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.