Ch-ch-ch-changes, make that Transition. That’s our theme for June 13. What will remain the same at Why There Are Words is the quality of the readers. Join us for the following writers and authors reading from their works. Doors open at 7 pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10. You’ll want extra cash for books and booze.
Melanie Abrams is the author of the novel Playing. She teaches creative writing at UC Berkeley and received her MFA from UNC Greensboro. Her novel has been translated in Italian, French, German, and Hebrew.
Jon Boilard was born and raised in Western Massachussetts. He has been living in Northern California since 1986. More than 50 of his short stories have been published in literary journals in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. A River Closely Watched is his first novel, which has been shortlisted for the Northern California Book Award.
Seth Harwood’s new novel In Broad Daylight (Thomas & Mercer) features a new character for him, FBI agent Jess Harding. In the novel, she chases a vicious serial killer’s bloody trail across the summer planes and white nights of Alaska. He has also published three other crime novels—Young Junius, This Is Life, and the bestselling Jack Wakes Up – as well as a collection of stories, A Long Way from Disney. He holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches creative writing at Stanford and CCSF. Serialized versions of his work as free audio podcasts have been downloaded over one million times via iTunes, Podiobooks and at his website.
Jen Michalski is the author of the novel The Tide King (Black Lawrence Press, 2013), the short story collections From Here (Aqueous Books 2013) and Close Encounters (So New 2007), and a collection of novellas, Could You Be With Her Now 2013). She is the founding editor of the literary quarterly jmww, a co-host of The 510 Readings, and also is the editor of the anthology City Sages: Baltimore, which Baltimore Magazine called a “Best of Baltimore” in 2010. She lives in Baltimore and tweets here.
Andrea Pitzer is the author of The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov (Pegasus Books, 2013). She founded and edited Nieman Storyboard, the narrative nonfiction site of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Her writing has appeared in many places, from Slate and USA Today to McSweeney’s and Poet Lore. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two children.
Vicente R. Viray’s writing has appeared in the Greensboro Review, California Northern, Stymie: A Journal of Sport & Literature, Chelsea Station, Tattoo Highway, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco. He lives in San Francisco with his partner Paul and is currently working on a short story collection.
Jon Wells is a designer, writer, and filmmaker living in Mill Valley. In his life he has been a soldier, a Marine, a mountaineer, a rock climber, a white water kayaker and a sailor. His film, At the Epicenter of the Epidemic, concerning the HIV/AIDS crisis in Honduras was accepted at the Tiburon International Film Festival. He is an alum of the Squaw Valley Community of writers. He Died All Day Long is his first novel.
Rob Yardumian received his MFA from Warren Wilson College in 1997. The Sound of Songs Across the Water is his first novel. His short fiction has been published in The Southern Review, The New Orleans Review, The Antioch Review, The Madison Review, Sycamore Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, and Porcupine Literary Arts. Before receiving his MFA, Rob spent ten years in the music business, including stints as director of marketing for a record label and creative director for a publishing company. Currently, he lives in Portland, OR.
Mariah K. Young was born in San Leandro, and spent her childhood in the East Bay and in Lahaina, Hawai’i. She graduated with an English degree from California State University East Bay, where she won the inaugural RV Williams fiction prize. Her first short story collection, Masha’allah and Other Stories, received the James D. Houston Award in 2012, honoring books by writers whose voices reflect humane values and a thoughtful literary exploration of California, Hawai’i, and the West. Mariah currently lives and teaches writing in Los Angeles, and is hard at work on a novel.
Why There Are Words celebrated its third year in January 2013, takes place every second Thursday of the month, and is the brainchild of curator Peg Alford Pursell.
There are always new words to be heard, to inspire, amaze, and move you at Why There Are Words, and this event will be no exception. Doors open at 7 pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10. Bring extra cash for books and booze.
Louise Aronson is the author of A History of the Present Illness, linked stories which take readers into the lives of diverse doctors, patients, and their families, providing an intimate portrait of health and illness in modern life. Her writing has appeared in literary and medical journals and the lay press, including the Bellevue Literary Review, Northwest Review, Fourteen Hills, Annals of Internal Medicine, and the New York Times. She has won the Sonora Review Prize, the New Millennium Short Fiction Award, multiple writer’s residency fellowships, and three Pushcart nominations. A geriatrician, medical educator, and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), she is also the founding director of UCSF Medical Humanities and the field of Public Medical Writing, which provides clinicians and scientists with the craft skills to advocate, educate, and bear witness to key experiences and issues in medicine. Find her on twitter @louisearonson.
Winner of the 2008 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, Cheryl Dumesnil is the author of the memoir Love Song for Baby X and the poetry collection In Praise of Falling. She edited Hitched! Wedding Stories from San Francisco City Hall and co-edited, with Kim Addonizio, Dorothy Parker’s Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos. She’s a regular contributor to Huffington Post.
Josh Farrar is the author of the middle-grade novels, Rules to Rock By and A Song for Bijou. He started writing fiction after spending ten years at companies like LeapFrog and Scholastic, where he designed and produced software that helped kids become better readers. His first love was music, which is probably why music has played such a prominent role in his fiction. (Rules, about the formation of a middle-school rock band, featured an original soundtrack; and Bijou features enough Haitian drumming that it could be sold with a volume knob). He has played in bands, composed music for plays and films, and when he’s not reading or writing, he usually has a stringed instrument in his hands. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he lives with his family in Brooklyn.
Paul Mihas has taught creative writing in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina for over ten years, including classes at the continuing education departments of Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the recipient of the 2008 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the 2008 Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. Mihas is a Greek American and often writes about the blending of cultures in the U.S. His fiction has been published in Prairie Schooner, Best of the West, Nimrod International Journal, Pindeldyboz, Talking River, and Northwoods Anthology.
Brian Sousa‘s debut collection of stories Almost Gone has been described as “doing for Portuguese immigrants from Southern New England what Stuart Dybek did for the Polish of Chicago,” by Jeff Parker, author of Ovenman. He has published poetry and prose in various journals and anthologies, including Verdad, Newfound, Quiddity, Redivider, and others. His fiction is also featured in the Rutgers University Press anthology of Luso-American Literature, 2011. In 2007, he was awarded a fellowship by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and in 2011, he was a finalist for the Dzanc Books International Literary Award, and winner of a scholarship to the Dzanc Books International Literary Program in Portugal. He holds an MFA from Emerson College, is an editor for the music and culture website Mule Variations, and teaches writing at Boston College. He also plays guitar in the indie-rock band Ocean*Transfer.
Melanie Thorne is the author of Hand Me Down, a debut novel in the tradition of Dorothy Allison and Janet Fitch that Publisher’s Weekly deemed “an intriguing first outing by a talented new writer.” A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012 and a 2013 YALSA Alex Award nominee, Hand Me Down has been widely praised by media, including the San Francisco Chronicle and Daily Candy, and received a “compelling” 3.5/4 stars from People. Melanie earned her MA in Creative Writing from the University of CA, Davis, and has been awarded the Alva Englund Fellowship, the Maurice Prize in Fiction, and a residency at the Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat. She lives in Northern California with her fiancé, and is currently at work on her second novel.
Nancy Zafris is the series editor for the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction. Before that she was the fiction editor of The Kenyon Review for nine years. This month, April 2013, she has released a new collection of short stories, The Home Jar(Switchgrass Books/NIU Press.) Her first collection of short stories, The People I Know, won the Flannery O’Connor award as well as the Ohioana Library Association award. Her two novels are The Metal Shredders, a New York Times notable book, and Lucky Strike, a BookSense notable. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants and has taught at many universities, including Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic as a Fulbright Fellow. Each June she teaches at the Kenyon Review Adult Summer Workshop, where she is also Associate Director.
Why There Are Words celebrated its third year in January 2013, takes place every second Thursday of the month, and is the brainchild of curator Peg Alford Pursell.
Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following award-winning writers reading from their works on the theme “Edge” on April 11, 2013 (during the “cruelest month.”) Get down to Studio 333, where you can mix memory and desire, breed lilacs out of the dead land, etc. Doors open at 7 pm & we begin at 7:15. $10. Bring extra cash for books and booze.
Jayne Benjulian’s poetry appears in the literary journals The Seattle Review, Zone 3, Sequoia, Verdad, and Barrow Street among others. Her essays and interviews with playwrights and artists are published in magazines, theater playbills, and HowlRound, the online theater zine. She was Fulbright Lecturer in American Language & Literature in Lyon, France, and from 2008-2011, Director of New Play Development at Magic Theatre. She is a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.
Claire Blotter writes and performs poetry with movement, sound, and body rhythms. Her work has been published in Barnwood, Gargoyle, the We’Moon Datebooks, California Quarterly, and Canary, among others. She represented San Francisco in poetry slams in the early ’90′s, placing second in National Team Competitions in Boston and Chicago. Her award winning video documentary, “Wake Up Call: Saving the Songbirds,” has been screened in 11 film festivals from Mill Valley to Chicago. She also taught writing and theater at S.F. State University, John F. Kennedy University, Dominican University, and the College of Marin. Her third chapbook, Moment in the Moment House, will be published by Finishing Line Press in early 2013.She teaches in the Independent Study, California Poets in the Schools, and Poetry Out Loud Programs in Marin County.
David Corbett is the author of four novels: The Devil’s Redhead, Done for a Dime (a New York Times Notable Book), Blood of Paradise (nominated for numerous awards, including the Edgar), and Do They Know I’m Running (Spinetingler Award, Best Novel—Rising Star Category 2011). His short fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, with two stories selected for Best American Mystery Stories. In 2012, Mysterious Press/Open Road Media re-issued all four of his novels plus a story collection in ebook format, and in January 2013 Penguin published his textbook on the craft of characterization, The Art of Character (“A writer’s bible that will lead to your character’s soul.” —Elizabeth Brundage).
The year she turned 50, Rebecca Foust took a look at her bucket list and realized she needed to get moving. She earned her MFA from Warren Wilson in 2010, the same year her first and second books were published. God, Seed won the Foreword Book of the Year Award and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. All That Gorgeous Pitiless Song won the Many Mountains Moving Book Prize and was nominated for the Poet’s Prize. New poems are in the Hudson Review, JAMA, Sewanee Review, Woman’s Review of Books, and Zyzzyva . She also writes book reviews and essays, and she reads fiction as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine.
Jennifer Gennari is the author of My Mixed-up Berry Blue Summer (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012), an Association of Booksellers for Children Spring 2012 New Voices title and American Library Association Rainbow List title. Her poems have appeared in Marin Poetry Center anthologies. A graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts and a former reporter, she lives on a houseboat in Sausalito with her husband and (occasionally) their four daughters.
Laleh Khadivi is the author of The Age of Orphans and The Walking. She is the recipient of a number of prizes and some very excellent teaching and guidance concerning the reading and writing of fiction. Her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and The Virginia Quarterly Review.
Joshua Mohr is the author of four novels, including Damascus, which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He’s also written the novels Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, and Termite Parade, an editors’ choice on The New York Times Bestseller List. He lives in San Francisco and teaches in the MFA program at USF. His latest novel is Fight Song, published in February 2013.
Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents seven award-winning writers reading from their works on the theme “Serendipity” on March 14, 2013. Get down to Studio 333 to discover what literary fortune awaits in this Chinese Year of the Snake! Doors open at 7 pm & we begin at 7:15. $10. Bring extra cash for books and booze.
Rahimeh Andalibian is the author of the memoir, The Rose Hotel, which chronicles the story of her Iranian Muslim family and their fight to strive after being uprooted from their homeland to California during the Iranian Revolution of l979. The Rose Hotel has received rave reviews and recently topped Amazon’s #1 bestseller list in the memoir category. She has worked as a licensed clinical psychologist in Laguna Beach and New York City, conducting intergenerational family therapy sessions with individuals, children, couples, and families. She employs creative expression and storytelling to support others in understanding their suffering and break through encrusted communication patterns to create positive change in themselves and the world.
Daniel Levin Becker is Reviews Editor of The Believer and a member of the Paris-based Oulipo collective. His first book, Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature, was published by Harvard University Press in 2012.
Beth Bosworth won the 2012 Drue Heinz Literature Prize for her short fiction collection The Source of Life and Other Stories, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. She has taught at the New School for Social Research, CUNY’s NYC Technical College, and for many years at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, where she is also founding editor of the Saint Ann’s Review. Her publications include a novel, Tunneling, and a collection of short stories, A Burden of Earth. Her stories have appeared in the Kenyon Review, the Seneca Review, Forward, IMAGE, Hanging Loose, Guernica, and elsewhere.
Laurie Ann Doyle admits to being born in Bakersfield way before it was shrouded in smog. She’s won the Alligator Juniper National Fiction Award, as well as nominations for a 2012 Pushcart Prize and Best New American Voices 2008. Her short stories, essays, and poems have appeared in over a dozen literary publications, including Arroyo Literary Review, Dogwood Journal, and Farallon Review. She teaches writing at UC Berkeley, co-hosts San Francisco’s eclectic reading series Babylon Salon, and is hard at work on a book of stories touching on love, death, and a few points in between.
Recipient of the 2004 Ferro-Grumley and Violet Quill awards for his first novel, Through It Came Bright Colors (Harrington Park Press), Trebor Healey is also the author of a collection of poems, Sweet Son of Pan, (Suspect Thoughts, 2006), as well as a short story collection, A Perfect Scar & Other Stories (Harrington Park Press, 2007). He co-edited (with Marci Blackman) Beyond Definition: New Writing from Gay and Lesbian San Francisco (Manic D Press, 1994) and co-edited (with Amie M. Evans) Queer & Catholic (Routledge, 2008). His novels Faun (Lethe Press) and A Horse Named Sorrow (University of Wisconsin Press) were released this fall.
Ron Nyren’s fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, The North American Review, Glimmer Train Stories, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. He has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan and is a former Stegner Fellow, a former editor of Furious Fictions: The Magazine of Short-Short Stories, and co-author, with Sarah Stone, of Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers. He currently works as a freelance writer and teaches for Stanford Continuing Studies.
Elaine Russell’s first adult novel, Across the Mekong River (2012), developed from an interest in the Hmong community in Sacramento and a subsequent trip to Laos. The novel was a finalist in the Carolina Wren Press 2010 Doris Bawkin Award, the Maui Writer’s Conference 2003 Rupert Hughes Writing Competition, and the Focus on Writers 2001 Friends of the Sacramento Library Awards. Other published works include short stories for adults and children and the Martin McMillan middle-grade adventure series (2004 and 2012). Elaine graduated with a BA in History at UC Davis and an MA in Economics at CSU Sacramento. After working for many years as an environmental consultant, she turned to writing full time.
Why There Are Words presents Chances on February 14, 2013. Don’t take chances — get to Studio 333 at 7 pm when doors open for your seat. You won’t want to miss these readers. $10. Bring extra cash for books and booze.
Stacy Bierlein is the author of the story collection A Vacation on the Island of Ex-Boyfriends and a co-editor of the short fiction anthology Men Undressed: Women Writers and the Male Sexual Experience. Her award-winning anthology of international fiction, A Stranger Among Us: Stories of Cross Cultural Collision and Connection, is used in university classrooms across the country. She is a founding editor of Other Voices Books and the Morgan Street International Novel Series. Her articles about writing, publishing, and the arts appear on various websites, including The Rumpus. She lives in Southern California.
Daniel Coshnear works in a group home, teaches writing in a variety of Bay area and North Bay university extension programs, and is the author of two collections of stories: Jobs & Other Preoccupations (Helicon Nine 2001) and the brand new Occupy & Other Love Stories (Kellys Cove Press 2012).
Syda Patel Day is the author of a novel, A Waterless River, forthcoming from Norton. She is a graduate of Yale Law School, where she was co-director of the Lowenstein Human Rights Law Clinic, where she won a Newberry Award, and the prestigious degree-end Lemkin Prize for excellence in legal writing. The Holtzmann Fellow at Yale University, she also won the Mary Cass Award for poetry. She taught law as the Lewis Fellow at Harvard Law School and was awarded the Coker Fellowship for teaching at Yale Law School. She’s won numerous awards, fellowships, and grants for her creative writing, including a Fulbright Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Fellowship, a Steinbeck Fellowship, a Story Magazine Prize, fellowships and residencies at Djerassi Center for the Arts, the Headlands Center for the Arts, and Vermont Studio Center. She has taught literature at the Urban School of San Francisco and U.C. Berkeley. She was a founder of Root Division, a community arts organization in the Mission district of San Francisco, was Co-Director of the Film Institute for Social Change, and was Vice President of Content at EdVantage and StudySync, an international education company, division of Bookhead Ed, Inc. and Houghton Mifflin. She is currently the Lucy Grealy Scholar at Bennington College Writing Seminars.
Kerry Donoghue‘s short stories have appeared in Southern Gothic Shorts, The Queen City Review, The Furnace Review, and The Black Boot. Two other stories have been published and illustrated by The Fiction Circus and the Pilot Project, one of which was nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize. She holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco and can be found biking around SF with her husband or on the hunt for donuts.
Marian Palaia lives mostly in San Francisco but sometimes in Missoula, Montana, and is currently a John Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University. She received her MFA from The University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she was awarded the 2012 Milofsky Prize and nominated for an AWP Intro award. “Củ Chi,” the first chapter of her novel Don’t Let Them Take You Back Broken, was published in the fall 2012 issue of The Virginia Quarterly Review and has been nominated for a Pushcart prize.
Jordan E. Rosenfeld is author of the debut novel of psychological suspense, Forged in Grace, forthcoming from Indie-Visible ink in 2013, and the writing guide Make a Scene. Her work has appeared in Night Train, The Pedestal, San Francisco Chronicle, St. Petersburg Times, Smokelong Quarterly, and on KQED Radio’s The California Report. She teaches online writing classes.
Ryan Van Meter is the author of the essay collection, If You Knew Then What I Know Now (2011). His work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Iowa Review, The Normal School Magazine, Ninth Letter, and Fourth Genre, among others, and has been selected for anthologies including Best American Essays 2009. A recent finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, he has also been awarded residencies by The MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
Don’t miss Why There Are Words January 10, 2013. It’s our 3rd Anniversary and we’ll have a special reading we’re calling Pairings — tasty servings of poets and writers paired together for a delectable experience you’ll simply have to experience for yourself. As always we’ll be at Studio 333 at 333 Caledonia St., Sausalito. 7 pm. $10. Bring extra cash for books and booze. Note the event will fill quickly. Come early to get a seat. Once they’re gone, they’re gone!
Julie Bruck is the author of three books of poetry, Monkey Ranch (2012), The End of Travel (1999), and The Woman Downstairs (1993). Her work has appeared in such magazines as Ms, Ploughshares, and The New Yorker, and her awards include two Gold Canadian National Magazine Awards, and the 2012 Governor General’s Award for poetry. A former Montrealer, Julie has lived in San Francisco since 1997, and has taught poetry workshops for the Writing Salon for 8 years.
Lewis Buzbee is the author of Fliegelman’s Desire, After the Gold Rush, First to Leave Before the Sun, and The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop. Steinbeck’s Ghost, his first novel for younger readers, was selected for the California Library Association’s John and Patricia Beatty Award, and was a Smithsonian Notable Book. His second middle grade novel, The Haunting of Charles Dickens, won the Northern California Book Award and was nominated for an Edgar Award. A new novel, Bridge of Time has just been published, and a new nonfiction book, Blackboard, will be published in the fall of 2013. A bookseller and publisher for over 20 years, Lewis has taught creative writing for 20 years, and is on the faculty of the MFA program at University of San Francisco.
Carolyn Cooke’s Daughters of the Revolution was listed among the best novels of 2011 by the San Francisco Chronicle and The New Yorker Magazine. Her short fiction, collected in The Bostons, won the PEN/Bingham award, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway, and has appeared in AGNI, The Paris Review and two volumes each of Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. A new collection, Amor & Psycho, is forthcoming next summer from Knopf. Carolyn teaches in the MFA writing program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.
Dean Rader’s debut collection of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize. It was a finalist for the Bob Bush Memorial First Book Prize and it won the 2010 Writer’s League of Texas Book Award. His work appears in Best American Poetry 2012, and a new collection of poems that explores the convergence of poetry and painting is forthcoming later this year. Dean writes and reviews regularly for The San Francisco Chronicle, The Rumpus, and The Huffington Post. He is a professor and chair of the Department of English at the University of San Francisco, where he won the University’s Distinguished Research Award in 2011.
Melissa Stein is the author of the poetry collection Rough Honey, winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. Her poems have appeared in Southern Review, Harvard Review, Best New Poets 2009, New England Review, North American Review, and many other journals and anthologies, and she has received fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. She is a freelance editor and writer in San Francisco.
Glen David Gold is the author of the novels Sunnyside and Carter Beats the Devil, international bestsellers which have been translated into 14 languages. He has written essays, memoir, and fiction for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, McSweeney’s, Playboy, Tin House, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He’s written comic books for DC and Dark Horse, and his essays on collecting artwork have appeared everywhere from The Believer to Yale University Press. Currently he’s working on a multi-volume memoir, and wishes to point out that his sole produced screen credit, an episode of “Hey Arnold,” is streaming on Netflix.
Matthew Zapruder is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon 2010), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared in many publications, including Tin House, Paris Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Bomb, Slate, Poetry, and The Believer. He has received a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, a William Carlos Williams Award, a May Sarton Award from the Academy of American Arts and Sciences, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Currently he works as an editor for Wave Books, and teaches as a member of the core faculty of UCR-Palm Desert’s Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing.
Cary Tennis writes Salon.com’s advice column “Since You Asked.” He also leads writing workshops and creative getaways, publishes books, performs his fiction and poetry in bars and art galleries, writes songs, plays guitar and contributes occasional pieces to magazines. He studied English literature and journalism at the University of Miami and went to grad school in creative writing at San Francisco State, but got distracted around 1980 and formed a punk/new wave band (the Repeat Offenders) and played the local joints. He “worked” as a “rock journalist” for the SF Weekly and wrote a column called “Freefall,” (and Jerry Garcia’s obit for the SF Examiner, etc). He was an aspiring fiction writer and poet who got into journalism because it was easier and quicker, and then since he was also a rock musician he got into rock journalism, which was even easier and quicker than regular journalism; and generally throughout the ’80s, he lived an idiosyncratic version of poet-and-fiction-writer-as-brilliant-urban-rebel-and-scold before settling down in 1989, quitting the booze and trying to make a legitimate go of it doing things that were neither easier nor quicker. In 2001 at Salon he took over the advice column from Garrison Keillor, whose signature column, Mr. Blue, had run from 1998 to 2001.
Since You Asked, like Mr. Blue, is long-form, high-brow but low-key, with a literary and sophisticated tone. Cary considers the advice column practiced in this way to be an epistolary art form equal in merit to fiction, poetry, and drama, and thinks it should be taught as such in schools and universities. But he’s not holding his breath. (He’s still working on the same novel he’s been working on for about 17 years now, and really believes he should send out more work to small magazines.)
You won’t want to miss this event!
Gabriel Blackwell is the author of Shadow Man: A Biography of Lewis Miles Archer and Critique of Pure Reason, a collection of essays and fictions. His work has appeared in Conjunctions, Tin House, Puerto del Sol, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. He is the reviews editor of The Collagist and a contributor to BIG OTHER.
Laura E. Davis is the author of the chapbook Braiding the Storm (Finishing Line Press). Her poem “Widowing” won the 2012 Crab Creek Review Poetry Contest, judged by Dorianne Laux. Other poems and reviews are featured or forthcoming in Mason’s Road, Right Hand Pointing, The Rumpus, A-Minor, Super Arrow, and Redactions, among others. She is the founding editor of Weave Magazine, and teaches poetry writing, translation, and recitation in San Francisco, where she lives with her partner, Sal.
Steve De Jarnatt grew up in the small logging town of Longview, Washington. He attended Occidental College, graduated from The Evergreen State College, and recently completed the Creative Writing MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles after a long career as a writer and director in film and television. He counts among other credits the indie cult film, “Miracle Mile.” His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Meridian, The Cincinnati Review, The Santa Moncia Review, The Best American Short Stories 2009, and New Stories from the Midwest.
Valerie Fioravanti is the author of Garbage Night at the Opera, winner of the 2011 Chandra Prize for Short Fiction. Her fiction, essays, and prose poems have appeared in many literary journals, including North American Review, Cimarron Review, and Hunger Mountain. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Creative Writing, and is at work on a novel set in Italy. She teaches in private workshops in Sacramento and as a writing coach, and runs the award-winning reading series Stories on Stage.
Anne Galjour is an award-winning playwright and actor. Her playwriting credits include the upcoming world premiere of Turtles & Alligators, a Cajun Kitchen Comedy at the Bayou Playhouse in Spring 2013; Bird in the Hand; Okra; and The Queen of the Sea. Her solo performance credits include You Can’t Get There from Here, Hurricane Mauvais Temps, Alligator Tales, and The Krewe of Neptune. Awards for her work include the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award – Best Original Script; the Will Glickman Playwriting Award and Bay Area Theater Critics Award – Best Original Script; theAmerican Theatre Critics Association Osborn Award for Emerging Playwright; the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle – Best Solo Performance; the S.F. Solo Mio Festival – Outstanding Solo Artist; and the S.F. Bay Guardian “Goldie” for outstanding performance artist. She is a lecturer in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University.
Daniel Handler is the author of the novels The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, Adverbs, and Why We Broke Up, recently awarded a Michael L. Printz Honor. As Lemony Snicket, he is the author of far too many books for children, including Who Could That Be At This Hour?, the first volume in his new series, All The Wrong Questions.
Arisa White is the author of the debut collection Hurrah’s Nest, the 2012 winner of the San Francisco Book Festival Award for Poetry. She is a Cave Canem fellow, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an editor of Her Kind, the official blog for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Her second collection, A Penny Saved, is forthcoming from Willow Books.
Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following readers on the theme Ignored September 13 at Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm. $5. A stellar night of readings with seven incredible authors? Now that’s something you can’t ignore!
David Booth is the author Peer Participation and Software, a book about crowd-sourcing and democracy (MIT Press, 2010). His fiction has appeared in many print and online journals, including Washington Square, The Missouri Review, and The Farallon Review. David was a creative writing instructor at the University of San Francisco for 10 years. He now teaches humanities at Gateway High School in San Francisco’s Fillmore District. He has just completed the first draft of a novel called “The History of Adoption” that explores child adoption and the teaching of literacy to adolescents in the United States.
Traci Chee is an always-writer and sometimes-teacher. She has a graduate degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University and is looking forward to earning her teaching credential. In recent years her work has been published in The Big Stupid Review and ABJECTIVE. Her collection of short stories Consonant Sounds for Fish Songs is forthcoming from Aqueous Books. She lives in Northern California, where she keeps a fast dog and a weekly blog. She likes fish and ships.
Lindsey Crittenden is the author of two books: The Water Will Hold You: A Skeptic Learns to Pray and The View From Below: Stories. Her personal essays—on everything from visiting a group of lifers at San Quentin to the pitfalls of too much California sunshine—have appeared in The New York Times, Image, Real Simple, Bon Appétit, East Bay Express, and Best American Spiritual Writing. Her fiction has won national awards and been published in Glimmer Train, Bellingham Review, Quarterly West, and other publications. She teaches writing at UC Berkeley Extension and through the Glen Online, blogs weekly, and is at work on a novel.
Erich Origen is a New York Times bestselling humorist. His first book, Goodnight Bush, which he co-created with friend Gan Golan,a bedtime story about the Bush Administration, became a breakout hit in 2008, and the book’s words were sung by jubilant choirs across the country. His second book (also created with Golan), The Adventures of Unemployed Man, a superhero parody about the economic crisis, was an international bestseller and one of the best-reviewed graphic novels of the year. The duo’s latest book is Don’t Let the Republican Drive the Bus! Origen has a special connection to this book’s soul: His mother was a charter bus driver whose livelihood was devastated by Republican union-busting. He studied film and television at the University of Southern California, where he won the Bernard Kantor Award for Academic Excellence. You can follow his blog here.
Caroline Paul is the author of Fighting Fire, a memoir of her career as a San Francisco firefighter, and East Wind, Rain, an historical novel that takes place on the Hawaiian island of Niihau at the start of World War II. Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology will be published in April 2013.
Sarah Stone is the author of the novel The True Sources of the Nile and co-author of Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, StoryQuarterly, The Future Dictionary of America, the Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers, Dedicated to the People of Darfur: Writings on Fear, Risk, and Hope, and A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft, among other places.She has taught in Seoul, in Bujumbura, at San Francisco State University, at the University of California, Berkeley, and in the MFA in Writing and Consciousness, first at New College of California and later at California Institute of Integral Studies. She teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.
Rebecca Wilson is the author of the memoir A House with No Roof —After My Father’s Assassination, A Memoir, (Counterpoint Press, 2011), with an introduction by Anne Lamott. She was born in San Francisco and raised in Bolinas, California. She graduated from Scripps Women’s College Phi Beta Kappa and traveled to Scotland on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. During her time in Scotland she published her first book, Sleeping with Monsters: Conversations with Scottish and Irish Female Poets.