form troupe the (i)ncidentalists. He lives in Oakland, California.

Alexandra Kostoulas

Alexandra Kostoulas

Alexandra Kostoulas is a writer and editor living in San Francisco.  She has an MFA in Creative Writing and English from Mills College and a BA in Literature and Creative Writing from the College of Creative Studies at UCSB. She runs The Jack Grapes Method Writing Program in San Francisco and has over a decade of experience teaching English and Writing at the college level. She has just finished a poetry manuscript called “Leaving Los Angeles” that tells the story of a young woman poet’s coming of age and is finishing her novel, “Persephone Stolen,” that weaves in tales of the Persephone myth, the immigrant experience and stolen artifacts.

Eve Pell

Eve Pell

Eve Pell, the author of “Love, Again – The Wisdom of Unexpected Romance, and the nationally acclaimed “WE USED TO OWN THE BRONX,” reported for three award-winning PBS documentaries and is an award-winning writer published in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Nation, Ms., Runners World, and other publications. She has been a staff reporter at the Center for Investigative Reporting and a private eye; she taught journalism at San Francisco State University and is a grandmother and winner of the Dipsea race.

Connie Post

Connie Post

Connie Post is the Poet Laureate Emerita of Livermore. (2005 to 2009).  Her work has appeared in Calyx, Kalliope, Cold Mountain Review, Crab Creek Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Big Muddy, and Valparaiso Poetry Review.  She won the 2009 Caesura Poetry Award. Her first full-length book Floodwater was released by Glass Lyre Press in 2014 and won the Lyrebird Award.

Mindela Ruby

Mindela Ruby

Mindela Ruby writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, some of which is published in Literary Mama, Connotation Press, FRiGG, Arcadia, and other journals. She completed a PhD at University of California and teaches writing at a community college. Her novel, Mosh It Up, was released in 2014 and has been called “a literary marvel” by the author of The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien.

Jon Sindell is the author of the short fiction collection The Roadkill Collection (Big Table Publishing) and over seventy published short stories. Jon is a fulltime personal humanities tutor and a writing coach for business professionals. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and near fledglings, curates the San Francisco reading series Rolling Writers, and ends his bios with a thud.

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 for five years.

Why There Are Words Presents the “Time” Readings, March 12, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on February 19, 2015

Why There Are Words presents the event “Time,” the occasion in your schedule to enjoy the following distinguished authors read from their works. Join us March 12, 2015, at Studio 333 in Sausalito. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10. Here are the readers for this highly anticipated program.

 

Peter Coyote

Peter Coyote

Peter Coyote has performed as an actor for some of the world’s most distinguished filmmakers, including: Barry Levinson, Roman Polanski, Pedro Almodovar, Steven Spielberg, Walter Hill, Martin Ritt, Steven Soderberg, Diane Kurys, Sidney Pollack, and Jean Paul Rappeneau; and is an Emmy-Award winning narrator of over 120 documentary films, including Ken Burns, National Parks, Prohibition, The West, the Dust Bowl, and the acclaimed The Roosevelts. His memoir of the 1960’s counter-culture, Sleeping Where I Fall, received universally excellent reviews, appeared on three best-seller lists, sold five printings in hardback, and was re-released with a new cover and afterword in May 2009. A chapter from that book, “Carla’s Story,” won the 1993/94 Pushcart Prize for Excellence in non-fiction. His new book, The Rainman’s Third Cure: An Irregular Education, about mentors and the search for wisdom will be released April 14, 2015 by Counterpoint. He is an ordained Buddhist priest who has been practicing for 40 years and is currently preparing for his transmission ceremony, granting him independence from his teacher, this summer. He is and has been engaged in political and social causes since his early teens. He considers his 1952 Dodge Power Wagon to be his least harmful addiction.

Grant Faulkner

Grant Faulkner

Grant Faulkner is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month and the co-founder of the online lit journal 100 Word Story. His stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Poets & Writers, Writer’s Digest, The Southwest ReviewPANK, Gargoyle, eclectica, Puerto del Sol, the Berkeley Fiction Review, and Word Riot, among many others. His collection of one hundred 100-word stories, Fissures, will be out in the spring of 2015, and he’s just completed a novel, The Traveler.

T. Geronimo Johnson

T. Geronimo Johnson

Born and raised in New Orleans, T. Geronimo Johnson received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and his M.A. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from UC Berkeley. He has taught writing and held fellowships—including a Stegner Fellowship and an Iowa Arts Fellowship—at Arizona State University, the University of Iowa, UC Berkeley, Western Michigan University, and Stanford. His first novel, Hold it ‘Til it Hurts, was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Johnson is currently a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Nancy Levine

Nancy Levine

Nancy Levine is author of the bestselling four-book series beginning with The Tao of Pug (Penguin). She studied autobiographical storytelling with the late monologuist Spalding Gray and was a featured writer in HBO’s New Writer’s Project, workshopping her one-woman show “Leaving Scarsdale” at the HBO Workspace in Los Angeles. Her second book Homer for the Holidays (Penguin) won the award for Best Humor Book from the Dog Writers Association of America. She is currently at work on her fifth book, a novel called “Inheritances.” Originally from New York City, Nancy now lives in Woodacre, California.

Ann Pancake

Ann Pancake

Ann Pancake’s first novel, Strange As This Weather Has Been (Counterpoint 2007), was one of Kirkus Review’s Top Ten Fiction Books of the Year, won the 2007 Weatherford Prize, and was a finalist for the 2008 Orion Book Award and the 2008 Washington State Book Award. Her collection of short stories, Given Ground (University Press of New England, 2001) won the Bakeless Prize, and a new collection, Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley (Counterpoint) will be available in February 2015. She has also received a Whiting Award, an NEA grant, and a Pushcart Prize. Her fiction and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies like Orion, The Georgia Review, Poets and Writers, and New Stories from the South, the Year’s Best. She teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University.

Natasha Saje

Natasha Saje

Natasha Sajé is the author of three books of poems, Red Under the Skin (Pittsburgh, 1994), Bend (Tupelo, 2004), Vivarium (Tupelo, 2014), and a critical book about poetry, Windows and Doors: A Poet Reads Literary Theory, (Michigan, 2014). Her honors include the Robert Winner and the Alice Fay di Castagnola Awards from the Poetry Society of America, the 2002 Campbell Corner Poetry Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship to Slovenia, and a Camargo Fellowship in France. Sajé has been teaching in the low residency Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program since 1996, and is a professor of English at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, where she directs the Weeks Poetry Series.

Jessica Treadway

Jessica Treadway

Jessica Treadway’s novel Lacy Eye will be published by Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group in March 2015. Her story collection Please Come Back To Me received the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and was published by University of Georgia Press in 2010. Her previous books are Absent Without Leave and Other Stories and a novel, And Give You Peace. A professor at Emerson College, she has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Foundation.

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 for five years.

Why There Are Words Presents the Sweet Readings, Feb. 12, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on January 16, 2015

Why There Are Words presents the rescheduled event “Sweet,” a delectable assortment of delicious readings from the following authors. Come, and bring your sweetheart for the lusciousness you’ve been craving since December’s storm. February 12, at Studio 333 in Sausalito.  Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10. We’ll see you there!

hugh bHugh Behm-Steinberg is the author of Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books) and The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press). Bird poems have appeared in such places as Spork, Fence, Denver Quarterly and Ping-Pong. He teaches writing at California College of the Arts, where he edits the journal Eleven Eleven.

Brian Komei Dempster

Brian Komei Dempster

Brian Komei Dempster‘s debut book of poetry, Topaz, was published by Four Way Books in 2013 and received the 15 Bytes 2014 Book Award in Poetry. He is editor of From Our Side of the Fence: Growing Up in America’s Concentration Camps (Kearny Street Workshop, 2001), which received a 2007 Nisei Voices Award from the National Japanese American Historical Society, and Making Home from War: Stories of Japanese American Exile and Resettlement (Heyday, 2011). He is a professor of rhetoric and language and a faculty member in Asian Pacific American Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he also serves as Director of Administration for the Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies.

Cassandra Dunn

Cassandra Dunn

Cassandra Dunn is the author of The Art of Adapting (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster), which Publishers Weekly called “a lively, engaging, and heartfelt tale of learning how to cope with change.” She received her MFA in creative writing from Mills College. She was a semifinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and a finalist for Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. She’s published twelve short stories.

Rita M Gardner

Rita M Gardner

Rita Gardner is the author of the memoir The Coconut Latitudes (She Writes Press, September 2014). She grew up on her expatriate family’s coconut farm in the Dominican Republic during the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Living in a remote coastal village, she was home-schooled and began writing, reading, and painting at an early age. She returned to the U.S. to finish school and later moved to Northern California where she follows her passions—writing, traveling, trail hiking, and photography. Her published essays, articles, poems, and photographs have appeared in literary journals, travel magazines, and newspapers. She has been awarded writing residencies at Hedgebrook and Lit Camp.

Glen David Gold

Glen David Gold

Glen David Gold is the author of the novels Carter Beats the Devil and Sunnyside.  He has written essays, short stories and journalism for McSweeney’s, Playboy, and Zyzzyva, and comic books for DC and Dark Horse. He’s written episodes of Welcome to Night Vale and The Thrilling Adventure Hour.

Susan Ito

Susan Ito

Susan Ito is the author The Mouse Room, a SheBooks memoir. She co-edited the literary anthology A Ghost At Heart’s Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption (North Atlantic Books). She is a creative nonfiction editor at the online literary journal Literary Mama, and her work has appeared in Growing Up Asian American, Choice, Hip Mama, The Bellevue Literary Review, Making More Waves and elsewhere. She has performed her solo show, The Ice Cream Gene, around the United States. She writes and teaches at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, at UC Berkeley Extension, and the MFA Program at Bay Path College.

Claudia Long

Claudia Long

Claudia Long is a highly caffeinated, terminally optimistic married lady who writes about early 1700’s Mexico and modern day and Roaring Twenties California. She practices law as a mediator for employment disputes and business collapses, has two formerly rambunctious–now grown kids, and owns four dogs and a cat. Her first mainstream novel was Josefina’s Sin, published by Simon & Schuster in 2011. Her second, The Duel for Consuelo (Booktrope, 2014) is about the Crypto-Jews of Mexico in 1711 and the last gasps of the power of the Inquisition. She grew up in Mexico City and New York, and now lives in California.

Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas latest book, Bridge, is a work of fiction published by BOA Editions. His first book, Door to Door, was selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as winner of the Poets Out Loud Prize and published by Fordham University, and his second book, Dragging the Lake, was published by Carnegie Mellon. He has received a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and won a Pushcart Prize. Robert lives with his wife in Oakland.

Zarina Zabrisky

Zarina Zabrisky

Zarina Zabrisky is the author of two short story collections, Iron and A Cute Tombstone, the novel We, Monsters, and a book of collaborative poetry and art, Green Lions, co-written with Simon Rogghe. Her work has been published in six countries. She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a recipient of a 2013 Acker Award.

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 for five years.

Why There Are Words Celebrates Five Years of Fabulousness Jan. 8, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on December 16, 2014

Why There Are Words celebrates five years of presenting fabulous readings by fabulous authors. Join us on this momentous occasion when we kick off the beginning of our 6th year January 8 at Studio 333 in Sausalito.  Doors open at 7 pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

 

Tom Barbash

Tom Barbash

Tom Barbash is the author of the short story collection, Stay Up With Me, an Amazon Editor’s Best Book of the Year, and the novel, The Last Good Chance, which was a Publishers Weekly and Anniston Star Best Book of the Year, and winner of the California Book Award. His nonfiction book, On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11: A Story of Loss and Renewal, was a New York Times bestseller. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. His stories and articles have been published in The Best American Non-Required Reading, Tin House, McSweeney’s, OneStory, Narrative, The Missouri Review, VQR, Men’s Journal, ESPN the Magazine, The Observer, The New York Times, Bookforum, The Believer, and other publications, and have been performed on National Public Radio for “Selected Shorts.” He currently teaches in the MFA program in writing at California College of the Arts.

Ann Packer

Ann Packer

Ann Packer is the acclaimed author of two collections of short fiction, Swim Back to Me and Mendocino and Other Stories, and two bestselling novels, Songs Without Words and The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, which received the Kate Chopin Literary Award among many other prizes and honors. Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and in the O. Henry Prize Stories anthologies, and her novels have been translated into a dozen languages and published around the world. She lives in San Carlos, California.

Rob Roberge

Rob Roberge

Rob Roberge is the author of four books of fiction, The Cost of Living, Working Backwards from the Worst Moment of my Life, More Then They Could Chew, and Drive, and the upcoming memoir, LIAR (Crown, 2016). His work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including ZYZZYVA, Chelsea, Black Clock, Other Voices, Alaska Quarterly Review, and the “Ten Writers Worth Knowing” issue of The Literary Review. He plays guitar and sings with several LA bands, including, among others, the punk pioneers, The Urinals.  He lives in southern California and teaches at the UCR/Palm Desert low-residency MFA program.

Jason Roberts website

Jason Roberts website

Jason Roberts is the author of A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveler (HarperCollins), and the forthcoming Two Shipwrecks: Survival, Obsession and Courage in Lands Beyond the Sea (Norton). He is the winner of the Van Zorn Prize for emerging writers, sponsored and awarded by Michael Chabon, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Guardian First Book Award.

Lalita Tademy

Lalita Tademy

Lalita Tademy is the New York Times bestselling author of three historical novels. Her debut, Cane River, was Oprah’s summer Book Pick in 2001, translated into 11 languages, and became San Francisco’s One City, One Book in 2007. Stanford University recently selected Cane River as assigned reading for all incoming freshmen in 2015. Her second novel, Red River, was released to critical acclaim in 2007. Her third novel, Citizens Creek, was published in November 2014. She has been featured in People Magazine, O Magazine, More Magazine, Good Housekeeping, The Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, and the Oprah Winfrey Show, and has appeared as a speaker for the Library of Congress and National Book Festival, the California Governor’s Conference for Women, African American Librarians – Black Caucus, Louisiana Library Association, Professional Businesswomen of California, National Association of Principals for Girls, and as a San Francisco Library Laureate. She lives in northern California with her husband, Barry Williams.

Ayelet Waldman

Ayelet Waldman

Ayelet Waldman is the author of Love and TreasureRed Hook Road and The New York Times bestseller Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace. Her novel Love and Other Impossible Pursuits was adapted into a film called “The Other Woman” starring Natalie Portman. Her personal essays and profiles of such public figures as Hillary Clinton have been published in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including The New York TimesVogueThe Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Her radio commentaries have appeared on All Things Considered and This American Life. Her books are published throughout the world, in countries as disparate as England and Thailand, the Netherlands and China, Russia and Israel, South Korea, and Italy.

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. Peg Alford Pursell is the founder and curator.

Why There Are Words Presents the Sweet Readings, December 11, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on November 15, 2014

Why There Are Words presents a delectable assortment of delicious readings from the following authors on the theme of “Sweet.” Join us for the lusciousness on December 11, 2014, at Studio 333 in Sausalito.  Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

hugh bHugh Behm-Steinberg is the author of Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books) and The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press). Bird poems have appeared in such places as Spork, Fence, Denver Quarterly and Ping-Pong. He teaches writing at California College of the Arts, where he edits the journal Eleven Eleven.

Brian Komei Dempster

Brian Komei Dempster

Brian Komei Dempster‘s debut book of poetry, Topaz, was published by Four Way Books in 2013 and received the 15 Bytes 2014 Book Award in Poetry. He is editor of From Our Side of the Fence: Growing Up in America’s Concentration Camps (Kearny Street Workshop, 2001), which received a 2007 Nisei Voices Award from the National Japanese American Historical Society, and Making Home from War: Stories of Japanese American Exile and Resettlement (Heyday, 2011). He is a professor of rhetoric and language and a faculty member in Asian Pacific American Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he also serves as Director of Administration for the Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies.

Cassandra Dunn

Cassandra Dunn

Cassandra Dunn is the author of The Art of Adapting (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster), which Publishers Weekly called “a lively, engaging, and heartfelt tale of learning how to cope with change.” She received her MFA in creative writing from Mills College. She was a semifinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and a finalist for Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. She’s published twelve short stories.

Rita M Gardner

Rita M Gardner

Rita Gardner is the author of the memoir The Coconut Latitudes (She Writes Press, September 2014). She grew up on her expatriate family’s coconut farm in the Dominican Republic during the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Living in a remote coastal village, she was home-schooled and began writing, reading, and painting at an early age. She returned to the U.S. to finish school and later moved to Northern California where she follows her passions—writing, traveling, trail hiking, and photography. Her published essays, articles, poems, and photographs have appeared in literary journals, travel magazines, and newspapers. She has been awarded writing residencies at Hedgebrook and Lit Camp.

Glen David Gold

Glen David Gold

Glen David Gold is the author of the novels Carter Beats the Devil and Sunnyside.  He has written essays, short stories and journalism for McSweeney’s, Playboy, and Zyzzyva, and comic books for DC and Dark Horse. He’s written episodes of Welcome to Night Vale and The Thrilling Adventure Hour.

Susan Ito

Susan Ito

Susan Ito is the author The Mouse Room, a SheBooks memoir. She co-edited the literary anthology A Ghost At Heart’s Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption (North Atlantic Books). She is a creative nonfiction editor at the online literary journal Literary Mama, and her work has appeared in Growing Up Asian American, Choice, Hip Mama, The Bellevue Literary Review, Making More Waves and elsewhere. She has performed her solo show, The Ice Cream Gene, around the United States. She writes and teaches at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, at UC Berkeley Extension, and the MFA Program at Bay Path College.

Claudia Long

Claudia Long

Claudia Long is a highly caffeinated, terminally optimistic married lady who writes about early 1700’s Mexico and modern day and Roaring Twenties California. She practices law as a mediator for employment disputes and business collapses, has two formerly rambunctious–now grown kids, and owns four dogs and a cat. Her first mainstream novel was Josefina’s Sin, published by Simon & Schuster in 2011. Her second, The Duel for Consuelo (Booktrope, 2014) is about the Crypto-Jews of Mexico in 1711 and the last gasps of the power of the Inquisition. She grew up in Mexico City and New York, and now lives in California.

Elizabeth Rosner

Elizabeth Rosner

Elizabeth Rosner is a bestselling novelist, poet, and essayist living in Berkeley. Her third novel, Electric City, and her full-length poetry collection, Gravity, were both published in October 2014. Her first novel, The Speed of Light, was translated into nine languages. Short-listed for the Prix Femina, the book won several literary prizes in both the US and Europe, including the Prix France Bleu Gironde; the Great Lakes Colleges Award for New Fiction; and Hadassah Magazine’s Ribalow Prize, judged by Elie Wiesel. The book was optioned by actress Gillian Anderson, who will be making the film her directorial debut.  Her second novel, Blue Nude, was named one of the best books of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle. Her essays have appeared in the NY Times Magazine, Elle, the Forward, Hadassah Magazine, and several anthologies. She travels widely to lead intensive writing workshops, to lecture on contemporary literature, and to visit with book groups. Her book reviews appear frequently in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas latest book, Bridge, is a work of fiction published by BOA Editions. His first book, Door to Door, was selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as winner of the Poets Out Loud Prize and published by Fordham University, and his second book, Dragging the Lake, was published by Carnegie Mellon. He has received a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and won a Pushcart Prize. Robert lives with his wife in Oakland.

Zarina Zabrisky

Zarina Zabrisky

Zarina Zabrisky is the author of two short story collections, Iron and A Cute Tombstone, the novel We, Monsters, and a book of collaborative poetry and art, Green Lions, co-written with Simon Rogghe. Her work has been published in six countries. She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a recipient of a 2013 Acker Award.

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 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.

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